Thursday, 26 June 2014

Some fiddly bits

Progress has been slow as I had been waylaid on another project.  However, I have been fitting some smaller trim pieces, which are quite time consuming.

Probably the most consuming was making the supports for the quarter boards.  These need to follow the contour of the hull while maintaining a vertical outside profile in a straight line along each side of the aft deck back to the transom.  Subsequently, I noticed from some photographs taken in JB's workshop that I had been overly fussy making the cleats fit exactly to each strake, but the job's done now and I have all these left over misfits!!

Next I made the mast step - which is comprised of three parts and fits between the front of the trunk and the mast bulkhead.  Not sure if this is the ideal arrangement, but it seems to be a screwed in removable part, so there will be plenty of opportunity for redesign or fine tuning later on.  At a minimum I will need to remove it so that I can cut the shoulder on the base of the mast to fit into the slot in the mast step.
You can see from the photo opposite that there remains a space underneath the mast step to the keelson - which seems to be as per the plans.  However, I read on the glued lapstrake forum that some have allowed the step to sit directly on the keelson, following its contours.

I began making the sole next, which involved ripping up 14 lengths of US Redwood into 70mm by 12mm boards.  Once I had these thicknessed and dimensioned, I began fitting these to the hull. It's not explicit in the plans as to how these should be fitted, so I am taking my time to work through a shape and design that will satisfy the inevitable scrutiny of crew as boredom sets in and they stare at their feet (and my sole's craftsmanship!)

A more satisfying project was building the unit for managing the keel lift.  This sits atop of the trunk cap and is made in two halves and then glued into one unit.  I used a 2" Tufnol sheave running on a short length of bronze 3/8" bar.  Use a keyhole drill and forstner bits I was able to cut out a recess to fit the sheave snugly.  Here you can see the sheave sitting in one half on the bronze pin.

I reckon that I will attach this with large screws from underneath the trunk cap and some goo, rather than epoxy so that it can be a serviceable item.
So far the unit looks like this, but I may work it further on the sander to make it look less bulky and more elegant.  I plan to install a 3" bronze cleat on the unit just aft of the sheave.

My next major task is to contour the rubbing strip, which is made from 50mm x 16mm sapele.  JB suggests using the table saw with four different angled cuts and blade heights to rough out the profile and then finishing with a sander.  I don't have so much confidence in my table saw skills and so will look to see what I can accomplish on the router table.  Once I have this fitted, I can varnish the bright work and then paint the hull's interior.


  1. Hi Paul,
    I sure wish I could offer some advice but you're so out in front of my build that all I can do is watch and lend encouragement. Your boat is looking good! I wouldn't worry so much about being overly fussy on the "unseen" parts, if I were you. This shows a high degree of involvement and care. Things that any wooden boat deserves.

    I noticed an oarlock set is peeking out from the corner in the photo of the misfits. I assume that this is to be installed into your boat and it brings to mind one question I've been mulling. Just how rowable is a Somes Sound? I know that JB installed rowlocks onto RedSky but are they really usable? Have you researched this at all? I'm not planning on having them unless someone can convince me the effort (rowing) is worthwhile. I'd love to have your thoughts on this.

    Keep up the good work,

    1. Jeff - Thanks for your encouragement - it's good to know that someone is keeping an eye on what I am at!

      The oar lock was bought purely because it was on the hardware list for the Somes Sound. I inquired from Balintines why they only quoted/shipped one oar lock, to learn that it's standard practice to row with one oar and counter-steer with the tiller. So I deduced that the oar was reasonably effective. However, I note that there are no specs or drawings for an oar in John Brooks plans - so I will need to pose that question to him to find out the appropriate dimensions.

      I had thought about recessing an electric motor into the rudder, but I read on the wooden boat forum that the drag is unacceptable for a sail boat. I am still a long way from worrying too much about this yet, but it's a good question and I will investigate further.

      All the best