The crew has had a great week of being surrounded by wooden boats, while Gary’s been stuck talking about them. As an expert in wooden boats and a professional surveyor, Gary frequently gets asked to speak at surveying conferences around the world. This week, he’s at IMEC in lovely Savannah. Here he is presenting his talk “Inspecting Wooden Boats.” His work on wooden boats informs his inspections, just as his inspections inform his work on wooden boats. When you bring your boat to our shop, not only will we make it pretty, but we’ll make sure everything is up to code and safe for you and your family. For an example, see the Lily Electric below.
The Lily has completed round one of refinishing, including painting the exterior and getting the motor running and up to date. The wiring has been reinstalled and the previously non-working spotlight has been fixed. Jack fit and installed the prop shaft and made a stabilizer for it, he painted the bilge near the motor, and he replaced any broken old screws and the old piano hinge from the battery cover seat. He tested the motor and replaced old wire connectors on the horn and the lights on the deck. Jack then installed all the deck hardware and dry fit the battery switch. Finally, he repaired and installed the charger and prepped the interior for repainting. He’s currently working on battery boxes to hold the batteries so they don’t slip while the boat is in use and to elevate them so they don’t sit on the bilge, which is against code. He will also install some vents in the battery compartment to meet code, as well. I also scraped the old epoxy off the fold-out table, disassembled it, and got a nice coat of varnish on it.
Nicolas has continued work on the Continental and has finished laying out the deck. At this point, it’s ready for him to make divots for the decorative caulk lines.
Nicolas has been working on epoxy repairs on the keel of the International 12, which is currently in two pieces and ready for re-assembly.
On the Celebrity, Nicolas has begun installing the trim using life caulk to get a good seal. He's started the arduous process of installing the tiny bungs into all the little holes. I've continued varnishing the mast and spars.
Next week, I'll be far away celebrating my ten year anniversary, so expect a break in the blog. I'll make it up to everyone next time though. Thanks for reading!
This week the Continental gained some significant ground. Nicolas and Gary milled the mahogany for the new deck and sidings. Nicolas laid out and dry fit the deck and cut it to roughly mirror the shape of the boat. He also dry fit the new top ceiling boards in order to shave them down to size. For this process, he used three different tools step by step.
Gary and Nicolas have also been working on the new mast for the Windjammer 21. After making scarves to length last week, they were able to begin gluing the incredibly long boards together, two at a time. So first they glue two boards together with epoxy and clamped them, waiting for the epoxy to cure before repeating the process with the third and final piece.
The crew worked together to manually flip the Lyman so we can begin working on a new keel and garboards, and so we can get the scarfed planks in place.
The 18' Sea Skiff has seen a lot of prep work. I've begun layering coats on the steering wheel and continued work on the windshield. It had cracks in a few places that needed repairs, and the old wood glue needed to be removed, which I achieved using a chisel, then a file, then sandpaper. Most of the windshield pieces are now ready for the varnish process.
All of the trim pieces for the Celebrity have gotten three coats of varnish with light sanding in between, so they should be ready for dry-fitting onto the boat. Then, they will be affixed permanently and have their holes plugged and given a few more coats of varnish. The mast has also been sanded and varnished a few more times, so we are up to about 6 layers on that. The last image shows both the mast as well as the rub rails for the Lily.
In addition to the rub rails getting varnished, the Lily has gotten three applications of beautiful new blue paint after having it's sides built up with primer and sanded to base.
Thanks for reading! Jack will be back from his vacation next week so expect to see a lot of progress (as much as possible when it comes to wood at least)!
Gary arranged for the crew to meet at Smith Mountain Lake last weekend and camp out at the state park. It was great seeing some of our clients out in the sun and to be surrounded by so many beautiful finished boats.
Part of the reason it's important for us to go to wooden boat shows is because the majority of boats we get into the shop are deteriorated or half-finished. This means we have little idea what the finished product will need to look like, apart from photos. Going to boat shows like the one at Smith Mountain Lake enables us to see up-close the finished version of a boat we may be working on at the shop. We can hold that image in our mind and really see where every seat, every screw, every ceiling board will go, so we get a better sense of timing during re-assembly. We can also get a better sense of scale when we're inside the boat and see potential flaws that we'll be sure to avoid.
But of course the main reason for the trip is to spend time together outside of work and let our kids all play together!
Thanks Gary for a great trip!
Our last hot week of the year (we hope)!
This week, the 18’ Sea Skiff has seen a lot of progress. The ceiling boards have all been fully installed, the bilge plug blocks have been sanded and glued into place, the window frames have undergone repairs, the pipes have been burnished or polished as needed. We also removed and replaced the cutlass using a 12 ton hydraulic press, which is always a bit frightening. The window glass has been measured for replacement and we’ve begun work on the steering wheel restoration. Jack has also been working on custom trim for the ceiling boards, which have been cut and stained.
The Ski Boat is nearly ready for pick-up, with an installed engine box, stem trim, and every screw checked and adjusted as needed.
For the Continental, we’ve been working on stripping and sanding the ceiling boards in preparation for stain and the varnish process. We’ve also selected fresh wood for the deck planking and planed it for visibility to allow us to mill it properly. Here’s a before/after of the ceiling boards.
Nicolas has also been working on making a mast from scratch. So far, he has planed the wood to create scarfs and glued them into place to cure.
On the International-12, Nicholas glued the old, original in-tact stem piece to the new, custom stem piece based off the original design. He also began a preventative epoxy treatment on the underside of the ribs.
For the Celebrity, Gary has begun sanding and varnishing the new trim that Nicholas made last week.
I hope everyone's able to join us tomorrow at Smith Mountain Lake for the 29th Annual Boat Show and Festival! We'll be there with most of our crew checking out the boats and camping out. See our Homepage for details!
This week, the Grand Craft will be leaving the shop for the sea and the Ski Boat is well on its way.
Here's the Grand Craft getting its final bath. Doesn't it look great in the sun?
The Ski Boat is next out with a fully installed interior looking very classic. She also enjoyed a successful sea trial this week! Jack has also been working on various touch-ups here and there.
The 18' Sea Skiff has had a busy week with all ceiling boards dry-fit and ready for permanent installation. We also cut plugs for the previous toilet holes (why was there a toilet on this boat you may wonder) and fit them into position and installed with epoxy. I also installed the strut and prepared the boat to receive the engine, which went in today. I also spent a few minutes shining up the visible portion of the exhaust pipe. We are getting close on this one!
The Lily got its first coat of new blue paint, I really love the color change on this one!
The Celebrity was the star of the Nicolas show this week with all new trim milled, cut, shaped, and dry-fit ready for the varnish process. Look at those beautiful soft edges and joints!
Small steps have been taken on each of the other boats this week. Since we have such a small crew, we often will spend several days on a single project before we're able to move on to another project so we are able to bring things to completion. This, of course, means you'll often see a lot happen with one boat and just a few things or nothing on other boats. Then the next week we'll finish up that project and shift gears to focus on another. For example, now that Nicolas has finished creating the trim for the Celebrity, I can take those pieces and get busy in the varnishing room to allow him to do something complicated on another boat. When I'm finished, I'll get the pieces back to him to install.
So, Nicolas' other endeavors this week include working on the garboards for the Int-12, shaping and dry-fitting now that they are steam-bent. He also selected mahogany for the Continental to mill, shape, and use for the deck planking. He also sanded and prepped one side of the boat. For the Lyman, he has spent some time sanding planks. Jack has also continued work on the engine of the Whirlwind.
Thanks for reading! I hope everyone in town is attending the NC Folk Festival. I will be there with my family enjoying watching my preschooler dance in the crowd.
Check back weekly for updates about our current projects and shop happenings!