November 15, 2014 Hours spent building to date: 338
The engine mount is attached to two more heavy stringers that run about five feet in from the transom and form the sides of the motor well. They are 3/4-inch plywood, so the well assembly is 1 1/2-inches thick — pretty hefty to handle the two-inch thick mount.
Fitting and measuring the mount by holding it above my head while standing on my tip-toes wasn’t going to happen, so I wrapped a couple cleats in packing tape to make “ramps” at the correct angle, so I could slide the mount up into the boat and clamp it into place while making adjustments. Then, considering I had about $100 worth of plywood and epoxy invested in the blank for the mount, I made a plywood template by tracing around the well sides, stringers and keel. It fit right the first time, so I traced it onto the blank, and cut out the mount — very slow going through a two-inch lamination.
Ray came over to help me slide the mount up into the boat, while I handled the mount and its insurance policy — 316-stainless steel lag screws running through the well sides and two inches into the mount. I really trust epoxy, but not having the motor mount shake loose and put the engine in the drink will be worth (I hope) the jewelry-level price that West Marine charges for these things.
Then it was back to fairing to get the mount and engine sides perfect angled to accept the planking. I am really tired of fairing, and with a two-inch lamination to bring down, I decided to exercise the nuclear option of stock removal — a disc grinder with a wheel meant for metal. This tool will really carve through wood, but is so aggressive that it can really get away from you. I was grinding away on a thick piece of oak on the Jericho Bay skiff one day, when I lost my concentration for five seconds and was suddenly half-way through the planking. But I was extra-careful and finally, FINALLY the back half of the Tardis is as fair as it is going to get.
Short week, since I went with Molly on a business trip to Boston to check out the USS Constitution before she goes into dry dock for three years. To a wooden boat nut, Old Ironsides is a combination of Chartres, the Blue Mosque and the Taj Mahal, so I want to follow the project closely whenever I can get up to Charlestown.