The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Friday, 8 July 2011

We're Off...

Progress since Tuesday on the Tammie Norrie has been patchy, but as of today the centreline is taking shape. The timber for the transom is on order, a composite of Super Elite 12mm faced with larch. On the inside or outside? Haven't yet decided. I have to admit that plywood has its place in a traditional boat: the transom, so long as one side is real. I think it might look rather good: larch on one side, mahogany on the other, and the top capped to hide the end grain. But I have asked Robbins, the supplier, to please, please select a piece with a grain that looks the part, rather than that strange squirrely pattern.

So that's it for the week. The rabbet's cut, barring the section meeting the transom, and centreboard slot marked out. The stem is one piece, the two sections tenoned together with an ancient piece of iroko, the inner face of the apron capped with a laminate of larch, and I'll probably cap the outer stem similarly, but with oak - a kind of larch sandwich, rather than a laminate which eats up timber, requires a jig, rapid working and masses of glue and pressure, two words with huge disaster potential.

And would you believe, as soon as I began work it all came flooding back. Maybe two plywood boats in a row had wiped my mental slate clean. However, this time I wll be taking photos at every stage, including the crucial centreline structure so next time I won't have to scratch my head too long or, as I usually do, soak in the bath with my eyes closed visualising every stage of the build. Nearly drowned last Sunday. Fell asleep counting rabbets...

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