Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Friday, 27 May 2011

In a Nutshell

I cannot deny it, but there are now two plywood boats on the go at Viking Boats International (Leckmelm) plc. The gun punt is resting, while I had less than 10 working days to put together this Nutshell dinghy by Joel White. I don't have to finish her, just prime and off she goes for final painting.

Nice little boat, but it's not my idea of boat building, and the dust... Despite trying to wear a mask as much as possible, it's just not possible all the time. The worst is cutting bits of Super Elite on the bandsaw. My snot at the end of the day looks like Plastic Wood (maybe try it one day).

The schedule was tight:. Day 1, make the moulds and set up the jig (which extended into day two). Day 2, make the bow knee and main frame, and cut out the bottom from 9mm ply. Cut out transoms from 18mm Super Elite. Day 3, set up bow and transom, main frame and bow knee. Day 4, set the bottom board onto the main frame, and transoms. Bevel edges for garboards. Day 5, cut out and fit garboards. Bevel garboards ready for next plank. Day 6, cut out and fit next plank, and bevel. Day 7, cut out and fit sheerstrake, wood seal transoms, frame and knee. Day 8, lift off jig, make thwarts, fit rubbing strips. General clean up. Plane to sheerline. Day 9 (half day), fit knees, clean up gunwale.

Which leaves a day and half in hand to prime the inside, rivet up the knees and generally tidy her up for delivery.

The glue I used was Robbins' replacement for Balcotan, called Collano. It is nothing like Balcotan, which can be chipped off, but sets hard like a one-part epoxy, and sticks like epoxy too. In fact in future, unless there's a good reason for mixing up mayonnaise, I will be using the new stuff as it's a joy to spread, quick and clean.

By the end of the month there'll be a Tammie Norie on the go, in solid timber, Scots pine in fact from the Queen's estate at Balmoral.

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