Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring work

The student-built Harbormaster skiffs are moving along nicely now, and are not far from being ready to launch.  Bottom paint has been applied to several, and frames are being fastened. The seemingly endless job of cleaning up Sikaflex ooze is always there whenever anyone has a free minute or two.

The kids had a brief ceremony and an extended photo-op when they turned over two of the skiffs last week.  Several learned that it is tough to take a "selfie" on your cell phone while holding a boat up over your head.  

Up, up, and . . .
Hold that pose!
Over she goes.
Volunteers, along with boatshop educators Dave and Jen, have been working together with the students to make sure the launch can occur on time.  Planks were milled, frames fastened, paint applied, knot holes bunged, etc.

Joe finishes up milling a plank.  They are all done now.
Larry scrapes oozed Sikaflex in one of the skiffs before frames are attached.
Dave protects his frames against attackers, real or imagined.
Two bottoms painted, two more to go.
Charles continues to work on the new companionway hatch cover for Hard Tack.  The goal is to replicate the original  (same shape, material, color, and overall appearance) while improving the watertight capability. 

Squaring up the edges for addition of end caps.
Charles is also proceeding with the rigging of the sloop Lagniappe, an Iain Oughtred designed Grey Seal gunter rigged sloop.  The mast has been rigged, and installed on the boat. The next order of business is acquiring sails.

Lagniappe's mast rigged and ready to be stepped.
John and Larry hold the mast in place while Charles fastens the headstay turnbuckle.
The mast installation crew: Larry, Jeff, John, and Joe.
Starting to look like a sailboat.
Speaking of masts, a new arrival in the shop is a vintage sandbagger mast currently being used as a flagpole. This huge structure is in the shop for some rot repair and a thorough refinishing. It was in before, five or six years ago, and received 10 coats of varnish at the time.  They held up well, but no finish lasts forever, and it is time to do some maintenance.

Levi scrapes the topmast prior to sanding.
The huge mast covers more than half the length of the shop.
The Beetle Cat is moving along.  Volunteers have been cutting planks, and also fitting the new stern post to the keel and transom.

Bob mortises the skeg to receive the gudgeon end.
Joe rivets the gudgeon to the new sternpost
The surest sign that spring is close at hand is the annual visit of the A. J. Meerwald, the New Jersey state tall ship.  Meerwald came up the river from her home port in Bivalve, NJ. 

Busy dock with Meerwald, Patriot, Lagniappe, and a few Whitehalls to boot.

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