Dream Boating

July 25, 2016   Hours spent building to date:  2,722

I’ve been plugging away sanding and shaping on the hull trim, which, again, does not lend itself to pictures.  But I put a nice caprail on the cockpit combings using Mark’s design, and slapped on a coat of wood conditioner to give an indication of what the rest of the trim might eventually look like.

I am obsessed with the trim, since I want to be as true as I can in a “modern” design to the aesthetic of the Pacific Northwest 1920s and 1930s powerboats that Tardis echoes.  They had lots of mahogany trim, so I have really worked hard on this aspect.

I went up to the Antique & Classic Yacht Rendezvous at Mystic Seaport over the weekend specifically to study and take pictures of this type of boat, but the many Elco’s and occasional Blanchard’s and Lake Union’s that used to take up a whole dock were nowhere to be seen.  I had to be content with one 1930s Consolidated.

I wondered where they all were, until it struck me that when I first started coming to this show 25 years ago (and exhibiting Memsahib) the owners I met were all in their 60s and 70s.  So now they are probably…not exhibiting.

I think it is sad that the top end of the wooden boat restoration market (Fifes, S&S, Alden’s, Herreshoff’s) seems pretty healthy as the one-percenters play with their toys.  But the “family” boats (Elco Cruisettes, Mathews, Crockers, H28s) seem to be fading away.

The final piece of hull woodwork will be the transom cladding.   Everyone who sees the boat seems to think the 3/4-inch plywood transom is too thin.   But while the transom itself might look a little light, the actual strength is provided by big, thick engine stringers and a 3-inch thick motor mount, which take most of the stress.

Nevertheless, I am adding 5/16 inch mahogany cladding to the transom to keep visitors happy — and because it will look spectacular when varnished.

Combings have their caprails on and are all finished except for the finish

Combings have their caprails on and are all finished except for the finish

Preview of what the combing will look like when finished

Preview of what the combing will look like when varnished

Transom cladding gets started

Transom cladding gets started

Classic powerboat at Mystic

Classic powerboat at Mystic.  Windows are all slanty, unlike a Dreamboat.

This 33-footer is darn close to the Tardis look

This 33-footer is darn close to the Tardis look

Small Lake Union, but with no cockit

Small Lake Union, but with no cockpit

Emma C Berry led the Mystic parade this year -- 150 years old and breathtakingly beautiful

Emma C Berry led the Mystic parade this year — 150 years old and breathtakingly beautiful.  They went fishing in works of art.

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