Posted by: Alan Richards | August 29, 2010

Day 496 – Back in Session

Progress has dragged slowly over the last few months.  It is tantalizing to have the finish line seem to be in sight but not to be moving towards it.  It is disheartening to have the project unfinished. The weekends have been full and the weather has been unbearably hot.  However the weather should change soon and it will be possible to spend more than five minutes in the garage without ending up in a puddle of sweat.
I think the thing to do is to make some small step forward every weekend.  This weekend I sanded off all the ‘vegetable’ color paint and will try again with new paint colors.  I have also spoken to a sailmaker – Stuart Hopkins of Dabbler Sails in Virginia.  He cannot start until the mizzen mast and main yard have been made so that their bending properties are known.  So I have started making those two spars, using Douglas Fir from Home Depot, splicing the pieces to  get the length and making them in two halves to avoid warping.

Posted by: Alan Richards | August 8, 2010

Day 475 – Another Milestone

First time inside

We did a few things this weekend including assembling the centerboard case.  We also put some of the top coat paint on the hull.  The color is not the bright green that I expected.  This looks not bad, but  more vegetable green, like the color of something healthy you would make in a blender featuring asparagus, beetroot and spinach.  However we will wait and see what it looks like when it is dry and perhaps it will change color with a second coat.

Posted by: Alan Richards | August 2, 2010

Day 469 – Tricky Parts

Getting the centerboard case to fit and to line up properly was one of the most tricky operations.  The dimensions on the plans were only a starting point – it had to fit with the actual dimensions in the boat.  Several earlier decisions had led to it being different.

Posted by: Alan Richards | July 20, 2010

Day 457 – Rudder

We are getting on to the mechanical, moving parts of the boat, attaching the rudder hardware.

Posted by: Alan Richards | July 19, 2010

Day 456 – Pantechnicon

Now that the boat is getting near to completion, people are asking where we will go sailing and how we will get the boat to the water.  The current idea is; instead of buying a road trailer, to try to find a second-hand cargo trailer, like the one in this picture, although it need not look so nice.   A fourteen foot trailer, or a twelve foot with v-nose would fit the boat like a glove and would only need the addition of a winch to pull the boat into the trailer.  I think we could then do without a launching trolley, we could just strap a pair of wheels to the aft end of the keel and carry the boat down the ramp.

A cargo trailer would also solve another issue of where to store the boat at home.  We could pull the trailer up next to the garage and keep all the gear in it – a boat in a box.

The inspiration for this came from having seen in childhood a ‘Dragon’ housed in a pantechnicon – a furniture moving van.  The Dragon is a beautiful one-design from Denmark  – “Pendragon” belonged to a friend of my parents and we often went sailing together.

Posted by: Alan Richards | June 28, 2010


This image was a Father's Day gift from Chetna, a talented graphic designer.

The boat is sitting untouched in the garage while our efforts are diverted to building a new kitchen.  It is almost finished and soon boatbuilding will resume.

Posted by: Alan Richards | June 6, 2010

Carpe Diem (via Build a Boat, Sail Away)

I really enjoy reading this blog from a boatbuilder working on a parallel track to mine.  This post is particularly good and I hope he will not mind if I re-blog it here.

Carpe Diem I stopped by my local home center today to buy yet another package of 50 grit sandpaper for the belt sander. While contemplating the selection, a helpful employee asked me how I was doing (“fine”) and if I needed any help (“No, thanks”). But then he caught me off guard with his third question. “So, what are you working on today?” I don’t generally reveal to strangers that I am building a boat. It seems a bit eccentric to talk about rudders and co … Read More

via Build a Boat, Sail Away

Posted by: Alan Richards | June 6, 2010

Day 413 – Details

Nice shapes – I am crazy for these curves!!

Progress update:

  • We got the transom top shaped up including the round cut out, (that I am not sure what it’s purpose is but I guess it will be useful for holding the mast while trailering or perhaps it holds an oar when sculling.)
  • The top of the stem is shaped and trimmed
  • The thwarts are glued in
  • The gunwales are smoothed and shaped
  • The rudder assembly is almost done

The end is in sight.

Posted by: Alan Richards | May 24, 2010

Day 400 – Bits and Pieces

I am in awe of people who built wooden boats without power tools.  Without sanders, it must be so much work.

Posted by: Alan Richards | May 17, 2010

Day 393 – Knees

The knees are cut out of mahogany using a template and a straight cut router bit.

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