Posted by: Alan Richards | April 9, 2010

Day 355 – Why is this boat not finished?

It is spring in Texas. It is pleasant and windy. The cold winds have left, the wind is a strong, fresh, warm breeze. It is perfect weather for sailing. Your hand longs to feel the tug of a mainsheet and you wonder why is this boat not finished. The current schedule is to launch sometime this summer, although by June the furnace doors of Texas’ summer will have opened and we will be living in an oven for five months and I wish the boat was finished now. I don’t know if it is hopelessly optimistic to say we will be ready this summer. The things remaining to do are to finish the gunwales, make the spars, rudder, centerboard case, fit the floorboards and sternsheets and all the painting and varnishing. It seems possible with some hard work, but other important things seem to take up the weekends. Damn taxes!

Because it is spring, other optimistic thoughts spring to mind. It has been such a long time since I was a teenager and did a lot of sailing and in order to be ready to do a lot of hopping around the boat and ducking under the boom, maybe I should try to get fit. At age 51 I would describe my physical condition as ‘low mileage’. Since I never subjected my body to much athletic activity, I imagine that the cartilage in my joints is hardly worn, and compared to a person who has done a lot running, my knees are in ‘out of the box’ condition. My doctor would probably not agree with this assessment.

Recently we have been working on trying to make a mast. It was very difficult to find suitable lumber. A local home improvement store sells southern yellow pine joists that are reasonably knot free. We are experimenting in making the mast out of two pieces glued back to back. I bought a different glue – Cascophen adhesive – since I read that epoxy is not flexible enough for this use. It did not look promising when we mixed it up and applied it to both pieces, it seemed not to have mixed well, but after it had set tests showed that it had formed strong joint. It is an experiment, the only good thing is that the cost of materials is not much, the SYP was $11 for a 2×10 x 16′.

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