Sticks Without a Boat

For some reason that first coat of varnish has given me the notion that I have the beginnings of a boat. The molds didn’t. Stems haven’t, but these parts have. I finished sanding the birdsmouth spars today and gave them a thinned coat of varnish. This includes both main and mizzen masts as well as the yard. Both booms and boomkin will be solid as the weight savings is negligible that low in the boat and there are likely many fastenings (blocks, cleats, etc.) that will benefit from solid material to screw into.

Sanding drum chucked into drill.


Drum after good use.

An  old wire spool with adaptations served well for rolling the sanding belts. I went through several failed attempts to provide enough friction to roll the belt however. An old bike inner tube glued to the shaft kept creeping. Rubber bands worked great, but only for a few revolutions. Finally I spun sash cord on the drum and that worked fine until it would wear out after 30 minutes use. That was about one complete sanding of a spar. Why does the first time doing anything take twice as long? Discovery and experimentation. Edison’s light bulb took a few tries. This old Craftsman drill has been through countless projects. The cord is needing replacement, but I’m not worried yet. It seems to work just fine standing in water.

Sanding block.

Final sanding was done by hand with 150 paper. I spray mounted the paper to a block of minicell foam. Worked great.

Drywall screws for spar support on manning benches.
Manning bench.

The drywall support idea I grabbed from Off Center Harbor. It is a cool site of helpful videos on all things wooden boat. There also a series of vids in progress on the building a Caledonia Yawl.

This first coat of spar varnish was thinned and liberally applied.

Now I need a boat for these sticks.

3 spars


Plug detail.


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