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



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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Large Image Detail


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

melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed

Keel Planks

Shaping the Keel Plank


(to start of project)

Gluing up Ash strips for the keels worked really well. Left off the last two strips so the whole blank would fit through the planer, which evened everything out, then planed the remaining strips to the same thickness and glued them on.

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Making Time

Outside looking in. Where’s Spring? 


(to start of project)

Between doing taxes, borrowing a planer (Thanks G!), snow storms, birthdays, and working late at a real job, a little still gets done on the boats: more sanding and scraping, and some work on the keels.

Most people use a high quality mahogany plywood for this part, and there’s much to recommend that. It’s pretty wood, and easy to use, though you’d still have to scarf two sheets together, and laminate two 1/4” sheets, to get the full length and thickness necessary. In my case, it’s the only place where mahogany would be used, so I think it might seem a bit out of place – if possible, I’m trying to use only woods that would have been available locally.

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New Favorite Old Tool

First pass at smoothing 


(to start of project)

I’ve begun to dislike power tools. Must be an age thing.

The bows are closed up. The only thing left is the troublesome “football” section. There are several ways to finish off the transition from the hull to the keel, and I’m still undecided on which way to go. To give myself time to think it over, I figured I’d start smoothing the parts of the hulls already done. It’s contemplative work.

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