Friday, January 19, 2018

Sea Rat from Wind In The Willows

I thought the Skipper was Water Rat and I was Mole, but I think she is actually Sea Rat, from Wind In The Willows, looking to the sea:

"There, sooner or later, the ships of all seafaring nations arrive; and there, at its destined hour, the ship of my choice will let go its anchor. I shall take my time, I shall tarry and bide, till at last the right one lies waiting for me, warped out into midstream, loaded low, her bowsprit pointing down harbour. I shall slip on board, by boat or along hawser; and then one morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in. We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbour side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and the voyage will have begun! As she forges towards the headland she will clothe herself with canvas; and then, once outside, the sounding slap of great green seas as she heels to the wind, pointing South!

And you, you will come too, young brother; for the days pass, and never return, and the South still waits for you. Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! 'Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company. You can easily overtake me on the road, for you are young, and I am aging and go softly. I will linger, and look back; and at last I will surely see you coming, eager and light- hearted, with all the South in your face!"

Wind In The Willows, Grahame, 1908

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Drascombe Dabber VICTORY 18 Jan 18 Centreplate Installation

18 Jan 18:

A few weeks back we reinstalled the centreplate in our Drascombe Dabber VICTORY. It is galvanized and weighs 55 pounds, and it can be removed without taking off the centreplate cap or removing the pivot pin.

Link to Restoration Log for VICTORY.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Galloping Horse and Great Spirit Problem Solving Matrix

17 Jan 18:

So we have tips that will help you get over a some boat builder worries, 1) Staring at the part that you are working on and trying to decide if it meets someone's arbitrary universal standard, and/or 2) Making a mistake and trying to decide if it needs to be fixed.

Here are the criteria we use.

Gallopping Horse (GH) Criteria:
The Skipper's criteria is "Would you notice it from a galloping horse?" She got this valuable tip from her Grandma. It may be self explanatory, but imagine if you rode by the boat on a galloping horse, would the piece in question be noticeable? If not, then continue on. If so, review the following additional criteria before making a decision.

Great Spirit (GS) Criteria:
So maybe you did notice it when you galloped by. My Native American criteria is that only the Great Spirit can make something perfect, so it is best to leave small mistakes in the work as tribute. Plus if your boat gets stolen and recovered by the authorities, you'll be able to point out all the mistakes to them as proof of buildership. That is of course, unless they point all of them out to you first.

Which leads to our last, final and "ultimate authority" criteria, which shall be the tie breaker if you are stuck after applying the Galloping Horse and/or Great Spirit decision criteria...

If They Don't Like It... (ITDLI):
Capn Jack always says that if someone looks at your finished boat and says they don't like it, then they don't get to go on the boat :)

The ITDLI criteria is helpful for decisions for items that you may not even have had a hand in, for example, the design of our Drascombe Lugger jib furler. We were rigging the Lugger on the ramp on day and some landlubber walked up and said "Roller reefing on that boat is asinine." Skipper abandoned her duties as PIO and walked away. I ignored him. We assigned the ITDLI criteria to the Ramp Ranger and from that point there was no concern about offering to take them sailing.

So we hope these tips become helpful tools in your tool box, they have saved us hours of moaning chair time.

Fair Winds
Skipper and Clark

Gratuitous boat picture

Moaning Chair

17 Jan 18:

For those of you not familiar, the moaning chair is defined by famed Naval Architect Howard Chapelle as "a comfortable seat from which the boat can be easily seen and in which the builder can sit, smoke, chew, drink or swear as the moment demands. Here he should rest often and think about his next job. The plans should be at hand and here he can lay out his work. By doing so he will often be able to see mistakes before they are serious and avoid the curse of the amateur boatbuilder: starting a job before what has to be done to get it right." (Chapelle, Boatbuilding 1941). Now for our purposes, Ms Adrienne has also suggested that we have "cheering chairs" for the "usual visitors."

From SBR 2014

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1979 Drascombe Dabber VICTORY 16 Jan 18 Bowsprit Construction

16 Jan 18:

VICTORY did not come with a bowsprit, so we made one out of spruce. The first thing we did was grab a nice spruce 2x6, 14 footer left over from the Penobscot 14 spar stock. Our buddy Steve had sent a drawing and we had a few other inputs that told us the bowsprit should be around 67 inches from jibstay stop to mast center, with a couple more inches extending forward past the stop. I decided to round up to 6 feet, the bumpkin will need to be about the same length as well. We will do final fitting with the spars and sails on the boat to see where to trim. So out of the 14 foot piece we could easily get two 6 foot blanks. Cut long and trim back slowly!

I made a few measurements of the width and height of the stem facing, width was under 1 1/2 inches and the height was about 2 3/4 inches, so a 2x4 six feet long would be enough for a bowsprit or bumpkin.

We cut out 2 small blanks to capture shapes at the stem hole and thwart stop, ripped them to height on a table saw. Next we 8 sided them and shaped them with hand planes to make patterns for the stem hole and the thwart stop. We transferred measurements over to the blanks, found the measurements for the aft end notch first, it is a little wider than the stem hole, so we'll have to taper the spar before it pokes forward through the stem.

Shaped the bowsprit patterns for where the bowsprit goes through the stem (right) and where it notches into the aft stop (center). Tuned up the cut with my new Stanley 12-101 finger plane, it works great.

The bowsprit ia about a 1/4 inch wider at the aft stop than where it goes through the stem, so we'll get to taper it at one point.

Stem port profile.

I ripped two 72 inch blanks to height and length. The 2x4 width was good for the aft end, and I used the table saw to shave the side of the forward section of the spar to get the width we needed to fit through the stem hole. I made a mistake and cut all of the the difference off of one side, a heavy 1/8 inch, and then realized I should have taken a little of of each side. After sitting in the moaning chair for a few minutes I decided I could shave a little off of the other side as well and spend some time fairing that transition from wide spar aft of the stem hole to narrow spar going through the stem hole. Basically that means that the section of spar that extends forward of the stem will be straight but offset about 1/16th of an inch to port. I won't be noticeable from a galloping horse. But if you ever see us competing for Best of Show, make sure you mention it to us.

I marked the stem face line so I know where I can start tapering the oval forward to a circle on tip.

Used the Lugger bumpkin to get some ideas on shaping the bowsprit, they we built by Honnor Marine within a year of each other. We marked the taper where it will start at a circle on the tip and flow into an oblong shap by the stem.

Once the rectangular blank was cut, we made it 8 sided on the table saw where we could, then belt sanded with 60 grit to 16 sided, then tuned it a bit more with 120 grit on a disc sander and finished it off with 120 grit by hand. The Dabber jib is set off of a bowsprit that extends about 3 feet off the bow. That'll take a little getting used to, I almost clocked myself on it as soon as I installed it. ZIP wants one now...

The jibstay loops over the end of the bowsprit, I'll have to add something to keep it from sliding aft.

I'm happy with that.

Removable. Might have to for launch, I'm not sure if it will clear the tow vehicle.

Wow the spruce didn't darken at all with the first coat of varnish! I'll see of the Skipper likes the lighter wood, otherwise we'll put some mahogany stain on it to make it dark like the spar that is way back in the corner.

The spar off the stern that leads the mizzen sheet is called a bumpkin. I made a little pattern piece to get the shape of the hole in the transom.

Fun day!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pascagoula Catboat ROSE 15 Jan 18 Scale Model

15 Jan 18:

Scratched together a model of a 17 foot Diamond Bottom Catboat, lines taken by Chapelle in 1953 from a half model he saw at the Newport Yacht Club. The boat raced from 1880-1882. We are researching a similar 16 foot catboat that was raced around Pascagoula in the 1950s, and once we get enough information we plan to build one, gaff rigged, with a cross planked bottom. Only 2 of those frames would be used for the fore and aft bulkhead in the cockpit, the rest are just paper showing the cross sections. The cross planks would be 4-6 inches wide, and get smaller in width towards the bow. Inside the hull there would be 6 stringers running fore and aft. Cross plank builds were fast and economical, very few parts to cut, stem, keel, transom, centerboard trunk to form the spine. Put in 2 permanent bulkheads and a few temporary molds to define the beam and sheer, attach the sides, then start laying planks. Flip her right side up and put on the deck. Looks like there would be room in the cockpit for a horseshoe shaped seat.

Log of ROSE.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Drascombe Lugger ONKAHYE 12 JAN 18 Ramp Ready

12 Jan 18:

Rigged the boat to show what gear is on board and other notes about when we launch. But first we addressed a common problem, sometimes the stay swage eyes get flipped over the tang on the mast eye and we don't notice it until the mast is up. Then the mast comes back down.

We are going to try a 3mm keeper line to keep the swage eyes in the right spot.

First up is a glamor shot video without sailing gear, and sails set to point out a few things. We always check the sails on the trailer to ensure they deploy correctly when we leave the dock.

A roller furling jib comes in handy to get to and from the ramp.

Next up a video showing where the gear is stowed and sails ready for slipping off the trailer at the ramp.

Our Suzuki 6 outboard (kind of) needed to be shimmed so that it could be tilted all the way to the top latch notch. We added a shim under the top aft of the mount feet to tilt the mount back about 3/8th inch. We also added a 1/8th inch wear pad under the aft mount feet and another wear strip under the lock screws.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Drascombe Lugger ONKAHYE 11 Jan 18 Road Ready

11 Jan 18:

A video tour of how we set up ONKAHYE for the short trip to the boat ramp.


Dracombe Lugger ONKAHYE 11 Jan 18 Drain Plug Repair, Bumpkin and Parrels

11 Jan 18:

We got asked to shoot a few pictures for a web article, so we prepped to go out to the local ramp for some sand dune glamor shots. But the last time we took ONKAHYE out there was a small leak around the drain plug housing, I thought I'd check that first. Might be time for new sealant.

Hull opening for drain plug housing. 2 of the screws were so corroded that they sheared when I tried to loosen them. 1980 boat, not sure of the vintage of the screws.

9/64th pilot hole for the #8 x 3/4 inch silicone bronze screws, we used the old holes to determine the bit size.

Filled old drain plug housing screw holes with Pettit Marine Paint Flexpoxy.

Sealant for the drain plug housing.

We installed the housing and rotated it so the screw holes would not be over the old screw holes in the hull. Drilled new pilot holes for a 3/4 inch screw, don't go too far or the bit will go out the bottom of the hull. Drain plug housing installed with #8 silicone bronze screws, 3/4 inch long. Drain plug reinstalled.

We made it out to the ramp for photos but it was cold, windy and foggy. Lots of chop at the dock as well, we get some washboard stuff going here in the sound when the wind is wrong. Since we planned on Skipper singlehanding the boat for a bit and she is the Dock Commander, we decided to wave off after taking a few pictures of the boat in road ready mode.

Back to the casa with free time now, we decided to put a coat of 3M FIberglass Restorer and Wax on the hull, it has a mild rubbing compound and provides UV protection.

The wax is pretty easy to work with, I wiped most of it off with an old towen and then buffed it with a cheapo 6 inch car buffer from WalMart.

How's this for old school, this bronze beauty has been in the family for 3 generations.

Bumpkin needs a varnish touchup, before.

During, sanded with 120 grit

Applied TotalBoat Gleam Marine Varnish Satin with a chip brush, 2 coats.

The parrel beads on the main and gaff jaw were in sad shape, so we enlarged the holes in some new beads, put on a coat of varnish and worked them onto the parrel line.