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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA


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One step forward, and two steps back; It’s still someplace you might not have been recently. 

There I was, ready to move on to the next thing.  Well, I only thought I was ready.  Actually, there was some already-done stuff that needed to happen again.  And, I admit it.  I don’t really like to cut old polyester boats up with a Sawzall.  Even, when it’s for “their own good.”  The powder gets into and on EVERYTHING.  Even with reasonable precautions, that old song that goes, “You’re gonna’ need an ocean of cal-o-mine lotion. She’s gonna’ make you itch and scratch…” seems to always be playing in the background.  Not my favorite part of Frankenbuilding.  Probably not yours, either.


But, if I’m going to have decent storage and places for “things and other stuff” to hide out of sight, there are some sections of the old sailboat liner that simply had to come out.  So, that’s what the day shift got accomplished.  Pretty much a mess.   But, like I was saying, it simply had to go.  So.

Both port and starboard are now a lot bigger.  There’s almost two feet of once-inaccessible space under each side deck.

The galley will set into the rather huge hole to starboard.  The thundermug and some sort of a settee or couch or even hide-a-bed will recess into the gaping chasm to port.  The remaining sections are left to hold things up that need to be held up.  And this was about as emotionally satisfying as a root canal gone badly.  Necessary.  But.

But, not the sort of thing that you want to write home about.  So, I tried something that I’ve only wondered about.  Dunno if it qualifies as a real herringbone pattern, or not. 

But, I like it.

In fact, I think maybe the aft bulkhead just might sprout a bouquet like this one.  But, first I’ve gotta build a galley and a hide-a-bed.  And, I have no idea what they are supposed to look like.


Sometimes, when you don’t quite know where you are headed, you just have to start with the first step.

After a while, a destination comes into view.  And, since, you really didn’t have a preference, the one you found just may be quite suitable.  And so, the figuring-it-out phase for “Miss Kathleen” has reached a stopping point.  A short pause, anyway.

A couple days ago, there was an initial smattering of wooden ceiling strips up forward.  And, a couple gaping holes in the sides of the gonna-be cabin.  Not so little things like an extra berth, a place to put the thunder mug, how big and where to put the galley, and even whether to put in a conventional helm station were all up for grabs.  So, I invited Sam, the structural genius over for a gam.  Mostly I wanted him to tell me if he thought the coachroof would probably not fall down.  But, the biggest topic became whether I could reasonably cut even more of the original fiberglass liner away. 

Well, Sam hadn’t even cleared the driveway, and I already had the ol’ Sawzall out and loaded with a fresh blade.

And, as soon as things like knee room and nose room were pretty well figured out.  Poof!  A convertible couch (still have to invent the back rest) and pilot berth morphed out of a sheet or two of ½” mdo.  There’s a place for the commode and a separate stowage cavern.

And, as a no-extra-cost option, the two berth flats follow the curve of the long skinny hull.

Then, another chunk of expensive sheet goods got whacked up into strips and panels and stuff.  Presto!  A carcase for both the galley counter/sink cabinet and a hanging locker/general stowage.

There’s much yet to do.  But, all in all, quite a lot is getting done.

This will all get covered with solid wood face frames, rail and style doors, natural wood fiddles, and so forth.  Still to get figured out is how to mount the steering thingie.  Maybe a whipstaff mounted to starboard.  Maybe a wheel in a sort of helm station.  Gotta wait to see what pops up.  But while I was leaning on my shovel, I think I figured out the proportions for decorating the cabin exterior.  Maybe something like this.

Something like this, anyway.  Sometimes you just have to start walking.  The destination will take care of itself.


I was probably supposed to be doing something else.  But, as I gazed out at the first real snow of the season, and guessed that the 3-4 inches of white stuff would probably melt away before I could even get it plowed up.

A few sorts of objective notions popped into my distracted consciousness.  This happens from time to time. 

I had already mocked up the basic contours for exterior foo-foo appliques.   The curve was actually just a pencil line that I drew on a piece of scrap plywood, cut out and smoothed up with the belt sander.  Then, all I had to do was extend the line from “about there, to about here” and flip the trailing end over.

The hard part would be to get everything to fit while attempting to glue it up piecemeal in rather awkward locations.

Soooooo, while I was debating the merits of firing up Little Alice the plow tractor for her first mission of the season; somebody from the Planning Department left this scrawled on a scrap of paper on the kitchen table.  Next to my now-cold coffee cup and still-empty cereal bowl.

I think it’s about as close to a plan as we are allowed to have here at the Frankenwerk.



Put herringbone chevrons on upper cabin sides in tigerwood.

Experiment with flatter angles.

Make jig to get end round-overs consistent (use backing board for router bearing)

Mount on ¼” AC and shape the edges with pattern before mounting.


Put strips (VERTICAL GRAIN HEMLOCK) on with bend(s) forced into substrate.

Trim edges as one big piece.

Make mock-ups in doorskins until satisfied.

Experiment with leaving one or more strips off to allow for screws to hold panel with liberal globs of glue.

If done well, the division line from the two patterns should take care of itself.  If not, then glue up facia pieces in jigs made with patterns taken from actual edge cuts.

Experiment with different ways of wedging the panels in place to hold glue tight.


Put commode (regular marine head or porta pot) on small platform that swings like a pendulum around an axis/axle and rides on small casters - to stow next to the forward berth, and come away from head knockers for use.” 

So, I guess the “short break” is over.  Time to get some perfectly good hardwood turned into dust, noise, and chunks.

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