Hole-y Moly

DSCN6468

 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!

IMG_1496

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!

DSCN6539

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.
IMG_1499

 

 

  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:

IMG_1589

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!!!!

IMG_1594

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…

IMG_1623

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

IMG_1616
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…

Thank You Captain Ron

DSCN5300
Garrett teaching Caulking 101

What can I say about Captain Ron!?!? He was the first new face we met when Rediviva rolled into town. A fan of wood, a romantic of boats, and a lover of life. Ron has made an incredible donation an offer that I have yet found words for. Garrett and I for years have made boats our life and we’ve gone to great lengths to make that happen. We’ve mainly kept it to ourselves, as a socially awkward boat nerd and a dork do, but this time around with our biggest challenge and project we decided to share it. Garrett has some foresight about such successes but I reserve my doubts, it’s people like Cap’n Ron that restore my faith in our project. There are many struggles in building a boat, in a marriage, in life and one that can stress all is, “How are we going to pay for all this?” Now with yard fees and rent, everything still being swallowed by the boats insatiable appetite, the videos have slowed as they still aren’t producing quite enough cash flow to fund the project so I’ve had to find more consistent work else where. It’s incredible by letting all you people in we’ve been able to keep this project close to its original timeline. 2-5 years and here we are in the middle. Just a week ago we were scratching our heads to figure out how to keep progress moving when sometimes we have to wait on a project so we can make sure we can pay the marina first. Tears started to leak from my face when I saw Ron’s amazing contribution and to top it off a challenge. I didn’t really know how to go about the offer… We’ve never felt comfortable about posting obtrusive money statements but how would anyone know about Ron’s dollar for dollar challenge? So here I am, with teredo worms crawling under my planking, sharing Ron’s message:

Captain Ron says…

I have supported very few endeavors…you guys are the real deal. I would like to offer a challenge to the gofundme community. I know these kids, they are at the Napa Valley Marina right now. They are the most honest hard working couple I have ever known. If you have funds to donate, you could not invest it a more deserving couple. My challenge…for every donation of $1,000.00 or more…I will double it. I am serious here folks…You donate 1K, I donate 2K…how simple could it be. One more thought…it is not the $1,000.00 donation that will get this job done…these are rare. What gets any worthy task accomplished is the $1.00 to $20.00 donation. You who donate in this range…you will be the ones who see this dream accomplished. Let’s make this more fun. When I see your smaller, but more important donation, I will double that also.

Take it as you will but mainly I wanted to thank Ron from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t help but bear hug him yesterday even though he was deep cleaning his engine, or something… and entirely covered in black soot. It’s not everyday I get to thank and hug a supporter in person! I also wish I could squeeze Bob Luce for his unwavering support and Angie, Bryan Johnson, Dave Sincliar, Ryon Speir, George Slaterpryce, Michael Lynch and our 57 other Patreons.
Thank you.

DSCN5315
Ron, a dutiful student, caulking the mahogany planking seams on his Grand Banks

Sparks Are In The Air

A lot like the boatyard, you drive unexpectedly down this road and make a turn you might’ve passed by and enter a world all its own. A lot unlike the boatyard is the movement! Loud noises, fast pace, and cool cars. This is Rolf’s haven. His shop, nestled right next to the Sonoma Raceway, is littered with metal shavings and any hammer you could ever dream up. The walls tower with race car memorabilia and tokens of finished projects. This is a lot like how I envision Garrett’s mind but with boats of course.

“I’ve got the best view in the world,” Rolf says as he ushers me to the backdoor of his shop. As the door opens my ears are assaulted with screaming engines, downshifting transmissions, and screeching tires. Rolf yells, “If you’re into cars!”

DSCN6343

This is the start of a beautiful relationship. Meet the newest crew to the Salt & Tar family. He may be twice our age but he runs around his shop with such excitement and eagerness it leaves us craving his youth. Rolf is helping us figure out and make the fittings for the rudder. He’s also stoked to help with future projects like the chainplates, fuel tanks, rig, anything involving the Westerbeastie, and even filming as he too, like Reid, has a drone!

So Garrett started by drawing up the plan and buying material.

Garrett used the angle grinder and cut the steel flat bar for the rudder and keel strapping. The steel has a nice natural layer of oxidation which doesn’t need to be dealt with until after we’re done cutting, slicing, and welding it.

I’m probably not the best one to be writing this post as much of what Garrett and Rolf discussed just went over my head. I’m still piecing together what we have so far and how it’s going to end up looking like what’s on the drawing Garrett made.

DSCN6339

 

I know the pintels are the rod things…

DSCN6338

 

 

 

 

and the gudgens are the circle toobie thingies…

 

 

Sorry guys that’s all I got haha

DSCN6362

DSCN6348

Cheers!

More to come 😉