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.

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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.

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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.

Mast Repair

I noticed a while back that the top of my mast was starting to split. I should have done something about it sooner, but today I noticed it had gotten worse. We did an overnight camping trip to Kerr Lake. The predicted 5-8 mph wind didn’t fill in so we just did some rowing and fishing. At home I discovered this:

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This actually looks a little worse than it did. I took this photo after hitting it with the dremel to open it up. Then I poured in some epoxy and let it soak in for a while. Finally I added a little sawdust to thicken the epoxy and ended up with this:

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Hopefully that will hold it for a while longer. Eventually I might have to cut it off and add a new piece. I’ve learned the hard way that you really should not use the last few inches of any wood that you purchase as the wood dries from the ends.

Once this cures it will be time to give all the spars a few more coats of spar varnish. My yard took a bit of a beating when I dragged it under a bridge that I thought I could clear. I should have touched that up long ago too.

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Can’t beat camping in December in T-shirts.

Terror of the Sea seasonal refit

It was a beautiful day and I contemplated going sailing. I got the boat out of the carport and up on the trailer. Before going sailing I decided it was time to replace all the crappy zinc nuts and bolts I had used last year with some stainless steel. I also decided to replace the thole pins with regular oar sockets. All the zinc had already started to rust after only one season on the water. Good thing I replaced it all now or it would have been much harder down the road.

Rusty zinc nuts and bolts

Rusty zinc nuts and bolts

The brass oarlocks are much prettier

Brass Oarlocks

Brass Oarlocks

After that I could have gone sailing, but I decide to redo the rigging for the sail. I added some big zip tie mast hoops (temporary solution), fixed the halyard to the mast, and added some lazy jacks. Now I can drop the sail and the boom is held up by the lazy jacks and catches the sail nicely as well.

Lazy Jacks

Lazy Jacks

A little bit of touch up paint and the Terror of the Sea is ready to hit the water in fine style again.

Varnish is stinky

After using mostly low VOC paints on the rest of the boat, putting spar varnish on the spars sure does stink a lot. Originally I was going to varnish them inside until I opened the can and stirred it around. The boat now has a second coat of paint on the bottom. The mast has two coats of varnish, the yard and boom have a single coat. The hatch covers have two coats on one side. The dragons have been cut out.

 

Thar be Dragons!

Thar be Dragons!

 

Total time: 77 hours
Total boat cost: $534
Total tools cost: $200

Mast partner and step mounted

Today I finished shaping the mast partner and step. I epoxied the two pieces of the step together. I glued and bolted the partner to the bulkhead. When the epoxy was tacky on the step, I slathered on more thickened epoxy on the bottom, set it in place and screwed it in from the bottom (more holes in the boat). When it’s dry I’ll back out the screws and fill the holes. I also glued and screwed a piece of 1×4 SYP into the back of the boat to be a reinforcement for the rudder mounting.

Mast partner and step in the boat

Mast partner and step in the boat

 

Total time: 54 hours
Total boat cost: $487
Total tools cost: $200

Mast Partner & Step

Last night I finished the mast partner and step. The mast sits up next to the forward bulkhead. The step is a 16″ long shaped 2×4 with a hole drilled in it and a 3/4″ piece of plywood below it which will be glued down to the bottom of the boat. This holds the mast in place and spreads out the pressure so it doesn’t punch down through the bottom of the boat. The partner is another 16″ shaped 2×4 piece that gets attached to the top of the bulkhead. It has another 2″ hole drilled in it. The mast is dropped through the partner and into the step. Unlike a modern sloop-rigged boat where you have wires supporting the mast, the partner and step do all the work of holding the mast up. With those pieces complete the only major piece left to fabricate is the tiller.

Mast partner and step

Mast partner and step

Total time: 52.5 hours
Total boat cost: $467
Total tools cost: $200