Friday, December 31, 2010

Prepping the workspace

Pardon the mess.

See the plan up on the wall?  Used to be a cheap bookshelf there.  Obviously, the shelves are gone.  All the junk that was on it is on the floor next to the workbench.  Cleaning follows.  Tomorrow I will be tracing out the patterns.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm just a cut up

Well, actually I decided that it would be easier to handle the templates if they weren't in one huge 3' x 8' piece.  I used a pair of scissors to cut the template into four sections... carefully avoiding any sections.  OK, so the pieces aren't pretty, but the biggest one is only about 2' x 3', and much easier to handle.

Although I started tracing the frames on my plywood before Christmas, the snowstorm that rolled through the day after dropped about 7", and brought freezing temperatures that discouraged working in the garage.  Needless to say, I found plenty of excuses to not finish the job up just yet.  But never fear... the prediction is for 60 degrees on New Years, and even if it rains as the forecast says, the Garage will remain dry.  I plan to take my newly portable templates back out to the garage, and finish the job in short order. 

And yes, I have already learned something.  I also plan to take a straight edge with me, so the lines are straight this time!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I did it

Stopped at Lowes.  Bought plywood.  19/32" BC was the closest I could get to what the specs called for.  It looked like A/C, so no complaints. I figure the extra thickness won't hurt.

Broke out the carbon paper and the plans, and started laying out the first two shapes.  Got the rear seat and the rudder.  The template for the rear seat was displayed 50%, and needed to be drawn one half at a time.  I probably have to touch up the rudder, since the template shows a cutout for the flip-up rudder, and I haven't marked that on the plywood.

Still, it was an interesting beginning, and now that I've done it I have some observations.  The carbon paper that I got from Glen-L came in a sheet 2 feet wide and 16 feet long.  This is unwieldy.  After trying to maneuver this around intact, I decided to cut it in half, and stored one 8 foot section back in the packaging for later use.  The plan was also 8' or so long, but so far I have decided to leave it intact.  When I get to the side planking, I may change my mind, but I'd hate to loose a section if I cut it up.

One final point.  Now that I've got the panel for the rear seat marked on the edge of the plywood, I can begin to imagine how large this little boat will be.  I know that an 8' dinghy doesn't sound that large, I can sit two people on that seat, side by side (tested with my son and I).  It is conceivable that I could load 6 big guys in this little dink. (1200+ lbs shouldn't swamp it).  Good to know that I can use it safely with a lesser load.

Pictures of the panel forthcoming.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I must be crazy

OK, I admit it.  I can hardly wait to get started on my boat.  Even though the weather is about to turn nasty once again, I plan to run over to the hardware store on the way home and buy a sheet of plywood to get started.  With any luck, I can get it marked and ready to cut before Christmas.  There isn't really a big rush, since I'm only going to be able to buy the really expensive stuff (fiberglassing kit, hardware, and sail) so fast.  Regardless of how soon I get started, I won't be able to buy the final gear (the sail) much before May.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Aw Nuts

Actually, I should say "Aw screws!"  My Bronze screws came today, courtesy of UPS.  Not that I can use them just yet....  I plan to go over to Lowes next Thursday (Christmas Eve Eve) to buy a sheet of 1/2" AB Exterior Plywood to use on the framing.  That way I can get started laying out some of my work over the holiday, and generally get a jump on the project.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

You will notice the line drawings to the right of the blog posts.  I've put together plan and profile views of the four boats that I would like to build, and placed them to scale on the same drawings, just to see how they will relate.  Notice that each of them already has a name:  Dusty Bottoms, Lucky Day, Nederlander, and Amigos.  The astute will recognize the first three names as the characters from the movie "The Three Amigos".  And thus, the name of the final build, Amigos.  Sort of the the three musketeers, with d'Artagnan as the fourth member of the group of three.  I actually considered using the musketeer names, but decided on the three Amigos instead.

What goes up, must come down

It occurred to me today that since I like the relative proportion between builds of 1.79 so much, that I really ought to continue it.  As I said, the next size up (80'+) just wasn't in the budget, but there's no reason that I can't build at the smaller end.  If I take the next four sizes down, I get: 4'-4 5/8", 2'-5 1/2", 1'-4 1/2", and 9 1/4", providing me with an excellent opportunity to build scale models of each of my planned builds (all at about 1/10th scale).  I've built boat models before, and currently have one sitting on my dresser (not one that I did), so it might be fun.  Certainly inexpensive (compared to the real thing), and probably the only way that I'll ever be able to picture all four builds in one picture.  (While I plan to hang on to the 8-Ball, I don't see keeping each of the other builds after the next one up is complete.  By the time I get the Starpath done [if ever], the GL-14 will be long gone, and the GL-25 on its way out the door.)

When will I actually build these things?  Well, I can't accurately build a model until I have dimensions for the real boat.  I've already got plans for the 8-Ball sitting on the shelf beside me, so I can start on that over the winter.  I hope to finish the actual 8-Ball this spring or summer, and get plans for the GL-14 around August, so I can knock the second model out any time after that.  The GL-25 will probably be started in 2014, and the Starpath in 2018, so don't hold your breath.

Meanwhile, I've got about 3 years to figure out where I can build a 25 foot boat...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slow Start, But Finally Moving

Ordered the tracing paper and fastener kit for the Eight Ball today.  Next month, I'll be buying the first batch of lumber and plywood.  Assuming that the weather isn't too cold, I'll start cutting frames sometime in January.