How I came to build my first boat - part 8By Thomas Mauer #537 "Water Dancer" (2ea 2ad 12ar)
We are scheduled to have a break in the weather for the weekend. It's supposed to be very sunny and warm on Saturday, and mostly cloudy on Sunday. Finally we catch a break! The only downside I can see is that Saturday is also scheduled to be the rapture. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be called to God so I'm working on the boat.
Saturday came and it was indeed bright and sunny. I took full advantage and got LOTS of work done on the boat. The first thing I did was to pull the tarp and fill in that tape on seams with fiberglass. While that was drying I got to do a bunch of yard work that has been building up for the last 2-3 weeks. I bagged all the leaves I left on the side of the house.
Then I flipped the hull over and we got to work. Since the sawhorses were now clear I pulled out the rudder and the leeboard and glassed one side.
While waiting for that to set up I flipped the boat up on her side and started to primer the inside. I painted but left open the area where I need to attach my mast step and cut out my hatches. Then I cut the first hatch from the top of the cat little bucket and glued it in place using the rest of the bucket as a weight to hold in place.
Now I am at the mercy of the paint, glue, and glass. Nothing to do but wait a bit for them to do what they have to do, and frankly watching paint dry isn't my thing. So I went off and cut the front yard… and my neighbors too (His mower is broke and we're friendly. So why not help a friend out?).
I finish the front and then flip over the foils for the other side. A quick check on the hatch says it's not yet ready to have the weight removed. So it's off to do the back yard.
Back yard completed I remove the weight flip the hull over and put the front deck on to help place the mast step.
I left the right area unpainted! Woo Hoo, I did something right! So I flip her up on the other side and cut out the hole for the second hatch. I didn't glue it in because the day is starting to get on and I want to get as much big work done as I can while the weather is good.
So I measure out the decks for the side airboxes and then glue and screw them down. I glue in the mast step. Then I cut glue and screw in the brace for the mast sleeve.
At this point the sky clouded up quickly and we had a 20 min rain squall. Then it clear out and there was no trace that it had ever been there. Except for the wet tarp I hurriedly threw over the boat. An hour later I pulled off the tarp and primed the front two feet of inside of the boat in preparation for attaching the bow deck. It was here when I discovered that somehow my mast step is a full inch behind where I thought it was. Now my bow deck isn't flush with the front of the boat. No problem. I'm going to use body putty to fill in the gap… yeah , that will work.
So I glue and screw on the bow deck. This however puts my COE three inches behind the center of my leeboard. I don't know if that is too much or not. If it is I will have to work inside the hatch and put in a new bit of 2x4 next to the one already in there. That will have me moving the board back 2 inches which will put the board only an inch in front of the COE. We'll see how it works out.
I also used some spray varnish on my spars. I have 2 ten foot closet rods that I am using for spars. I still haven't got the grommets in my sail so I can't lace it on yet. That's a project for this week though. I don't have photos of them I was busy multitasking and that kind of fell through the cracks.
Sunday dawned overcast and dreary, with a real threat of rain again. So I put the Dancer back up on the sawhorses and covered her with the tarp in anticipation. Then I grabbed my son and we went to a ball game for the afternoon, in defiance of the weather. It didn't rain, but our team lost, but we got two foul balls and three player signatures so all in all a good day!
It Sunday night and Monday. It was beautiful Tuesday but I had physical therapy after work and by the time I got home it was almost eight o'clock, and too late to do any work. Today is T-minus nine days till we leave for the Mid-Atlantic Messabout. It's perfect weather out there, bright, sunny, warm… and tonight Vaughan is in a concert so no work will get done today. However I pulled her out from the tarp, flipped her over, put the mast in the sleeve, the rudder against the transom, and the leeboard by the side of the hull and took a photo. It looks like a sailboat!!! I think we might actually make it. The forecast for tomorrow through Sunday is rain… but Monday is supposed to be nice. Some sanding, some painting, and some hardware are all we have left.
Next time: Hopefully next time will show a fully painted boat with rigged with her completed sail, and all her hardware in place. Nine days and counting down.