Final site preparation

This weekend we were fortunate to have a beautiful dry fall Saturday I escaped briefly to buy the materials for the gutters of the shed.

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On Sunday I had a solid five hour stretch of the afternoon to finish all the parts of the shed (gutters, wall tarps and wood storage)

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And finally sort all the pre-cut boat pieces in preparation for the first step.

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Boat delivery from Steveston to Jericho

Today my friend Dom asked me to help him take his boat RedFive, a J30 back from the boat yard in Steveston where it had bee hauled out and sanded down, to the RVYC marina at Jericho.
We set off at 14h00 in a light drizzle and a rising tide.

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All was quiet on the south arm of the Fraser as we motored out

By the time we got to the Fraser lightship station at the mouth of the south arm where we would be able to turn north, the wind had freshness up to 12 knots out of the northwest. As we moved towards Point Grey the wind rose steadily and peaked at about 20 knots with a solid set of waves hitting us on the nose.

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The combination of the shallow shelf and the long fetch made for short steep waves.

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We finally saw the bell buoy Q62 at sunset.

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Q62

And turned east into the darkness as the wind started to freshen up behind us.

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Dominique at the helm

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We tied up the boat in the dark and were quite happy to stop in the club for a bite to eat, warm up and watch the final game of the regular season for the Whitecaps on the television in the corner.

Boat shed day two

Today was a nice warm front ahead of an ominous rain system barrelling down on Vancouver.
I felt the pressure of getting the roof up today.
Working alone I managed to finish the walls and clear out the extra wood and off cuts that were against the fence.

Roof Trusses
Boat Shed Roof Trusses

All the trusses were ready and the trick was to put it all un on my own.

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The walls & 3 Trusses

With a few braces I managed fairly well, but I was quite happy to see Patrice arrive at four and in the last hour we got all the trusses and. Strapping down. Just as it started to rain I got three of the corrugated roof sheets up. So I’m one quarter of the way towards having a dry boat shed.

Boat Shed construction
Three sheets of galvalume in place

Now the only thing I’m missing is a couple gutters to keep the people passing by dry.

Building the boat shed

With my front yard only 25″ wide and my neighbour’s house surrounded in scaffolding; I was not able to set up shop in front of the house.
Fortunately my friend Patrice ha been bitten by the same bug as me and has offered up the slab in his back yard to build a shed.

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We live 5 blocks apart so it is close, but also far enough that when I’m working on the boat I won’t have the usual family distractions and I’ll be able hopefully to do several solid hours of work at a time.

Today it was a late start at three pm but I had bought all the lumber two weeks ago so progress was quick. In two hours I got all the trusses done as well as two of the four ten foot walls.

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IMG_8076.JPGOriginally i though about using a metal framed tarp shelter which would have been much faster but may not have fit well due to a few issues with the site and the tarp sheds are less flexible than building your own.

Picking up the Pieces

This friday Tania and I went down to Port Townsend to pick up the sheets of marine plywood machined by Turn Point Designs. The boat plans I purchased were designed by hand by Ian Oughtred on a drafting table. But Jordan Boats in the UK went through the trouble of licensing the plans and digitizing them to develop a file of cuts that can be performed by a CNC cutting machine. The North American license is held by Hewes and Company in Maine who sold me the kit, but to cut down on shipping costs have subcontracted the cutting on the west coast to Turn Point Designs in Port Townsend.

To me this is an amazing example of the new world we live in where a design can be transferred and machined anywhere. Although this process was reductive, ie: cutting marine plywood sheets. The concept is the same as the advent of 3D printers. The ability of a design to be shared and produced simultaneously in very disparate geographies. At the same time it will be a very traditional design wood boat, the juxtaposition make the prospect of completing the project all the more exciting.

Caledonia Yawl freshly CNC'ed at Turn Point Designs.
Caledonia Yawl freshly CNC’ed at Turn Point Designs.

Seeing this pile of plywood was super exciting and at the same time I suddenly realized how daunting my goal was to turn this pile of two dimensional plywood into something three dimensional.

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Starting a new adventure: building a small boat

The idea has been brewing in my mind for many years. I’ve been pondering a way to reconcile my love of simple self propelled travelling with having two young children. I want to be able to share the experiences, while not inoculating them from every wanting to do it again when they are older. So my wandering mind has settled on a plan that will satisfy many requirements.

I would like to build a small wooden sailboat.

  • Seaworthy enough to sail up and down the inside passage from Vancouver to Cortez Island and maybe even up the inside passage up to the Broughton Archipelago or Prince Rupert.
  • Capable of taking my whole family with camping equipment and food for several days
  • Able to sail in light to strong winds
  • Able to be rowed comfortably by one or two people when there is no wind.
  • Capable to accommodate sleeping aboard when in still water with a canvass boom tent and plenty stowage for equipment and food.
  • Beachable, so that people and equipment can easily be brought to shore in remote locations.
  • Can be stored on trailer on land or in the water
  • A small motor well or mount when conditions and distances warrant.

So these parameters in themselves do narrow down the possibilities somewhat. But the key determinants of narrowing it down to a smaller list might be the subjective design qualities. The intangible special sauce that mixes function and form into a beautiful seaworthy sailboat. The final element is one of size, how small is too small for a family of four? Would an open boat on a typically rainy west coast day be too miserable for my family? Does the boat have to have a cabin or could we manage without?

Caledonia Yawl
The Caledonia Yawl sail configuration I chose

Building maintenance

A few days ago I discovered that raccoons had managed to rip a hole in our bike storage room and were threatening to make it a permanent home. After a brief standoff where we stared each other down they left long enough for me to consider a repair. Not wanting to do things half way I went to the hardware store to get enough hardieplank cement fibre siding to replace the whole affected area and deter future encounters with my unwanted guests.

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I managed to get it all on the bike, but the hardieplank was a little heavier than expected and I was getting close to the capacity of the bike.