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Thread: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

  1. #1
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    Default Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Because we don't use the term "Gypsy" in polite company these days.

    At any rate, I've actually begun cutting and gluing on an actual boat project. You have all been too kind with your indulgences of my ignorant queries for more than a year. So now it has begun.

    Yes, it sort of looks like a Bolger Gypsy. A lot. But since I have altered the basic hull shape beyond the plan specs, it can't really be called a Gypsy proper. Slightly longer, slightly more beam, slightly more freeboard (or is it more sheer? what's the diff?), so if it works out I guess I could sell my own design. I spoke with Dennis at H.H. Payson & Co (where I bought the plans) and he seems to think that the door is wide open for experimentation and revision.

    It will also have a different interior layout, and a different rig, so there's lots of imagination going into this.

    At any rate, no photos to share yet. Be patient. But I've scarfed and cut the bottom (1/2 inch ply, deviating from the plan again), cut the station frames and hung them on the ladder; cut the stem (white oak, again deviating from plans that cut the whole boat from 1/4" ply); and working out the transom in white oak. Hopefully I will get the side panels cut and hung tomorrow.

    Thinking about the interior, I'd like to go with a layout more like Lillistone's First Mate. Seems to make better ergonomics and utility. It would require building up some sawn frames in different locations than Bolger shows. H.H. Payson voiced approval here.

    At any rate, as soon as any of it looks like a boat, I will post some photos. Thanks for your kind indulgences.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    PICTURES & SPECIFICS PLEASE

    it already reads like something worth following FROM THE BEGINNING
    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Good for you, D-rat. I know you've spent a lot of time planning and scheming on this one. Glad to hear you're finally making sawdust now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Alright then.

    Last fall I wrapped up the sailing season on my Lido 14, feeling a great conviction that a fiberglass boat would not satisfy me. I started working on getting the shop in shape. Having lived here more than ten years, I was embarrassed that I hadn't done so sooner. Here's a "before" picture to illustrate what needed to be done: fix broken glass, put doors back on hinges, put locks on said doors, run electric wire from the house to a new panel in the shop, re-roof the whole thing, build a work bench, and transfer all tools from the house basement to the shop.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Freeboard is the distance from the waterline to the sheer. The sheer is the line that forms the top edge of the boat's hull, viewed from the side.

    Let's see the after pics!
    J.D.O.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Thanks for the clarification, Jim. So then what I did was to add 2 inches to the sheer strake. This also expanded the max beam slightly.

    Here's an after photo of the shop. Note the shadow of the power line on the left corner of the roof. Note the roof, newly shingled. Note the bright, shiny new stove pipe, and if you look carefully you can see there's a deadbolt on the door. And glass in all the windows. And paint. And a broad concrete patio for lofting lines on panels. And of course there's all of the manifest detritus of boat building going on.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    So here's a funny story. I got the panels cut out, and tacked them together with zip ties and gooey runs of epoxy in the cracks of the chines. Because I had altered the plans to widen the bottom (and in turn, LOA), I wasn't exactly sure of the dimensions for the transom, or where it should go. With all those zip ties in the way I couldn't run fiberglass tape and glue on the chines. I wanted to flip the boat over so I could see what was going on with the transom. So with the help of my wife we lifted it to flip (and it didn't weigh much at all). But no sooner were we about to turn it over than the zip ties and glue started cracking and popping. I set it back down before the damage reached the middle station. I didn't take any photos of that funny incident, but here's a before, and then after I went to work repairing with tape and glue.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Pretty wiggly until all glued up in'it?
    And what's supposed to be the problem with the term "Gypsy?" New to me, but then a great many thing are. New to me that is.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    The term "Gypsy" is like the N-word for Romany people. It refers to Egypt, but they never really came from Egypt. So they prefer to be called Romany.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Well anyway, I'm still catching up on the photo progress. I started cutting wood in April but didn't get the hull assembled until June, and didn't get it flipped until the end of June. Here's a photo that shows the hull after seams are taped but before I started laying fillets into the chines.
    I have no idea why the photos turn out huge sometimes and small other times. At any rate, in this photo you can see some of the complications I made for myself. The plans call for 1/4" ply, but I decided I wanted 1/2" on the bottom. The difference in thickness between bottom and sides made a gap on the bottom chine. That's okay, just fill it with a fillet. Thank God for thickened epoxy. Also, this oversize photo shows fir ply on the bottom, and Okume on the sides. The Okume is lovely to work with, but it feels light and fluffy and I wonder how it would take an impact. The fir on the bottom feels really substantive. I also made the sawn frames from the fir ply, but used white oak for the stem and transom.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    And here's a shot of the "oh-crap-what-have-I-done?!?" moment when we cut the centerboard slot. In this photo you can also see my ragged, sloppy fillets that will require hours of sanding at some point. No idea why this photo is small.



    And the after- shot, with centerboard case installed. No clue why the photo is huge. Also, started laying in the blocks for the inwale. This pretty much catches progress up to today. Hopefully I can flip it again and get the hull fiberglassed this week.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    when building my PORTUGUESE DINGHY i found a really helpful tool for sanding fillets



    it is a plastique bristled wheel that has 80 GRIT embedded in the plastique

    AND IT'Z CHEAP

    $3.99 @ HF

    http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...goryExpand&p=6

    they also make a cup brush w/ the same bristles

    wear a good dust mask when using it 'cause it does stir some up!!!

    enjoyin your documentation

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Thanks, Steve, that's really helpful. Love me some Harbor Freight.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Of course the centerboard is a divergence from the plans which called for a dagger board. Likewise the use of an oak stem and transom. Also the expansion of the beam and freeboard. Also changing the rig from leg-o-mutton to lug sail. And adding a focsl deck. And so on, and so on...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    D.R., having built several multi-chine boats that DAD n i designed on cafe napkins & notebook paper I HAVE A CLUE as to some of the issues you are dealing with AND applaud you w/ your quest

    so many of the commercial plans, available today, have more than one compromise and could use some tweaking by the adventurous builder

    my guess is that your intended sailing may involve skinny waters that sometimes get on the froggy side and you may intend to carry more weight than the original plans are designed to transport

    daggerboards & fix't rudders worry me

    can't count the number of times i came to a screaming a$$ halt when the daggerboard on my sunfish contacted good ole terra firma

    & the typically specified 1/4" bottom does not give this ole LARDUSS BOTTOMUSS MAXIMUSS a warm fuzzy feeling when contemplating stepping in off a dock

    kneadless 2 say, i have my box of popcorn & a big ole glass of sweet tea awaiting your next progress pix

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Today's progress: cross-brace for centerboard case installed and inspection ports rough fitted. Tomorrow will be sail-making.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Any plans for side decks? I like the forward deck. I always thought I would do that on my next Gypsy. I also would probably try for a side deck with a small coaming. Easy to take water over the rail in a Gypsy.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    I had heard that about the Gypsy design so I added 2 inches height to the sheer strake and also to the beam. I hope that ameliorates somewhat.

    I really appreciate your blog about your Gypsy build, Jefe. Very helpful.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    This morning Uncle Doug is helping me with fiberglass on the boat. Or rather, I'm helping Uncle Doug. My greatest contribution to the project is keeping the work moving forward. Uncle Doug has a lot of stories to tell.





    Please give a shout out if you recognize this old guy. He kept a boatyard in the Sacramento area about 20 years ago. Uncle Doug says there was a sign on the fence that said "No Sailboats Allowed." He worked with another older fellow there who eventually sailed off to Australia.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jefe View Post
    Any plans for side decks? I like the forward deck. I always thought I would do that on my next Gypsy. I also would probably try for a side deck with a small coaming. Easy to take water over the rail in a Gypsy.
    Here's a snap of the Gypsy I rebuilt, with fore and aft decks/flotation, side decks, and coamings. Never shipped water, but then I've not sailed with strong winds or swells.




    With the rear deck, the tiller swept the rear bench, so I changed to a rope steering loop, ala Herreshoff's Coquina. I built a new balance lug rig a couple years ago, that I prefer to the original leg-of-mutton—

    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 07-30-2016 at 02:38 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    I finished sewing the sail today. Here's a question for the balanced lug experts: how much longer than the head/foot of the sail should the spars be?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Today I finished the grommets on the sail. I'm too cheap to buy the grommet tool so I took it to my uncle's sail loft and borrowed his. Much more affordable. Plus he had a hot knife to trim all the straggling threads.



    Of course a lug sail needs a yard, so as soon as I got home I started cutting the taper on the spar. Little steps every day. Will I launch before weather closes in?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Little pieces, bits at a time. This afternoon I finished fitting the foredeck, and roughed out the sampson post.



    It's not glued up yet, which is why the bronze bitt isn't installed in the post yet. There's another gallon of epoxy coming in the mail, so I'm busy cutting all the small framing bits for the center thwart bench and stern air tank/seat. Hopefully I will get most of the interior carpentry finished over Labor Day weekend.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Partner installed while all the other Utah wooden boats rendezvous on the last beautiful weather of the season. And no, that's not the actual mast, just a place-holder for now. And no, I'm not planning to lash off to the sampson post. There will be a cleat/fairlead on the deck a la Lillistone's First Mate.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Belaying pins: check

    One less thing that must be done before launch


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Since the last post I've filled the epoxy, faired the blemishes, and sanded ready to paint the bottom. But this weekend the weather was too cool for paint or epoxy, and my wood stove isn't quite ready in the shop (drywall and insulation needed to contain the heat). So instead, I did this:



    Repayment for my buddy who made the belaying pins pictured above. Temps are supposed to warm up into the 70s this week, so there's still hope for paint this fall.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    It's been a while since I updated. Still hoping to launch this spring. I got the center board case closed up today, and the jamb cleat installed for'd of the mast partner. I'm oiling the bright work with Penofin- a drying penetrating rosewood oil that's supposed to give 90% UV protection. We'll see how it holds up.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    I think I'm going to register the boat this week, and probably launch next Saturday? Sunday? Is there a better day for launching? What with getting a priest to come say a prayer, maybe Saturday is better because they're probably busy on Sunday?

    At any rate, I've been working on rigging the last couple of days. Here's a photo of the mast step:



    Stay tuned for launching...

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Well, it happened. There wasn't more than a breath of wind, but everyone wanted to see how it looked with the sails up, so they all stood around and kibbitzed while I figured out the rigging.

    How does it look? It looks like I needed to hoist the yard higher up the mast. Does it look like I need to hitch the block further aft on the yard? Would that get the for'd end of the boom to dip lower, raising the aft end? And yes, still need to work out the rigging of the main sheet. But more or less, it's done.

    Tomorrow the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club (Oldest YC west of the Mississippi...) is having their "blessing of the fleet." I might go if I can muster the courage.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Congrats on the splash! Looking forward to some sailing reports.

    Woody

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    She looks great! And if I knew anything at all about lug sails, I'd be glad to advise you.
    I once heard an old guy say "If you haven't been in trouble on the water, you just haven't been on the water very much."
    Now I'm the old guy!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    I two have a Lido 14 and picked up a free Gypsy hull. Your build looks great!
    James D. Maxwell
    Missoula, MT
    Western Montana Small Boat Association
    Heron #1

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    Thanks James. looking forward to adventures this summer.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Romany: a Bolger-esque first boat

    She'll end up with the gaff rig off the old Super Teal. Should be a cool set up. Always nice to see these instant boats on the water.
    James D. Maxwell
    Missoula, MT
    Western Montana Small Boat Association
    Heron #1

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