Friday, August 04, 2006

Gunwales, Mast, Mast steps...

I know, it's been a long time since our last post! Actually, it was about 9 days between free moments to work on the boat at all. Now it's taken me a few days to find the time to put up some pics. The installation of the gunwales was next. Here you can see us using an electric sander to make quick work of the sanding of the 18' length of wood. The more sanding we can do now before installation, the less we'll have to do later!
The gunwales are installed by putting them in place with some clamps... driving some screws (6-8) dry to create guide holes (because with the glue on they tend to slide all over), then pulling the screws back out for the application of glue. After that, it's just a matter of putting in a ton of screws, interspersed with a bunch of clamps. Then you just wait overnight for the assembly to harden nicely. Clamps and screws... clamps and screws.The next step is to cut out the mast blank, the yard and the boom. These are all cut from the remains of the 18' X 2" X 12". I reset the jig we used earlier to cut the 3/4" pieces (for the gunwales and the chines) so that it cuts a 1 1/2" wide piece. This setting will create two lengths of wood, for the yard and the boom. The yard and the boom are the framework for the sail... and are 11'7" and 14'7" in length respectively. Once these are cut, we miraculously have what amounts to a 2 X 4 left! Here is what was left of the 18' piece of lumber after the cuts were made:And, here are the three pieces of lumber, after we had done some work on them. You may notice that the mast (the piece on the right) is shorter than the others... and is tapered. The mast is 10 feet long, and we tapered it from 4" wide at the base to 1 1/2" at the top. We also took a router with a round-over bit in it, and rounded the edges of all three pieces.
So you can see the taper in more detail, here's a close up of the butt end of the pieces...And here's a closeup of the tapered end. We'll take the sander to these, and then they'll be ready for painting... and finally some sailing hardware!The next project we tackled was the installation of the mast step and the mast partner. These are the pieces of plywood that will hold the mast in place. Here you can see that we have installed a support piece to go under the mast step... with glue and screws from the outside of the boat. They are placed about 3 1/2" from the top edge of the boat.Here's a shot of the supports on both sides.Next, we had to cut holes in the mast step and partner, for the mast to slide in. To do this we found the center of the wood, then drew the outline of the mast cross-section in the correct location. Next, we drilled 3/8" holes in each corner, in order to get a hole saw started. Then we simply cut out the holes! Here you can see what the finished product looked like.Here, we have installed the mast partner with glue and screws... and that pretty much finished up the 400 3/4" screws we purchased for the boat. Imagine that! The next step in the process is to accurately locate the mast step in the bottom of the boat. In order to do that you slide the mast into the partner. To do this, I had to pull the boat out of the garage, and into the open air! Here's the mast in position! It actually looks like a sailboat now!

In order to correctly locate the mast step, you have to check the mast to make sure it is perpendicular to the ground. Here we use a level to check it along the side and the front... and make small adjuctments until it's in the perfect position.When it is, we carefully mark around the mast step with a pencil. This is then glued in place by driving screws through the bottom of the boat. We'll do that tomorrow.

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