Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve, now with extra sawdust

Lots of bandsaw action today, as we cut all the frames, the apron cheeks (more on these later), two layers of transom, and the center-plate case sides out of marine plywood. This is 12mm okume marine plywood, mind you, at about $200 a sheet, so the first two pictures represent, oh, about $1000 worth of plywood. From the stem back to about frame 5:

...and from frame 5 aft to the transom:

Oh, and we haven't used any of it yet, but we promised pictures of $400 worth of mahogany and Douglas fir. The longest board on the floor is about 16', the longest standing board is about 8'. For the mathematically impaired, there are eight boards in total - and two of those, the cheap cedar filler, were about $6 each. The others were, well, rather more.

As you can see, $400 doesn't buy that much wood. Buster mentioned how when he was a kid you could build the first floor of a house for $400!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

'Ello Mrs Premise, been shopping?

Well, yes. Nothing much to report today, but we did buy $400 worth of assorted wood (Honduras mahogany for the brightwork, Douglas fir for the not-so-bright work, and some cedar filler). I'll post a picture later so you can see how pathetically small $400 worth of wood really is...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Day 2

After a day off in Winnipeg, we're back at it. We had a few more construction templates to cut out, including a couple of frames, the "apron" (kind of like a proto-stem for planking purposes, the actual stem is laminated on top of the apron) and the centre-plate case. The latter was a bit of a pain, because that sheet of the plans is distorted, so we couldn't directly trace the shape.

As it turns out, though, there were good measurements for ALMOST every dimension of the CP case, so drafting up a template was pretty simple. We even got to do a bit of lofting to fit the curve of the keel:

Once all the frames etc. were roughed out with a jigsaw, it was off to the bandsaw for some fine work. You can see Bandsaw Girl in action below. Final fairing of the patterns is mostly belt- and disk-sander work, with a little file and drum-sander work for the fiddly bits.

Tomorrow we'll probably start the whole process again, but this time tracing the patterns onto our precious marine plywood. I had my doubts, but Spacial Perception Girl used scale tracings to demonstrate quite convincingly the feasibility of getting the frames etc. out of four sheets of ply. Yay!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

First work day

We had planned to start work on Boxing Day, and (somewhat surprisingly) we actually did so. Spent some time cleaning up the shop and making space for the boat, then posed for a quick picture. We had trouble deciding whether we were spoofing American Gothic or gangsta poses...

Before we get too far into this, you might want to see the shop. This is Courtney's dad's basement shop, AKA Wavey Creek Boatyard (ours will be the seventh boat built here), N 50°16'15", W 96°58'7". The north-west angle:

The south-west angle:

First cut honours went to the construction frame, as photographed for posterity:

It wasn't long before the pieces of the construction frame were ready to assemble, but we decided to hold off on assembly because once the frame is together it's going to be more difficult to move around the shop. The pieces:

Next step was to cut patterns for the frames, transom, stem/apron, centre-plate case, etc. We're using thin hardboard for the patterns, then fitting them as efficiently as possible into sheets of marine plywood (expensive stuff, that). The workshop plans table, AKA the downstairs freezer, was a bit cramped for tracing plans: we took over the dining room. Before it became too dark to continue, we had finished about two thirds of the required tracing:

Today's handy hint: When using carbon paper to transfer both sides of a set of plans to pattern or workpiece, trace the printed side first. When you trace the un-printed side, use a strong flashlight (we used a dive light) at an oblique angle to highlight the minute relief of the previously traced line.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ah, John, we need you.

So this is Christmas, and what have you done
Another year over, and a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones, the old and the young
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear

And so this is Christmas for weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones, the world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas for black and for white
For yellow and red ones, let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear

And so this is Christmas, and what have we done
Another year over, and a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones, the old and the young
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear
War is over if you want it
War is over now...

We have had a simply marvellous Christmas. An abundance of comfort and joy, good food and drink and cheer in a magnificent natural setting, family gathered 'round the fire and all that. No kidding, it's been great.

Even the boat got a present (well, more than one really, but this one is worth blogging). Enigmatically labelled as being "From Admiral Nelson" to... well, you don't get to know the name of our Shilling yet, I (Courtney) couldn't think what it might possibly be. And what to my wond'ring eyes should appear? When Tara was in England, she picked up a little bit of Victory. As in, H.M.S. Victory. Yes, that H.M.S. Victory, the one from the Battle of Trafalgar and Admiral Nelson and "Kiss me Hardy" and all that.

So our little Shilling will incorporate a bit of oak from Victory. Check it out:

Anyway, I've been thinking about presents, and hoping everyone finds some resolve this Christmas to do like John says, you know, and start making the world a better place for everyone. 'Cause love is a good place to start, but I think the man himself knew something about getting down to the business of changing minds and then changing the world.

Merry Christmas, and all that.

Plans and review - now with photos!

So Tara was across the Pond seeing the Oysterband and she picked up the plans from our friend Anna. As soon as Tara got home, we had to take a look at the plans, which completely filled Courtney's living room.

That weekend Courtney and his dad (Buster) went over the plans, decided that the whole thing was basically reasonable, and decided where to start. Most of the construction will be in the Wavey Creek Boatyard, a.k.a. Buster's basement shop. Sadly, the first plan review was not recorded for posterity.

Just a couple of days ago, Tara's family got together for Christmas, and a proper Plan Review Panel was convened (see photo). The design met with general approval, which was something of a relief; Bret, Gerry, and Dal have all built boats, so their opinions were important! Left to right are the Plan Review Panel: Tara's brother Bret (Cedar-strip Directorate, Kayak Division), dad Don (Member for Prairie Boatbuilding), uncle Gerry (Commissioner for Plywood Studies), uncle Dal (Director of Sea- & Air-worthiness), Tara, and Courtney.

Next: First steps in construction

Sunday, December 24, 2006

How did it come to THIS?!

We've been talking about building a boat for a while now; boat madness kind of runs in both our families. We initially talked about a little power cruiser, say in the 20-22' range. We looked at a few designs, but nothing really jumped out as "The One".

Courtney crewed aboard his brother's Island Eagle, support vessel for the 2006 Shipyard School Raid, and had the chance to look at lots (and lots, and LOTS) of wooden boats when the Raid arrived in Port Townsend. He was still thinking 22' powerboat, and when Tad Roberts offered to design it, that seemed like that.

But then, reality (or rather, that phenomenon that is LIKE reality, but affected by the Boat-Modulated Reality Distortion Field) set in. Like, our car is tiny. Like, a 22' boat would be really expensive by our standards, and take a long time to build, too. Like, a 22' boat wouldn't even fit into the only shop we have readily available. Like, um, maybe we don't want a powerboat.

So we started looking at smaller sailboats, and reading about sailing, and thinking not so much about how MUCH boat would be nice to have, but how LITTLE boat would meet our needs. (Well, Tara was thinking about this all along, but she's the bright one, you see. As she puts it, "I like Small.")

You know, the WWWeb is wwwonderful. There are boats and boats and pubs and big red-- wait, this isn't a Robb Johnson song... where was I? Oh, yeah - the Intarwubs are full of boat plans. Cool boat plans. Millyums of them. And I think we looked at them all, over a few weeks.

When we saw the Shilling, a design by Phil Swift of England's Willow Bay Boats, we both kind of figured she was the one. We ordered the study plans and KNEW she was the one. So we ordered the Full Set Of Plans. (These deserve capitals, because they cost £200!) We had a few adventures getting the plans, but they are finally safe and sound in Canada, and we're planning on getting started building on Boxing Day.

NEXT: Photos!

Fr1st Post

You must be in the wrong place - this is Tara and Courtney's boat blog.

What, still here? OK, welcome. Bienvenue. Failte. This is where we'll document the details (pictures, lots of pictures) and progress (maybe not so much of that) as we build our Willow Bay Shilling. The Shilling is a 17' length-on-deck day sailer, built in cedar strip on plywood frames. We figure, any jocular comments to the contrary notwithstanding, that she'll take about a year and a half to complete.

Time for Christmas Eve dinner with the family, so we'll leave this introduction short and sweet. Next: How did it come to this???