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Author Topic: Strong back to keel over  (Read 5005 times)

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Strong back to keel over
« on: December 22, 2011, 12:53:56 PM »
2011 Year end report for the good ship "she-that-has-yet-to-be-named" being built in Lenoir, NC...

As this is my first end of year report, let me start at the beginning. Any good project starts with a meaningful period of contemplation, and trepidation. Then my good friend Brad, who had built and lived on a 40 foot sharpie for a year, uttered the fateful words "How hard could it be? You're a smart guy!"  Brad subsequently was dubbed the Admiral and is frequently called down from the Admiralty for head scratching, chin rubbing and the occasional draw of the spokeshave.

And so my Haven 12.5 project set sail in November 2010 with the cleaning out of the garage and construction of a mighty workbench.

Here's the general progression, although it shoud be noted that the further into the project, the more pieces of the puzzle are in play at the same time!...
Dec/Jan - mold making
Jan  - stong back built and molds set up
Feb - beveling and fairing the molds
Feb/Mar - steaming the frames
Apr - Stem and centerboard trunk
May - Transom
May/Jun - Floor timbers
Jul - Riveting
Aug - Centerboard and transom knee
Sep - Final set up
Nov - Keel shaping
Dec - Keel steaming

Current status:
The "skeleton", stem, frames, centerboard trunk, keel, transom, is close to completion: I've got a few rivets yet to finish; A couple of frames to rework (they have migrated north of their molds during the attachment of floor timbers); The keel timber is steamed to shape, needs beveling. The frames will need another round of fairing and then on to planking!

A word on the type of construction:
This Haven 12.5 will be a concoction of old and new. While fully framed, the hull will be cold molded with an inner layer of cedar and two outer layers of marine ply. The main "fastener" is Raka epoxy, although copper rivets have been used, frames to floor timbers, just because! The stem has been laminated from white oak rather than two pieces sawn and joined. The transom is mahogany and will be finished bright along with other trim. The goal is end up with a great looking Haven true to the plans, while being happy living on a trailer.

Reflections from a year in the boat shed:
It's a fascinating process that takes time and patience. Progress is simply paced by the amount of time one is willing to spend in the boat shed, but it is absorbing and many hours can pass in a hurry.

The build is like doing a complex jigsaw puzzle in the fog! Even though I have the plans, the book, and the Haven Forum, there are a lot of details that only become apparent and clear as the preceeding steps are clear or underway. One example was the bed logs. It wasn't until we layed the keel timber on the bedlogs that the light bulb finally came on to the realization that the bedlogs are beveled. Even though this shows on the plans, much head scratching was involved wondering why the frames were not coming flush with the top of the bedlogs. 

Finding materials has been an interesting endeavor - mainly the hardwoods. Everything is available if you know where to look, and willing to travel a bit, and adaptable to use what you can find. One example for me was the keel timber. A large enough piece of white oak was not sitting on the shelf! But what was on the shelf was a remnant of Ponderosa Pine that has proven to be fine for the job.

What's ahead:
Everyone wants to know when the boat will be finished and if it will float! I am confident that it will float because, so far, it's all wood! (I do have a stash of lead salvaged from an X-Ray rooom demolition ready for the ballast keel.)  But when will she be ready to sail???
I'm looking forward to the planking and painting and then the big day of the turn-over. Beyond that... we'll be several more jigsaw pieces through the fog, and more will be apparant!
I have been posting to a blog with lots if photos to keep my "followers" updated. Take a look...

Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for the 2012!
Martyn Easton


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Re: Strong back to keel over
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 11:29:14 PM »
Nice work Martyn!  I enjoyed your blog; it brought back many memories! 

Happy New Year!


Entries from the old Forum have been compiled into a "Variations From Plans" document which you can
download and print out as a Word document HERE.

Or you can view it as a web page at HERE

It is by no means complete. Send me an email or post here additional items which should be included in this document and it will be updated periodically. This document will allow new builders to benefit from our learning experiences and save them some grief!