Thursday, September 30, 2010

A major milestone...

Fall in New England. It is an unbelievably beautiful time here, filled with things that we expect every year - true to form despite what they have managed to accomplish in recent seasons, the Red Sox have been eliminated from post-season play (anybody, ANYBODY, knock the Yankees out), the air gets crisp, and the customers' boats start to come out of the water for their winter spa treatments.

I have been ridiculously busy. A few weeks ago I filmed an episode of Smart Boating with Paul Jermain. It is a locally-produced show that airs on community access cable channels in the Cape Ann area, as well as a few other places. We had a blast filming it and it aired this past Tuesday. His website is and there are a twenty-some-odd episodes available for viewing there. Our episode was #85, so it isn't up yet. I am going to see what I can do about posting the video.

As you can see from the photos, I have primed the interior of Dark Secret. That means, for all intents and purposes, the hull carpentry is done!!! HUZZAH!!! There is still a looooong punch list of items to handle, but I no longer need the layout lines and witness marks that have been staring me in the face since she came off the set-up.

The three aft sections of sole are done, complete. I got a few questions about the hole I left in the 'midship sole panel. This was installed so that one can remove a small lift-out to pump the bilge without having to remove any camping/picnic gear stowed on the sole panel. I wrapped up the lift-out today. I still have to bung the two panels either side of the mast step (these are the only panels that will be fastened in place), bevel the forward-most section, and I have to put in the fillers atop the frames between the panels. Once that is done I need to fab and install a hold-down system for the panels. I'm still scratching my head on that one.

Carving the stemhead was a welcome diversion from a hectic schedule. It pales in comparison to Brandon's incredible carving work on his Valgerda, Ravn, , but I'm sure I got no less joy doing mine than he did his. I need to shape the aft stemhead (likely a simple ogee) and then I can stain, seal, and varnish the remainder of the exterior brightwork.

All of this brings me to the following point: Come hell or high water - I WILL BE ROWING DARK SECRET COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND!!! There is still plenty to do before she can be called complete, but the snow will be flying here before we know it. I have to put her in and test her under oars.

I also got a request for a half-model from a boatyard customer. He has had me make a few for him in the past. This one is a J-42, much simpler than the 6-meter I recently did for him. That one was a bear to get just so... I'll dig up some photos of those projects.

Next post goes backwards to show a few shots of the final keel configuration before ballast installation. I don't want to dwell on this, but I got a request for more shots of the final profile.