Custom Search
   boat plans
   gift certificates
Join Duckworks
Get free newsletter
on this site
by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA


1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Well.  Things pretty much blew up in my face.  Nothing really worked out like planned.  At least, I didn’t plan anything that worked out.  A sensible guy would scrap the whole thing and start over.  A pessimistic guy would probably flee in horror.  And, a smart guy, well…

Fortunately for this project, we don’t have any of those guys on the crew.  We do have a large supply of bull-headed-blind-confidence. In fact, I have plenty of that stuff.  Enough to share.

So, the paper ended up in a giant version of as Safeway shopping bag.  It does seem to stick to itself, just not to the foam.  I pondered using two skins and a single core.  While that did have promise, I was probably sitting on a barrel of that BHBC stuff at the time; so I just decided to stick with the current horse to try to continue swimming for the far bank of the stream.  Not that expert opinion from folks with actual experience hasn’t been offered.  I guess it’s the nature of the beast.  Nothing of a “conventional” method seemed to fill the bill.  Press on regardless…

Way back, in the Boy Scouts, when I was first learning how to be a lifeguard; we were indoctrinated into the idea that when people think they are drowning, they can do just that in waist-deep water.  And, in this mode, I was probably only in ankle deep water.  Another step, and all would turn out OK.  Well, I suspect I did manage to do what my old lifeguard instructor told us about.  It sure felt like deep, deep kim chee.  So, I decided to keep  doing the same thing.  Again.  Only, different.

Instead of using paper and spray glue, I went to eighth-inch door skins and good ol’ PL Premium over the same old double-layer of tortured foam sheets.

The edges do present a problem.  Not a new problem.  Just one yet to solve. 

Once, more or less glued in place.  And, more or less smooth and fair.  And, more or less shaped around the pretty darn thick perimeter.  It was time to test fit this baby elephant before it could eat any more bananas.  The future top layer(s) of ‘pox & glass will certainly not make it any lighter.

The psychometric construct, “visual learning” is almost certainly an oxymoron.  But, as a practitioner of that particularly difficult art; I find it absolutely necessary to see what I’ve got so far, to visualize where I’m gonna’ go from here.  So, I dragged this rather ginormous lid up onto the deck and sprouted some temp supports to sort of see how things are maybe going.  At first blush, I was encouraged.

Next up, was to start doing sort of “final assemblies” to create a sort of reliable form to put the lid back up onto when taped and glassed and shaped and faired - down on the floor where I can better reach things.  A couple brain storms resulted in this overall concept.

Current “plan” is to add a 3-foot solid section aft, and a pair of left-over turned stanchions near the nose.  The solid section should blend with the cladding yet to go on the foundations, and sport a port hole.  The stanchions will sit inboard a bit, to allow for a row of arched windows along both sides the rest of the way forward.

Tally hooooooo…..

This thing is gonna’ work.

My road warrior buddy, Dennis, the Bard of Burnaby has already asked me if maybe, just maybe, I was suffering the after effects of too long with too short an attention span.  That was earlier today.   I think I told him “nonsense.”  Then, I sort of forgot what we were talking about and ran off onto a new adventure.   In the spirit of the times - presidential election debate season - I did attempt to do a bit of damage control vis a vis my “position.”  I suggested that attention span was over rated.  Heck, the deer tick can hang around for two years, looking for the next of his lifetime total three meals; just so he can get a girlfriend.  Then, she kicks him off the leaf.  I say, a guy should probably explore other options, now and then.

When this monstrosity is finally in place, and hopefully not leaking, I will have totally forgotten how much a PIA it really has been.  To listen to The Lucas, building a foam and glass top for a boat is just about as easy as falling off a piece of cake.  Or, eating a log?  Something.

Anyhow, I’m here to tell you, there’s more to it than that.  Of course he has his Privy Council that sit around the Tikithrone, sage advice bubbling over like an upturned beer truck.  I’m sure those guys really do know what they are doing.  I’m much more limited in actual hands-on advice.  Sam did come over, and he did loan me his hot wire setup.  His verbal instructions all started with “All you have to do, is…”  Then, he ran off to hide out in Arizona.  Part of the witness protection program, or something.  So, when Plan A, B, and part of C didn’t pan out.  I decided to simply wing it.  Sound familiar?

This is sort of how I hope the thing will look, someday.  But, that shop ceiling is way closer to the lid than I care to shove my head into and work at beyond fingertips’ reach from a ladder.  So, once sort of vetted for shape, and flatness, and curve, and stuff like that.  Down we came, again.

I figure that it’ll take quite a bit of glass to equal good old trees for stiffness and impact resistance.  So, back to something that grew in the forest.  Chopped up, and rearranged, of course.

This is a lot like putting a crust on a marshmallow sandwich.  And, yes, I do still have to ‘pox and glass and tape the thing into submission.  But, if I do end up accidentally turning the boat over, at sea, it’ll make for one helluva big longboard to surf to shore on.  Did Duke Kahannamoku have these problems?

To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit one of the following:

our Yahoo forum our Facebook page