The Peripatetic Boatbuilder

September 18, 2015  Hours spent building to date:  1,447

It may seem that I’m moving somewhat haphazardly from job to job on the Tardis — and that’s true.  The hull has to be built in a pretty strict sequence, but once the boat is turned over there are dozens of ways to proceed.

To solidify the flooring system, I really had to get the fuel tanks in.  But I put on the forecabin sides pretty much because it would make the boat look good, and I felt like doing it.  So that’s the way it goes — I do what I have to do alternating with what I want to do.

To move ahead on the deckhouse structure, I had to build up the raised section of the dinette that also functions as very useful storage.   But I was blasting away on the framing when I realized that if I totally built out the dinette, I would have to laminate the side decks from outside the boat on a ladder, much harder than standing nice and steady inside.  So I framed them up and laminated them on, which was a chore involving hours of grinding since they needed just a little downslope to shed water.  But in the end made the hull looks a lot more finished.

My life outside Tardis has also taken a peripatetic turn — Monday afternoon we finally launched the Osprey, a steam launch that our team of Connecticut River Museum volunteers has been working on all summer.  Then on Wednesday it was up to Newport to sail the incredible trimaran Three Little Birds down to Norwalk, thanks to my old friend Pat Harris.  Three Little Birds is a super high tech tri about 36 feet long with a huge racing rig.  But she also has a very nifty cruising interior and the trip was quite comfortable — but long.  What could have been a 10 hour, amas-out-of-the-water flight, turned into a no-wind-tide-against-us 17 hour slog, and I got home at 4 am.

I’ve known Bird’s owner Kevin Baxley casually for years, but spending that much time with him was very interesting.  Kevin was the financial guy for a company that did staging for all kinds of shows and exhibits and events.  But either he had an innate creative streak to begin or a lot rubbed off from his partners, because in an extremely active retirement he is creating boats and houses and landscapes that exude beauty and innovation.  I really want to get him out to Tardis and pick his brains on boat systems, since he is a living catalog of boat stuff that works — and doesn’t.

Framing for dinette -- drawers under the raised dinette floor.

Framing for  drawers under the raised dinette floor.

Dinette floor all framed out.

Dinette floor all framed out.

Dinette floor.

Dinette floor.

Side deck built up and ready for laminating.

Deckhouse carlin and sheer strake built up and ready for laminating.

Curved part of side decks laminated.

Curved part of side decks laminated.

Why does it take every tool in the shop to install two pieces of plywood?

Why does it take every tool in the shop to install two pieces of plywood?

Side decks all finished.

Side decks all finished.

Osprey ready for the water.

Osprey ready for the water.

Osprey at the CRM docks.

Osprey at the CRM docks.

Three Little Birds -- we didn't have quite that much wind.

Three Little Birds — we didn’t have quite that much wind.

Pat Harris driving from the

Pat Harris driving from the “tractor seat” on Three Little Birds.

Had to open the overhead door for a dump run and got an interesting view of the forecabin.

Had to open the overhead door for a dump run and got an interesting view of the forecabin.

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