Cutting the Hatch

South hatch opening.


(to start of project)

Deep breath.

Early last weekend there was only one thing left to do before putting the deck on South – cutting the hatch opening.

I’ve been pondering this task for the better part of a year, going back and forth on different ways to approach it. The problem is that I really want to be able to use the cut out in the deck from the hatch opening for the hatch lid, to make a seamless unbroken sweep in the wood strips in the deck. I had already laid the opening out to line up with the curves of the cockpit, but keeping the cutout intact was going to be tricky. Not only does it have to be cut out with minimal damage, but it also has to line up perfectlly with the final hatch frame later. I settled on cutting the opening before the decks are glued down, which is easier for cutting, but requires careful planning. Continue reading “Cutting the Hatch”

North Gets a Shine On

North interior, varnished with Le Tonkinois.


(to start of project)

Once the knees cured on North, the interior could be sanded and prepped, followed the next day with the Le Tonkinois tung oil varnish. Without Emily’s help it took me all day, but it looks great. Continue reading “North Gets a Shine On”

Time Fast and Slow

 A heat lamp hurries epoxy cure.


(to start of project)

Much has transpired since the last post, most of it good.

On a sad personal note, our old dog died, the one in the videos from this past Spring. She couldn’t climb the few steps in and out of the house for the last month, but on her last day she climbed the full flight of stairs to the second floor twice to visit each of the girls’ rooms and sleep by our bed. We miss her.

The girls returned to school, so I’ve lost some helpers, but Terri has stepped into the breach like a real trooper. We worked until 3am Sunday night putting one of the decks on, and that potentially disastrous operation went very well. But more on that later. While waiting for the deck to cure, there’s time for some updates. Continue reading “Time Fast and Slow”

Return of the Shiny

Em starting from the stern.


(to start of project)

Emily and I put the first coat of Le Tonk on South’s interior. After months of looking at the dull matte sanded finish, the transformation was a bit shocking. Not only did the shine return, but also the color. The tung oil varnish really brings it out, as any varnish would. Continue reading “Return of the Shiny”

Just say NO to Varnish

“Le Tonk”

(to start of project)


Imagine a salesman comes into your shop.

Says he’s got this great new product for your boat. This is how it works:

Continue reading “Just say NO to Varnish”

Ribs and Knees

South, with bentwood Ribs and Knees.


(to start of project)

Knees, Ribs, Breasthooks, Cockpits . . . these are boats we’re building, right?

Ribs and Knees are now installed in South. North has its Ribs clamped up while the epoxy sets, and will get Knees this weekend. It took a tremendous amount of work to make these little features, but they’ve turned out really well, and I’m very pleased. Continue reading “Ribs and Knees”

Bronze for Steel

Toby hates hugs


(to start of project)

It took two full days per boat to replace all the temporary steel drywall screws with bronze. I used to think drywall screws were expensive, but these little shiny things are like jewels in more ways than one. Continue reading “Bronze for Steel”