To the Ocean

I’m really excited that in just a few days all three boats will be on the trailer heading to Nags Head. I’ve been doing a bunch of little work on the boat to get ready. I drilled 5 holes in the boat and filled them with epoxy to make waterproof bushings for holes for lines. I removed the cheap plastic cleat from the front of the boat and drilled a large hole to tie a short painter. I drilled two more holes on the dagger board case to attach a piece of shock cord to hold the dagger board down. Finally I drilled two holes in the aft bulkhead wood to tie a line across the back of the boat to keep the tiller from slipping into the water when dropped. While I had the epoxy out, I filled the rudder mortise and then sanded it back to get a tight fit on the rudder arm. It’s not a perfect fit where the mortise and tenon come together, but it’s very tight now. The pin is decorative at this point. It’s not moving on its own.

I finished off the trailer by putting down 2″ of foam on the bed of the trailer and screwing down the outdoor carpet to it. I’m still thinking about the best way to tie down the kayaks on top. Right now I’m just using dock lines and truckers hitches. The good thing about that is that when they are off there’s nothing getting in the way of the skerry, but it’s not the fastest thing. Debating whether to keep one up there all the time for fast access to the water.

 

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Rudder arm part 2

It’s been a mild winter and is supposed to be 70 with a nice breeze this weekend. It’s time to get this rudder arm finished up. Tonight I shaped the arm into a taper from the full thickness down to roughly 1/2″ at the tip of the arm. I also started cutting out the tenon. There’s more trimming to do before it will fit the mortise, but it’s a good start. I hope to have a rough fit tomorrow. It won’t be fully done by Sunday, but hopefully close enough to get on the water and sail.

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Ready for Launch

We finished up a bunch of work on the boat yesterday getting ready for the launch today. The weather has gone from “Clear” to chance of thunderstorms, but the winds are still projected to be good.

The first project of the day was installing this cleat and rope to hold up the leeboard.

leeboard ready for travel

leeboard ready for travel

Next I added the shock cord closures for the hatches.

hatch covers

hatch covers

And finally I mounted the dragon

the Terror of the Sea

the Terror of the Sea

I also put a coat of varnish on Molly’s oar.

Then I bought a 12′ 2×4 which I cut into two supports for the trailer to hold the boat. Tanya and I were talking about pulling the carpet off the stairs. Maybe I’ll do that this morning and use the carpet scraps as padding on the bars.

Total time: 89 hours
Total boat cost: $534
Total tools cost: $200

A leeboard, rudder and a sail

Put a bunch of time into the boat today. This morning I gooped on some silicon and screwed down the decks. Then I bolted on the leeboard and attached the rudder. The girls also did some initial decorating of the oars.

Decks attached

Decks attached

Hatch cover

Hatch cover

leeboard attached

leeboard attached

rudder installed

rudder installed

polytarp sail

polytarp sail

The sail is a 68 sq foot lug made from 5.2oz white tarp material from PolySail International. It’s a great cheap way to get on the water fast. The whole kit was about $100 and came with double stick tape, rope edging, duct tape, grommet kit, etc. The sail has a 5’10” luff, a 12’2″ leech, a 9′ head and an 8’9″ foot. The leech is hollowed a few inches and the head and the foot both have several inches of rounding to account for spar bending as well as giving the sail some shape. We don’t want a flat sail. Hopefully it does the trick. I based my rough estimates on this very nice set of plans for a slightly larger sail. The sail dimensions I followed come from Jim Michalak’s Piccup Pram. The head and the foot are shorter and you end up with a taller sail to get close to the same sq footage. It means that the yard and boom don’t have to be as long and will fit on the boat better when down on the deck for rowing, etc. The height will give it better movement in light air and it should reef down nicely in heavier wind.

The pre-launch checklist is looking better:

  • second coat of paint on the hatch covers
  • assemble and paint the dragon
  • second coat of varnish on the yard and boom
  • girls decorate oars + top coat with varnish
  • add hardware for rigging

 

Total time: 84 hours
Total boat cost: $534
Total tools cost: $200

Rudder

Got the bottom of the boat primed tonight and started assembling the rudder. I was thinking of putting a second coat of paint on it, but got impatient. I may still put another coat on it, but it was fun to see it go together.

 

rudder assembled

rudder assembled

It’s a clever design. The rudder blade can ride up (or be pulled up with a rope) in shallow water and the lead weight will cause it to drop back down in deeper water. The tiller is held on a bit of a shelf so it will stay up off the rear deck of the boat, but it can also flip totally over the other direction and fold down flat along the blade for easier storage. I’m looking forward to testing it very soon.

Last night we put a second coat of paint on the decks and painted the other side of the leeboard. A little more paint on the side of the boat and the leeboard will be ready to bolt on as well. It’s all starting to come together.

 

Reminiscing

Molly and I got a little bit of painting in tonight. We did the first coat of green on the decks and one side of the leeboard. While we were painting Molly asked if I remembered when we first started working on the boat. She was thinking back to when we were shaving the spars down with the block plane in the winter and how much work it was. Ah, it made me smile. Building memories was what this project was all about. That was some nice interest paid out on the investment already tonight. I look forward to a lot more reminiscing about this little boat for years to come. I fully expect there to be family legends by the time the girls are off to college. 😉

reminiscing over green paint

reminiscing

Green!

Lots of scattered work this weekend on various boat tasks. The first big thing was getting the girls to help me paint the boat. They had lots of fun with it and amazingly enough there was very little paint outside of the boat.

Painting Helpers

Painting Helpers

Painting Helpers

Painting Helpers

After the girls finished with the boat I put a coat on the rudder pieces and the tiller.

Rudder parts

Rudder parts

Today the air boxes got a coat of bright white to make it easier to find stuff in there.

Decks

Decks

The decks got a coat of the bright white on the underside and a coat of primer on the top sides. They are ready to be screwed down to the boat. The oars got a coat of the same bright white and the leeboard got a coat of primer as well.

Oars and leeboard

Oars and leeboard

To finish off the day the spars all got their holes drilled. They still need to be varnished.

spars drilled

spars drilled

When the weather cooperates I’ve been rolling the Day Sailer out into the driveway on Saturday mornings to work on the PDR in the car port. Then Sunday evening I pack it all up and roll the boat back in. It’s always a bit sad to pack it all up again. It also makes it all take a bit longer when I’m taking pieces in and out of the house, etc. I’ve moved a bunch of items back down into the guest room for painting in the evenings this week because the pollen is so bad it’s almost impossible to paint outside. I might have to stay home sick from work one day in order to get this sail knocked out.

Total time: 72 hours
Total boat cost: $534
Total tools cost: $200