Molly Kool Official Launch

Yesterday morning I awoke scared nonsensical. Finally calmed down enough to realise that I have seen huge ships launched and then finished, so Molly Kool would be in good company. Decided that if I could get the oarlock socket block on, that it would be enough to row her for she'd be free, not tethered as in the leak tests. Then Jenny phoned asking what she & Jayar could do to help today (yesterday). I nearly cried with relief and settling-back to be able to restore focus to doing, not panicking. As I was sorting out what I needed to get out and what I had left out the night before because I was too exhausted to care, let alone bring in all tools, a huge metallic thalo blue pickup truck swung into my driveway as if it intended to be here. A grizzle-bearded young (to me) man got out and asked how things were going. I told him (OK, but she won't be ready to sail today) and I realised it was Larry Powell, editor of our local weekly paper. He asked what he could do and started helping me. Perhaps I dragooned him; I learnt later he'd just come by for another photo before the launch. Anyhow, he stayed until about 2:00; glued & nailed the aft and bow decks and started fitting the front wall of the cuddy. We decided that it would be as easy, if not easier, to cut out the window holes after it was glued in place because all four sides would be supported.

Larry's father was a minister and when he moved to PEI he made friends with another minister who built boats and began helping him build. After Larry's father retired from the church he stayed on the Island and built boats, many, many of which Larry helped on. They ranged from a 34 ft sailboat and fishing boats to rowboats & dinghies. When he came by earlier he commented after inspecting Molly Kool, that "She'd make it". So encouraging!

Before Larry had begun, Jenny & Jayar turned in, back out, and pulled in again alongside Larry. Jenny immediately set to work flinging spread firewood up onto the pile - so we'd have space in the shade of the house to work in. She also generally converted my yard from a one-person work place with everything at hand for one to a many-hands workspace with separate areas for different tasks. Jayar set to making the oarlock sockets from 2 pieces (formerly one) of very close-grained maple. Unfortunately, I made the job harder because when he asked me the diameter of the oarlock shafts, I said "3/8 inch". That was for the ones I had and hadn't figured out how to use and thought were too small - the oarlocks they brought me a couple of days before have 1/2" shafts. Jayar did a great job of re-drilling them. Also sunk larger holes to the oarlocks can be tethered to the block so that if something dreadful happens and I lose grip of the oar and its oarlock flies out of the socket, there'd still be the tether to keep from losing the oar entirely. Don't want to feed it through the hydroelectric turbine at the causeway! Nor any other part of boat or me!!

We also made a body-measurement for placing the oars; I had read that 25" from the stern was as close as one should go. Well, with the cuddy, that was far too much distance. Fortunately I still had some door jamb for Jayar to extend the backer brace inside the air box. (When the airboxes are decked over, they will provide flotation and also a higher point of entry for water in the event of a capsize. I'll need to do a capsize test when she's fully rigged - and decked-over.)

While Jayar worked on those, I cut the two end arches for the cuddy roof, and the pieces for end decks and cuddy wall, which barely fit, but I didn't have any more 48" wide Meranti (Luan in the US). By having an arched roof, I get a little more head room to sit up in. The cuddy is for shade while sketching and for privacy while using some sort of potty. Since she looks slightly like a Cape Islander fishing boat, I've accentuated this also. I'll cut 3 windows in the forward cuddy wall and back them with greenhouse plastic; light in but poor visibility through them. Meanwhile, Jenny went out to get us all fish & chips (gotta feed one's workers), and after a pleasant lunch among tools and beside boat in the shade, she gessoed everything that needed it; those deck pieces and cuddy wall, and the thwart (seat across width of boat) I'd cut before lunch. We had quite the crew working! MK would be far more than barely rowable; her final hull shape would at least be indicated by the temporarily tacked-on cuddy roof.

By 5:20 we had those decks on, and were tacking down the roof. While others did that, I gathered life jackets, fog horn (a VERY LOUD breath-powered one that is about 8" long, looks like a mini air vent with its curved-over top, and when I blow VERY lightly on it, makes an ear-pounding noise. They say 110 decibels, and US Coast Guard approved.

Larry had to leave to go photo at the Cornwallis community gardens- a wonderful project I'd love to have one of nearer me if I have to move out of my house. He turned up again about when we should have been putting MK back on the trailer, just in time to help tack on the roof. Jenny with the men helping attached the Friesland pennant they'd brought me from the Netherlands to a small ash stick leftover from first round of making ribs for may canoe. Not only do I love the pennant's red, light blue, and white colours; it turns out those "heart shapes" are lily pads: what could be more fitting a flag for a Puddle Duck?

Quite a crowd (12 or so) were there when we drove in with the MK looking jaunty on the trailer. (If I weren't doing the Cape-Islander + Molly Kool's barge theme, I think I'd have painted her ducky yellow with some sort of a projection from the cuddy for her bill...and maybe named her Shorty's suggestion of Quacking Quaker. - Supposedly the Quakers got their nickname from a judge who was so furious when George Fox or some other early Quaker who refused to doff his hat before some passing nobleman and again before the judge, saying, "I quake before no man" that the judge sputtered and said, "Take that..quaker from my sight!" i.e to jail.

I was much too tired to drive safely and happy to have Jayar do so. By the time I'd done her rowing trial, there might have been 20+ people crowded around. One couple had just arrived from Toronto and saw all the goings-on and came to see what was happening. Very nice couple. And also I met a man who is a retired British merchant navy person. He has an 8 ft sailboat called a Pooh-Duck (sp?)...surely not Poo-Duck. He phoned this morning to check out what I was doing with my mast and was happy to hear that I'd been getting advice from Shorty (the oat's designer) and also happy to hear how all would be set and braced. He wants to sail along for company when I do finally sail her.

When that will be is uncertain. I am hoping for Monday, but tomorrow through the weekend may be rainy (YAY!! We desperately need it! And a bit of boo-hoo for my plans being wetted) and they are watching a weather system zig-zag towards us which might bring drenching rain and might go out to sea. Meanwhile, today I take it easier, much easier, but will plan for what the Js & I can do tomorrow, and perhaps cut some pieces to work on indoors if it is rainy, and generally plan for getting her cuddy properly finished. I need to make a new aft arch for the cuddy and not only cut it to match the forward one, but also cut two at once, the middle one to be part of the mast sleeve support. I thought I'd made matching curves on the two arches I made, but did it with measurements, not direct copying. these will be direct copies of the arch in the forward wall (which is now permanently in place) and both cut at once. That'll keep my out of mischief...or whoever has the proper saw to do it.