Escargot Build 9

The Center for Wooden Boat’s  boat show is next weekend.   It is a slightly hazy Sunday morning, June 24 as I write this.

It has been an interesting few weeks.   I have worked on the boat a great deal.   My wife has been wonderfully understanding and has taken on the lion’s share of family duties in the evenings.  She has been a great help and support in this project.  She is also making pillows, valances, and some curtains for the boat.

I used a West Marine polyeurathane for most of the outside of the boat.  The problem has been they got a bad batch of green paint.   Most of the boat was painted but I needed some trim done.  So I got some more paint and it turned out to be horrible.  It painted like a stain with barely any pigment sticking.  It looked ok in the can, but was horrible.  At twenty dollars a quart…. an expensive pain in the rear.   I will contact them on Monday and get my money back.   But that is really the least of my concerns.  I just want to have my boat finished for the show!    We will see if they can get any good paint in soon.  If not, I will post a note on the boat about their paint explaining why my trim looks the way it does.  Oh well.

Tried out the new outboard for the first time.  It IS very quiet.  At idle you can barely hear it running.  Although it is a six hp motor like my old one… it is like a six hp on steroids.   MUCH more powerful.  It was so powerful it ripped off my rudder.  Well, almost.  It bent the brackets.  Granted, the brackets were too weak and I knew it.  But they didnt bend with the old outboard!    I took the boat out and had gone maybe 500 yards, trying out full power, and the brackets started bending.   I had also trimmed the rudder back.  The old rudder blade was very long.  It worked pretty well, but was hard to move away from straight.  But now, with that new powerful motor, the new smaller rudder doesn’t seem to do the job, esecially at full speed.  I will need to rethink that part.

Truth be told, after a couple of weeks of non-stop work in my time away from work…. I am tired of working on the boat.  Just tired in general too.  I find I wake up early thinking of what I need to do that day.   The boat will NOT be done for the boat show… but it will be close enough.   It will probably always be a work in process.

I chose the yellow colors for the boat.   My neighbor helped actually. He was an art teacher and worked in the art department at Ford Motors.   He choose three different yellow colors for the boat.  They look good, but I am not sure about the total effect on the boat yet.  It looks more African than English.  Maybe Jamaican… or perhaps one can see Buddhist colors in there.  In fact, at the boat show, I will decorate the boat with Tibetan prayer flags. They look pretty good with the boat.   I think it will help when I get around to doing some of the decorations.    Traditional canal boats can have some pretty elaborate markings.  Not sure which way I will go though.

This boat building journal has been more of a diary really.  Not much here to help anyone who wants to build a boat, other than to help with some of the emotional aspects of boat building…. I hope.   I guess there are other sites for technique.   At times this has been a touch embarassing.. to be honest.   Every now and then someone I know pretty well stumbles across the site and tells me.   In some ways I am glad to share my thoughts and feelings.  In others, especially with people I know, it can feel a little…. oh… naked.

I will take some more pictures… maybe even today.

I plan to go out again this morning and test the new rudder mounts.   I spent considerable time remounting the motor bracket.. and it is still too low.  I will try to work on that later today… maybe.  Not really in the mood for that.  It was a big job…. filling old holes and drilling new ones.  Just getting a little old.

My neighbors know that I will sell this boat.  They have known me long enough to know that I get passionate about something and then when I have experienced it all…. I move to the next thing.    In some ways I know it too.  In some ways I know that more than half the fun was in the building.  Maybe the most fun was in the dreaming and the realization of the dream.   I am sure I will keep this boat for some time.   It is possible I will keep it for all time.  I don’t know.    I hope to use the boat every Summer, going on picnics and a few overnights.

I would like to do some overnights with each of my children, individually.    That seems like the best way to connect with them.   Time where there is no competition.    When we go out as a family to dinner, I spend much of the time connecting with my wife.  For a while my wife and I would go out sometimes with each child.  She would take one and I would take the other.    Was almost always a very nice time.   I want the boat to be like that too.   Concentrated time away from the distraction of their friends. (My son now has a sort of girlfriend… ack!)  Should be nice.

My daughter has dreamed of a dog for several years, but my wife is not a big fan of dogs.   Hmm.  She really dislikes dogs.   I don’t blame her in some ways.  There is the dog poop… the daily walks… the need for attention… the whole package.   Hopefully Jessa is old enough now that she can do all of that on her own.. with only reminders from us.   So… we are beginning to think about MAYBE getting a dog.   But for Jessa, the train has already left the station.  As soon as we said we would think about it… the thinking was done and the decision made.. in the affirmative.   At this point she talks of dogs constantly!  So if we did a boating trip today.. just the two of us.. it would be filled with thoughts of dogs!  She wants a whippet, by the way.  Well, actually, she wants a Bassett Hound.   But we have a friend who is a vet who thinks highly of the whippets.. and we have always enjoyed his dogs.



A website about Shantyboats and affordable living on the water. More than 800 stories to date, and growing.