Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost daily. If you want to read all the entries for any project sequentially, go to the "Projects" tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page. The rest of the projects have separate tabs on the "Projects" tab.
Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
25 Oct 14 Ice Box Divider. I decided to use 1/2" FDA approved UHMW for the icebox divider. I built the slots when I built the box so this was not a complicated project. I used my standard doorskin strips and hot glue to make the pattern. I traced the pattern out on the UHMW with a fine line sharpie. I used a combination of jig saw and table saw to make the cuts. I cleaned up the edges with the jointer and then used a round over bit on the router to radius the edges. I cut vent holes with a 7/8" diameter hole saw and rounded the edges with the router as well. I fastened a teak cleat to the top edge. I will fabricate SS sliding shelves/drawer to ride on the cleats. The sliding drawers will be about 4" deep so all kinds of things can fit in there and not have to sit on the ice. One drawer on each side of the divider. The drawer on the left will be about 12"x12" and the one on the right about 8"x12".
I fastened a teak cleat to the top divider. The SS drawer will slide on the cleat. There will be two drawers--one on each side.
The two part divider installed. The drawers will slide back out of sight to access the main compartment.
Propane Locker Grate. The UHMW that I ordered from McMaster-Carr arrived (photo gallery below). I made a template to fit the bottom of the locker with doorskin and a hot glue gun. It was a simple matter to lay the template on the UHMW and trace it with a fine line sharpie. I used a combination of the table saw and jig saw to cut the out UHMW. I cut a hole for the drain hole with a 1 5/8" hole saw. After I test fit the grate I made a series of drain and vent hole in the UHMW with a 7/8" hole saw. I radiused the edges with a 1/4" round over bit in the trim router. Next, I cut strips of 1/4" thick medium hard neoprene rubber and laid them out on the under side of the UHMW. I traced them with a fine line sharpie and used 40 grit abrasive paper to abrade the UHMW and one side of the neoprene rubber. Next, I laid the UHMW on a 2"X10" plank to serve as a strong back. I mixed up some System Three T88 epoxy (which, like GFlex epoxy, works very well on rubber and plastic) and applied it to the UHMW and the abraded rubber. I positioned the rubber strips then then clamped flat and true 2x4s down on to the rubber essentially clamping the UHMW, the rubber, the strong back, and the 2"X4" all together. I let it sit for about 2 hours then unclamped it temporarily to scrape up the epoxy squeeze out. Then, I reinstalled the clamps I left it to cure overnight.
Next day, I removed the clamps and installed the grate. It fit nicely. I am very pleased with how this worked out.
The three 10lb propane bottom have a 1/2" raised UHMW platform to sit on.
Stern Anchor and Deck Chocks. Though we have six pair of custom made hawse pipes in the bulwarks, I also wanted some chocks for running lines out directly over the transom, especially for the stern anchor. Also, I had a pair or Spartan Marine Chocks that came with the boat. They are the best I have seen so I wanted to use them. They have a capture pin on the top with a detent so they lock down in place and prevent the line from jumping out. I installed one on each side and bedded them with butyl rubber. This is a good picture of the kind of squeeze out you can expect with butyl. I installed them yesterday and usually tighten the fitting down a little over three days. This is the squeeze out for one day. I tighten them, firm but not too hard, then repeat each day till I am satisfied. Then, I trim the butyl.
The butyl will squeeze out for a couple of days. Don't over tighten them. Just firm them up each day and let the buytl do the work. Then, trim the excess.
23 Oct 2014
It was time to install cleats to support the sheet winches. I wanted to install bronze ones as they would require less maintenance but I could not find the Herreshoff style that I was looking for at a reasonable price. So, I decided to make them out of some well seasoned white oak I had on hand (locust is the preferred wood but I did not have any). It took about three hours to make four cleats. I need two to support the self tailing primary winches and two for the secondary stay-sail sheet winches that I added as part of the rig redesign. I looked at pictures of Olin Stephen's Dorade to get an idea of what I needed to build (see the gallery below with pop up text). In my perfect world these cleats would require no maintenance. Oak is very hard and strong but not so rot resistant. So, they will need to be varnished. I think that will be OK for these cleats as they aren't the same as deck cleats which experience a lot of friction. I will apply new coats of varnish the same time the coaming gets a coat of varnish. Note: I would have liked to install the fasteners from the cleat into the coaming, but I did not feel like I would have enough wood depth to ensure the cleats were strongly fastened. So, I installed the fasteners from the coaming into the cleat. I did not want to deeply counter sink and plug the heads of the screws in case I need to remove the cleats. I will varnish right over the head of the screw. Oak is very hard and you have to be carefully installing fasteners into it.
The white oak cleat is angled down 10 degrees to ensure a fair lead. They will be varnished and will match the oak tiller
Work continues on the propane locker. I installed and EPDM gasket to make the locker top air tight. I also installed a Spartan Marine bronze latch to match the original latches on the two other cockpit lockers. I had to tap the fiberglass for the upper part of the latch because the lid coaming the lip fits over is not deep enough to allow for nuts. So the 10-24 bronze machine screws thread directly into the lid and I cut them off flush. The lower part of the latch has bolts, washers, and nuts. I offset the latch because if I put it in the center I could not raise the tiller up vertically.
Next, I made a template for the removable insert I will install in the bottom of the locker that the propane bottle will sit on. I originally planned to build the insert as a teak grate. But, my wife asked why I did not install a plastic one. That made a lot of sense. So, I ordered some UHMW from McMaster Carr. It arrived today so in the next couple of days I will build the insert and get that checked off the list.
17 Oct 14
Smoke Bells. I wanted to use clip on smoke bells on our cabin lamps. They stay over the lamp even when they are swinging. And the bells don't have to be mounted on the bulkhead like standard bells which look bulky and take up space. Standard bells also limit your mounting options. I found some clip on brass bells "on line"--very expensive.
Instead of throwing a bunch of money at the solution, I asked Lin Pardey how they made the ones on Taleisin. Lin was kind enough to send me a few photos of and pass along some tips.
I made the bells from aluminum drink cans (Arizona Tea actually) (photo gallery below with pop up text when you click on the pictures). I used copper roofing nails as rivets. I had some scrap copper flashing in the shop. I think it is a very clever solution that looks neat and streamlined. If they go bad, I can easily make news ones for next to nothing.
Pardey style smoke bells made from aluminum cans and copper roofing nails.
They have a kind of neat modern look.
Stern Anchor. I spent a lot of time thinking about where to store the stern anchor (Danforth HT 12). I wanted to have it mounted and ready for immediate deployment but also not too visible. After trying every conceivable option (all of which took up too much space, looked awful, or were not accessible) the best solution I could come up with was mount it on the bulwark, on it's side, vertically (photo gallery below).
I drilled a 5/8" diameter hole through a piece of scrap two inch thick teak. I used a jig saw to cut two small backing plates from some 3/16" thick silicon bronze. I radiused the edges with a file. I drilled holes through the bronze plates and then countersunk the holes for 1/4" bronze flat head bolts. Then, I clamped everything in place and made sure the stock of the anchor was vertical to match the stanchion--the bulwark is angled up slightly as it follows the spring of the sheerline. Next, I drilled the holes though the bulwark and the teak block.
The anchor is very accessible but more obvious than I would have liked. I may make a canvas cover to conceal the anchor.
I capped the teak with a piece of ipe (in the ironwood family) which is extremely hard and very rot resistant. The ipe cap covers the vulnerable end grain of the teak protecting it from water and sun and the sharp edge of the anchor fluke. Next, I used a piece of ipe to make a hanger to support the shank of the anchor. I cut an inside concave radius on the ipe to match the curve of the stanchion. I made it long enough to rest on the stanchion base and also to hold the shank of the anchor horizontal. I temporarily lashed it to the aft stanchion with a piece of 1/4" line. Later, I will use proper lashing. The anchor is very secure, but I can deploy it immediately if necessary. I intend to leave the stern anchor line attached to the anchor. It's in a more obvious location that I would have liked but everything is a compromise and speed and easy of deployment took priority. A custom canvas cover might made it much less obvious to the eye and not slow the speed of employment enough to matter.
12 Oct 14 -- 12 Oct 1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue.
Ha! Right now, I'd be happy to sail on any ocean, blue or not. Nonetheless, today I installed the oar leather on the sculling oar. It was my first attempt. I found some info in Greg Rossel's book, The Boat Builders Apprentice and a pretty helpful video put out by Off Center Harbor on how they do it at Shaw and Tenney. I used #6 waxed nylon thread and two sail needles. The key was making sure the leather was square to start with. Then I marked each end of the leather around the loom in case there was any taper. I drew a line between the marks and cut it with a razor knife. I prepunched the holes insetting them about 5/16" and 1/4" apart. I soaked the leather in warm water for five minutes. There was nothing to it. Simple. I hung the oar in the boat shed to let the leather dry.
I used the base ball stitch on the oar leather.
I was particularly pleased that the stitch remained straight down the loom. It is very tight.
I completed phase two of the walnut cabin sole lock down system. The first part dealt with installing the locking knobs. Click here for more on the knobs. Phase two was making and installing the bronze tongues that fit into slots I cut into the cabin sole floor beams. I made the tongues out of some scrap 3/16" bronze--they are about 2 1/2" long and 3/4" wide. I used walnut spacers to allow a 1/4" offset for the slot I cut into the floor beam. I made a little jig out of some 1/4" ply that I clamped to the floor beam. I used a drill bit and portable drill to drill the slot and then carefully cleaned it out. I used a Bosch jig saw to cut the bronze tongues and then filed them smooth and gently tapered them to more easily fit into the slots. I installed the tongues only in the planks that are held in place by the turn knobs. The rest of the planks will be held in place by some shock cord (unless I come up with another method. I think the custom built turn knobs and the bronze tongues are pretty neat and of course they cost almost nothing to make. Probably only $4-$5 in materials.
The bronze tongue fits into the slot in the foor beam.
5 Oct 14
We have been on the road for the last nine days so no work completed on the boat. But, we are back now and I decided to post some pictures of the new upholstery (photo gallery below). The boat is not clean or wiped down, there is dust everywhere. The flash washed out some of the color. Nonetheless, we are very pleased with how it has come together. I have a few sticky cabinet doors to work on, smoke bells for the lamps to build, and work that needs to be done on the new mast. I'll get sorted out in the next couple of days and get back on track. There are a lot of small projects to address--lee cloths for berth, some more work on the floor board hold down system, some canvas work, etc. We need to get the staysail sheet leads installed but will probably install them after the boat is in the water. But we are mostly there. We do have some more things to pick up--sheets and halyards, anchor chain, fenders, dock lines to splice, etc. And of course I still need to splice the standing rigging but I won't tackle that till the boat is in the boat yard. Soon, very soon.
21 Sept 14
Only a little progress the last 10 days. I completed the sculling oar (except for oiling the wood), drilled out and installed the gimbaled interior oil lamps (more on that in another post), cleaned up the interior, and cleaned out the boat shed (hauled 800 lbs of scrap wood to the dump) in preparation for taking it down.
Home school requirements, personal business, change of command attendance at The Basic School (Marine Corps officer training school in Quantico, VA) and other issues has limited my work on the Far Reach.
Regarding the sculling oar: I determined where I wanted the composite sleeve to fit. I sanded the loom with 80 grit. I cut two sleeves of the 7oz carbon fiber biaxial cloth for the oar. I put the smaller one on first (to create a taper), then pulled the longer one over the top. I wetted out the sleeve using a foam brush and West Systems Epoxy (105 resin and 207) clear hardener. The 207 has some UV inhibitors and cures blush free. I wore latex glove and really worked the epoxy into the carbon fiber then futher tipped out the sleeve with the brush. I let the epoxy tack up and applied another coat and so on and so fourth till I applied about five coats of over about 8 hours. The purpose was to fill the weave. I left the epoxy to cure for about two days then scrubbed it down with a 3M maroon scrub pad and water to ensure there was no amine blush. Next, I sanded the new epoxy coated sleeve with 220 and a 3M maroon pad. Then, I applied four coats of MinnWax one part Spar Urethane that has good UV and abrasion resistance. I sanded between each coat. I did this on the recommendation of the West Systems tech branch. It dried very clear and hard. The carbon fiber shows perfectly and it is very shiny (though I am not sure it is the right look for the Far Reach. I'll worry about that later though. I am sure the loom is very strong now and should pretty much incapable of warping or breaking.
Two layers of 7oz carbon fiber biaxial sleeve and about five coats of epoxy to fill the weave. Three coats of one part Spar Urathane for UV protection.
10 Sept 14
The boat is about ready to ready to go to the boat yard. The interior is installed. Two or three small trim jobs and test the plumbing and heater. Finish installing the trysail track and a few fasteners on the mast sections. That's it.
Over the last few days I have continued to tackle a series of small projects. I also finished the major trim requirements around the base of the mast. I say major requirements because I still need to make a cover plate that will fit more precisely around the mast. The walnut, in the photo to the right, fits flush with the cabin sole but I had to leave enough space around the mast that we can move the mast fore and aft as required to tune the rig. I will probably make the cover plate out of teak. Also, the bare aluminum mast in the photo is not the mast. That's a seven foot section that I used to get the heel of the mast positioned and to build the trim. The real mast is white and I may paint the bottom seven feet of it (the part in the boat) a wood color and or box it in with wood I will worry about it later.
Major trim around the mast test section is complete. I still need to make a cover plate to fit more precisely.
I have never owned a boat, or probably even sailed on a boat, that had a dedicated convenient location to stow the companionway drop boards. So, for the Far Reach, I decided on the as yet unused space behind the companionway ladder and under the bridge deck. There is still plenty of room there for additional storage--drawers, work bench top, tool storage, etc. But, this seemed like a good spot for the drop boards. It is out of the way, it runs 'thwartship, it is wide enough, and it's right next to the companionway. I fastened a couple of cleats from some scrap teak. We will need to push a soft sponge in there to keep them from sliding back and forth when sailing offshore but we will have to do that for all the things that rattle.
drop board storage behind the companionway ladder.
8 Sept 14
For the last two days I have focused my efforts on installing the key parts of the cabin sole lock down system. The simplest system is one associated with a teak and holly plywood cabin sole, as most of the sole is screwed down with access hatches cut into the plywood. That is what the Far Reach originally had. But, I wanted to install a solid cabin sole so that I could easily remove for cleaning and for access to the entire hull. Also, I think it looks great and is another modification that eliminates the "production" look associated with most boats. It also makes the boat uniquely ours. And, I just wanted to see if I could do it. Click here for a link to the entire cabin sole project.
The entire cabin sole project has actually been one of the more enjoyable projects I have undertaken . . . the walnut is enjoyable to handle, to mill, to shape, and to install. But, figuring out how to keep the floor boards in place is a bit of a challenge. I looked at lots of hardware associated with cabin soles. The locking handles and pull rings are pretty expensive and they down really fit with the interior style we have created. And because I have many different planks installed they would not be practical. I found a picture of the lock down system in Taleisin which is inexpensive to make and fits with the overall design of the cabin sole. It cost me exactly nothing to make. See the photos below.
I installed three turn knobs: one for the galley area, one in the saloon, and one for the head/fwd cabin. To be sure, this is only the lock down for a single plank in each of the three areas (and I still need to install a bronze "tongue" on the other end). The adjacent planks still need to be secured too. I have am considering using shock cord system for the adjacent planks that I read about in Bill Seifert's book Offshore Sailing. As most of the space under the saloon sole is filled with water tanks that floor system does not have to retain heavy objects. It just needs to keep the planks in place during a knock down. The planks with the locking turn knob are above the tank shut off valves so wanted to be able to have easy access to them.
4 Sept 14 I updated this entry on 5 Sept 2014 to better clarify some of the information.
We have been working on a number of small projects--applying the boat name, building the sculling oar lock, shaping the sculling oar handle, and modifying the bronze chain pipes.
Until today, I had never lettered a boat name. In the past, I had them painted on. I originally wanted the name applied in gold leaf with a navy blue outline like the classic S&S yacht Dorade, but no one in this area does that. Moore Marine, near here, that restores the high-end Trumpy yachts, apparently flies a painter in from Miami to letter their boats. That, plus the outrageous cost, pretty much ruled that plan out! I was forced to consider vinyl letters.
I used the practice letters, with the paper still on them, to work on the layout spacing.
This picture looks a little washed out. The letters are dark blue and match the paint on the bulwarks.
I visited a local sign shop that turned out to be terrific to work with. Ralph Nitt, the owner of Ralph's Sign Shop, in Morehead City, NC letters a lot of boats. He was very professional. He spent considerable time looking at pictures of the transom and then helping me pick the letter style I was looking for. I wanted something elegant but not overstated. Something with a classic look that fit the Far Reach. Once I settled on the font--Arabic Typesetting for the name and Empire BT for the homeport-- he spent a lot of time explaining to me how to apply the letters. He made me a couple sets of practice letters for working the layout. It took a couple hours each day for two days to complete the job. The first day, I fiddled around with the layout for a while and left it on for a day or so to see how it looked.
The first attempt, with the letters just taped on, made it clear that I needed to provide more space between the letters as the name looked pinched in. I ended up extending the name out about four or five more inches than depicted in the first photo. When it was time to apply the letters I followed the technique Ralph explained to me. I washed the transom to make sure it was clean and dry. I filled a spray bottle with a few drops of Dawn dish washing liquid and about 30 oz of water. I used the practice letters (cut individually) to check the alignment by taping them in position. I used a lead pencil to make positioning marks. The, I practice applying some of the practice letters and pulled them off before they "set" . . . a couple of minutes. When I was ready for the permanent letters, I cut them from the long template so I had individual letters but I left the paper square around the letters, in other words, I did not trim the paper down to the letter shape itself as the letters would be too difficult to position without getting distorted. I used a grease pencil to make final positioning marks, then peeled the paper off exposing the sticky side of the letter, but with the paper backing still in place, sprayed the sticky side down with the water, sprayed the spot on the transom, and then applied the letter. The water, with the tiny amount of soap added, allowed me to gently move the letters, with the paper backing still on, as required to check the alignment. I had time to step back and see if it "looked right." Once I was sure the letter was positioned the way I wanted, I used a plastic squeegee to gently stroke the letter and the paper backing flat. Then, I gently pulled the paper backing off the letter leaving just the final vinyl letter in place. Ralph explained that using the water allowed me time to move the letter and eliminate bubbles from under the vinyl letters. Next, I removed the pencil and grease pencil marks with a paper towel wetted with acetone. Simple.
The hailing port was actually the trickiest part as the hull slopes in and curves curves forward yet I wanted the hailing port to be level and vertical. I used a laser level to get the level line and a small plastic right triangle to ensure the letters were plumb to the laser line. Nonetheless, the application technique for the hailing port was the same as for the name. I am very pleased with the results. Our girl finally has her name.
I fussed around with the sculling oar attempting to figure out the best position for the oar lock. I will write more on this if it all works out. I had the round (2 3/4" diameter) oar lock itself cast from the Pardey patterns a few years ago at the same time the bow rollers were cast. Click here and here for more info on that project. I had to find an oar lock socket that was appropriate to the larger oarlock and heavier oar it would have to accommodate. Most are designed to take a 1/2" diameter pintle. However, I found a socket for a 5/8" diameter pintel made buy Davy and Co in the UK and sold through R & W Ropes. Then, I had a local machine shop mill the pintle from an bronze propeller shaft off cut. For now, I installed a 5/16" diameter 316 SS bolt.
The oar lock and oar lock pad.
The oar lock can rotate back and forth or swivel as required.
After making the oar I still needed to complete the shaping of the handle. To do that, I had to determine the length of the oar. I initially made the oar 16'5" long knowing it would eventually be shorter. I took the oar up on the boat and positioned it in the new oarlock. I used a protractor to get the angle correct--40 degrees to the water--and a laser level to ensure I had the majority of the blade below the LWL. Then, it was a matter of figuring out where the best to scull would be. Turns out, that on top of propane locker (the aft cockpit seat) is the best place. I offset the oarlock to starboard so the tiller would be directly forward so I can move it with my foot if needed. I may need to install a small removable teak plank athwart the aft end of the cockpit flush with the top of the propane locker to provide a larger platform but I'll wait till later to see what is actually required. Anyway, I cut the oar to 14'10" long to put the end of the oar between my chest and waist. I fudged a little two and left it a few inches long--"just in case."
Next, I began to shape the handle. I used my small trim saw to make a series of wrap around kerfs in at the end of the oar making sure to set the saw blade depth a little shy of what I wanted for a handle diameter. After making the cuts I used my draw knife to remove the excess wood. Next, I used a spoke shave and cabinet makers rasps to work the final shape and then finished the handle off with a lot of sanding. I was pleased with the results.
It looks ugly but I made a series of cuts with my small trim saw.
I used the draw knife to carfull remove the wood down to the bottom of the kerfs.
I used a spoke shave, cabinet makers rasps, and sand paper to complete the handle.
I needed a way to store rope anchor rode yet have it quickly assessable on deck. After looking at all kinds of chain pipes I settled on ones made by Spartan Marine, who made the bronze hardware for the original Cape Dory (see photos below). I chose a large one for the forward rode and a smaller one for the 1/2" diameter aft anchor rode. I don't intent to have chain permanently on either of these rodes but the chain-pipes had notches cast into the base to accommodate the links of a chain when the cap is in place. The problem with this is that if you desire to reverse the cap, to keep water out when off shore (you would then of course have the end of the rode suspended from the hook connected to the underside of the cap), there is still a hole uncovered and no good way to block it. Since, I don't intend to have chain permanently attached to the rode and laying on the deck I asked my friend Steve Chase if he could weld them closed. Long time readers may recall that Steve, a man of many talents, welded up all by bulwark brackets. Click here for the story on the bulwark brackets. Steve, who now lives only 75 miles away made quick work of it. He did a great job. After he welded them, I filed off the overfill, ground them smooth, polished them up to remove the filing/grinding marks. I'll leave them to go green with natural patina for the long hole.
20 Aug 14 -- The Engine Delimma.
I am often asked about what our plan is for an engine. It is apparent that most people want to have as big an engine in their boat as possible. I have nothing against engines though I don't understand the big engine big fuel tank facination. I would like to have an engine (a small one to be sure) but I have not figured out how to address all the particulars yet. I have often thought we could install a Beta Marine 14HP-16HP engine. I have dropped by and met with the Beta Marine folks at least twice. I have measured for one. I have a plan to install a propeller shaft slightly off-center, exiting the hull perpendicular to the rudder post and just above the top of the rudder (there is some interesting information about this in Skene's Elements of Yacht Design and Chapelle's Yacht Design and Planning). I have discussed folding propeller requirements with Martec. But, until the boat is in the water I can't be sure if there is enough room below the surface of the water for a propeller to work efficiently since I don't know exactly where the LWL will be. However, I admit that I would hate to give up the room we have without an engine, or the lack of endless complications, expenses, nasty smell, and significant tool and parts requirements. And, until the boat is in the water and I am sure what will and will not work there is no sense wasting any more mental energy thinking about it.
We have discussed outboard options. My friend Ben Zartman has a 8 HP four stroke Yamaha high thrust engine that propels his 19,000 lb gaff rigged Cape George 31 at 5 knots on smooth water. I have sailed on his boat and the capabilities of that little engine are very impressive. However, I would like to avoid an engine permanently hanging off the back of the Far Reach. I have sketched swing side mount engines as used by Yves Gelanis on his Alberg 30 Jean du Sud. Its a pretty neat system. But, it seems complicated and will take a couple of weeks of hard work to figure out how to adapt it to the Far Reach and a bundle of money to build. What are we going to do you ask? My answer, I really don't know.
Currently, we are thinking about buying a 10' roll up inflatable with a small outboard (6hp - 9.9hp) so we have a second dinghy and a way for our kids to get around. It occurs to us we could employ the inflatable as a "yawl boat" to move the Far Reach around until we determine if we can make a small diesel fit as described above. A yawl boat seems like it would work, others have done it, though it would certainly not be convenient. I have talked to Larry Pardey about this predicament a couple of times. For 40 years they moved both of their boats with a sculling oar--Serrifyn at 10,500 lbs and Taleisin at 19,000 lbs. So, it is doable . . . at least for them. While we sort out what to do engine wise, I thought I could build a sculling oar and see how it works. I have researched it a fair amount. I have exchanged emails with Douglas Brooks who is an expert on the Japanese Ro sculling oar (similar to a Chinese Yuloh) and who has written articles about it for WoodenBoat magazine as well as many other maritime publications. I have also read about Bob and Kathy Groves use of a Yuloh to move their 14,000 lb Benford 34 Easy Go (though they did finally install a diesel, sadly just before their boat was lost last year). For the time being, I have decided to build a simple "life boat" style sculling oar using ash as described in the Self Sufficient Sailor (see gallery below). A yuloh, and ro as well, is very long and I imagine quite heavy too. Though I understand them to be very powerful and efficient I think they would look odd on the modern western style Far Reach. A simple style sculling oar should not take a lot of time to build--four or five hours for a few days to knock out. I have little expectation that it will really work for us but I think it is worth seeing what it can do if for no other reason than to conduct an interesting experiment and have an informed opinion. This would certainly be a better option if the Far Reach were on a mooring--which is what I would prefer. However, I have not been able to find any decent mooring fields that have sailing room any where near where we live in eastern North Carolina.
So, there you have it . . . we have a few options to pursue--a diesel inboard, an outboard on a swing up mount, a yawl boat, and a sculling oar. Somewhere in there, we will find a workable solution. But, first we need to get the boat to the water.
It took the better part of the day but the sculling oar is mostly complete. It's about 16'5" long and will eventually, I think, be about 15' 6". The work was fairly straight forward though it was very hot and that made it a long day. After removing the rough cut oar from the clamps I knocked the dried excess resorcinol off with a belt sander. After that I used my 7-10-7 gauge to mark the loom and then proceeded to remove waste to turn the loom into an 8 sided shaft. After roughing it out I refined the octagon with a low angle block and smoothing plane. I also worked on the bade for a while though it will require some finish work tomorrow. Next, I used the power plane to knock the peaks off the 8 sides and turn the loom into a 16 sided shaft. After that, it was grunt work . . . spoke shave, sanding paper, long board, etc, I was drenched in sweat. I think it turned out pretty well. It is perfectly straight. I still need to refine the blade and cut the handle. I probably leave it wild till I am sure of the correct length. It was a fun project. Some people paint the blade white to protect it from checking. Others oil it. I am not sure what I will do but will definetly not varnish it. Probably, I'll oil the heck out of it then leave it to see what happens.
It took the better part of the day but the oar is about 80 percent complete. It's 16' 5" long. I suspect the final length will be about 15' to 15' 6".
19 Aug 14
With the navigation box properly varnished and an additional coat of varnish on the sextant box it was time to mount them under the side deck and over the chart table. It took some careful measuring and some head scratching to come up with a way to support the boxes. Once I had a plan, it went together pretty easily. I used solid brass butt hinges from White Chapel Hardware and brass woodpecker latches from Rockler. I repurposed the brass chain which left over from the anchor portlight keepers we installed last year. I took the top off the sextant box so that there is as much room as possible under the box for books. It also allows a little more airflow.
The nav bos is to the left and the sextant box to the right. Under the hinged top is the ice box.
The navigation tools are handy yet secure and out of the way.
The Ice Box Plug. It was time to complete the icebox plug (see photo gallery below). The total plug thickness is 4" made of four layers glued together. The top is plantation teak which matches the rest of the icebox opening trim. The underside of the plug is ash--it's what I had on hand. All four layers required laminating wood together as I had no planks wide enough to meet the width requirement. Each layer is about 1" thick. First, I edge glued the planks together with epoxy. The next day I glued the three layers of ash together with Tightbond III and set them aside to cure, then went to work fitting the teak top. There is a 1/2" wide "lip" about 1 1/4" below the top edge of the ice box opening (the extra 1/4" allows for a gasket). The lip runs all the way around. The top teak layer rests on the lip. Below the lip, the opening slopes inward about 15 degrees on each of the four sides and down for three inches--the ash plug will fit down inside that opening. I checked the top opening dimensions ---16 3/4" X 12 1/2"-- and cut the teak to fit. Satisfied with the fit, I determined where the brass lifting handle needed to be positioned on the top so that the plug would be balanced when picked up by the handle. I bought the brass handle last year from White Chapel Hardware. Once determined, I traced the shape of the handle on the teak and then used my trim router with a small straight fluted bit to cut down into the teak top so that the handle could be recessed flush. I carefully refined the cutout with chisels. Satisfied with the tight flush fit of the handle I installed it with FH brass wood screws.
The teak and ash plug fits perfectly into the top of the icebox opening.
Then, I started work to shape the ash plug to fit the tapered opening. Next, I measured inside dimensions of the tapered opening which is exactly 1" narrower all the way around than the teak top. I checked the slope with a bevel gauge, marked the ash plug, dialed the 15 degrees in on my table saw, flipped the ash upside down, and cut the tapers. I used tape to make little "ears" so I could lower the ash plug into the opening to check for fit. It was spot on. I was delighted. With the ash plug sitting in place in the icebox opening, I set the teak plug on top of it and installed four 2 1/2" long #10 brass wood screws into holes I previously drilled in the teak top to attach the ash plug to the teak. I did not want to glue these two parts together in case they need to be trimmed a little later to accommodate any wood swelling. The depth of the opening, from the top to the lip is about 1 1/4". I had planed the teak top to about 1 1/8" thick which allowed 3/16" for a gasket. After looking at all kinds of gaskets, I settled on an EPDM gasket I found at ACE Hardware of all places. It was even brown colored. At 3/8" wide it was a perfect fit. I installed it and test fit the lid. I have to say I was very pleased with the fit. I checked the seal with a thin piece of paper and it is tight all the way around. Since there are no latches to clamp the plug to the icebox, the weight of the ash plug really helps seal the lid to the opening.
Installing the slide hatch trim and lock bar brace was simple. I scribed and cut the trim a few weeks ago (see photo gallery below). I over drilled the holes and filled them with epoxy then redrilled for the screws. I used 2" long #10 FH SS screws. I used teak brown polysulfied for to bed the top trim to the sliding hatch. The screws pass through the trim, through the hatch, and are screwed into the brace below. I was able to reused the original teak bottom trim/brace. The bottom trim will eventuall get six coats of varnish. I'll leave the top trim bare. After installing the trim I let the polysulfied cure for a few days, retightened the screws and installed and trimmed teak wood plugs.
The teak trim with the SS locking tang on it is the orginal trim. I was nice to reuse something from the orginal Far Reach.
I will leave the top trim bare.
The windlass sat on the teak block for the last couple of weeks while I waited to get the 3/8"X5 1/2" long hex head bronze bolts from CC Fasteners. Once they arrived I tapped of the deck and then prepared for bedding the G10 plate, the teak block, and the base of the windlass. My sister Tricia helped me out on this. I routered a small groove on the top of the block centered under the windlass base to match the small channel cut in the bottom of the windlass base itself. I did this to better permit water to drain out. I don't intend to use the rope "ring" on the portside so I will cut a teak plug and install it in the raised ring so water won't collect there. The windlass backing plate (on the underside of the deck) is also 1/2" G-10.
We bedded the windlass using different compounds--I used white 3M 4000UV between the white G10 plate and the deck; I used teak brown polysulfide from Boat Life between the teak block on the G10 plate, and I used butyl rubber around the area where the bolts pass through the windlass base. As soon as I finished installing the windlass, I realized I made a mistake. In retrospect, I should have used Dolphinite for all the layers with the addition of butyl rubber around the chamfered holes. It would have made it much much easier to remove the windlass for cleaning and repair. So, after the first time I remove it for repair, I will bed it with Dolphinite.
The winldass is bedded in place.
4 Aug 14
I have to admit, as close as we are to launching, I needed a break from boat work. So, I took about nine days off to go have some fun. My best friend of 35 years invited me to travel with him to the Experimental Aviation Association Fly-In called Air Venture. It's held every year in Oshkosh, WI. He has attended for the last eight years. He and I have talked many times about the psychological aspect of tackling long complicated projects (he is in the midst of building three airplanes) and sometimes you just need a break. Anyway, there is nothing like having a retired fighter pilot to guide you through such an aviation extravaganza as Air Venture. I had a wonderful time. We drove out and back but started off the aviation part by spending the first few days in Brodhead, WI at a smaller low key fly-in for Pietenpol Air Campers and Hatz biplanes http://www.eaa431.org/. It was a real family style venue. The weather was great and the participants were very friendly and enthusiastic. The nice thing about Brodhead is you can take your camp chair right to the edge of the grass air strip and watch the aircraft come in land, take off, perform flybys. Then, we headed for Oshkosh. All I can say is wow! It was an amazing experience. I have been a life long aviation enthusiast. My dad was WWII combat pilot and I flew with him growing up, so I have always loved to look at, watch, and read about aircraft. I have never seen so many aircraft, of so many types, at one place, at one time in my life--kind of like The Annapolis Boat Show on steroids. I highly recommend it if you are interested in aircraft. http://www.eaa.org/en/airventure. After more than a week on the road, it was time to head home. We had a great time driving back to North Carolina. I arrived home totally relaxed.
Once I returned home it took a few days to get remotivated for more boat work. We have had about six days of nothing but rain. Hot, humid, overcast, sticky weather. Not very inspiring. But, after a couple of days it was time to get going. I started off sorting out how to mount the sextant box and the navigation tool box. I decided to build the nav box out of african mahogany and build it so that it is hinged under the side deck over the chart table along side the sextant box. They will both be hinged so I also ordered some more brass hinges from White Chapel Hardware. They sell high quality hardware. The hinges are first rate--100 percent brass and they are relatively inexpensive. I also wanted to build another book case. I built it right out of the the pages of the Cost Conscious Cruiser by L&L Pardey, 1st Ed, 1999, pg 262. It's a simple but elegant design that promotes good airflow to reduce mildew and the design fits nicely with the interior design of the Far Reach. The plan is to install it on the port bulkhead above the foot of the double berth in the forward cabin.
I made the book case from a drawing in The Cost Conscious Cruiser.
The next task was to build the navigation box to hold the navigation tools . . . parallel rules, protractors, dividers, pencils, etc. On my previous boats, I kept these things in a drawer or on a little rack attached to the bulkhead near the chart table. I don't have any drawers on the far reach but, I would like to try and keep them out of view so the boat does not look cluttered. Unlike the book case, I glued this together with Tite Bond III. It took a lot of clamps. I used half laps to build a strong glue joint. I did not "float" the bottom panel. The wood is quarter sawn, well seasoned, and small dimensioned so I don't think wood movement will be an issue. But, I'll know soon enough and will, in due time, be able to see first hand if that was a good assumption. It will be mounted under the side deck above the chart table and then hinged to drop down for access to the contents.
I also decided to finish up the trim around the companionway ladder under the bridge deck. It took a couple of hours to lay out, mill, trim, radius, sand, and install. Satisfied with the way the trim fit, I removed them, numbered them, and took them to the garage to apply the first coat of varnish. We will apply the first three coats of varnish there. Then, for the final three to four coats, we will move them to a climate controlled room where there is very little dust. For now, we applied the first coat of Epifanes high gloss varnish in the normal manner--cut 50 percent with mineral sprits. We will varnish a little every day for the next few days between working on other tasks. By the time we get six or seven coats applied the hinges will have arrived and we can then install the nav box and trim and check them off the list.
I applied the first coat of Epifanes varnish cut 50 percent with mineral spirits.