Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Shaman's Gallery

We've started in on a new build--a commercial boat of my Bear's Ears design. It's for Canyon Explorations, and one of the proprietors, Garrett, is helping build her. She'll be called Shaman's Gallery. Martin Litton began naming dories after places lost to man's excesses. Shaman's Gallery is a spectacular archaic rock art panel that was the end goal of an incredible hike up a stunning side canyon on a Grand Canyon river trip. But due to regulations we are now no longer allowed to visit it. Too many people on the planet, too many of which misbehave. So although it still exists, it is lost to us as part of a trip.

Here's a piece of the panel, from my last visit there. These dudes are life size.

So let's build a boat. Day one--we start milling Port Orford cedar.

By day's end we have built all the ribs, six of them with bulkheads installed, and scarfed up two side panels.

Day two--in the morning we cut out the side panels, marked, drilled and countersink them, and built a transom and a bow post. And in the afternoon we built a boat. Well a floorless boat. And we scarfed up a floor for the next day.

Day three-- On with the floor. Cricket is our inside gal--she makes the 50-ounce biaxial inner chine go where it's supposed to go.

Justin is adding a fillet, which Cricket will also massage into place once the floor drops.

I really don't know why she looks so happy about this.

But she's happy its done.

Time for a voyage to the South Rim for the Grand Canyon History Symposium. They were calling for Snowpocalypse, so we tried to hide all the boats from the storm.

History Symposiums don't usually make for great pictures, but the blizzard made up for that.

And the Mountain got a pretty good dusting as well.

As snowmadgeddon melts, the troll get his first wet feet in a year or two.

Back to work.

We are trying to mate a wood boat and an aluminum one to see what sort of dinghies they produce.

Day 4. Glass bottom and sides on all at once. It's kinda scary but it makes for an exceptionally strong laminate, and makes for just about no sanding.

Then right-side up to frame in the decking. At this point the alarming speed of progress hits the molasses patch.

And the boat goes through the ceiling.

Glassing in the rear passenger footwell.

I lost a bet on this one. She really can fit in the stern hatch.

On with the decks.

We spent an afternoon casting hardware for the Shaman.

Cricket made a ghostly breastplate.

And Marieke made some more giant oarlocks for her giant oars.

With Cricket and Pat on the river, Justin and I glass the decks and hatch lids. Then Justin leaves for the river too. Poor me.

After an eternity of sanding I paint the interior walls and deck edges. The main decks will get SeaDek.

I am consoling myself during my solo shop time knowing that all three of my rivering helpers are getting destroyed in the current storm system. They should have stayed here, and we'd be done.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Hatch Latchy

Bad Blog Boy has been neglecting his readership again. So sorry. I get kind of busy sometimes and one thing leads to another and a month whistles right on by. We had been getting ready to put a new bottom on the Hetch Hetchy when last I checked in. Okay then. A few more grinds and whacks and we're ready.

On she goes.

The Columbine comes back in for a bit of final paint touch up before she goes back home.

 Watch your head, Pat.

From this side, the Hetch Hetchy looks like a new boat. But there's still a lot of the old girl inside.

On with the primer. (I had two colors of primer.)

We are reproducing the paint job she arrived with--with a touch of proportional jazzing up.

I'm docking Cricket's pay.

A wee bit of fiberglass--taping the decks to the sidewalls.

And as usual, work ended an hour ago and here we sit.

Taking the old boatman's footwell down to raw wood for new paint--and to see if there's anything nasty under all that paint. 

Can you tell where the respirator and the goggles were not?

Outer chines on. A fellow named Marco stopped by to see the shop. But idle hands are the devil's playground. He's good with a screw gun. And a paint brush.

Decks primed and ready to paint. We are leaving the old wood with an oiled finish inside the hatches, both to show some of the boat's history, and to discourage--and detect-- rot.

It's time to make hatch lids. Cricket is building hatch lid frames out of ash here.

Oh oh.

Hatch lids gluing up.

They fit!

Gunwales on. Like framing a painting.

Hatch lids hinged.

Wahoo! Deck paint!

Intermission: The Avery gals are back to finish off their bookshelf boat:

Bright Side will grace the window of Bright Side Bookshop in downtown Flagstaff. Stop buy and visit.

D5, a new aluminum dory from Eddyline Welding, is here for gunwales. It's from my Bears Ears design of last year, and we are going to build a wooden one shortly. So we thought we'd see if we could steam bend two entire sets of gunwales all at once. Yup. We can.

After they cool off and the shape has set, we take them in and glue up the scarf joint in the middle.

We are hosting an after hours party for the film festival. The old Hetch Hetchy floor makes a fine stage prop.

And Kate Aitchison's carved McKenzie boat, Katie Lee, is down here for the weekend to be displayed at the Whale Foundation annual WingDing. Kate is this year's featured artist. Can you see why?

On the wall are prints made off the boat sides. 

The party raged into the night, but we were all in bed before 4am.

Craig Childs and the Scatterlithics are tearing it up onstage.

Once we recover, we put on D5's gunwales.

Do you sense a theme here at Fretwater Boatworks?

Intermission is over. Back to the Hetch Hetchy. On with the hatch latchies.

She's ready to go out and play. But it's snowing out there.

There's that darned bottle again. And it's friend the can.