"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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24 April 2013

Building the Boat. Turning the sides

The weather finally turned warmer. Warm enough to enjoy and be able to work on the boat again. Once the sides were completed on the inside, including two coats of primer/undercoat, it was time to turn them over. This is not light undertaking. The sides are 36' long, 3' wide, and I estimate about 400kgs each, so there is potential for a lot of damage if you do this wrong. After a lot of head scratching, thoughts of having to organise a dozen bodies on the same day to do it by hand, I decided on a mix of 1 1/2 tons trolley jack, lots of props, strong clamps and Archimedes' attitude (was it Archimedes??) that, with a long enough lever he could move the Earth!

Surprising even me, it went very smoothly. No big problems, no panic, no dangerous falls, it just took time, working slowly and safely.

Inside now painted, one coat primer/undercoat

At about 30 degrees angle
The other side, props and trolley jack in the middle to lift
Success! The port side vertical now

Turned 180 degrees

I have added the doubling plates at the water line. the hull will be 36mm thick there
Now faired, all screw and nail holes filled. I have used car body filler for this job, ratheer than epoxy. Epoxy is too much like hard work and unnecessarily strong, in my opinion. The polyester putty is still stronge thant the wood, waterproof, and easy to sand
Now, it's time for the second side. I'll be turning it in the next few days. opefully with the experience of the first one, it will be easier and quicker too. All the parts for the doubling plates are already cut, I have the screws (marine stainless) and nails (bronze ring nails, I had a lots of them left over from other jobs).

After that's done, it will be time for epoxy/glass work, something I am not looking forward to. I don't like working with epoxy!

I have now decided on the size of the cabin. It will 30' long by 10' wide, on the outside of course, obviously a little smaller on the inside, due to the thickness of the "walls".

There will be a 2' wide cockpit at the stern and 4' wide, L shape cockpit at the stem. After all it is going to be a boat that can move, not a static barge. A bit like the Slow Lory, a lovely 25' (I think)  house-boat by Paul Gartside.


  1. Great to see the progress, but, please, do not overdo it!!! Good to see you´ve got some qualified help;-).

    1. I am watching my steps Markus. I have help, not least my daughter, who supervises what I do, tells me off if I over do it and is a dab hand at drilling lots of holes for me!

  2. Nice to see the project coming along. My big problem with working epoxy is the price of the stuff. Good idea to use cheaper alternatives where it won't matter.

    1. Yes, the price was rather eye watering when I got it! Nothing wrong with some cheaper products, that stuff works well on cars, I can't see why it wouldn't work on wood, under the epoxy. It certainly sticks very well to the ply.

  3. Slow and smart is nearly always better than fast and strong when it comes to such projects.