Saturday, November 27, 2010

A productive weekend

Halfway through the four-day production 'fest here at the Dockyard, I'm making some considerable progress on the goals I outlined on Friday. And in the process of reassembling the tent frames and vacuuming the leaves out of both boats, I've had lots of time to evaluate how to proceed on the smallest possible budget and in the most expeditious means while still producing a quality product capable of withstanding the rigors of NHS operational applications.

But before that, I have to mention a fun visit from John "Dutch" Collamore and fiancee Laura O'Malley, both key members of the Colonial Seaport Foundation. It was their first ever visit to the Dockyard, and I gave them the nickel tour of all three Monomoy Pulling Boats, our shops and other assets. Both seemed very much impressed with the boats, and we had a lively conversation about future collaboration between NHS and CSF. I consider both John and Laura kindred spirits with very similar thoughts on the subject of themes and goals for our respective organizations. Look for more on this partnership in the future, along with some commentary about my first visit to the CSF Boatyard - which I hope will be soon.


The question of what to do about and with Monomoys No. 2 and 3 has been rolling around my head all weekend. Both will require stem, sternpost and keel replacement, as well as complete re-framing. Only No. 2 will need replacement of some planks - but by no means all. The real question here is about the order in which I should proceed.

My first thought was to replace the stems, sternposts and keels before proceeding to re-framing and ending with plank replacement. The shortfall here as I see it is that removing the keel of each boat puts the compressive stresses of the sides (the weight of the sides pushing down toward the keel) to be balanced by the other side, to which each is connected by the floors, which in this case is but a short length of bent frame extending about three or four strakes up from the keel. Some of these show advanced signs of deterioration, and I'm just not sure that relying on them in the stabilization of the entire structure is a wise decision. One might give, then another then another and before I know it, the whole boat falls apart in two halves like a potato chopped lengthwise. In other words, a nightmare.

I'm now thinking about proceeding in a slightly different manner. If I can replace the frames first, including the floors, it would give me much better piece of mind when pulling out the keels. The problem here is that replacing frames means removal of the sheer and middle clamps as well as keelsens, centerboard trunk, thwarts, partners, and even with all of that, I couldn't replace the cant frames. Hmmm. And since I've already got the stem off of No. 2, I should incorporate that, as I don't want to replace it only to have to remove it again. Decisions decisions.

After a long time thinking about this yesterday and today, I think the best way to go is approach this is to treat each boat differently. On No. 2, proceed with stem and sternpost replacement, removing the originals, duplicating them and attaching the new parts. Replacement of No. 2's keel might not be a necessity anyway, as it shows little to no sign of degradation, only a lot of holes where crap fasteners were driven through the garboards into the keel at the seam. The garboards are already in the process of being pulled off. Once stem and sternposts are replaced, proceed straight into re-framing followed by replacement of the garboards, recaulking and interior joinery.

No. 3 is a slightly different animal, though I think we'll be able to salvage her stem and sternposts with a little effort. They will need to be removed for that work, but I'll do that after re-framing, at least all but the cant frames. Once reinstalled, I can finish those. With frames replaced and garboards temporarily removed, I can set straight into removing the keel, making the new one and replacing that. If all goes well we should see the interior joinery etc proceed on almost concurrent schedules.

Right now, I'll hold to the goal of finishing the stem and sternpost on No. 2 by mid-January, and re-framing No. 3 around the start of the New Year. No. 2 will follow close behind. We'll see how well I can stick to that...

So, more work ahead today and tomorrow. I'm hoping to begin removing bits and pieces of No. 3's innards in prep for re-framing, and beginning to dig out No. 2's sternpost.

More on Monday.


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