Thursday, July 26, 2018

"Build to the work."

I am in the middle of dry-fitting the rudder and tiller to the transom.
This is the upper portion.
This is the lower portion, also showing the structural mock-up of the skeg.
And the backing plate for the upper gudgeon bolts (with temporary hardware).

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This works on dry land, too!

Normally, under the conditions the Weekender is designed for, a boarding ladder is not a high priority. But along the R2AK course, it becomes an important safety feature.

I recently got mine dry-fit. In the process of testing it out, I realized that it is quite useful here in my garage as I continue the construction process.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

In Memoriam

I just learned that Paul Riccelli (known as PAR on several boat-building forums) passed away unexpectedly on May 30th, 2018. He helped me immensely with my build through his forum comments, personal emails and the fin keel plans I am using. He was also an early sponsor of R2AK Team Kingsfold.

And now he's gone. And he won't get to see my boat finished and floating.

That makes five people who are listed In Memoriam in my list of contributors to this project.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cutting Holes in My Boat Today

No, I'm not sabotaging my project. I'm making progress. There are now four holes in the cabin wall for portlights, and one in the main bulkhead for a compass.
A friend of mine salvages old sailboats. A visit to his place got me quite a number of items for an excellent price. Thank you, Randy! The bulkhead-mount compass and my new boarding ladder are two of them. And this photo clearly shows the self-draining cockpit arrangements (another hole in my boat) I am in the process of building.
"Coincidentally," a construction error I made a couple years ago necessitated that I build out the base for my rudder's upper gudgeon. I had not settled on a solution for re-entering the boat after taking a swim until I found this hinged rung. The folded ladder tucks away nicely against the transom, out of the way of the rudder pushed hard over because of the extension I built quite awhile ago. I wish I had begun and kept a journal to document the many errors-that-became-features like this one which I have encountered building Kingsfold.

Monday, April 9, 2018

I can't do this alone, so, "Thanks" to:

Or, “It’s not what you know, but who….”
In this case, it's my brother, Greg. He is a long-time employee at Paul Fritts & Company. Notre Dame Magazine featured him this last year in this article about a Paul Fritts organ installed at the University of Notre Dame.
It may seem odd that a company that builds tracker pipe organs would have any connection to sailboat building. But through this connection, I have access to a bit of lead, some old growth lumber, and a high-tech table saw which will be the right tool for the job of cutting the pieces to build my hollow mast. To say nothing of my brother's considerable expertise.

My brother also enjoys spending time in vehicles that use the wind. See for yourself in this video I produced for the Puget Sound Soaring Association.

When I was exploring the idea of making a sailboat, one of the things about the Weekender design that attracted me was that it could be built with common hand tools. As the intended final product has morphed from the stock version outlined in the plans to what I am building for the R2AK, I have moved away from that to take advantage of other resources that go beyond "common hand tools."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

More Thanks

I visited Gig Harbor Boat Works this afternoon. Falk suggested a hardware change where the bobstay connects to the stem that will eliminate a potential water penetration point in my design. He also showed me an option for a stainless steel keel strip, and how to best use it on my boat. Then he gave me a tutorial comparing oarlock types—circular, oval, and "D."

I learned that compared to the circular oarlocks, the oval ones (oriented vertically) do a better job of keeping the oar seated properly while allowing good movement up and down. The advantage that the "D" oarlocks (combined with a flat face on each oar) provide over the other two styles is knowing precisely how your blade is oriented. A trade-off, however, is greater potential costs.

GHBW is sponsoring a sliding seat for rowing Kingsfold. Check out their sliding seat hardware here.

In defense of round oarlocks, Nate Rooks of Team Bunny Whaler (Full Race in 2016, Stage 1 in 2017) told me,

"Tim Penhallow used round oarlocks (just like you have) and oars for the whole way, usually rowing ~15 hours a day."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Live and Learn

I've likely said it before, but I'll say it again here. Everything takes way longer than I think it will. Actually, I haven't really put as much thought into how long stuff may take to finish as I probably should have....(Although if I had, I may never have even started.) I am elated by how close to being finished this boat appears to be now, at least as compared to a few years ago.

Not only construction takes time. Jumping through the hoops to be able to enter the R2AK does too. And because Ed and I aren't seasoned—Dare I say salty?—sailors, we have to spend more time in order to demonstrate that we and Kingsfold are safe to be allowed on the course. Fair enough, actually. I want to be safe enough before I venture out there, too.

So Ed and I had a phone conversation today. It is clear that we will need to postpone our entry in the R2AK until 2019. We will not be idle during that time! Keep an eye on this blog for updates.

[photo by Ed Heyman]