Sunday, March 24, 2013

Still kickin'

Hi all, Lest ye think I have abandoned the project, here is a quick update on Dark Secret.

I had her in the shop for a couple of weeks in Essex, MA where I have been working. I managed to get a few things off the list. Interior has been painted to final coat. Frames still need a coat or two before the interior is a wrap. Rails are ready for "final coat" (it's never the last one) and topsides have received some attention to get at least one more coat. She looks great, finish-wise. I have lowered the sole panels (aftermost panel needs a tweak at its forward end) as discussed in a previous posting, and have made the blocks to raise the oarlocks. Carpentry-wise there is still a bit to do.

As you can see in the photo, I have pretty much worked out the rig and rigging details. I need to mount gooseneck hardware to mast and boom, finish shaping the yard, and build up finishes on the three sticks. The yard will get wrapped in leather where it crosses the mast, and I'll wrap the inside of the partner with leather (or suede) where the mast goes through.

Sole panels need some kind of a simple hold-down system that doesn't require tools to undo. I have ideas on this, but have yet to execute...

There are some rigging details yet to be addressed: All of the splices at the masthead are done. I need to determine a final length for the shrouds and forestay and splice the lower ends. I have sourced the pelican hook that I will use on the forestay. Note that the rig photo shows the halyard going through a small block hung from a lizard (correct term?) at the mast head. I think I am going to switch to a sheave morticed into the spar. It will help to keep the yard inboard, where it belongs. I'll probably still need some kind of bridle to keep it snug, but I'll launch without and see what I get.

I have procured all of the other needed hardware for the boat, except rudder hardware. I am still scratching my head on this. I have yet to find a set-up that will work for this application. I have a design together for a custom hardware package that is pretty slick, but I don't know if I want to go to the trouble of fabricating the parts. It's a comparatively simple arrangement (once it's installed), but there are seven pieces of metal to fart around with, plus whatever I do for the end of the cross-arm at the rudder head. I have said it before, and I'll say it again - "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing." I'll do up a sketch of the hardware package and post it next go-round. I promise that it won't be a year between postings.

I hope you enjoy the photos. The black and white photo is from an article in Maritime Life and Traditions, #19 on Norwegian faerings. The first half was in #19, the second half in #21. It's a great article and has been a source for answers to many of the questions I have had during this process. At any rate, notice the seksaering in the foreground. There are 13 people in it!!! I have a scan of the article. It's a good read. I'll send it to whomever asks.

In the short term I will be removing the shrink-wrap as soon as I am confident it is done snowing. I'll varnish the rails, paint the topsides, install the interior parts and oarlocks, and I'll put her in the water somewhere and enjoy her before the waterfront gets too busy around here. She'll need to come back out to attach the rudder hardware, but by then I will have worn out my welcome wherever she will have been sitting.

Happy Spring!!!