Boat Building season is back

The problem about posting after a long web absence is:where to start? I should start with where have we been? Still here. What have we been doing? Hibernating should be the right word. Strangely this winter has been the mildest my lifetime has known here in eastern Canada. Had the sandblasting been completed it would of been a great winter to work on the boats interior. Unfortunately more blasting and painting has to be done before moving on, so I didn’t do much on the boat this winter. As it turned out, a boat building break has been pretty beneficial for the boat building motivation: I know feel like a race horse at the start line again.

My concept of hibernating, making winter fun!

So what have we done? We skied and we raced with our dogs. Dogs? Humm…yah….This may not (actually IS not), the wisest move we’ve ever made but there it is: A new four legged friend has joined our crew. Marvin is a mutt with a pedigree 🙂 : 35.125% braque, 33.5% pointer, 28.125% alaskan husky, 3.25% greyhound…I’m not joking, he did come with his lineage history. Marvin is a sprint dog, he’s bred for running…and that he does. I know, the plan is to live on that boat we are building and an other hyper active pup may not sound very reasonable. The good news is that when Marvin isn’t running he’s lounging and that a 10 km stroll with him only takes 25 minutes…his swimming performances are still to be assessed.

Addition to our crew, crazy Marvin

What about now? Well winter is gone and boat building season is back. The cabin top has spent the winter in the shop with the hopes that I was going to build the hatch during the cold season. I’m working on it as we speak and I should have it finished very soon. Meanwhile we also have to seriously think of a solution for a little problem with supporting the boat. The boat is sinking! Several beams carrying the hull have rotten, putting more stress on the rest of supports which have compressed. I was stunned this morning to find out that the bow has gone down so much the keel angle is down 6.6 degrees. We are not going to try bringing the boat back up to its waterline level but we want to stabilize it to avoid more weight shifting on the supports. To do so we will have to lift the boat somewhat, so we can take out the rotten beams and replace them by new ones. Just the idea is scaring me; the boat weighs now close to 20 tons. Lifting it shouldn’t be a big deal with a big enough jack but we’d like to avoid having it tip over. Our current plan is to make hefty adjustable tripods to hold the hull side to side as we lift. To do so we are considering taking our gantry down and use the square tubing from the legs to build the tripods, we’ll also recuperate the I beam to use under the keel. The gantry has been a necessity to build the hull and we used it a lot but we are now using it very rarely and will do better use of the materials for new stands than for a giant swing set. It eventually has to come down.

The photo doesn’t show very well but the center of the plate under the keel support has literally sunk threw the gravel  a good 4 inches.

Currently building the main hatch, it’s coming along very well. Nope, even though it looks pretty good,  it’s not staying clear coated, I’ll paint over the epoxy.

Next will come some more blasting and painting, the finishing of the aft section, engine bed, stern tube, rudder, aft mast supports….and again, blasting and painting. I am dearly hoping that by the end of the summer I will be retiring from my welding career and move on, finally, to the wood work. For those who may wonder, I very much doubt we will get the exterior of the boat blasted and painted this summer, that is, on our work schedule, one of the last jobs. But who knows. One thing we know about plans is that odds are it’s unlikely to happen as planned. Lets follow the flow and find out where we go.

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