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”

Centerboard Testing

South Centerboard Tuning


(to start of project)

With the interiors essentially complete and loosely in place, and the centerboard cases locked down, last weekend I could finally test and fine tune the lift mechanisms for the centerboards. Big relief came when I slid the boards in and they actually seem to work as planned. Continue reading “Centerboard Testing”

Sheer Clamps – Second Layer

Double Sheer Clamp Lamination


(to start of project)

An odd and disconcerting thing about this sort of project is it takes just as long to make a little piece of wood fit as it does a big one. This means when you make a lot of little pieces it doesn’t look like you’ve accomplished much for the time spent. It makes it hard to gauge how long it will take you to finish, since you tend to overlook the little things when thinking of what’s left, and the little things add up. Continue reading “Sheer Clamps – Second Layer”

Catching Up

Richmond Skyline from Church Hill


(to start of project)

Cicadas are synonymous with Southern summers, the air and light simmer with a pulsing, tinny buzz. This morning, at dawn, bagpipes joined the metallic chorus. Played badly, I might add. It’s Fourth of July weekend, and the Scottsville Parade does pre-promenade staging on the road in front of the house. Hay wagons, antique tractors, fire engines, politicians, Shriners in go-carts . . . not much good for sleeping in, but gets me out of bed early. Continue reading “Catching Up”

Decked Out and a Swim

Tom supervises the deck operation.


(to start of project)

Spent the weekend on more prep work. Though there’s not much to see, a lot got done. Used a round-over bit to take the sharp corners off all the exposed edges on the framing. It’s a small detail, but keeps the wood from splitting and splintering when stuffing gear inside. It also keeps you from getting bit when reaching in to retrieve things. An especially nice touch on grab surfaces, where hands naturally go for carrying or moving a boat. Continue reading “Decked Out and a Swim”

Holes in My Boats

Centerboard Slot, rough cut


(to start of project)

(Happy Birthday, T!)

This weekend was all about cutting holes in the hulls for centerboard slots. This is one of those things you only have once chance to get right – no do overs – so it took a lot of time to get up the nerve. Made my mouth dry and my palms sweat. There’s just something instinctively wrong about cutting a hole in the bottom of a boat, buried deep down at the genetic level, like a fear of snakes or spiders; as though our ancestors, who had the good sense to keep such holes out of their boats, thus lived to pass on their genes and a wise aversion to said holes. Continue reading “Holes in My Boats”