Centre hull is complete and painted, crossbeams complete and painted, floats are complete and due for painting over the next few days. All the stainless fittings and bolts etc have been fabricated. I decided to get a new mast built rather than resurrect the old one. The new ones completed and ready to fit. Its also half a metre taller which fits the sails I have better, meaning less cutting those around to fit. Plan is to paint the floats and get them back outside for a 2nd trial assembly this time with the beam struts. Then step the mast and cut shrouds to length. Fit all the winches and blocks etc. Then when my sail maker mate is back from holiday we'll pull some sails up and see what needs to be done to alter them - hopefully not much. Still have to finish the dagger board and build the rudder, but finally it feel like its coming to an end. I have a month off so I'll see where I am at the end of that.
Greg and Leith
The Sea Scouts have a tradition of doing a New Year's Row in the Bay.
Heather and were invited to come along with Wil. A bit chilly, but not to
Good way to begin the year.
Coolest Kayak Ever and Helen Marie
We put Helen Marie in the fresh water side of the Braden River and took a trip up the narrow windy river about four miles to Linger Lodge. She's still not fully finished but good enough to take a ride in. It was me, Helen, Jamie and Laylah which is about the max to be comfortable. This was a good way to see how well she turns and when the wind hits there was some backing and filling. I'm very happy with the performance, a few more adjustments and she'll be prefect.
Finally! Nine days below freezing delivers a sailable surface, and I'm desperate enough to chance a marginal wind prediction. Spokane's mean temp hovers right around 32 degrees all winter, and we can get plenty cold to form ice on the shallower lakes, but a week or two of serious warming can show up at any time to mess with my fun! Throw in regular Pacific precipitation, and a iceboaters season is always at risk here.
So to get clear ice early is a big bonus, deeply appreciated. I roll up to Sprague Lake and strap on the blades to scout my playground. I find a solid 3" with a few half inch deep snowdrifts, some pebbley patches of late freeze, and great expanses of gorgeous plate that begs to be scratched up. Last weekend was spent tuning the Fed to be ready for this, and the proof of success is partially measured by setting the platform on the ice and giving it a good shove. If it silently glides off into the distance, I've nailed it. It does, I pursue to retreive, drop the rig on, kick a few steps and hop aboard.
Now I'm out here running mostly on hope. It's blowing a big 4 mph, gusting to 6, with lulls in the 1 to 2 range. So keeping this thing cruising requires skill, something I'm still chasing. Time to settle in and get sensitive. Start with the ever so smooth little carves upwind and down, searching for that tiny blip of power that's there when you find the sweet spot. Instantly sheet in ever so slightly, and get rewarded with another micro burst of speed. Search again, and repeat. Now start to choose the surface. The super smooth ice offers so little resistance, and it's needed to keep spooling up the speed. Gracefull arcs between the drifts and bumpy bits are required to keep drag at bay. Do it all right, carve the perfect line downwind in the odd 8 mph puff, and I'm able to produce 25 kts of exhilarating boatspeed.
The flip side is the lulls. This is the essence of ghosting, making every action as smooth and gentle as possible, so as to not scruff of speed. Quick glances at the telltales to make sure the sail is producing power, however little. Let her glide til the next puff shows....
I can manage about a 30 minute session before I'm looking for warmth. First time out and I don't have my gear fully dialed in, forgot a few things. Jump in the rig for a while, crank up the heater, take on some fuel, and head out again for another round. I get in three runs before the ground fog shows up and sucks the last life out of the breeze. Pack her up, and hit the road home in the dying light, grinning again. An early season score!
1918 Stager Mystery Sub
As you all know, Whalen and I were both submariners in the Navy. I was on a nuke in the modern Navy but we're not sure about Whalen, him being so much older than me. I think Pop - I Schuster may have found his boat, looks to be about the right vintage.
Barry Long is famous for building two beautiful 13 foot melonseeds but needed a new challenge so he came down and got this Gannett hull from Crazy Steve. Don't you love this front on shot of the boat. It shows the flared sides and wide planing hull of this rocket ship. The only similarity between the two boats is that they both go in the water. I wonder how easy this one is to dry out after you flip it?
Sub, Barry and Howard.
Howard needed a challenge so he decided to rebuild Red's little sailboat. You can see that there wasn't much to save and he had no plans to work with be he got right on it and is coming along fine. This is by far the hardest hull to build any of us have ever seen. It's only about nine feet long but is real fat and has eight strakes on a side that have to all bend and come together at the ends. They're about five inches wide in the middle but only one inch at the bow. Even Howard is using some bad words and he never does that. I probably shouldn't tell this because Red doesn't know about it, it's a surprise.
Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club
Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show in Franklin
Guys, it is time to start thinking about Spring activities and one that I highly recommend is the Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show in Franklin, LA. A lot of us have gone and taken our boats there in first three years. This is the fourth year and it is a lot of fun.
They feed us delicious Cajun food and beverages, show our boats at no cost to us under beautiful oak trees, provide a camping spot behind a historic mansion that we can use. They accept donations to help with costs of food, etc. but it is truly a free show to show in and to attend.
Mike went last year after I begged for three years and he says he definitely is going back this year. We want to take the Welsford Tender Behind "Fancy Free" along with the Scamp so he better get cracking!
Gene Lueg, John Farrell, GG Guillomota (spelling?) Allen Hamm were among those who went. I know we saw some remarkable boats being exhibited and I think our boats were all of interest as well.
One thing we want to do this year is make a scrapbook for the Red Scamp and the Tender Behind and maybe a photo board to help people understand the building of the wooden boats. I know a lot of people did think the Scamp was an older boat we had restored and made "newer" again.
Of course, that may have been all the hard wear that she had gotten since being built!
Hope to see a lot of you there. It is April 19-21, Friday through Sunday. Go to https://www.techeboatshow.com
Jackie and Mike Monies
Back by popular demand is the catamaboat thing. Turns out that it's tied up about half a mile down the river from me. Pete the plumber took a kayak down and got some pictures, no other info. I'll go talk to the guy one of these days to see what's what.
Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club