Happy Birthday Tardis

August 9, 2015  Hours spent building to date: 1,283

I have been at this for a year now, and it has been a wonderful year by any measure.  I wanted to have some, big significant piece of work to mark the boat’s first birthday, but all I could come up with was painting the bilge/tankage spaces.  I also made a very good start today on the system which will hold up the cockpit and cabin soles.

The most frequent question I get by far is:  “When do you think you’ll be done?”  Here’s my best answer:  “I WANT to be done by the WoodenBoat Show, the last weekend of June next year at Mystic Seaport.  If she isn’t done be then, she will be done when she is done, but  I will want her South somewhere by November.”

I think I can make the Show because I am about 60% done.  But thinking of that remaining 40% it is just impossible for me to estimate how long things will take.  Ray and I set up the whole frame system in about five hours and went out for martinis.  But two weeks of bonding stretched to two months.  I think I can sort of average my time by thinking that basic boat carpentry goes pretty quickly, anything involving glass goes more slowly than estimated.  I think plumbing will go pretty quickly using PEX and snap-together fittings.  But electrical will be a beast since a 28-foot boat has all the same systems as a 40 footer.

What has surprised me the most?  It’s how big the boat is.  The raised deck, 28-foot length (with virtually the same waterline) and max trailerable beam of 8.5 feet just create a big structure.  Laid on the first 4X8 planks around the aft end — and had 12 big humongous chunks to go.  Started bonding and ran through 225 yards of tape.  I buy 4.5 gallon containers of epoxy like I used to buy quarts.

I always thought this might be the next-t0-last boat, and that an old glass trawler sitting just outside the Greek pastry shops in Tarpon Springs would be the finale.  But I can really see us spending serious chunks of time on Tardis.  So I am being more careful in building and more thoughtful about systems than I had anticipated.

I continue through all this to wonder now Mark, sitting and doodling and punching up his computer, made all this work, because it all works, all fits and all makes sense.  He once remarked to me that he had built this boat 100 times in his mind.  I am building her one time for real, but that 100 times seems to have paid off.

Bilge with initial tiecoat

Bilge with initial tiecoat

First coat of bilge paint -- really changes the appearance

First coat of bilge paint — really changes the appearance

Beginning of cockpit/cabin sole support system

Beginning of cockpit/cabin sole support system




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