On Second Thought…

June 11, 2016  Hours spent building to date:  2,607

I have received a lot of comments from followers and shop visitors  on my  last post regarding my plan to get Tardis in the water this fall, no matter what.  Most of them have been along the lines of, “Are you nuts?” especially when they realized that my ultimate plan was to do the finish work on the water or over the winter in the Guilford Yacht Club parking lot.  The most cogent was from an experienced builder whose opinion I greatly respect:

Having been in your position in various projects over the years,  I feel compelled to offer my own advice–born from experience–on your push to “complete” the boat:  get her complete first.  Pushing for an artificial schedule, with no real goal other than some intangible need to get her launched before she’s really ready will hurt you in the long run, and frankly you would be better off to simply continue working through the summer, fall, and winter and get the boat complete for a logical spring launch when she’s actually ready to be launched.

I understand how compelling it can seem to be to want get the boat wet, regardless of her state of completion, but having been there–and learned substantially from it–I feel comfortable recommending you push back your launching till she’s ready.  It will keep the project more fun, will make you prouder of the boat when the time does come, and you still have a challenging goal to work towards–one that will prove itself to be challenging despite itself, honestly.  I’ve gone through this prioritizing thing myself, and in the end all it really is is bargaining with yourself as some way to see the goal more clearly, when in fact the real goal–and the practical thing to do–is focus on early spring next year, which is when your real use of this boat is going to commence regardless.”

And then life started messing up the whole proposed schedule:

— Two volunteers have done a tremendous amount of work for the Connecticut River Museum on the 1885 shad boat Alva Starr and the steam launch Osprey.  I felt compelled to help them through the final phases and have been working about half days on Tardis and half days on CRM projects.

— The Boatbuilding Workshop is coming up and with a new design to be built, I need to see that through.

— I had to get my Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff ready to go with new paint top and bottom.

So many procedures on the Tardis are sequential:  1)  I wasn’t going to trim out the cockpit, but to launch the boat, I need heavily reinforced cockpit side decks for the aft cleats.  So on they went.  2) The battery charger has safety shield that means you want to run the wires once and never take them apart.  They AC and DC wires really need to go in together, so that part of the plan doesn’t make sense.  3)  The window manufacturer suggests installation after paint completion.  So I am on the ladder painting away months ahead of the boat seeing sunlight.  And so on.

So it seems I will be forced kicking and screaming to have a normal, relaxing summer after all.  Tardis will be done when she’s done.

In the time I had recently:

— The cockpit side decks went on.

— Some major pieces of exterior trim went on.  The pictures just don’t show how the horizontal mahogany pieces lengthen the lines of the boat in a really striking way.

— The head is all painted out, a lengthy process since as a “wet” area I am treating it exactly the same as the hull:  epoxy barrier coat, regular primer, two coats of gloss hull paint for easy cleaning.

Cockpit side deck glue up

Cockpit side deck glue up

Cocpit side decks finished

Cockpit side decks finished

Forecabin trim -- these curved pieces aren't easy!

Forecabin trim — these curved pieces aren’t easy!

Forecabin trim -- picture really doesn't show how the trim really stretches out the lines of the boat

Forecabin trim — picture really doesn’t show how the trim really stretches out the lines of the boat

Head painted and shiny -- cutout is for the shower assembly

Head painted and shiny — cutout is for the shower assembly

1885 Connecticut River Shad Boat Alva Starr is in PERFECT condition

1885 Connecticut River Shad Boat Alva Starr is in PERFECT condition

Got a really good paint job on the Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff this year

Got a really good paint job on the Jericho Bay Lobster Skiff this year

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