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”

An Interesting Trip to the Sawmill

In the Stacks of the Local Sawmill


(to start of project)

I have a natural tendency to linger in sawmills and lumber yards. Besides the smell of the forest and warm glow of the wood, everywhere you look you see the potential of beautiful things you could make with what’s there. There’s still something very old school about a sawmill, too. Not much has changed about them in hundreds of years. Continue reading “An Interesting Trip to the Sawmill”

Cockpit Prep and Backing Blocks

Backing Blocks for Hardware


(to start of project)

Before installing all the copper grommets, I did a bit more framing. As mentioned before, if you keep thinking ahead you discover other things to do now, before the decks go on, that will make life easier later. This is a good example of that: Continue reading “Cockpit Prep and Backing Blocks”

Picking Up The Pace

Copper Grommet Blanks


(to start of project)

Predicting an actual launch date seems all but impossible. I’ve given up on guessing, as apparently I have no idea how long it takes to do these things. All I can do is keep working, knowing that one day they’ll be done, and that day is getting closer.

That said, we’re heading to the coast in late August. We’ll spend a week with my folks on one of the sea islands where they live outside Beaufort, South Carolina. As I described in an earlier post, it’s a fascinating place to explore, both by land and by water. Given the unbearably slow pace at which I seem to work, chances are slim one of these boats will be ready in time, but I’m going to try. Continue reading “Picking Up The Pace”

Copper Grommet Fairleads

Grommet Attempts, Worst to Best


(to start of project)

I keep thinking of more things to do before the decks go on. Which is good – some of these would be a real pain to do later. Even so, putting on the decks will be a huge milestone I’m anxious to pass.

The lines for the centerboards need to run smoothly to the back, without catching on things. Best way to do that is run them through fairleads in the framing, where they’ll be out of the way. A friend gave me a tip on a good way to do that. Last year at St. Michaels, Terri and I went for a sail with Timmo Schlieff in his gorgeous Coquina. Unbelievably, this was the first boat Timm ever built, and it launched his professional career. Here are some photos from that trip: Continue reading “Copper Grommet Fairleads”