Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The first step to getting help.... admitting that you have a problem.  Yes, I admit, I have a problem, an addiction if you will.  Instead of spending time, money and effort to finish the boat I already have, I instead found a good deal on another boat, and have started sailing that one instead, while the C26 still sits in her shed awaiting my time.

 For those of you with a discerning eye, yes, this is a Clipper Marine 21.  And yes, I am aware that there are a lot of people out there who HATE this boat and the brand.  Yes, I did my research on typical problems with this boat and knew the risks.  I bought it anyway because it was essentially ready to sail, and at half the purchase price of the Columbia C26, with a good trailer, I couldn't pass it up.
 Yes, this boat has been somewhat poorly taken care of, but I don't care if the interior needs to be redone.  I don't care that the previous owner had used hardware from the hardware store to make new shrouds.  I don't care that the boat is missing companionway boards.  I want something I can tow to the lake/ocean, pop the rig up, and go sail for the day with my son.  I want something that I don't really care if it gets beat up by the kids, because its already kind of beat up.  I want something that is cheap, and doesn't need a fortune to keep it on the water.  This boat fits all those criteria.  It also happens to sail reasonably well too.  I would also like to add that I am feeling quite lucky since I decided to pull the Mercury Sailpower (5ish HP) motor from the C26 that has had no maintenance, attention, or run time in the last several years, to use for the new boat.  Adding new gas was all it took to get the thing fired up and running.  I guess sometimes it is nice to have old tech, since it just works.

Clipper Marine 21
On the maiden voyage today, I noticed that with the swing keel down, the boat is immensely stable.  Walking the side decks (what little there are for side decks) does little to heel the boat, which is impressive since I am not a small man.  I expected a much more tender boat without sails up, but should not be surprised since it was designed by Bill Crealock, a well renowned offshore sailboat designer.  One of the complaints of this boat is that it was built to a price point, and yes, it shows, but on the same token, for having been built to a price point, it sails like a more expensive boat.  We had 5 mph or less of wind, and the boat was happy to glide along under a full main and working jib.  A genoa would have been preferable today, but for a relaxed first outing to see what her personality might be, a working jib was enough.  Also, we commented that for a family boat, this one was in no danger of being easily over powered.  On another day, the spinnaker from the C26 might make its way up the mast for a blast down wind, but that will likely be a solo sail.......  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lobster boat in Action!

In case you have been wondering what we've been up to, we've been at the Lake, the pool, and the ocean playing in the wonder summer weather that has finally come.

With a coat of epoxy over the paint, I though we were going to be all set with this boat.  Unfortunately, the water seems to be penetrating through the back/inside of the boat and peeling the paint/epoxy finish.  Lesson learned for the next one.....

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

....because every Maine boy needs a Lobster boat!!!

Last year for Christmas I "gave" my son this:

Yes, it was 2 pieces of paper with plans for a lobster boat on it.  To be fair, he was 4 months old, and probably does not remember me giving this to him.  In the last year, when I have had some free time and not been working on house projects or chasing the rascal around, I have been working on this project.  The goal was to have it built by Christmas 2015, and (SPOILER ALERT) I have done just that!  Mine deviates from the plans a bit, but I went simple since it is going to a toddler, not someone who will take care of a model boat.  And, if I am honest, I want him to play with the boat and enjoy it, not just have it sit on a shelf and collect dust.

If you were wondering why it took me almost a year to build this 20 inch long boat, other than I have a toddler to look after, this is why:  This is not a kit, this is not a simple slap together 6 pieces and done kinda thing.  I had to cut every individual piece and glue it together.  Luckily I had a bunch of spruce kicking around, so the boat was made mostly from spruce, with the exception of the frames, which were modeler's plywood, and the deck house, which was left over 1/4 inch  plywood scraps.  

This was also a plank on frame construction, which is labor intensive, but accurate to how actual boats are/were built.  To the left are the first two planks in the first layer of planking.  Since I didn't do much research into how to actually do this, I struggled a lot with it.  Part of my problem was using planks that were much too wide to match the sharp radius of the frames.  I was initially thinking that the wider the planks, the faster it would go, but I was wrong.  I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to trim down the extra wide planks to make the radius.  The other issue I ran into once I had the first layer of planking on was how to clamp the second row of planking.  I had a bunch of standard clamps, and as I got to the bottom of the boat, the clamps no longer reached because of the first layer of planking.  I had to get creative with weights and hoping that 2 clamps would cut it.  Finally, though, I finished the hull planking, and could move on to putting the deck on, followed by the deck house and cockpit floor.  Once those were on, it was a matter of paint to seal everything up, and cover up the wood filler that was used for a lot of the gaps and cracks left by my hope and pray method of planking.  That brings us to the mostly finished project.

 As you can see, there is a fair amount of detail missing from this model that is on the plans.  I would have added them, and I might in the future, but more importantly I don't want those little pieces coming off and my son choking on them, so they have been left off of the model.  You might also notice that there are windows missing on the port (left) side of the deck house.  Again, this is because I was going for strength, not for accuracy or style points.
 In this photo, the frames are still showing in the cockpit area, which could be fake, but let me assure you, they are not.  This is most certainly a plank on frame model.  While the planks do not show up very well in the photos, they are there.  Also, I think it looks really cool to have the frames showing somewhere on the model.
One of the other issues I ran into with building this model was that I was building it on a smaller scale than was originally intended.  That meant that some of the planking had to make extreme bends to conform to the frames.  Those would have been less extreme if I had taken time to really sand, fair, and shape the frames to accept the planks.  I learned a lot here, and I am looking forward to my next project, which is to be revealed later.  In the mean time, there is still the fiberglass hull to be finished, as well as epoxy coating the lobster boat so that it will stand up to plenty of play time in the lake/ocean/tub!

Monday, August 24, 2015

For those of you that miss my writing!

Yes, I realize that I have not been around and writing much lately.  That is because I bought a home, have a kid and wife, and therefore no longer have time for dreams of sailing the 7 seas on an $800 boat.  So while I may pick away at the boat process slowly, in the mean time, I have a METRIC-SHIT-TON of other projects keeping me busy.

So for those of you that are interested, please check out a new blog devoted to land-based projects, Landlubber Projects!  Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Portland Tall Ships Festival 2015

It is so nice to live near such a wonderful, interesting and busy city on the ocean.  It was 15 years ago that the tall ships came to Portland, so it was a MUST GO TO event for me.  I just happened to be able to drag my family along for the two days of events.  We started with a cruise to Long Island and back.  We happened to time it perfectly so that we were front and center for the Parade of Sail coming down the channel into Portland harbor.

As you can tell, even my little one had a blast on the ferry boat and being out on the ocean even though it was not really a great summer day.  It was cloudy, very windy, and chilly, but still wonderful to feel the ocean swells beneath my feet.

We were even able to see some racing going on between some boats out of Yarmouth.  They were rounding the windward mark and with the wind of the day, they were moving along quite well!
And now for a lot of gratuitous boat pictures!!!!


Portsmouth NH


Seville, Spain

I am not sure the Coast Guard would have been too happy to know they were under the guns of a Spanish war ship, or the guns of any ship, for that matter!


Newport, Rhode Island

My little one trying out his sea legs with Grandma.  We will make a sailor of him yet!!!

After taking a few more boat tours, we walked back up the hill.  It is not too often in our modern world that we see so many masts of tall ships, or masts at all, in one place.  With Portland Harbor full of sailing ships old and new, I can only imagine this is similar to how the port looked 150 years ago.  If only we could see more of sailing ships in the years to come......

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Photo shoot?

So apparently while I was not around, there was a photo shoot with the boat in the boat shed!