The day has arrived to unearth the Port Orford Cedar. Buried under scrap Douglas Fir and various pieces of Black Locust the creamy yellow soft wood was hibernating. Waiting for its purpose to be revealed.
Technically the cabin roof will be constructed with 5 layers of material. Layer #1, where the Port Orford comes in, is 1.5in by .75in for esthetics down below. Layers #2 and 3 will be from .25in exterior ply. Layer #4 will be the fiberglass. Finally, layer #5 for esthetics on deck we’ll use .25in Douglas Fir strips to appear traditional. (Sorry to be redundant for some of you consistent followers)
Setting the table saw to 1.5in to rip the 2bys down.
Double check with a test plank.
Then pass over to Hoffa and I to plane any saw burns away and sand the corners round for finish.
All too often the table saw gets a little overwhelmed and bogs down forcing Garrett to wait it out.
Setting the strips atop the cabin beams to get a feel for how it’s all going to come together.
We worked into the evening until our Captain returned from a quick run into town. He brought gifts of hearty veggies and steak including libations of wine. Not a bad way to cap off an awesome day of boatbuilding!
The home stretch to finishing the cabin really makes me feel closer to the boat, to Rediviva. It’s near the point where she starts to become a home. On our previous boats the way we ran the ship was Garrett took care of everything above deck and I made sure everything down below was safe and stowed. Garrett’s in charge of the boat as a sailing vessel and I’m in charge of the boat as a home. Seeing the companionway framing is, for me, the first step towards the doorway into life aboard Rediviva. It gives me goosebumps!
The original main mast support block, from the split-cabin layout, was still able to be utilized. Garrett had to make a slight adjustment on the forward face to fit it to the way the beams placed out.
Currently, Garrett is working on the trim for the forward and aft walls of the cabin house. These pieces are a bit wider to create a bigger surface area for the roof. Once installed next is ripping into, finally, the Port Orford Cedar! Which will be laid before the plywood roof so from the inside you’ll see planking. It’s going to smell amazing and hopefully help deter bugs and mold when we’re traveling through the tropics. This cedar was found on a random Craigslist look-see about a year ago. We scored and got over 800 linear feet for about 87 cents a board foot. We’ve been saving it for just the right use.
Garrett sits atop the bow of his mighty vessel. Breakfast in one hand, coffee in the other, building book resting upon his lap. His persistence is impeccable. It still baffles me how, after 2 long years, Garrett’s determination is continuously ablaze. No matter how much the time frustrates him, no matter how much the weather works against him, no matter how much Rediviva requires of him he remains strong. I am proud.
More times than not (we need to remind ourselves) things go so right. The 7 cabin beams are in and they look incredible! Imagine, the wind is cooking outside but coffee is robustifying down below. You chill and wait on the settee gazing upward, staring at the varnished western red beams above your head still feeling the tie to terra firma and the warmth of the aroma. Oh yeah, it’s gunna be good!
The sound of progress resumes all around us. The birds are out and the bees are not yet awake. A few buds sprout and the patches of snow that remain are pushed back to the shadows. Those shadows, however, are the perfect place to chill your beers while you work
We’ve been busy with winter damage control. The mice are being evicted from the trailer and all evidence bleached. The level work floor outside the shed (at first our framing table) was completely crushed under the weight of this years snow. The level supports for our spars took a good beating as well. A few tweaked, some punctured the lofting floor straight through, and others shattered.
We’ve still managed to keep gluing up the cabin deck beams.
We’re now onto the large main mast partner beams; which are wider and one lamination thicker. Today is our first full day being back on the property. It feels wonderful to wake up right next to the boat. Just feeling her presence is a comfort. The sun is out in all its glory, heating up the western red cedar as we coat the strips in epoxy. Hoffa and I do the gluing and Garrett clamps the beam up to the mold.
Once the resin cures Garrett then grinds and sands off the excess. They look so sexy when fare. They’ll receive a light reddish stain and oil to really make them pop.
Another exciting development is the little garden Hoffa has started. One of his talents he brings to the crew is his green thumb. He’s equally as enthralled with plants as Garrett is with wood. Anthony’s put together raised beds with scrap plywood and bits we have lying around. The green onions and garlic are already in the ground. Won’t be long now until we’re picking tomatoes and eating peppers! The ground is frosty in the morning but warms up quickly during the day. No wild flowers yet but we’re starting to see new leaves on the wild strawberries everywhere.
On the really nice days we’ll go for walks through the back forest. Hunting for any usable trees (curved branches for knees, skinny teepee poles, firewood) or any turkeys that need to be eaten. It’s so awesome to begin to see dirt, almost forgot what it looked like!
It took about 4 years to build the tall ship, Matthew Turner, in Sausalito. Our small ship is two years in the making. Today the brigantine tastes salt water for the first time. Tomorrow our gaff ketch gets another coat of epoxy added to her decks. The spring air is charged with a warm breeze (55 degrees and mostly sunny) and the knowledge that somewhere a vessel is being launched!
The Matthew Turner is an educational tall ship built sustainably in the San Francisco Bay Area. My mother-in-law, Susan, shared a video of the awe-inspiring site of her being released from her birth shed. They are streaming the launch from their website. We can’t wait to be anchored in Richardson Bay along side this new wooden lady!