Armor Plating

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Armor plating, also known as sheathing, has been our life for the last two weeks. We started at the waterline Saturday before last and we are blasting through it. We’ve now sheathed almost to the transom. Our goals have been waterline down then from boat stand to boat stand, day by day. This is day one:

The Young Salt and the Tar Queen

Getting the first three planks on took the longest as we had to test fit then permanently tar and screw them in; setting the flow for the rest of the planks down to the chine. Now that I think about it I don’t know if I can call this day one… Days prior to this we had to sort and transport all the good¬†pieces of fir to the boat from their storage place at my parents then plane and mill those boards into 3 inch by 3/4 strips of sheathing planks.

You’re probably asking yourself why…? Why sheathing? What’s the purpose? Is that necessary?

We debated the same questions.

So the purpose: sheathing is essentially double planking an already beefy hull but the true purpose beyond extra strength and basically making the boat bulletproof is it is a sacrificial layer. Meaning worms, icebergs, pilings, partially sunk shipping containers, you name it could attack the sheathing leaving the main planking safe or at least keep us from leaking/sinking until we can repair damage. Most importantly, meaning Garrett’s number one concern, is the protection from worms. We plan to sail to the tropics. Lush beautiful crystal clear blue water but we’re not the only ones that thrive there;¬†teredo worms love it too. Interesting fact about marine worms is that they tend, when eating wood, to stay in one plank zig zagging back and forth up and down. This makes having a sacrificial layer distanced from your structural planking with heaps of tar a wonderful piece of mind that your home will be safe and its integrity held.

And is it necessary: Is building a boat?…

We’ve come this far why not a little further into insanity?

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Day two Garrett set a big goal, sheath all the way to the chine before days end. Garrett and I did ok, getting two full runs up by about 5 leaving only 2ish runs left to reach the chine. But we were pooped! Thanks to our amazing neighbor who cranked up the

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sea shanty tunes and kicked our butts into gear for a final push. With his help and every minute of daylight

we achieved that goal.

 

…We really wore Swab out!

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The following day was a video making day for me and a trimming day for Garrett.

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We’re really happy with how the sheathing is coming. Garrett just hates the sticky… It’s going to be so great when it’s complete and a huge mental ease for Garrett knowing it’s below us. Speaking of below us, so presently it is gravel but she is a boat and one day she’ll float! This project is the last major one before launching day. After the sheathing is finished we’ll be ready to slap some bottom paint on her and wheel her to the ramp. A few odds and ends remain but no more cabin modifications or holes–I probably shouldn’t say that out loud—good thing I just wrote it ūüėČ

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Chainplates in Progress

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Garrett made the templates long ago, while we were still in the middle of the cabin remodel, and ultimately decided to let someone else bend the chainplates into shape. With the advice from Rolf, He and Garrett went to Van Bebber in Petaluma.

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Since the steel we are using is pretty beefy it was wise to go to an industrial place that was made to manipulate metal. The added benefit to taking it someplace else to have done was that it freed Garrett up for other projects in the meantime.

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We got the call that our order was ready and ran out to grab our chainplates earlier this week!

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Garrett was really excited to test fit them against the hull and channels and see just how close Van Bebber was able to get them to the templates he made. The plates were spot on!

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They’re not done yet but now we are ready to drill the holes for the fasteners and weld the tube to receive the bolt for the dead eyes. Instead of turnbuckles we are going the traditional route. We still have so much locust (which we used for the bulwark stantions) left to turn out some beautiful proper dead eyes. With Rolf’s help he and Garrett will make the metal wrapping to go around the dead eyes and lock into the chainplates. So first, we will have to customize the chainplate before installing onto the boat…which means I still have to wait to paint the hull…but it won’t be long now! Stay tuned. Things are about to get real sexy

 

 

 

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Hole-y Moly

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¬†Yep. That’s a hole.

I was at work, minding my own business, blanching carrots or something and my apron buzzes. As I’m waiting for my carrots to reach perfect tenderness I glance at whatever my phone is trying to inform me of. I shouldn’t have looked. It’s a text. From Garrett. With a photo. He writes, “Look I cut more holes in the boat!” The photo shows the bulwarks busted up and a lovely square cut out in the deck. I did say I liked all the light that was let in by the absence of the cabin walls during that last big hole project… I’m in love with a mad man. I was thinking the next holes would be where ports would come in not tiny squares every 2 feet flooding light in but alas Garrett got to thinking again. His thought process went something like this: (I’m imagining) I don’t like these bulwarks, I wish I could just rip them out, hell I did it with the cabin I hated, maybe I should. His hand reaches out and perfect! it lands atop the new oscillating saw we just replaced. More buzzing sounds and presto. The thoughts continue, I should definitely text this to Ruth she’ll get a kick outta this. A hellion’s smile creeps across his face.

We talked about this, redoing the bulwarks, I just wasn’t prepared for it to happen now. Some husbands might surprise their wife with dinner, a puppy, I don’t know something shinny. I get holes.

It’s funny. If I wanted normal I could’ve easily stayed in school got a nice job worked until I’m old and then rest in peace… GROSS!

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Life should be full, interesting, vivid and bright. I’ll take the biggest hole Garrett can cut over the dullest day in an alternate reality where I’m an accountant at a desk or a therapist listening to someone else’s problems any day.

DSCN6488¬†So here’s our mighty tiny ship. Now with the appropriate cabin there was one more thing to fix; the bulwarks. Rediviva needs a ships bulwarks. Tall and planked. Something you can lash lines to and keep you on board crossing the Tehuantepec.

DSCN6479Getting back to the “dream” or “fantasy” as Garrett says he tore out the last of his “compromises.” We had stubby bulwark posts before only 6 inches tall. We’re going 18 inches this time. They’ll rise up with the sheer so maybe 16 inches towards the transom and then kicking up to 18 at the bow rising gradually from the end of the cabin. Not only will these bulwarks be bad ass but they will also be safe and strong. Garrett rummaged through our black locust stock. He was so stoked to be finally getting to use the locust. It was one of our first lumber purchases from a neighbor in Washington with a saw mill; he processed a hand-full of branches and kilned beautiful black locust boards for us.

Above is just a random 2-by but on the left close to the transom is an original bulwark stantion, yeah that little guy, and closer to the cabin on the right is what we’re shooting for. Most likely, we’ll be able to wrap three planks around these posts leaving a little gap at the deck for water to flow.

Garrett sorted and figured out how to get the best cut and get as many pieces as we can out of each board.

He’d consult his notes and scribe his measurements. He wanted to have as many of the stantions as he could go all the way down to the chine but thanks to helpful words from our longtime-woodworking-boatbuilding neighbor (not my words alone would persuade him) we reeled in that thought and accepted 4 topside planks down the hull would suffice. His notes told him how long each of the posts could be since there are places where butt blocks are in the way, stunting their length.

Cutting the locust is tough work. That timber is so dense you’d break a fingernail trying to sink it in. It’s like touching marble. I’m envisioning the galley countertop now…LOCUST!

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Once we had all 16 pairs cut they were ready to be installed.

Garrett worked down below drilling two fasteners securing the locust for the dry fit. I was armed up on deck with a square.

¬†After we got all 32 stantions dry fit Garrett traced around the posts from the inside then took them all back off. He then drilled from the inside, where he could see, the pilot hole for the main fasteners. Then, from the outside, after re-securing the stantions with the light fasteners inside, drove in the final galvanized #14’s.

4 things left to do.
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  1. Caulk the base with cotton.
  2. Tape off and prime said cotton then seam compound.
  3. Bung the fasteners using epoxy.
  4. Apply linseed oil to make sexy.

 

 

Garrett got his caulking mallet out and tap, tap, tapped away:

We got them all sealed up just in time too! This happened:

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That would be a swarm of the tiniest of flies, that actually bite a little. I was thankfully not at the boatyard this day. I would’ve lost it. Garrett said you couldn’t even talk because they were everywhere. Like good ol’ Captain Ron said, “They come on ya fast and they leave ya fast.” They’d cleared out the following day but the evidence was in every fold of, well, anything. Move a tarp millions would fall out, scooch a ladder millions would fall out, grab your respirator hundreds tumbled out…ew.

But then Rediviva got her first bath!!!!

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Happy Boat!

The bulwark project will continue after we’re in the water. Now that everything was sealed up like it should be we could get back to more pressing tasks. Finishing the rudder and installing a prop maybe..

Boys?!?! What are you doing…

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Sometimes I’m scared to go home…because of what I might find

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Our spare spare will stay on the ground so we can lop it up into sections for booms, gaffs, or bowsprit

We’ve been paying the yard an extra $75 a month to store our masts. The masts have sat behind a building in the heat (regrettably forgotten at times) since the boat arrived to Napa 8 months ago. Sadly an “out-of-sight out-of-mind” kind of thing. So it was time we took better care of them and stopped paying extra for them to be far away from the boat. We’re not ready to step them but at least getting them on deck will get us to not pay money but pay better attention.

 

 

The boys devised a plan: After hours 4 of them would lift our two spars and the spare spar onto the truck rack with someone supporting the over hang and drive all the way across the yard back to the boat then parking as close to the bow as possible 3 would lift up the mast to one person on deck then one by one the truck lifters would run around and join the person on deck to fully get the mast onto the stands on deck. Simple.

When we’re ready we’ll step the masts up into place from the water. For now it’s really exciting to be checking all the little details off the list!

I finally got around to oiling them a week before this:

Let’s try and make that a monthly chore…