Motor, Windows, Paint and Pissyness

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:

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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.

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The upside is Bennett got some experience bolting an outboard motor onto a wooden boat.

 

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Next up came the windows.  The wooden frames look great, so this should be easy.  Right?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And, finally I taped off the cabin top in preparation for another coat of paint.

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I’ll apply a second coat after waiting several days for this coat to dry (keeping my fingers crossed)…remember what happened last time?

Summary:

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.  

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Port Light Frames Installed

Good news is my epoxy arrived, so I’m back at it.  This morning I glued the window frames in place on Northern Cross.  Take a look:

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Inside view of the cabin windows.  I’ve tried to clamp with minimal pressure as to not mar the window frame.  

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You don’t need very many clamps, due to the curve of the cabin sides.  If you clamp near the center, the outer edges receive plenty of pressure.  Oops, I see an epoxy run up under the gunwale.  These things show up all the time, even though you’re sure you’ve got em all fixed.  

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I love my Skiff.  She just keeps getting better looking each day.

Summary:

I’ve got a ton of small little detail things to work on while I wait for my trailer to be built.  I’m so happy to be at this stage in the building process.  This has been a great building experience for me.  

Filler Board and Port-Light Frames

You get pretty efficient at epoxy work while building a wooden boat.  Today was more of the same as I epoxied the front filler boards and port-light frames.  Check it out:

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After I get one coat of epoxy on all the pieces, I’ll add the mahogany and apply 2 more coats.  I want these parts very well sealed, they’ll take a lot of weather.  

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The port-light frames need to be well sealed as well. 

Thoughts:

I’m dreaming of some sort of cabin galley complete with wine glasses and bottle holder.  This, even though I don’t drink.  But, I could store a fresh bottle of Welches grape juice, for casual cruising.  When you think about how this boat will cruise from 8 – 15 mph, all these thoughts come flooding into my mind.  Skiff America allows you to enjoy the sailing life style without reefing the sails and tending the sheets.  This might just be the best cruising vessel the common man can own.  It surely seems to have a lot going for it.   Those of you who already own a Skiff America can comment…am I wrong?

Bunk Tops and Port Light Frames

The bunk tops now have 2 coats of epoxy on them and the front edge is attached.  I’m really happy with how these turned out.

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With the bunk tops in place, I used a Sharpie to mark their position against the hull.

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This line will provide me with a reference point for painting the storage areas.

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Taped off ready for paint.

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I painted all the storage areas for a finished look.  

 

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While waiting for the paint to cure, I decided to work on the port light frames.  After looking things over, I decided to use 1/2″ plywood for thick looking port-light frames.

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I used a band saw and jig saw to rough out the frames and then used a carpenter’s rasps to clean up the lines.

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Finally, I used an 1/8″ round over bit to soften all the edges.

Summary:

Next up, front cabin filler board.