Notable Boats: Odin



Mike with Odin, circa 1985 


When you spend long days in the shop, on tasks that don’t require much thought, your mind tends to wander. Since I’m working on boats, that’s where my mind goes, and I often take long mental journeys in boats from the past. Something happened earlier this year that reminded me of the second boat I could actually call my own, and I’ve been thinking of it a lot lately. The first boat was great, too, but it’s the second one that’s really been on my mind lately. Like the first boat, this one I shared with a friend, and that contributed a great deal to all the memories connected with it. Continue reading “Notable Boats: Odin”

Painting: Final Coat



Got the final coat on both creatures last night after dinner, so that’s done, and the house can finally start airing out. The fumes are rather heady, to say the least.

Within a few hours, the fresh paint was firm enough to remove all that attractive blue tape. I was anxious to do that, curious to see how the natural wood accents would interact with the colors. Very nice, i think. Should be even better once rails, stems and transoms have been cleaned up and varnished – at the moment they’re dusty and only have a seal coat of epoxy.
Continue reading “Painting: Final Coat”


One that didn’t get away.


(to start of project)

Doug, Giselle and the kids got in from California on their whirlwind tour down the coast, and he set a day aside for boating. No sailing – this time – but we did manage to get on the water for a much needed break from jobs and stress. A little float fishing trip down the James was definitely in order, on a Friday when the river isn’t crazy with tubers.

Continue reading “Intermission”

Painting – Rolling and Tipping

Aeon in her new blue dress


(to start of project)

Had a very, very successful weekend. Not without its bumps and mistakes, but it all ended well, and results exceeded expectations. In fact, T no longer mourns the obliteration of all that gorgeous wood, which is really saying something. Those fairing problems I was worried about? Miraculously, it seems, they’re now silent as the grave, all forgotten like dirt in a hole.

Continue reading “Painting – Rolling and Tipping”

No Fair

Second coat of primer, ready for sanding.


(to start of project)

You never finish sanding. You just sort of give up. I’m stubborn, so I had to give up three or four times.

Surely, thinks me, I’ve been sanding for weeks. But I looked at the calendar and it’s only been ten days. Overall, though, the job has been going on a very long time, spread out over years, in fact. It’s such a big job it’s best to do a little here and there whenever there isn’t anything else to do. It starts, of course, when the hulls are still bare wood, and never really stops. If you added it all up it would be a solid month of sanding, no doubt about it.

Continue reading “No Fair”


 A job well done.


(to start of project)

I once had a job digging up the bones of dead monks for room and board. The pay wasn’t great, but it was a good job, and I liked it.

On the first day, a portly, pompous Frenchman named Bernard, the foreman, lined off a big grid on the ground with string, making six foot squares separated by one foot borders. Each digger was assigned a square. The job was simple: Dig the six foot square eight feet deep. You could not, however, use a shovel. The only tool you could use to remove 288 cubic feet of dirt was a small mason’s pointing trowel, which you had to supply yourself. Furthermore, you could not dig with the point of the trowel – doing so would be grounds for immediate dismissal. Instead, you had detect and carefully scrape away slight variations in colored layers of dirt with the edge of the trowel, a thin skin of soil at a time, like peeling an onion, scoop that into a pail, then empty it onto a spoil pile 100 feet away. We had three months to finish.

Continue reading “Fairing”

Large Image Detail


A large image, shows detail before the fairing and painting. Pretty rough.

melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed