27 February 2013

Changes to mizzen sheet cleats

I have made one of those small and obvious changes, where you wonder why you never did it before. My mizzen sheet cam cleats are fixed on the aft edge of the cockpit coaming. They work fine, but the tail of the sheet often ended up loose, down at the far end of the cockpit, and I had to scrabble around looking for it. I looked into various ways of securing the loose end, but they all got in the way of handling the line. I suddenly realised all I had to do was replace the cleat with a small fair lead on the coaming, and move the cleats themselves further forward in the cockpit. The bases of the boom gallows form a perfect protected spot (you can't lean back on the cleat there). Took all of five minutes to sort out.

Daisy G is all taped up, ready for the hull to be painted, but it is too cold to think of doing that just now. Hopefully the weekend will be warmer.

22 February 2013

Raising the cockpit floor boards

I have always wanted to be able to raise the cockpit floor boards up level with the side benches, to be able to use the area for a sleeping/lounging in the sun platform. I didn't want to fit supports on either side, as they were likely to be a nuisance. I made a chance discovery over the winter. If I simply place my big flat fenders on edge either side of the cockpit well, they are just about the right height to hold up the floor boards. To raise both sets of boards I needed to cut back the aft ends of the four central planks, to fit round the outboard. I have finally got round to doing this and it all seems to work really well. The platform  is not absolutely flush with the side decks, but they are cambered in any case. I think that a couple of bunk cushions will lie very comfortable over the top. There is even room for me to lie across diagonally, and I am 6' 3", so that is quite an achievement.

The gap between the aft section of the floor boards and the outboard will actually make it much easier to fit the outboard lock, which is a further benefit. I had a panic last year when I clicked the lock in place, to discover that to unlock it, I had to fit the key from underneath, and there wasn't room to get it in. I had to squeeze about, getting all of the floorboards out, before I could get the key in, but even then it was a struggle. I have changed the lock to a hardened cylindrical one, where the key goes in at the end, but it is a relief to think that I can still use the old lock if I need to.

17 February 2013

Testing the canoe's skin

I have a small test piece of the covering linen which I have tried pulling across part of the hull. It touches all of the stringers neatly and lies smoothly. It is very easy to pull it out of shape, so it will need to be handled carefully.

nearly finished painting the cockpit in Daisy G. Just need to paint the floor, and then all the painting left will be the exterior of the hull.

16 February 2013

Sanding the canoe (2hrs)

Have been sanding all of the canoe frame as I realised I need to put a coat of varnish on before the linen skin. Slow and tedious job, with all of those sticks, but it gave me an opportunity to clean up all of the glue smears around the joints. I'll be pleased I did it as the smears would have shouted out to me ever after otherwise.

10 February 2013

Painting and re-roping Daisy G

I've started back on the paint work over the weekend. All of the external scrapes are filled and smoothed and I have painted them with grey under coat. I am going to over paint the whole hull then, it really needs it this year. Then got into cockpit and I have sanded and put a first coat on all the vertical sides to the cockpit, but it will need a second if not third. Also refitted the jib furling line and the kicking strap. So bits starting to go back on. It is only about seven weeks until launch date, which is not all that much working time. But the weather at the moment really doesn't seem springlike at all.

Canoe frame complete (2hrs)

I have spent a freezing cold morning binding all of the gunwale joints. Tedious job. I dabbed varnish on each binding to hold it in place. Sanded all of the frames and took her outside to photograph. She looks straight and symmetrical which is the important thing. Some of the lines of the stringers are not all that fair.

Really very light. I can lift the frame easily with one hand. The skin, varnish and resin will add a few more kilos, but it should still be very light to handle. The whole of the framework needs varnishing before the linen fabric is applied. I need it  to be a bit warmer before I do that.

6 February 2013

Canoe frame largely complete (1 1/2hrs)

I have fitted the thwart and the side stiffeners. The latter are there to strengthen the areas you lean on when getting in and out, and they seem quite effective. All the bits are glued and nailed in place. I still need to bind the gunwales to the frames with twine, which will probably take an hour or more as it is quite fiddly and can't be speeded up. But the internal wood work is now pretty well complete. There are rubbing strips to fit after the skin is on and cured, but that is a way in the future yet.  I am pleased with the lines. She looks straight and symmetrical, which is the important bit, and the rocker on the keel looks right. Too flat and she would be hard to steer. I had a go in a flat one last June and it was almost impossible to turn it round without masses of back paddling, which not surprisingly slows you down somewhat. They are fast boats because they are so light, so you want to be able to turn quickly as well to get the full benefit.

Gunwales complete and canoe upright (1 hr)

Finally glued and nailed the stern ends of the gunwales after a long tussle with a bunged up and blocked caulking gun. It looks like a canoe now and I am quite pleased with the lines. I can see a slight droop in the ends, but only because I think there is one there. The gunwales need to be bound and a thwart and side stiffeners fitted, but after that it is ready for the linen covering.

Fitted a new tiller extension to Daisy G. The one I mad last year would not bend down below the horizontal, which made it uncomfortable to use. I have replaced it with a Harken one with a flexible universal joint, and that bends down just nicely. A longer extension would be nice, but wouldn't fit on top of the tiller. Even extendible ones were too long when collapsed.

3 February 2013

Gunwales half fitted to canoe (1/2 hour) and some work on Daisy G at last

Spent the morning at the West Midlands Boat Jumble in Malvern. Always regard this as the start of the boating season. Very cold and not many dealers there. Apparently most of them are based on the south coast, and diesel is getting so expensive that it isn't worthwhile coming up to the midlands anymore. A shame, there used to be two jumbles a year, this one and one at the end of the season in October, but that went some time ago.
Got a new main sheet for Daisy G. The old one was the former jib halyard and it was never really quite long enough. Now it is. Replaced the lazyjacks main section, which again was old rope and not long enough.

Filled and sanded some old scrapes, the worst being on the bow where a jet ski rammed me last year. The others were scratches caused when I relaunched in August and she was blown onto some else's trailer. I still can't decide if I need to repaint her completely, or just touch up the scratches. I have enough paint to do that, but not enough to paint the whole hull. No one was selling my colour paint at the jumble.

Fixed the canoe gunwales to the bow. After fitting them to the stern I can turn her upright.