Work Day

I’m glad I didn’t go sailing today. While mostly sunny, the temps topped out at 45F and the predicted 5-10 mph wind did not materialize. I can’t wait to have a boat that will row in addition to sail so that days like this with time but not so much wind I can go exploring some of the narrow side fingers of our lakes.

So instead of sailing I started out cutting out the two masts from the two ply 5/4″ x 3.5″ Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) I glued up a while back. The two pieces are 2″ square at the base of the mast tapering down to 1.5″ square at the top and are 11’6″ long. I wasn’t sure how cutting them with the circular saw would work, but they came out great. The wood is heavier and stiffer than the white pine 2x4s that I carved the yard and boom from. SYP was the traditional wood used for masts here in the southeastern US back in the day, so it’s fun to harken back to the olden days with that little piece of the boat even if the rest of the plywood construction is less historical.

Look at the pitch lines in the mast

Look at the pitch lines in the mast

After cutting out the masts I gave them a light sanding so they are ready to be planed down to octagons. Then I sanded down the yard and boom to roughly circular shapes. The boom is a little lumpier than the yard, but that’s okay. I’ll give them another fine sanding, drill holes in the ends to hold the sail and then give them several coats of spar varnish when the weather warms up.

roundish yard and boom

roundish yard and boom

Finally I cut out the last plywood pieces. 3 pieces for the leeboard, 3 pieces for the rudder stock (the part attached to the back of the boat on hinges) and 2 pieces for the rudder board (the piece that will pivot down into the water). Both the leeboard and rudder will be weighted with lead. The idea is that you’ll uncleat both of them once you’ve launched and aren’t rowing and they’ll drop into the water and stay down without any intervention. Then if you sail through a low spot, etc, they’ll ride up and then drop back down again. Next I’ll glue all the plywood blanks together and after they’ve set I’ll go back and cut the final, complex shapes for each of these items. After that there is only one more piece to fashion – the tiller. Well, then the decorative dragon head for the front of the boat too. It’s nearly time for a sail kit, but I did our taxes and found we owe a bunch of money to Uncle Sam, so that might have to wait a bit longer.

Total time: 25 hours
Total cost: $631

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