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Old 04-01-2010, 20:34   #16
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Day 15: Scary Dreams

I had a nightmare last night. Not about 60 foot breaking waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Not about being dashed on rocks, or falling overboard. No, I was worried about my lofting.

I woke up in a cold sweat, realizing that the chance were zero that a batten, run from Cabin Boy's stem to his transom, would show a fair line. I mean, how could the stem, the 4 forms, and the transom all line up perfectly, so that a plank, when pressed around that curve, would touch all 5 points at the same time?

Impossible. I would have had to do a perfect job of lofting -- and I knew I hadn't done that. And I would have had to build all the forms exactly right, and mounted them, again, exactly right. And then my jury-rigged stem and transom jigs would have to be perfect.

Not a chance. The batten would probably have more bump and bends than the Long Island Expressway. My project was doomed...

Read complete blog post: Scary Dreams

Enjoy: John
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Old 06-01-2010, 21:07   #17
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Day 13: Chine Logs - part 1

I knew it might come down to this: Build or Blog? Build or Blog?

So, for the last two day's I've been building, with no time to blog. The cause for all this concentration is the hardest thing I've run into, yet: letting the chine log into the forms. Whoever said there are no straight lines, no right angles on a boat, sure was right!

Read complete blog post: Chine Logs - Part 1

The Unlikely Boat Builder: Chine Logs - Part 1

Enjoy: John
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Old 06-01-2010, 21:28   #18
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The blog can wait...build man!
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Old 13-01-2010, 20:11   #19
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Day 12 - Make Mistakes Slowly

There's a woodworking adage that goes something like this: "Every one makes mistakes. The difference between a beginner and the Master Craftsman is the Master Craftsman knows how to fix his mistakes."

No doubt this is true, but on the long road that leads to Master Craftsmanship, I am still on the 'on' ramp. So I've come up with my own adage: "Make Mistakes Slowly".

Read complete blog post: Make Mistakes Slowly

Enjoy: John
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Old 14-01-2010, 09:44   #20
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Bulwarks a la Buehler

One of the nice features of the Tom Glimer Blue Moon is the raised deck amidships. It gives the boat great strength, lovely wide side decks, and lots of room below decks (for a 23' boat.)

I don't know what Tom specified on the original plans (they suddenly being out of stock at the Wooden Boat store), but this particular Blue Moon has flush decks, right to the edge of the boat. Not even a toe-rail. While this keeps her lines clean, I like to have a little something between me and the deep-blue sea as I'm crawling up to the foredeck...

Read blog post: Bulwarks a la Buehler

Enjoy: John
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Old 16-01-2010, 09:20   #21
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Day 11: Easy is Overrated

Once or twice a week, I get gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) comments or emails from readers, asking me, in one way or another "Why do you do everything the hard way?!?!"

An easy answer would be, because my goal is not just to build a boat, but to learn how traditional wooden boats are put together, so I can maintain a larger wooden boat, such as the Blue Moon.

I have nothing against modern techniques like stitch and glue, but building such a craft (as attractive as one seems as my deadline looms), would not help me understand traditional wooden boat construction.

But a fuller, more honest answer is that it's just plain fun to do something that is really, really hard...

Read complete blog post: Easy is Overrated

The Unlikely Boat Builder: Easy is Overrated

Enjoy: John
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Old 20-01-2010, 16:45   #22
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Day 10: Seeing DNA

When you look at the plans of a Master, like John Atkin, everything you need to know is right in front of your face. It's in the plans... in the boat's DNA.

The trick is seeing it...

Read complete blog post: Seeing DNA

Enjoy: John
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Old 25-01-2010, 20:04   #23
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Blue Moon Rising

And now for something completely different...

A weather window in Florida opened up, and I was able to get a slot on the only Travel Lift within 50 miles of my Blue Moon, so I abandoned Cabin Boy for the moment, and dashed down the coast with a Honda Fit full of tools, paint, and other supplies.

Read blog post: Blue Moon Rising

Enjoy: John
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Old 31-01-2010, 21:18   #24
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Scrape, Sand, Paint

How do you turn an ugly boat into a head turner? Just scrap, sand, and paint. No rocket science required. Just lots of healthy elbow grease.

Now that I'm almost done, I have been looking through the pictures I've taken the last week or so, and find they make an interesting progression. Hope you agree.

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http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...r-of-love.html

Enjoy: John
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Old 08-02-2010, 13:51   #25
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Unlikely Boat Builder: Lining Off

Resuming our Tale of Two Boats...

The Blue Moon's hull being painted, I relaunched her, splashing half a bottle of Blue Moon beer on her bow (no need to waste the whole bottle!)

Then Bob and I motored her down to her temporary new home -- a dock in the Steinhatchee River. With her long bowsprit, the slip was a bit short for the Blue Moon, so we had to back her in. NOT an easy thing to do with her long keel and small motor....

Read complete blog post: Lining Off

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Old 14-02-2010, 10:44   #26
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The first step in getting out any plank is to spile it. Determined, this time, to follow the advice of the Boat Building Books as closely as possible, I read and re-read the pertinent sections of Greg Rossel's "Building Small Boats" until I believed I understood exactly what I was supposed to do.

One important point was to not try to use one, long, single piece spiling batten. Such a batten cannot be curved around the forms in the right place without being edge set. And, I understood, edge setting a spiling batten is a sure path to depression, suicide, or worse...

Read complete blog post: A Garboard Tragedy (Act 1)

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Old 16-02-2010, 16:23   #27
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A Garboard Tragedy - Act 2

All the BBBs (boat building books) tell you that when you spile, you must lock down your dividers and use exactly the same radii for all your arcs. Being an overly-clever chap, I saw straight through this lie.

This brilliant insight almost tripped me up, of course.

But before I explain myself, let me make up two definitions. There may be words for these processes already, but I don't know what they are...

Read complete blog post: A Garboard Tragedy (Act 2)

Enjoy: John

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Old 19-02-2010, 16:28   #28
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Mountain Climbing

There are a lot of good boat building books (BBBs) out there, and I own many of them. But when I started to build Cabin Boy, I decided to pick one guru to follow. That guru, for me, is Greg Rössel and specifically his book "Building Small Boats".

Not only is Mr. Rössel a master boat builder, he's a very good writer, and as I finally fastened my very first real plank on to Cabin Boy, a line from his chapter on lofting came back to me...

Read complete blog post: Mountain Climbing

Enjoy: John

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Old 26-02-2010, 12:21   #29
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Symmetry

Only a darn fool -- or a first-time boat builder -- would try to cut the 'gains' on a lapstrake plank after fastening it to the building forms. But after forgetting to cut the gains on my first garboard, that's exactly what I had to do.

What are 'gains'? On a lapstrake boat, like the one below, the planks overlap for the full length of the boat, but overlap magically disappears at the stem (and sometimes at the transom).

There are several ways to perform this disappearing lap trick. I chose the method that looked the simplest to me: cutting a sloping rabbit along the edge of each plank...

Read complete blog post: Symmetry

Enjoy: John

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Old 02-03-2010, 16:01   #30
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Over the Hump?

Wow. After finally figuring out how to spile Cabin Boy's garboard plank, I figured it would be a snap to do the rest of the planks. After all, they were so simple, compared to the garboard.

Boy, was I wrong!

Read complete blog post: Over the Hump?

Enjoy: John

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