Not Dead Yet

January 19, 2020

Tardis in Maine 5

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I posted anything on this site, but I had a lot of excuses:  a bruising municipal election campaign (we won!), a trip to France for the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion,  the death of my image-stabilized camera, and a fabulous five-week cruise in Maine (picture above is Tardis’ Maine home).

I lost all the pictures of the uneventful trip with my son John back across Lake Okeechobee from Fort Myers to Vero Beach.  I feel sorry for my friend Pat who made the trip to Fort Myers, where we had all the engine trouble and couldn’t find much of a place to stay.  John and I timed it so we stayed at the wild Roland Martin’s Marina at the bottom of the lake.  The only piece of semi-civilization for miles with showers, good food and huge open-air bar filled with hundreds of sugar cane workers taking a break for karaoke night!  Then the last night at a super-yacht marina in Port St. Lucie, where little Tardis got as much attention as your run-of-the mill 80-footer.

The Spring work mostly amounted to patching up the damage from the prior winter in Florida:

— Patching the hull where someone put a hole in it during storage.  Easy, but getting the paint to match meant that Ray and I had to roll and tip the whole hull.

— Patching a two-foot piece of the cockpit rubrail which caught on a spike driven into a dock piling by an unthinking former user.  Particularly galling since it happened on the way over to put Tardis on the trailer for the trip home.

— Rebuilding the engine cover so it is strong enough to be stood on, which people seem to want to do.  I also glassed it since it is horizontal to the sun.  But it’s still not quite right — the span across is just too long for half-inch plywood and it has a slight dip which drives me crazy.  I will have to re-do it with 3/4 inch this spring.

— And a crazy idea that worked, devised by Pat:

In driving the boat for miles across Okeechobee, we both noticed that we were bobbing up and down all the time due to a slight blind spot caused by the fancy forward faux-butterfly hatch.  Pat said, “You know, I think cutting that down an inch-and-half would solve the whole problem.”

So I took it off and tackled the cut with a sabre saw, back saw, Japanese saw, and my small circular saw.  Nothing would make the cut.  So I stood it up on it’s side on my table saw, added some bracing to the rip fence and had at it.  Five minutes later it was done and during the Maine trip made a huge diffence.  There is still a spot off to port that you want to check once in a while, but the starboard view is now fine.

Tardis is in Fort Myers now, waiting for me to come down next week.  I will detail the winter work next.

cover strengtheningcover glassed an fariedcover strengthening2cover sound insulationhatch cut downcover finished





2 comments on “Not Dead Yet

  1. Neil Claydon
    January 19, 2020 at 6:35 pm #

    So glad you are still getting to enjoy the fruits of all your hard labour, enjoy the year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ton Schoenmakers
    January 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm #

    Good to hear from you after a long hiatus.
    I think your real-life experience with a plan-built boat like the Olga 28 is not only a huge benefit to other builders, but also to designers.
    As you know, Sytse is building his copy – Arnhem at his “wharf” in Zebulon, NC. Just last week I helped gluing in the beam for the fore-deck top, and we extended it all the way to the bow. It makes a much better line, almost like Luna’s Backdecker design. I got concerned about the anchor opening, and searched your old blog for many hours to retrace pictures.

    Did you know, that part of the ship is called ‘Bulwark’ after the Dutch word ‘Bolwerk’ (fortification, protection)? Mark Smaalders may have recognized it with his Dutch roots, but as an old hand sailor (having at least 2 books that claim to be nautical encyclopedia’s) I was not aware of the word until I had Wikipedia translate it for me.
    Please keep writing, You don’t realize how much folks are reading -and profiting from- your experiences until they start to curse that Bermuda Triangle you used for spring break.


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