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mdevour
04-21-2003, 03:28 PM
Greetings,

My kids and I have spent the last couple of weeks putting in quite a few hours on our Weekend Skiff project (http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/boatproject.html), applying a lot of the great advice we've gotten here on the Forum.

At last we're making sawdust again!

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/other_pictures/edgesanding.jpg

The carpentry on the hull is almost done, and we're starting to plan the fiberglass work.

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/other_pictures/hullalmostdone.jpg

Below you can see the series of spacer blocks designed to provide adjustment for the headsail sheet lead and the little platform on the centerboard trunk for the cleats. Also, just ahead of the centerboard thwart is the false frame I added to mount the shroud chainplate.

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/other_pictures/headsheetlead.jpg

We've also mocked up the rig again to see how things will run. Does this maximum boom angle look alright to you folks?

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/other_pictures/boomangle.jpg

Initially we'll try out the simple double ended mainsheet and jam cleat arrangement Forum members suggested. The sail plan is now at a reasonable height above the deck. In practice the peak halyard angle isn't too bad, while I noticed that I need to move the forward end of the span further up the spar to keep from bending it in the middle.

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/other_pictures/rigmockup.jpg

For a few more pictures and a detailed log of recent activity, visit:

http://www.eskimo.com/~mdevour/chronology3.html

The contributions of forum members to our project has been a marvel of generosity and care. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your advice, suggestions, and encouragement!

Mike

Alan D. Hyde
04-21-2003, 03:47 PM
She's looking mighty good, Mike. :D

Congratulations to you, and to the kids.

Having built and sailed something like this will do them all kinds of good, as long as they live.

Alan

whb
04-21-2003, 03:58 PM
Looking good.

Congrats to the crew

Howard

jlapratt
04-21-2003, 06:44 PM
Really nice job. Been watching since you began posting. Being an old Detroit boy myself, I know the lure of Lake St. Clair and the irresistable "need" to build boats of wood in the fine Michigan tradition.

Keep sending the pics.

Jeff

Mrleft8
04-21-2003, 10:21 PM
Looks excellent. If by "boom angle" you mean "should the boom be allowed to go further out", my answer is "yes". IMHO it should be allowed to go almost at right angles to the centerline.....

Dave Hadfield
04-22-2003, 01:11 AM
I think it looks very good. Sweet lines and a nice job.

If you ever ride a south wind up the St. Clair River, you should drop in at my family cottage on Stag Island. My folks would put you up for the night.

TomFF
04-22-2003, 06:53 AM
Looks great- No doubt it will be a lifelong memory for the kids.

Cedarhill Boatworks
04-22-2003, 07:55 AM
Very nice. The kids will benefit for ever from the experience. Bravo.

mdevour
04-22-2003, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by Mrleft8:
Looks excellent. If by "boom angle" you mean "should the boom be allowed to go further out", my answer is "yes". IMHO it should be allowed to go almost at right angles to the centerline.....When I replace that crude set of jaws with a gooseneck it'll move the hinge-point aft and let the boom go out a little more, but to get any more than that will mean moving the shrouds forward. Ummm... How vital is it? :D

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone.

I'm at the school tonight, about ready to turn in. We've flipped the boat over this evening and are starting to shape and fair the hull to get it ready for fiberglass this weekend.

We've been playing with 'glass on small chunks of wood for practice. I'm as new to fiberglass work as my daughter is, so we're learning together.

Plastic spreaders are doing a very nice job. Our latest test piece has its third coat of epoxy on it. The weave is almost filled and there are no bubbles or significant flaws... unlike what happened when I used a bristle brush. :rolleyes:

Is 4 or 5 coats to get a good surface still reasonable?

I'm hoping to get at least a couple of decent coats of epoxy on the hull before I have to let it cure fully, wash off the blush and sand it out. With the plastic spreaders it's looking like I'll be able to do that or more. I won't cut corners, but I'm happy to save some time here and there!

Yup! Every time I have a chance to drive home by way of Jefferson and have a look at Lake St. Clair it makes me a little more eager.

We'll start out on the smaller lakes around here 'til we know our boat better. Still, I look forward to a balmy weekday morning cruise on the big lake, when most of the power boat owners are still at work and haven't churned up a chop. smile.gif

All your stories and answers to questions are a never ending source of inspiration and help. Thank you for being there, people!

Mike

brian.cunningham
04-23-2003, 11:18 PM
Nice gaffer you have there! :cool:

bosnrick
04-24-2003, 08:57 AM
The boat is turning out great. I especially like her lines. Her lines remind me of the dories used as lifeboats during the 60s and 70s by fishing boats calling Gloucester and New Bedford, MA homeport. In addition, this must really be a bonding experience for you and your daughter. I'm sure you're all having a great time working your way through this project.

I do have several questions. While the title of the project is "Weekend Skiff," I notice you have something along the lines of 52 weekends invested in the project with more to come. Is this intentional, is the name of the design misleading, or did things kind of "get away from you," as they so often do?

Finally, would you recommend this project for a complete novice boat builder? While I am a licensed captain with significant sea time and have always been fascinated by wooden boats, I have never had the opportunity to learn how to do build them. Now I find myself at a juncture in life where I will have the time to pursue this interest; however, as a novice with limited wood working skills I want to start out with something suitable.

I would appreciate any advice you can offer regarding a good beginner's boat building project.

Thanks,

mdevour
04-24-2003, 09:16 PM
Brian wrote:Nice gaffer you have there!Thanks, sir! Thanks to everyone for the compliments.


Originally posted by bosnrick:
...Her lines remind me of the dories used as lifeboats during the 60s and 70s by fishing boats calling Gloucester and New Bedford, MA homeport.The designers are from the Baltimore area. I think they did a nice job of picking up that down east flavor. ;)


In addition, this must really be a bonding experience for you and your daughter. I'm sure you're all having a great time working your way through this project.Yes and no. There's a very careful balancing act going on. I've put us on a tight schedule because of a beautiful opportunity to go sailing with one of our girl-builders who moved south with her family last fall, if we can finish up by mid-May. So we're working a lot of hours, which causes stress. There's a lot to be learned from that, but it's not all fun.

That said, I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think there is a high chance of success, both building a nice boat and getting it out in time. It's pointless to rush a project like this, so I'm trying, instead, to put a lot of time in as early as possible.



I do have several questions. While the title of the project is "Weekend Skiff," I notice you have something along the lines of 52 weekends invested in the project with more to come. Is this intentional, is the name of the design misleading, or did things kind of "get away from you," as they so often do?
I took about a year off, from March 2002 to 2003. Before that we put in a couple of days a week for 3 months to get the hull substantially done and the spars roughed out. It's now going to be about 2 months of from 3 to 5 days a week to finish it.

Those first 3 months was work accomplished almost entirely by the kids, which is great, but about twice as long as you or I would take to do similar work.

Now I am working right alongside my daugher and sons, and whoever else wants to join in. The work is going faster while maintaining much of the kid-built nature of the project.

It's truly collaborative these days. I can't help but feel proud of the hellaciously good job Alegra did the other day of cutting a long gentle curve out of a chunk of ply, following a pencil line with a saber saw. I couldn't have done it better! :cool:

The name is descriptive with the following caveats: You start a bunch of kids off on the first day with a complete kit of pre-cut parts, you've got at least some experience with it beforehand, and you end up with a rowing skiff with a very simple finish on her.

Start with a pile of wood, no experience, and try to build the Taj Mahal from matchsticks, and, like me, you'll need 6 months of weekends! :D



Finally, would you recommend this project for a complete novice boat builder? ... as a novice with limited wood working skills I want to start out with something suitable. I would appreciate any advice you can offer regarding a good beginner's boat building project.I'm about the last person to ask! I can tell you that we're accomplishing what we set out to do, but there's no way I would say it's the best or the only way for you to go.

It's a fine little boat, and maybe portraying our experience on our website will make it easier for the next person. That said, I wager there's a couple dozen nice designs out there for simple to build plywood sailboats that would be as good or better.

One bit of advice I feel I am qualified to give you: Decide on a plan that clearly builds the kind of boat you want to own when you're done. That way you don't end up trying to invent half the design on your own, like I am doing by trying to put a gaff-rigged sloop on this hull. It can be done, but here I am trying to invent something from scratch with no experience to draw on. Not good nor easy.

I'd love to see some suggestions from the rest of the folks here. I'm sure you'll be able to find a great first project. It might be this design, or one of many others. It's bound to be a fabulous thing to do. THAT much I can say with certainty! smile.gif

Be well,

Mike

[ 04-25-2003, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: M. G. Devour ]