Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting back in the swing of it

It's been pretty busy. Aside from the usual goings on at the boatyard with the covers coming off of customers' boats and the long-awaited closing on the Thomaston house (The portrait to the right is Captain Harvey Mills, who had the house built ca. 1860. Watch for a separate blog site for the house restoration project coming soon), I have also pulled Dark Secret out of hibernation. She weathered the winter with no issues so I am moving forward with the remainder of the list.

Today I cut the mast thwart, morticed the step, and test fitted the mast. The rake is specified at 5" in 10', or 1:24. The height of the mast thwart at the centerline is 17 7/8" from the top of the step, so 1/24th of that is just a tick under 3/4". Once I cut the thwart for the mast (I scaled the location of the cut from the plans), I measured the distance from there to the station and added 3/4" to establish the cut for the mortice. There are a million ways to lay this out, but I find simpler is better.

I think she looks great with the mast just sitting there. I left the mast square from the step to just above the partner. It goes to round where the gooseneck mounts. I have not decided whether to wrap the leather around the mast or the partner. I'm looking for advice on that one.

Speaking of goosenecks, I have spec'ed the remainder of the hardware for the boat. The gooseneck will be coming from Ballantine's Boat Shop in Cataumet, MA. They make a beautiful fitting for use on the 12 1/2 that they build. The rudder hardware will be coming from Duck Trap Woodworking, Duck Trap, ME (more on these fittings in a later posting), and the blocks will be from Rieneck's, Hull, MA. The hardware from this outfit is absolutely jewel-like. Unbelievable fit, finish, and overall quality. The down side is that none of these fittings will come on the cheap. Such is life. A former co-worker once told me, "Anything worth doing is worth over-doing."

Interior finishes are the next items to tackle, as well as finishing the remainder of the spars and rigging. I am going to lower the height of the floorboards. If you look at the drawing of section 7 that I posted earlier, you will see that the sole is shown above the throat of the frame by about 1 1/4". I used this height as a starting point to lay out the panels, but as I mentioned previously, the rowing ergonomics don't really work that well for me. Lowering the sole will drop my knees out of the way for a much more efficient and comfortable stroke. When that is done, I will take her out again and determine whether I need to also raise the oarlocks off the rail.

Dark Secret will remain on Cape Ann until she is done. This gives me something to work on after hours during the week. Friday night to Sunday afternoon will be spent at the Thomaston property getting it ready for occupancy. Once I get the barn floor shored up properly, she'll go up there so I can sneak out for a quickie when time and weather permit.

Stay tuned. I'll be back at this much more regularly now that spring has sprung.