Hardware the Hard Way – Part 1

Hardware plans

(to start of project)

This is where I get myself in trouble.

To be honest, it’s very difficult to find traditional hardware for old style boats anymore. Most of what you find is stainless steel parts for production fiberglass or racing boats, which look terribly out of place on an old boat. There are a few specialized sources left – some restoration craftsmen who custom cast bronze, or a handful of places that sell reproductions of notable parts, usually for high end or collectable designs, for which people will pay top dollar to restore an original, or commission a reproduction. There are more sources for the most common parts, such as cleats, fairleads, etc., but even here we’re talking perhaps a dozen at most. Options are limited.

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After Rain, Treefrogs

 

 

Gray Treefrogs are nearly invisible, but you find them everywhere. They look like lichen-covered tree bark, and during the day hide silent as stones under tools in the yard, upturned buckets, the siding on the house, etc..

If you pick one up, and open your hand to look, it will leap onto the nearest treelike object, which is usually your wife or daughter, or perhaps the gentleman at the door endeavoring to interest you in the salvation of your soul. Indeed, they do. They cling with a wet thwack, like a soggy noodle, to roughly the same place you’d stick a lapel pin, or boutonnière.

At night, after a summer storm, they get out of hand in other ways, in which they make the loud noises, instead of their startled landing sites.

 

 

Wolftrap Lighthouse

 

Off the tip of Windmill Point and Stingray Point in the Chesapeake Bay, at the mouth of the Rappahannock River, is Wolftrap Lighthouse. It’s a well-known landmark, or rather seamark, for watermen and boaters in the area. I’ve passed it many times, myself. It was decommissioned and auctioned off by the Coast Guard back in the ’70’s, and moved into private hands. It’s up for sale again. For $288,000 you get the lighthouse and a piece of marshland on shore a mile away where you can launch a boat to get to it.

Now this is my idea of a dream home.

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Topside Varnish

 

Doug helped me flip the boats while he was here so he could see them right side up. That gave me access to all the parts that still needed a last coat of varnish (this year).

The Decks and Coamings now have three coats, the Rails have two. I also got two coats on the Tillers and, finally, two coats on the Hatch Covers. Now they match the Decks, and for the first time you can see how the finished topsides will look with all matching woods and colors. Very nice, I think.

Working strenuously on the hardware now. More on that soon.

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Notable Boats: Odin

 

image

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.
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