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!
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.
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.
Getting 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!
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.
- Caulk the base with cotton.
- Tape off and prime said cotton then seam compound.
- Bung the fasteners using epoxy.
- 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:
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!!!!
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..