finishing yard and boom

I still haven’t glued up the 8 piece mast yet. There’s been a lot of crazy happening both in work and personal life. Today I wanted to get some boat work accomplished so I decided it was time to fiberglass tape the ends of the yard and boom. I’m using the Duckworks DWX epoxy to coat the glass and since it has built in UV resistance you can use it as a finish, so I just painted it on both spars. It has a long pot life, so I mixed up 3 pumps each. I didn’t have quite enough to do all 4 sides, but I coated 3 sides each. It started to get a little gummy toward the end and I’m worried about drips and runs. I’ve gone back over it once to remove drips. I’ll check back in a while to see if there are more. At least there’s a little progress.



8 piece mast

Finally made some progress on the mast this weekend. I got the 8 strips cut down to size and notched the 45 degree angle into on side of them using the radial saw. The next trick was to taper them from 19/16ths down to 15/16ths over a 10′ span. I set the pieces up on some of the left over 2×12 on saw horses.


I marked out the first one and carefully cut down to the line with a block plane and a number 4 plane that I just got from my friend Shawn. It belonged to his grandfather and I’m honored to have it in my shop making boats. With the first one cut as a template I thought I’d get out the router with the flush cut bit and trim the next one to match the template. That didn’t go so well. Lots of noise, dust and a big gouge later:

router gouge

router gouge

For the next one I just used the No 4 plane, set the blade a bit deeper and knocked it out in no time. Should have just done that from the beginning. It’s so much nicer working with a plane than power tools. It came out just fine.


With a break in the middle for lunch and a swim with the in-laws, I got all 8 of them cut out and ready to assemble. I’m hoping to get the yard and boom epoxy coated this week and then get the mast assembled this weekend. I’ve decided to build the GIS with the mizzen mast, so that means one more spar to build before I get moving on this hull.


Breakthrough Day!

Tonight I finally finished ripping the strips for the birdsmouth mast out of these 2×12″ 16′ Southern Yellow Pine beasts. Workspace and technique have held me back for months. Getting the carport cleaned up enough to be able to lay out the boards on saw horses and leave them took a while. Moving all the big power tools out of the space took a while. Trying to push the boards through the radial saw and failing due to electrical power and horsepower took a while. Finally the simple answer prevailed. I took a 16″ long scrap of straight wood and clamped it to the skillsaw with a new ripping blade in it. Running that down the 16′ of 2×12 was much easier than trying to push heavy boards through a stationary saw. The whole thing seems so obvious in retrospect. Now I’m wondering if I need a better skillsaw that would allow easier clamping for future ripping. Yeah, I know they make various attachments for these types of things and maybe a good skillsaw would work well like that. I’m open to suggestions. In the mean time this step is complete. Next comes putting these things through the tablesaw to cut the 45 degree birdsmouth and then trimming them down to taper the whole mast from 3″ to 2″. Maybe in September I’ll finally go buy the plywood for this boat.


Just upgraded the bandsaw in the shop to a 14″ Grizzly. It’s definitely the best tool in the shop now. Tonight I used it cut out the boom. Both the yard and boom are rough cut now with some clean up work done. Need to finish cleaning them up with the block plane, round the corners, sand them down, drill some holes, fiberglass tape the ends and varnish them. Sheesh. Feels like I’ve made no progress at all… 😉

Putting the yard through the bandsaw

I recently inherited some tools from my father-in-law when they sold their house and downsized. One of those things was a bandsaw. I had never really used one much before today. The yard and the boom for the Goat Island Skiff taper from 40mm down to 28mm at one end. Originally I imagined I would shape them by hand the way I did for the PD Racer, but even with the nice Lie-Nielsen block plane there was just too much wood to remove. I decided to try running it through the bandsaw and it was fabulous. I made 3 passes through to taper the wood in 2 dimensions. Next I need to figure out how to get down to my lines and make it nice and smooth. Maybe now the block plane with do the trick. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can get the boom done. Then I’ll round over the corners, fiberglass tape the ends and give both spars a few light coats of the new DWX epoxy.


rough shaping spars through the bandsaw

rough shaping spars through the bandsaw