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...)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Monday, Monday...

Well, a little bit of Sunday too, and Friday as well, but once you start planking you just feel like keeping on going. And, contrary to what I had decided, the hull will be planked this way up. I have to admit it makes some sense. I was concerned about scraping off excess glue, but it's not been a problem. Some of my plywood/epoxy friends are relieved I have seen sense.

With three strakes up and the keel fashioned, next step is to hang the fourth strakes. Observations to date: the kit goes together well, although to call it such implies a load of pieces that simply slot together, which they don't. This may not be boat building as I am used to, but it certainly requires skills in interpreting plans and accuracy in setting up and working with sharp tools on an unforgiving material. As I may have said before, there is precious little room for creativity: you get what Iain designed, that is if you follow the instructions.

Inevitably, I have gone my own way to a certain extent, namely in laminating the keel from two lengths of flawless larch, and extending it far beyond what the plans show. By laminating I can take the keel some way up the curve of the stem, which means the vital joint between stem and keelson is well protected. By using two laminates of 1/2in rather than a single piece of inflexible 1in I hope to have made a stronger centreline, not that there is any suggestion it's in any way weak in the first place. The stems I intend either to make out of solid or laminate on the stems.

Plywood. Hmmm. The laminates at least give you a visual clue as to how much you have planed, and how evenly. The bevel on the lands, for example, can be judged by how far into the laminates you go. Those who habitually build in plywood know this.

Although the stuff is frighteningly easy to plane, yet it gives little pleasure; nothing like taking off thin shavings from a piece of larch, which was why it was nice to leave the plywood bashing for a while on Sunday and spend an afternoon planing down the keel.

The glue is a joy. Collano gets my vote for its ease of use and strength, drying to an epoxy-like hardness. And as it foams just a touch when mixed with wood dust it makes a superb filler, expanding ever so gently out of the hole you need to fill, ready to be sanded flush when dry. And as it is not affected by heat, the sander does not clog as it can do with epoxy. Like epoxy is can be scraped off when half dry, as to leave it longer means a chisel.

There's some way to go yet before the hull is planked up and as everyone knows, that's only about 1/4 of the work. The plan is to launch her in Cornwall in the summer where the owners' daughters Ella and Alex are to be taught the joys and finer points of sailing a lug-sailed yawl by their grandad. Plus a little fishing perhaps for bass and mackerel together with day sailing to some of the more remote beaches around Looe.When not in Looe she'll be trailed up to Bewl Water in Kent for reservoir sailing. Lucky kids...!

No comments:

Post a Comment