Belle Island

Last Thursday with daughter and UNA, we drove to Belle Island State Park on the north bank of the Rappahannock River to met Kevin and Little T.

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creek at Belle Island

By 11:00 that morning we we’re sailing  downriver with the tide for the evening. Winds were westerly, light and predominantly downwind. To gain some breeze, we tacked toward Urbanna on the south bank. As the breeze had all but died we took a swim at the small beach just to starboard of Urbanna’s creek entry. Water, sun and beer were just perfect as we lay on the water’s edge. Kevin, opposed to bathing, motored on in to tour the creek.

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Urbanna swim

The breeze returned from the east and we took the opportunity to sail across the river to Whitehouse Creek in the mouth of the Corrotoman. That was a 15 mile day. Dinner was Indian spread over rice.

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raft up before dinner

We broke our raft up around 7:30 and by 8:00 were bunked and out. UNA is more of a 1 man boat for overnighting. All the gear I typically shove to port had to be stowed for additional floor space. The evening was just cool enough and we were sufficiently in a breeze to keep the bugs at bay. Regardless, it was a restless night arresting odd sounds from a bumping tiller to a rocking mizzen mast. Morning started at 06:00, cool and bright.

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morning coffee
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filming Little T swinging at anchor

A NW breeze would make the sail back up river comfortable. We enjoyed the scenes along the banks.

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old pier and shop beyond

We met several of the OBC crew and their boats along the way.

 

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That night’s dinner menu included camp grilled brats from PA (thanks Peter), pasta salad, mellon, pineapple and deadly brownies (thanks Francie).

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the crew

Saturday’s sail was more local as a girl needed to head home. Before that however, we had another enjoyable beach picnic. The water temp was fantastic and the sun just warm enough.

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picnic princess

I said goodbye to my little girl and headed back out to chase the other boats. Racing back into the close quarters of the creek was my favorite part of sailing for the weekend. With a piped breeze and full sail, hiking out was needed. Reminded me of Moth and Laser sailing.

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Dinner that night was out at the Lancaster Tavern. Too much to eat, but that is usually the case. Slept hard. Departed after breakfast Sunday morning. Some stayed behind to sail (Barry and Dennis). Wish I had too. Fun few days. Good friends.

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The Gloucester Light Dory

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My daughter has notions of building a rowboat. I wonder where she got that idea? In an effort to help her find a simple and effective build, “Dynamite” Payson’s Gloucester Light Dory came to mind. I’ve seen the design several times in Maine and have been impressed with its docile qualities, simple construction, functional details and elegance. My daughter read the Payson’s “How to Build …” booklet yesterday. However, she didn’t know I’d decided to make her a model as a gift. No push is intended, but maybe it will remind the girl to follow her dream compass.

 

 

Doug Hylan’s Chesapeake Crab Skiff

Doug Hylan has a number of beautiful designs. Not the smallest, but certainly one of the prettiest, is this little 15′ plywood constructed skiff. Off Center Harbor featured the boat awhile back here. I built a 1/2 model … Go figure. This would be an excellent boat for teaching how to “simply mess about in boats”. I think I will. Get it?

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In the meantime, we have some more wall art.

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Now, back to work!! Slacker!

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LUNA’s Facelift

If only it was so simple for the rest of us. Hard to believe we have owned (had stewardship) of LUNA for 2 years now. After a few bumps and bruises, she needed a new coat. 3 years seems to be the limit for a linear polyurethane exposed to our sun and salt water anyway. That may be 1 year longer than traditional paint. I’ll take it.

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First coat

Thought I’d offer a few tips in the rolling and tip method to covering, some I’ve scoped on-line and some I just had to learn by doing.

  • Conditions: Warm, 70-75 degrees, still, somewhat humid, but early morning.
  • Materials: Interlux Brightsides “Matterhorn White”, Interlux Brushing liquid 333, Tee shirt rags, white “hot dog” roller pads, small paint pan, 3m blue painter’s tape, 3m wet sanding block #220, etc.
  • I previously had wooded, sanded (120 grit to 220) and applied 5 coats of LeTonkinois on the toe rail port and starboard. I’ve saving a final 6th coat until topsides are done.
  • Topsides were wet sanded with the 220 sponge, rinsed, and dings fared with a red glazing compound that worked on UNA well. These spots were then sanded.
  • Before painting wetted the surrounding yard +/-20′ from the boat to knock down the dust.
  • Topsides were then taped off from rail and boot top, sides cleaned with the 333 thinner and hit with a tag rag.
  • A pint of paint was added to pan with 1 cap full of the 333. My middle son took rolling instructions and was a big help. We started at the starboard bow and worked around the boat. We are both right-handed. This allowed me to follow his 18-24″ application by roller with my backhand tipping from top to bottom.
  • Even with the thinner, we had to move fast. Here is a big tip we learned after the first few applications: The brush tipping must overlap the previous patch by a good 8-12″ in order to not telegraph each start and stop.
  • In rolling, place paint in thin coats from left to right and finish with up and down rolling for horizontal tipping from top to bottom, quickly. Do this twice. Once with more pressure to push the paint along evenly and the last with a delicate touch. By this time the roller boy has the next spot ready.
  • We were done in 1 hour. The port side looks best as the technique was mastered by then. A little gentle wet sanding of the starboard side will improve it. You cannot go back and work out any drips or imperfections while the paint is drying. Forget about it. Save it for the next coat.
  • 2 hours later and no drips whatsoever are evident. Thinner coats are better than heavier. 1 quart of paint may get 2 coats done.
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Wineglass gorgeous

We took the dog for a swim and waited 2 days before coat number 2.

 

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dog paddling

 

Coat 2 was quicker and covered the sins from coat 1. Using the same color paint allowed 2 coat coverage and all with less than a quart! 28″ is so much easier to care for than 42. No surprise there, but it is a factor of 4. I’m very happy with the results.

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Found a 1/2 dozen gnats in the mix. To be expected in July.
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Overall. Bootstrap is next.

Given the weather has not held rain (but it is coming), I sketched an idea this morning for shade to go after the decks.

 

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scribble

 

But … Couldn’t finish the real thing in today’s heat, 99 degrees.

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Had to take a “swim” myself. Bud Light helped too. Stinking hot!

September is coming. More later. Stay cool.

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Shelter gained.

Later: got the last trusses and tarps on. The whole elaborate thing took longer than expected, but not having to yank tarps on and off and to have shade makes the whole prospect of working the decks and cabin more appealing. The old traps came from years ago when I renovated our first cruising boat “Emily”, a 1974 Pearson 1 Meter. She too was a nice boat. Too many of them out there. Here she is after an Imron paint job and 2-3 years of sometimes weekend alterations and repair. Too much to list. Emily took us for many, many weeks up and down the Bay for maybe 15 years. Memories.

Going to add some hurricane ties from rafter to beam wall and add a couple cross beams under the trailer for any uplift risk. Not today though. Real feel 105. Yep, it is out there.

Mikey Floyd’s “Salty Heaven”

This 17′ boat is one of several boats I mulled over before building UNA. Floyd really got some beautiful lines set here. She looks so workmanlike.

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Mikey Floyd in his “Salty Heaven”, the original boat.

No laps in the intended clinker construction in this 1/2 hull, but the grace still shines through. Could still be a project down the road. In the meantime I’ve some more wall art.

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Dare I Err?

When will it stop? The symptoms are consistent and persistent, indicating a severe case of “next boat” psychosis: a beautiful design catches the eye, offers a possible solution for some niche of boating I’d like to do or perfect. From there an infatuation develops quickly. Much studying and “rationalizing” time is spent. Once past those tests, I jump wholeheartedly … until, the next one comes along. How I’ve finished the boats I have built surprises me. Thank God there are far fewer lovely designs compared to the loads of uglies never to steal my time.

I was set on the Gartsides’ Lugger, had cut staves for the spars and shaped the boomkin. All was fine until I found he had posted a new design, the Ditch Witch, interesting in concept, but too small. However, it led me to taking another look at his Spartan II, a trailer capable cutter whose dimensions approximate those of the Lugger. Why me?!

To add fuel to the fire, Boat Design Quarterly reviewed the original Spartan. I ordered that issue, read and re-read the feature. Curiosity took hold. I then purchased study plans for Spartan II to which Mr. Gartside graciously added the lines plan allowing me to build another half hull matching the scale of the  Lugger for close comparison. A nice enough 2×6 pine board was found for the model’s lifts which were cut, glued, carved, and sanded fair. Details and rig were added.

 

 

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Here are some final model pics.

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This design is a beauty too. For a whole host of reasons, I’m torn between these 2 boats. As luck would have it the staves already cut for the Lugger can be used for the Spartan. I suspect the cutter is another 25% time investment to build. That wineglass Lugger transom is nice. The cutter has a group of sails that would be fun to play with and I bet she’ll plane. The simple Lugger is one I know and love. Her cockpit is more generous and no compression post in the cabin.

Geez! See what I mean?

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