Archive for March, 2013

The Third Strake

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Not much to write here, really. Third strake is much like the second. It went quicker, as I’m finally getting the hang of planking. I planked the starboard side on my own. Which went quicker than with Harvey, and was more boring. Kiren helped out with the port side (Holla’).


The other photo is of the sail loft! My sails are done!! I just have to go and pick them up.

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photo 1-2

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Some wonderful photos

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I owe these photos to Ms. Kaylyn Messer ( They are lovely. 

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Mistakes have been fixed

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Progress has been made. Planks have been joined to the boat. Puppies have added much to the gaiety of the process, if not to the speed.

All in all, things with Ratty are in a much happier state than when last I wrote. I left this blog having just re-laminated the forefoot of the starboard garboard strake. Somehow I didn’t take photos of that. Nor, apparently, did I take photos after I’d also re-laminated the port side. It seems I was so sick of those particular pieces of the boat that I plowed straight on into the second strake. No matter; the process was much the same as the first time, with 3 layers of 3mm Joubert Okoume ply, gooped to all get out with thickened epoxy and held together with drywall screw clamps. As promised, I made them oversize, and then had my solo plywood massaging evening with each of them.

Then I went skiing for a week with the family, returned refreshed, and cut the second strake. This was a much quicker operation– easy patterning off of the garboard, straightforward scarfing, and generally easy glue-up. Thanks again to Anne for helping with the glue-up.

I’ll talk in detail only about the clamping system, which is Iain Oughtred’s, and which is awesome. Instead of using fasteners along the length of the plank, which would have cost an arm and a leg in bronze, or of buying sufficient bar clamps to do the whole thing (which would have cost about the same as a house in Middle America), Iain suggests cutting the boat building equivalent of old-style clothespins. As can be seen in the photos, I cut about 25 of these, and they did a fabulous job of holding the garboard and second strake together while the glue set.

At the transom and stem I did fasten with bronze, and I sandwiched all the scarf joints between scrap plywood, through-screwing to tighten. It’ll mean a few holes to fill, but not many.

I worked on starboard side first, and Anne and I glued them up in about 1 hour. Then, on Saturday night, we glued up the port side, this time with the help of Harvey, a 3 month old setter/golden retriever mix. Dogs are a critical part of the boatbuilding process, and Harvey performed a valuable role: rather than 1 hour, the port side took 2 hours. However, we had infinitely more fun, and finished just in time for the roast chicken to come out of the oven. So everyone was happy.

Even Harvey, once we’d removed the epoxy from his butt.






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