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, 27 July 2012

Another Week

It was on 23rd June that I set up the keel of the faering and today the gunwales were riveted home, completing the shell. That leaves all the fiddly, time-consuming bits now, as well as the mast, yard and oars. Oh, and also the steerboard which I have mocked up for size.

The sheerline has been modified slightly, lowered amidships to make a more pleasing, less chunky profile, to my eyes (and Mattis') at least. It's in keeping with this faering's extra length, vs the Woodfish plans on which it is based. It's a nice balance building to plans, but allowing yourself the freedom to depart them when you feel like it. Otherwise it's just painting by numbers - or building in plywood (but let's not go there).

I did use some of the stuff to make templates, and the mocked up steerboard. Apart from that it's just superb old larch from Perthshire, 150 years old and without a single knot in 32 boards. Well, there's one, and that's it. And boards that averaged 20 inches wide and 18ft long. When will we see the like?

So, here's some photos and I'll do my best to explain anything to those who are curious. Problems? Just the usual ones: trying to make fag-paper fits between frames and strakes that have changing angles and bevels. Nice when it works straight away, without endless fiddling and paring.

That's it for the weekend (a long one).

Meanwhile Mattis has been busy in his meticulous way, fitting the garboards to the Sula.

Although we achieve more or less the same results, our methods are often different. He put the garboards on with the keel set up and braced, whereas I do it upside down on the bench. He used a router to cut the slot, whereas I used a skill saw.

He is a little more obsessive about keeping to the plans; I like to let things take their course (that's my excuse at least). I curse when I split a plank; he swears when his rivet line is a few mm out (although I think I've got him using imperial measures for some things).I think we make a good team. Whatever, it's a pleasure to work alongside such a craftsman. Pity he's off to Norway at the end of the build...

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