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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four

It’s been a whopper of a morning staff meeting, here at the Frankenpalace.  I think we got started at about zero-five.  It’s now about ten-thirty.  I guess it’s because I took a few hours off yesterday to go sailing.  Seems like everybody had something to add or subtract or change or wonder about.  We’ve all been to meetings like that.  But, now that the “leaking thing” is sort of put to bed; it’s all about the NEXT PHASE.  If only we could agree on what and how and when that is all supposed to take place.

Now that the guys got a floor laid in what will soon be a wheel house or head compartment or galley or berthing area - you begin to see how this is devolving - it’s obviously time to start inventing some sort of roof.  Or, roofs.  And windows.  And skylights.  And doors.  And, stuff we ain’t even thought of yet.

Last night, I sort of took it easy.  Kate and I were off at our regular Wednesday night dine-out with a gang of Diamond Lake and Newport locals.  We actually do this every week, at a different emporium of epicurean delights.  Someplace in about a 10-mile circle of home.  I managed to get a seat at the long table across from my friend, Sam, the structural genius.

I was telling Sam about how this Frankenbuild project was coming along, and how about the next step was to start inventing a roof.  I told him about how The Lucas makes just about everything from tooth brush racks to hockey rinks out of foam and ‘glass.  I went on to complain about how much this was gonna’ cost to make a whole cabin out of ‘pox.  Even at the bargain basement prices Miss Cindy assures me that I get from her people at the World Headquarters of Duckworks Boat Building Supply; it’s gonna’ be one big glop of gooeyness.  Of course Sam had “an idea.”

About an hour later, my dinner was still getting cold(er) in front of me.  But, I was some kinda’ jazzed.

All Sam said, was, “Whatif?  Whatif you used PAPER?”  Paper, huh?  So, we talked about sheer strength, glue bonds, grain boundaries, and moduli of just about everything you can think about.  And, I guess that’s pretty much why my morning meeting has gone on, and on, and on.

We all crowded around the table.  It was so intense, the coffee pot went ignored for about the first hour.  Heck, I was still in my bathrobe until about ten.  Scribbles on a napkin.  Lots and lots of hand waving in the air, with confident grins.  Followed by lots and lots of “huhuhdon’tgonnawork’s”.  About five trips out to the shop - in slippers and robe.  Tape measures scattered all around, with pencils set down and lost.  Framing squares and straight edges propped up and clamped helter skelter.  Intense, I tell you!

Of course the ergonomic guys wanted to know how much headroom this contraption was going to afford.  The seamanship consultants wanted to know where the helm station was supposed to fit, along with whether the Captain would have his cushy helm seat.  The style guys were all over the map with curves and flats and questions about how this thing was going to work with the deck contours and whether it would complement the sheerline.  Sooooooo many questions.

Now, it’s going on lunch time, and there hasn’t been a lick of real work out in that shop today.  Not yet, anyway.  But, maybe we can let the recording secretary get the minutes brought up to speed.  Maybe we can take a break for a while and see what Sam has to say.

Oh yeah!

And, I gotta’ read up on adhesives and foam and, of course, PAPER.  I’ll let you know what I figure out.  Er, um, what WE figure out, that is…

So, now that it’s about time to knock off the night shift, I’m reminded of a couple basic truths.  One comes from my days as a leadership and management training guru.  “One must know the difference between urgent and important.”  This, seen through the lens of a paramount veracity:  “Boats - and boatbuilding by logical extension - are not a matter of life or death.”  Certainly not.  They are much more important than that!

And, as luck would have it, today has been consumed by the “urgent” things on my list.  Appointments, commitments, obligations; and mostly overdue tasks.  And, as everybody knows, tasks can take up a great deal more time than allocated.  So it goes.  For example, this is the load of boat parts that had started to accumulate in a spot not exactly “authorized” for such an accumulation.  Sure, I’ll think of a good use for each and every chunk just as soon as I deliver them to the transfer station.

I did make a few test specimens with foam and paper and glue.

As far as holding things together until they are glassed, this looks like a jumping off point.  As a paintable shell, not so much.  So, the next step is to start converting mental images into stuff that gets glued, shaped, glassed and painted.  Maybe tomorrow.  Where mockups like this, start to make more sense.

Hey.  This is gonna’ be sooooooo cool…

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