Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summary Judgment

After contending with several errands and the inevitable traffic jam on the tedious commute home, I rationalized that I could take a night off of sanding this evening. The fact that Birmingham tied a record for today's high temperature had something to do with the decision, I have no doubt.

I was able to locate a copy of the June issue of Sailing Magazine. This month's issue is especially interesting because it contains a review of the Passagemaker Dinghy by noted yacht designer Robert H. Perry. I understand these reviews are usually available on the magazine's web page, but the current issue does not yet appear online. For the curious, you can see the review here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bottoms up!

With the interior finally (!) sanded, tonight was the point when the hull was flipped over to sand the exterior. So it was back onto the sawhorses, which were now covered in old towels to pad them, so the boat could rest on the bow and stern seat surfaces without damaging the hard-won smooth surfaces. The exterior sanding will apparently go a bit quicker. The large expanses of smooth surfaces with outside curves meant that the faster belt sander could be used. I was able to do about a third of the hull before the heat got to me and the 120-grit belts that I had on hand were expended. As that point, I mixed up some unthickened epoxy and gave a first coat to the bare wood of the skeg and skids, something I hadn't done the last time the boat was bottom up. Total hours 83.00.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Back to the grind

May has been a busy and productive month for me. Unfortunately, the productivity hasn't been in the area of boatbuilding. But after some family obligations, a trip out of town, and some business dealings, I was finally able to return to boat sanding this evening. I touched up some last spots with the 120 grit paper, then gave the interior a light going-over with the 220 grit. It looks virtually ready for varnishing. But first, I will have to turn my attention to the exterior, which is as yet untouched. In fact, the skeg and skids still need to be epoxy coated. One good thing is that an early summer has come to the deep South, and so that epoxy should set up quickly! Indeed, if there is a recipe for messiness, in includes sanding dust, 90-plus temps, and sweat. But after a cool shower, I am revived, and excited to finally get back to my Passagemaker dinghy. Total hours 82.00.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Smooth interior

After a tedious and interrupted period, the interior of the Passagemaker is now ready to varnish. Not flawlessly, mirror-smooth. But good enough for my purposes. There remain a few spots to touch up with the finishing 220-grit paper, but for the most part, everything inside the hull is ready for varnish. The next job will be to flip the boat over and get the exterior hull ready for paint. I anticipate that job will go a little faster because of the lack of nooks and corners in the hull exterior. Let's hope.

Meanwhile, over on the Passagemaker Dinghy builder's forum, several other builders are nearing completion of their boats as well. One of them referred to this group of boats as "The Class of 06", a label I thought well enough of to appropriate here. Since the Passagemaker Dinghy kit is still a relatively new product from Chesapeake Light Crafts, there are very few that have been completed at this point. Many, however, are in the pipeline, and are nearing completion. In the next few weeks and months, "The Class of '06" will be hitting the water. It will be great to see the product of so much hard work pay off in sailing and rowing enjoyment for their owner/builders. Total hours 81.25.