Building the Pride of Buffalo – Day Three

The Boat is in the Water!

Today marks a milestone: the four deck subassemblies were finished with floatation and assembled together. Here is subassembly 2:



And here is what all four look like, in the water, undergoing connection into one unit:

They got really upset with me at the Marina. A group of sailors were coming in at 4:30 PM and I had a lot to do. Tati to the rescue again, holding things and taking these pictures which celebrated some of the biggest steps in the process. She brought refreshment and calm. While I rushed, trying to stay out of prison for my renegade shenanigans, she basked in the sun and explained the effort to curious passers-by.


The grain elevators in the background hummed on all day, while I moved like a diligent, industrious ant from one corner to the next securing, at least temporarily, an assembly that could be towed to a quiet spot for further outfitting tomorrow.



The sun beat down on me and my makeshift head dress. I was delighted with two things: everything floated, as planned and the ends lined up quite well to within a 1/6th of an inch. (I am so exhausted I am having trouble how to spell “inch”).

I was literally saved by Ed, who runs the Seven Seas Sailing program. He and a team of two volunteers towed the deck assembly to the sea wall, downstream to meet the barking requirements on my non-landlord. I kept in a mood of gratefulness as we left port and headed south, perhaps two hundred yards.

In total, I have spent approximately 19 hours on the build so far. Not bad for the better part of a living space.

The deck came to rest after the team wrestled with, tying off to an abandon piece of dockage, left dormant to rot, beavers, wild deer and who knows what, since the 1960s.

My little boat looked very lonely, but straight, dry and new.

IMG_1648 (3)

I have chosen 1” x 3” strapping to cover the deck, making it possible for the rain to run through the wood, where it’s not covered by the cabin, which I will cover with a primer after we put it down. I have always enjoyed how natural wood feels underfoot. I am thinking of an interior with a sand pit in the middle of comfy seats with lots of comfortable extra-large pillows and large, lush trees with big leaves in all the corners.

I hope to find canvas with either earth tones or a nice flower pattern, like Turkish or eastern designs to help make the mood relaxed and serene. I plan to put a combination of a cooler, a grill and other storage units to hold cooking tools, floats or other blankets.

Tomorrow’s plans include making the deck more rigid with 16 footers on each side as well as stringers on each side of center, (to force the deck back into a flat plane) purchase of the 2” x 2” 8 footers to make the struts, hardware to mount them to the hull and each other via 8” dia. plywood hubs.

It should take 18 more hours before I have a completed frame on deck. The frame will add additional rigidity to the vessel. Then I plan to paddle the boat to points north on the Buffalo Ship Canal, toward the mouth of the Buffalo River, across from the foot of Main Street.

I look forward to sitting there, taking in the city scape with a cold beer and some reggae music with Tati by my side, in celebration, reflection or our accomplishment, our effort and a dream fulfilled.

Read All Pride of Buffalo Stories

Originally posted 2013-06-19 19:02:08.

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