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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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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Framing Nailer Fun

About a month ago I spent a few days helping a friend resurrect his backyard shed that had burned to the ground. One day we used the tried and true 24 oz hammer to raise 3 of 4 walls. The following day the right “wing” was quite sore. On the next visit, a framing nailer was available for use. I knew it would be more efficient, but experiencing the difference was an enlightenment. The tool moved to the top of the wishlist. I searched for a deal. Got an Hitachi.

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We were quick with Project #1: more sawhorses. Made from 2×3’s, they’re sturdy and relatively light.

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Project #2: Mothers Day Adirondack chairs. Got tired of buying “disposable” plastic ones each year.

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Adirondack chairs. 2×4’s and 1x’s

With galvanized ring shank nails, these projects are darn near impossible to pull apart. How do I know? I measured twice, but should have thrice. Had to pry off one of the curved back horizontals. Tore it up. Wood dough is good. Primed and 2 coats of Rustoleum should keep these in service for years.

I now see all kinds of use for wood cut offs. Awesome tool!

Lugger? Bugger!

There is nothing like self imposed distractions. Winter has a habit of forcing more of them upon me. Is it a restlessness? Perhaps. If so, it seems to have set in early this year.

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While motoring LUNA around to the boatyard a few weeks ago, I thought it preferable not to undertake all I was about to go through: the down rigging, packing the trailer, rechecking  that, hauling the boat some 80 miles and then providing cover for the cold season (forget the hassles of a flat trailer tire, old tarps, etc.). Such was my mindset when someone suggested looking again at Paul Gartside’s Design #166: the 6 Metre Centerboard Lugger (above). Shouldn’t have done that. Firstly, Gartside can’t draw ugly lines. His catalog demonstrates that. Secondly, this pretty trailer sailer was all it took to get me dreaming of extended cruises along distant coasts. No offense is intended towards UNA, but this other lugger appeals in many ways also. Some quite differently. A couple days on and LUNA was home under wraps. I paused. The bug struck again. Attempting to be rational about it all, I began a list outlining the pro’s and con’s of not just this design, but several others. A quick spreadsheet of the contenders considered size constraints, construction limits, sail area to displacement ratios and naturally that question, “Is she fast?” Further on, an inordinate amount of time was spent perusing  WoodenBoat Forum and the myriad of suggestions and opinions. Some were valued. To justify my growing library of design books I flipped back through volumes by the likes of Chapelle, Oughtred, Culler, Gardner, etc. Another few days passed. So many beautiful small boats with history. However, undaunted, this little lugger kept popping to the surface.

I had to do something. You’d guess enlisting “moral” support from fellow sailors isn’t helpful (boy, was that putting gas on the fire!). Right, no firehoses were offered. Any critiques were mere droplets, and only objections to small details or did I even hear them?

I ordered study plans from Gartside and crafted a half hull model at 1″ to the foot.

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I find the study process enjoyable. Maybe that is part of the forever search of the “next” boat. From selecting wood, cutting lifts, laminating, planing, carving, sanding, and finishing, each stage allows meditation. What is the damage anyway?  If you choose a nice boat, at worst,  you’ve some wall art. Yea, but does it end there?

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But what about the Ducker?! I know. I know. She’s not forgotten. Her molds are still hanging ready to be used in the shed.

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But then, what have I done? I should have just finished putting the leather ties on the F-1 and stayed out of bigger trouble.

Why has it so far been painless? That’s good, right?  … or is it?

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