TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Badger hair

Decks, check. Gunwales, check.

Took advantage of the Memorial Day long weekend to not spend all my days off working on the boat, so Tracy and I spent Saturday hiking at Point Reyes. After picking up some Red Hawk cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery we found a new 12 mile loop starting at Muddy Hollow off of Limantour Rd on some trails we haven't been on before. Great spot - for a holiday weekend we only saw three other groups of people the whole time. We climbed up through a tunnel of trees to the top of Pt. Reyes Hill at 1300' for a good view over Tomales Bay and then headed back down near Drake's Estero past a wary group of cattle and over close to Limantour Spit before heading back to the car.
Sunday I finished trimming the trim and sanding the decks and I installed a "handle" made from a leftover piece of ash outwale spanning between the sides of the hull under each deck to reinforce them. They don't add much weight, but make the decks stronger and look stylish to boot.
On Monday I fit the seats, but didn't fully install them. That will be the very last thing after I'm done varnishing. I used the suggested seat jig recommended by Canoecraft. As usual with their recommendations, it worked.
I picked up everything I need for varnishing from West Marine as well. I went with the Epifanes high-gloss clear spar varnish. Its the best stuff out there with a price to match. And I picked up a badger hair brush. Who knew badger hair was the perfect thing for applying varnish?? Apparently it is.
Since it takes at least a day for each coat of varnish it doesn't look like I'm going to get the boat water ready for my Mom and sister's visit next week. But at least they'll be able to see it in pretty much it's finished form.
Next up is another cleaning and thorough dedusting of the garage before I varnish.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Deck

Just in case anyone actually reads these posts, I figured I better update my progress since I've been pretty silent recently. I know I have at lease one reader (thanks Ayse! You'll have to make it down to the South Bay to see it when I'm done.).
Since I found out that my Mom and sister and little nephew, Michael, are coming out to visit the first weekend of June I have made that my deadline for getting the canoe in the water! It's going to be tight but I know how much Michael likes boats (or "boaps") so I don't want to disappoint.
After getting both inwales installed in April I have been working on the decks. I epoxied a strip of white Port Orford Cedar between two thick boards of Western Red, then cut and planed the edges of the resulting inch thick board to fit the bow and stern. I then spent a fair bit of time scraping and sanding out the curved shape of the shear line into the decks so that they are slightly concave. Yesterday these were epoxied into position and also fastened with 1-1/2" stainless steel screws. There is still a bit of sanding to do to get the decks completely flush with the gunwales.
Today I am on to the last piece of the boat that I actually have to make! I planed the taper into both ends of one outwale and still need to do the other one before epoxying them in place. After that I just have to fit the seats and yoke (which I bought) (for now - maybe next year I'll make my own??) and then its final sanding and 3 or 4 coats of varnish inside and out.
I'm starting to think about where Tracy and I can take the boat here in California. There aren't too many (any?) lake chains in California, but there are some beautiful little mountain lakes in the Sierra that I might be able to get on. I ordered the book: Canoeing The California Highlands: A Quiet Water Guide To Paddler's Paradise. Can't wait till it gets here.