Spring is coming! And so are inquiries for surveys and barely contained excitement for getting these boats into the water. Let's hope we all stay healthy so we can keep up the pace!
This week, the 55' Continental continued to see steady progress. Jack used lifecaulk to bed and permanently mount the lower side planks, which had been removed, along with the out chine pieces. He worked on heat gunning and scraping the varnish off the sides of the boat, and is nearly done removing that section of old varnish. He bunged and filled all of the holes on the lower side planks that had been newly installed and trimmed off the excess overhanging wood on the transom. Jack and Shane continued sanding the bottom and began sanding the sides of the boat in preparation for the paint and varnish process. Shane also began to screw holes on the side hull, and he's been cleaning them out and filling them with 410 epoxy.
I missed the Lyman last week, which has had some significant progress. Nicolas installed the skeg on the keel, which he had to strip, sand, and prep prior to installation. He dry fit the skeg, applied caulk to bond it to the keel, then permanently installed it with bronze screws. He also made and installed triangular supports to help hold pressure on the ribs and started the process of permanently installing the frame to the planks. He did this by driving in screws through the ribs from underneath the boat. You can see which frames he installed on the last photo by noticing which holes no longer have washers in them. The second and third photos show the triangular supports, and the fourth and fifth show the skeg held in place using clamps.
Shane spent some time carefully sanding and prepping the deck of the 18' Continental. He also managed to apply the first two coats of varnish to seal the wood on the deck. It's important to take your time on the primary sanding and the first few coats, so you don't sand through the stain.
Shane applied the sixth coat of varnish to the hull, seats, and railing, gunwhale, etc. of the Skerry. It's finally time for the major sanding and final coat!
Shane worked on prepping and varnishing the windshield frames of the 26' Sea Skiff, along with the toe rails, light fixture housing, and a few other small parts. I think it's really cool to see the frames hanging from the 2 ton lift as they dry in between coats.
Gary has been putting finishing touches on the Budsin, making small adjustments to the electronics of the Pelican, and working on our two engine projects. He also spent some time with Jack yesterday timing the riveting process on the International 12. Each of our projects are so unique and require specific processes, and the potentials surprises with antique wooden boats can vary widely. Timing individual processes like riveting helps us to get a better sense of the overall expectations for each type of boat.
Here at Lowell Boats, we have to work together a lot at various times throughout the restoration process. This, of course, means we have to like each other and practice communicating with each other outside of work. This week, we decided to have a spontaneous early morning pancake breakfast in the office. Shane made banana walnut batter, I brought in my electric griddle, and Jack made a yummy brown sugar smear. Unfortunately, Gary couldn't make it, so we all had to eat an extra pancake in his honor. As Gary would say, "A good time was had by all!"
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