Sunday, February 14, 2010

Building the Matinicus Double Ender- Part 5
To view Part 1, Click Here.

One of the more gratifying aspects of boat building, amidst all of the hard work, is the much anticipated rollover. But first, some thought has to be given in preparation for the event. I decided to build a luxury cradle for this boat, on wheels so that she can be rolled around, and as nearly level both fore and aft and athwartship as I could make it. I fitted female molds at two stations, joggled to fit over the laps, and carpeted. This took a little fiddling to get right, but once they were fitted and sitting astride the hull, I set up my laser and shot a level reference line on both molds. I cut the mold bottoms parallel to this reference, pulled them off and built the cradle, adding nice wheels with brakes. Before freeing up the hull from the building jig, I made sure that all of the stations were marked off inside for future reference, and while I had the laser out, I shot the load waterline on the outside.

I decided to flip the boat with three molds left in, but unscrewed the rest, and made sure the boat wasn't stuck anywhere! With help from my assistant, Ashok, plus Robert and Eric from neighboring shops, we lifted the boat up and flipped her onto the cradle. I had not thought the cradle all the way through somehow, and consequently the boat's amidship depth was too much for the cradle.

 Ashok and I quickly cut the cradle down, and lifted her back on. Nice! the ability to roll the boat around is a real plus. I temp-screwed two of my lining battens around the sheer to even out any local plywood humps or flats, and added braces across the boat to hold the beam and shape intact, then removed the rest of the molds.

I was finally able to see the whole shape, and this really is a sweet hull!  As I was looking over the hull that evening, it occurred to me that there is much more interior volume than I had imagined there would be.

I also realized that I was looking at a potentially blank canvas, and that I can really do anything with the boat that I want. I had fully intended to finish this boat out as traditionally as possible, with frames and solid thwarts, etc, but I may play around with the interior some to create a solo camping beach cruiser. This might entail an off-center board and a level, flat sole, with enclosed side benches for stowage, and bulkheads in the ends. A very different boat on the inside, with perhaps more potential for cruising than the traditional layout affords. Maybe not... There is time to consider all of this as I work out some rig details. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Building the Matinicus Double Ender- Part 4
To view Part 1, click HERE.

Work continues on the boat, albeit at a snail's pace, it seems. I finished the planking (!) and then set up a form to laminate the outer stems. I keep a stash of "L" shaped blocks for laying up curves. I've used these same blocks to laminate curved, half-wishbone booms for a Herreshoff 31 (cat-ketch), and also for curved outrigger cross beams on my sailing canoe, and now for the peapod stems. They were just hot-glued together, but have held up well! I used the original mylar stem loftings to generate the curves, and screwed the forms down to my bench along the curve. Plastic keeps the layup from sticking to the bench.

I dug around in my scrap piles, and found some nice rips of Honduras mahogany which I re-sawed into strips about 3/16" by 1-1/2". I dressed these down to a tad less than 1/8", and bent a stack around the form dry, to make sure the whole lot would take the bend. Each stem required 7 strips, to finish out to 13/16".

After laminating, I dressed the blanks down to the stem siding of 1-3/8", and tried them out on the boat. I had to tune up the inner stem and plank hood ends slightly to get a good mate with the outer stems. I left the outer stem blanks un-tapered until after gluing and screwing them onto the boat. I should have done it before glue-up though, because it was much harder to do in place than it would have been on the bench! At the same time that I was fitting the stems, I also fitted the outer keel, and glued that up as well.


 With all the planks, stems, and keel now in place, I gave the whole boat a coat of epoxy. I will still have a little fairing of the scarfs to do, and I want to run small fillets at the plank laps. A coat of epoxy will help when sanding and fairing, because it hardens up the wood, and keeps the sander from dishing out hollows in the softer wood around the filled scarfs, and screw holes.

The next time I post, will be the turnover! Stay tuned...