Monday, June 7, 2010

Dockyard buildings to undergo expansion

Some of you may have seen the plans strewn across the drafting tables in the lofting bay. The 24-foot launch is soon to become the 25-foot launch, as her aft stations are re-drawn. The original design, which was based largely on an original 1800-era Frigate's Launch and subsequently called the "Frigate's Boat" had something of an ungainly appearance aft. She carried her center of flotation well aft, causing any weight in the bow to force it down and the stern up. Balancing the boat aft is difficult because it is so well supported by the aft flotation that even a small amount of weight forward requires many times the same weight placed aft. So our naval architect, aka me, set to re-draing the lines of the frames from midships aft. Based on an original 18th century Launch in Champan's Navalis Mercatoria, they are far more pleasing in appearance and function. The new transom has more of a "wine glass" taper and a finer look, while some of the aft flotation was shifted forward, the gunwales lowered and the sheer rounded a bit more. The transom was also canted aft a bit, lengthening the overall design to 24' 8" instead of 23' 3".

All of these changes look great in the 3D renderings, and the hull speed of the boat is increased 0.8 knots - which though it doesnt seem like much is actually a vast improvement. Needless to say she won't be as sluggish under oars as I once inferred.

The one problem with all of this is that the boat is now too long for the framing bay (aka my workshop garage).

Wait. No, you're not JUST realizing that we do this all out of my yard, are you? Well, I'm sorry to crush your hopes and dreams. The attached finished garage, now laundry/rec room is in fact the "Lofting Bay", while the detached 3 car garage turned workshop out back is the "Framing Bay". We used to operate out of an old laundry plant turned workshop on 24th Street (now no longer used) that we called the "Carpenter's Shop". The "Spar Yard" is in fact the side yard next to the garage where the spar testing gear is rigged, and the "Gunner's Cage" is in the front of the garage under the workbenches. Rigging and equipment are stored in the rafters.

Yeah, so hopes and dreams be crushed, we are a small operation - and I stress small - operating on a shoestring budget with our sources of knowledge experience farmed out for training. Don't worry, that's not the "Framing Bay" pictured. But it could be.

Back on topic. So the idea has always been that when the Launch is finished and rolled out, we'll tear down the existing "Framing Bay" and rebuild a proper boat shop. After all, the one benefit of owning 3 acres of land in a nice Norfolk neighborhood is that I can always expand. But for now, the increased length of the boat is cause to rip out (for lack of a more refined term) part of the back of the existing structure, lay down a concrete pad and frame in a temporary structure to cover her ass end. It should be very ghettofied and I look forward to it.

And at this point, I'd do almost anything to get this boat finished and out of the shop.

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