Sometimes when you work on your boat everything seems to go wrong. Sometimes it’s as if all odds seem stacked against you and progress is hampered by every conceivable obstacle wood, paint and metal can throw at you. Today was one of those days.
And yet, I did make progress. But, it was hard earned and felt like short tacking all day into a cold, biting 30 knot headwind.
Take a look:
First off we bought the wrong length bolts, even though we measured twice and thought we could buy once. Isn’t that how the saying goes? It should say, “measure as many times as you damn well please, cut once, then redo it as many times as it takes until you finally get it right”. After waiting overnight for the epoxy to dry inside the bolt holes, we exchanged bolt lengths a third time…remember the transom has different thicknesses depending where you drill.
The upside is Bennett got some experience bolting an outboard motor onto a wooden boat.
Next up came the windows. The wooden frames look great, so this should be easy. Right?
After carefully aligning the frames for proper drilling, I drilled the first few holes and inserted bolts to keep things straight. So far, so good.
Between the last photo and this photo, I lost a touch of religion, but I recon I can make that up through clean living…but, if that’s true, I’ll need to start living clean. Problem was, once my fingers touched the silicone, it seemed to go everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Then, the window shifted, preventing the frame from sucking up tight to the side panel, this after all the bolts were inserted and tightened down–angered, I pull everything off to clear the problem, now washers and bolts scatter like mice across the floor– silicon now spreading, oozing, welling up from the center of the earth, slathering the wood panel, the lens, the tools, behind my ears, you name it. After what seems like a hundred paper towels and a gallon of alcohol, I got the mess cleaned up. I thought this was going to be easy. Oh no, nothing easy today.
For extra style points, I used slot headed screws instead of the phillips variety. Phillips head screws were manufactured for the automotive industry and are not as historic as slot headed screws. This is a wooden boat built mostly by hand tools, so slot headed screws it will be. And, yes of coarse, I aligned the slots so they all match in a horizontal orientation. Heaven forbid you not align your screw head slots.
On the inside, I used bolt caps to contain the screw threads for a more finished look. My wife will like this touch. Maybe it’ll incline her to feel more romantic once inside the cabin. I apply strategy wherever possible.
And, finally I taped off the cabin top in preparation for another coat of paint.
I’ll apply a second coat after waiting several days for this coat to dry (keeping my fingers crossed)…remember what happened last time?
Still good progress, but I sure had to earn every damn bit of it. I love boat building, but be under no allusion, it’s a long slow process that’ll test your nerve, mettle and patience. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.