caledonia yawl project: late fall tinkering

COVID has meant that the big move out of the boat is delayed. But I don’t want to lose momentum. So I’ve started to think about the rigging in anticipation of getting started on the spars in the spring.

I’ve decided that with the new Dyneema materials it is a nice way to simplify the rigging and keep it light and strong. So I ordered some materials and a splicing tool to start practising my splicing and work through what I want to do.


I started with 4mm per-stretched heat treated Marlow Dyneema line that I’ve made into a few soft shackles and a strop.


I was also inspired by the article in the latest issue of Wooden Boat magazine #277 by Harry Bryan on a more accurate spar guage.

Wooden Boat Magazine #277

as it turns out that is my next upcoming task. So I set to work with a few pieces of my reclaimed cherry wood and the prescribed parts for making the tool.

Spar guage with urban reclaimed cherry wood
3/8″ machine screws that are now heavily modified
Not yet quite as pretty as Harry’s example but with a litle finish work it will get there.

I’ve also ordered a few sheaves with the idea of making a modern composite wood rope stropped fiddle blocks for the mainsheet with Dyneema for the strops. If my idea succeeds they will be light and look at home on the Caledonia Yawl. This was inspired by the illustration for rope stropped blocks in Brion Toss’ Riggers Apprentice book.

Delrin sheaves on reclaimed urban cherry wood

The cheeks for the moment are 1/2″ reclaimed cherry wood that is hard and easy to work with. All I’m missing at the moment is the rod for the bearing of the sheaves. The strops will be made of 6mm Dyneema.

6mm Sampson Blue Dyneema for making the blocks

I’ve also have to make or find some thimbles to complete the block ends.

caledonia yawl project: fall projects

I was ready to push to have the boat out of the shed this fall. So September started well with the finis of the painting of the ruder, centreboard and hatches.


and the hull


I then tackled putting Deks Olje on the benches

six coats of Deks Olje

And similarly cover the floors as well with Deks Olje


Because I had it drying overnight outside I found out I had the visit of some raccoons while I was away.


Finally putting all of it back into the boat started to feel really good. Although it takes a bit longer than I imagined.


The rudder and the Norwegian tiller also looked nice all glossy with the Deks Olje.


Then as fall wore on and I felt I was getting close to being ready to transferring the boat to the trailer I started to finish the sunbrella storage cover.


I added shafing panels and instead of grommets along the periphery I used E-Z Lace Supreme Webbing which can be stitched on and is much simpler an more versatile than grommets.

I then built a frame to tent the cover and protect the boat from rain.


I also bedded the chocks and the cleats I made out of reclaimed cherry wood.


And set up all the toggles to hold down the floorboards that make them removable to access the plugs and possibly to store some water or sand balast below.


Finally I stitched together a dozen sand bags to weigh down the edges of the cover so that I don’t have to rely on straps as much to keep a constant tension when the boat is in storage.


And then just as I called a bunch of friends to help me lift the boat onto the trailer and make room for the spar making… New COVID-19 restrictions came into force and I had to call it off. I’ll have to wait a little longer to get it out closer to the water in the boat yard.