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...)

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

We Can Eat...

A long winter of (dis)content is nearing its close, and we are still above water, literally being 200m or so above sea level, and financially. Many small projects over the last few months, but nothing major, such as a new build, although we came close at times. Must be the economy.

And now it's feast rather than famine, with a boat to repair, oars to build, a redesigned rig for a Shetland boat and now that the drought has ended, a Caledonia Yawl is in build. I have to say that plywood is not my favourite material. I would rather build in solid timber and the restrictions imposed by Iain Oughtred - with good intent and the aim is for so-called amateur buiulders to produce a boat that looks vaguely like the plans - will be annoying at times.

I am going to treat the build as a lesson in building an Oughtred boat as it was designed, and stick to the plans as far as possible.

Seeing a boat arrive in kit form, rather than a stack of larch, was a novelty that is both reassuring and worrying. There is little room for error in setting up, with tolerances to mm, which is I suppose as it should be. There will also be no steaming of planks and riveting, as I shall be using Collano Sempoaroc to glue the planks together, not epoxy as far as I can help it.

I built a Nutshell using theb stuiff, and it was very successful: no mixing, no waste, one-pot with a long shelf life, cures hard and can be sanded without metling. Oh, and no hot knife scraping to clean the stuff off where you don't want it.

More anon. For the moment I am head in plans, trying to get to grips with Iain's incredibly detailed notes and dimensions. Whereas in a traditional build I would be setting up the moulds by now and eyeing up that larch. No, I can't see that this will be any easier, or quicker. We will see. Let's just call it an experiment.

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