Showing posts from January 5, 2014


I got off the starting line for rail installation today.  Some approach-avoidance going on here.  I glued the first of two laminations for the outside rails.  I didn't feel I could bend the size stock specified in the plans around the forward quarters of this bluff-bowed boat.  Laminations will improve strength as well.

Having the first layer of rails will really increase the structural integrity of the hull.  I've been very nervous having the boat off the jig without them.  Scary with chisels, too.  I'll do both laminations and pop the boat back on its jig and finish the bottom.

The rub rails have me thinking about the inwhales, and that requires decisions about the breasthook, the quarter knees, the style of the gunnels (I'm going to do open gunnels, for sure... wouldn't want to actually finish this boat too soon!)

There are also decisions about the oarlocks that have to be thought through.  I bought bronze oarlocks and gudgeons (two sets of the latter).  My pl…

Paying the Piper

My first efforts with fiberglass go back about 50 years,  patching a rotten old wooden dinghy in 1963.  A little British Seagull 1.5 horse outboard pushed that pram all over the cypress swamps of Seashore State Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Hog heaven for a 14 year old with his first boat all his own. As I recall,  my efforts at patching weren't all that effective.  The only remnant of that boat is her transom name plate, pictured above.

Over the years, I have dabbled with polyester and epoxy resins on kayaks, and even built an okume plywood lapstrake canoe with my friend Thom Hickey (a mere two decades ago).  Still, I have been a bit cavalier about the admonitions concerning clean up along the way.  Sunday I paid the price --  some scary moments with chisel and scraper.

It is one thing to face up to a few hours of unpleasant work to clean up a mess.  The trouble with this effort is that there is actual risk to the integrity of the boat, getting all the lumps and epoxied tap…