Knee wall units await transport to the build site
The Pride of Buffalo sits in its spot on the Buffalo Ship Canal waiting completion. It’s been a busy week. The activity included building knee walls and installing them, adding to the sub-flooring, design and fabrication of the main screen door and design of the window frames.
The door cost only $10.00 USD in material, but almost two hours to fab and assemble. I was especially delighted with the result.
Door and window designs and prototypes
It’s a geodesic twist on a conventional screen door design, with a nearly free-floating hexagon in the middle, which I plan on adding a stained glass window to. The entire thing will be covered with a screen on the interior side and an outer canvas in bad weather. I have also decided to go minimal on the interior, so as not to distract from the geo shell, making the boat water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof.
Our Buffalo Waterfront – Mouth of Buffalo River where it enters Lake Erie & NYS Barge Canal
The construction phase has taught me that occasional thunder storms and rain will be regular but intermittent, so I want to emphasize ventilation. The vessel will be a glorified picnic shelter, with plenty of room for Adirondack chairs, coolers, a grill and the like. I am also beginning to envision one or two extra 4’ x 8’ side decks to provide additional square footage, which will be hinged and able to be folded up, out of the water, when desired.
Windows and frames under construction – soon to be stained glass windows with unique themes
The final head room in the center of the vessel ended up at 90” (7’ 6”). I may have to put cross beams on the roof, extending out to the two doors on each side. The roof will likely be of a ¼” luan base with waterproof paint.
Below the roof, the first level of structure, down to waist high will be almost all screen, maximizing the water view and ventilation. The skirt or knee level will be likely a canvas of opaque or translucent nature, in either a nylon or heavy cloth material.
I plan on moving the barge to its first temporary resting place, Riverfest Park, in the Old First Ward, on Ohio Street, just South of Michigan Ave. and the Michigan Ave Lift Bridge. They just added 80’ of new dockage. Other temporary places this summer will include the Swannie House landing, just North of Riverfest Park, the landing at the end of Child Street, owned by Rick and Rigidized Metals, hopefully coinciding with other events at the Grain Elevators, China Light Yacht Club, The Cazenovia Sailing School site at the foot of Fuhrman Blvd., adjacent to the Buffalo US Coast Guard base and Canalside (Commercial Slip).
I applied to participate in the Buffalo Maritime Association Wooden Boat Show, later in July, but I was told by the coordinator that only “traditional wooden boats” are meant to participate. I replied with a question about whether my effort and my vessel represented what the mission of the organization was all about. I am still waiting for a reply. I can’t help think that an innovative geodesic wooden houseboat could do anything but encourage interest, participation and membership through its inclusion is this or any Buffalo waterfront event. I remain optimistic.
It’s the day before Fourth of July, so I am hoping to make minor tweaks to the cabin over the next four days, adding the doors and windows, some screening, wood roofing and canvas. It’s very warm and high in humidity, so I am trying to remember to pace myself.
I have also now started a greenhouse manufacturing company, as a result of my luck with the geodesic boat. There is a huge following in the gardening arena here in WNY and I think many of those who love plants, gardening and outdoor spaces would love complimenting their growth with a geodesic greenhouse.
Originally posted 2013-07-06 21:29:08.