The goal is to build the William Atkin designed Vintage in time for the "I Built It Myself" show at the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT.
Why Vintage? Several reasons.
First, I think it's time I tackled a round-bottom boat. Again, I think this is a project that is way above my current skill level, but I'm a real believer in the adage that people can do more than they think they can. Just because I doubt my ability to build such a complicated boat, is no reason to not do it.
Sounds weird, right? Ah well.
|William Atkin Vintage|
10' round-bottom lapstrake
Third, I really like the Atkin designs and Pat Atkin is a great help, and I happen to live in the town that William Atkin got his start in, back in 1906. So for me, it makes sense to stick with the Atkins.
Fourth, I'd like to see if I can find ways to make these very traditional designs more accessible to rank-amateur builders like me. It seems to me that a lot of people are building simpler boats because they think something as complicated as Vintage is too hard for them. If I can find ways to simplify the build, that might make it easier for others to build these beautiful boats.
Hey, if a duffer like me can build it, anyone can!
But the winter is slipping away fast! Helena convinced me to set up a simple project plan to keep me on track. Good thing she did, because it helped me get in a more 'business-like' frame of mind. This should help keep me focused. I tend to get distracted by interesting side issues like cutting my own lumber from county forest land. Interesting, but not compatible with my schedule!
I should be able to make the show deadline, but must get cracking, because there's a lot to do!
The first step was to set up a decent work space. It's the same basement space I used to build Cabin Boy, but then it was a bit of a cluttered mess. I decided to start fresh with a completely empty room, except for some shelves and benches.
|Building space, after passing cat inspection|
|Other end, with 'Thinking Chair' ready to go|
For Cabin Boy, I used 1/4" plywood. I found this to be too thin to hold the nails needed for bending battens for curves, so decided to go with 3/4" plywood. I found a couple good quality sheets at HD for $25 each. A steal.
Since I needed a 13' board, I needed to cut one of the sheets. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought I could use my jigsaw by clamping a kind of fence to the board, but that idea failed miserably! Each time I cut (and I tried several times) the line would veer off to the left. Why???
I thought maybe the clamped jig was moving, but obviously it wasn't.
Finally I figured out that the blade was bending to the left. Why always to the left, I don’t know, but it did.
|The wrong tool for the job|
Well, no harm done.
The jigsaw was my only power saw, so it was time to break out the hand saws. I tried several different approaches, but what finally worked was cutting the sheet vertically with a Japanese pull saw. This made a clean, accurate, 90 degree cut with very little effort.
|The all-purpose Japanese pull saw|
So the pull saw saved me again, but my next job is to rip a couple 13' battens from 3/4" clear pine. It's clear I need a better tool for this job.
>>> Next Episode: Lofting Board