She Is Beautiful

I can't tell you how excited I am. Last night I removed the masking tape I had around the upper edge of the gunwale. Then I went around with a sharpie pen to add a slight shadow between the white paint and the plywood. This gave me a faux rail effect along the outside of the gunwales, which matches the real wood along the inside. The sharpie line was essential to the illusion.

Then I put the Man-O-War Gloss Spar Varnish on that rail and flipped the boat over. That was the first time I got to see the boat with the her wooden interior contrasting the new white paint on the exterior, and I couldn't believe how great she looked. I slapped on a coat of spar varnish on the interior rails and airboxes, but left the interior ply because I was persuaded to sand off the mildew and dirt that has developed there in the months since I began work on this boat.

Finally, due to a decision I made in the building process I have some spaces between the airboxes and the sides of the boat, a gap of about an inch where water where spiders can hide until they get splashed and come rampaging out to terrorize a two year old on the water, or where water can collect and cause rot. My idea has been to spray some expanding house foam in there to seal that up, so I had bought a can of the stuff. I started spraying it into the first of the four gaps, and realized that the can would only cover about one and a half of them. I'll have to get some more. Not an ideal solution though, cause the stuff is kind of ugly. If I was a better carpenter and had more time I would cut little strips of redwood perfectly sized with angled cuts to epoxy into those spots, but I know that I don't have the patience for that right now.

This morning I was out working at 6:30 and working. I couldn't run the sander that early so I mixed up some epoxy (I use the same stuff you do) and applied some fiberglass to the inside of my repurposed carbon fiber windsurfer mast I'm using, because I had drilled holes in the base of it to stick a bolt through the mast step and I'm paranoid about it breaking. I threw another strip of fiberglass around the outside of the mast where I had drilled the holes, as well as a little higher up where the mast meets the top of the stem airbox. The mast is manufactured and has a smooth taper all along its length, so the hole in the top of the airbox has to accommodate the greater width at the base of the mast, but then allows slop and play where it meets the narrower portion up top. Originally I had planned on just slapping some duct tape on that spot, but since I had the epoxy mixed up I put on a fiberglass collar. I can always throw some duct tape over the top of that too if it's not snug enough.

With my leftover epoxy I tried to fill in the screw holes of my rudder and lee board blanks. Not sure I did much good filling in the holes, but maybe I at least made them a little more impervious to moisture. I've never actually tried to thicken epoxy yet, and will probably be messing around with that more in the future.

At that time I figured it was late enough to fire up the sanders, so I went to work on the interior plywood. I have mixed feelings about that because I think I basically sanded away all the Thompson's water sealer I had put on, ran through a bunch of sandpaper because the sawdust was so gummy, and got a bunch of dust in the still-tacky spar varnish I'd put on the other parts the night before (I also think I may have laid that on too thick last night - I've never used it before so maybe I'll learn something...). But eventually I got it looking okay enough to roll on some spar varnish and call it good.

But I couldn't be more pleased with the way she looks. Well, maybe I could, I have a troublesome perfectionist streak, but I am very very very pleased with how she came out. The only wood that I bought for this hull were two full plywood panels from Home Depot, 3/8 for the bottom and 1/4 inch for the sides (well, the pine ship lap on the top of the stem airbox was also from an old purchase, but repurposed for this boat). All the rest of the wood is salvage. Old slimy redwood fence planks that I block planed all the junk off of, random scraps scrounged from jobsites over the years, even bits of my parents house, which my dad built and where I grew up (I know of two boards in particular that came from the upstairs shower, torn out in a recent remodel).

Anyway, I think she's beautiful. What do you think?

Still to do -