Wee Lass – Part 2

So planking Wee Lass turned out to be not as difficult as I imagined.  I was actually quite pleased with the job.  After planking, attach the outer stem and keel.  At the designer’s recommendation, I gave the hull two coats of epoxy sealer.  Then it’s turn-over day.

2003-10-26 Turnover day, Wee Lass.
2003-10-26 Turnover day, Wee Lass.

The 6-hr canoe is in the background.  And yes, my boatshop, er, garage, was cluttered back then too.  If you’ve been paying attention to the photos in the previous posts, you can see that it hasn’t gotten any better.

You would think that with the hull planked and right side up, launch day would be just around the corner.  T’ain’t so.  Other boat builders have told me that when the hull is planked, you’re only about one-third done.  It’s true.  But all the interior work we’ll discuss as progress moves along on Tammie Norrie, as most of the work is similar.  So let’s jump ahead and splash this boat.

2004-06-12 Launching Wee Lass.
2004-06-12 Launching Wee Lass.

Since Wee Lass had a round bottom’d hull, and my only previous (limited) sailing experience had been on a very beamy stable hull, I decided to spend some time rowing Wee Lass before I put up the sail rig.  That way I could get used to how the hull handled.  I could also build a pair of oars much quicker than the sail rig.  It didn’t take long to get accustomed to Wee Lass; you couldn’t dance a jig on her but she felt very stable, and when a power boat blasted by with a large wake, Wee Lass would rock with the wake but never felt like she would roll over.  But eventually, it’s time to sail the boat.

2004-09-11 First Sail
2004-09-11 First Sail

I’ve got my back to the camera in this photo, that’s my better side.  For the first sail I let my brother have the helm as he’s a better sailor than I.  The photo is showing off my neophyte status; in addition to the trolling motor and the fenders dragging the water, the halyard is not coiled.  The trolling motor was useful at the time, but it wasn’t too long before I got rid of it.  Besides being a nuisance to rig, I could row just as fast with the oars as the trolling motor would push me, and with a little practice I could maneuver just as well.

The design had three sailing rigs:  an unboomed spritsail, which was the simplest and easiest to rig; a gunter sloop rig, which had the largest sail area and should give the best performance; and the rig I chose, a loose-footed standing lug.  My previous sailboat had a conventional sloop rig, and I thought it was tedious to set up and take down.  The spritsail is the simplest of the rigs, but didn’t have a boom, which I thought really convenient for going downwind.  The standing lug seemed a good compromise between the spritsail and the sloop.  That turned out to be a good decision; I’ve been very happy with the standing lug.  It’s simple to rig, gives decent performance, and most important, it looks cool.

Once again I proved that I’m a slow builder.  The instruction manual states that the Penobscot 14 is “a manageable winter’s project.”  I started Wee Lass in January 2003, and sailed in September 2004.

Hurricane Ike

Stating the obvious, hurricanes don’t play nice with small boats.  Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast in September 2008.  Wee Lass rode out the storm strapped to her trailer, hitched to the truck.  I had evacuated to a site about 80 miles inland, thinking 1) I would escape the storm surge, and 2) that the hurricane force winds would be reduced to tropical storm strength that far inland.  I was half right.  Wee Lass got tossed around like a rag doll, but proved she is a tough little boat.  I expected the storm to destroy the boat, but the damage was repairable.  The damage included a split plank (starboard side, just below the sheer near the center thwart), some cracked knees at the center thwart, and a serious leak at the centerboard trunk. Wee Lass would wear some “battle scars” as a result of the storm, but was re-launched in May 2009.

A Little Bling

In 2012 my wife gave me a new sail for Wee Lass.  Made of dacron like any other modern sail, the fabric on this one was dyed to resemble an old fashioned canvas sail.  The sailmaker was fantastic and went to extra lengths to add all the details that make a traditional sail.  At the same time I re-rigged the boat using Hempex line, which is a modern synthetic that has the look of natural hemp.  As part normal maintenance, Wee Lass also sported a new coat of paint and varnish.  I got it all done just in time to enter a local boat show.  The judges must have liked the boat.

2012-05-06 A little bling.
2012-05-06 A little bling.

Tammie Norrie Update:

I’m slowly making progress on Tammie Norrie.  The fourth pair of strakes have been hung.  This is a milestone of sorts; it means I’m at the half-way point in planking.

2016-07-04 The fourth strakes.
2016-07-04 The fourth strakes.

One thought on “Wee Lass – Part 2”

  1. Another great job on your blog, and showing your bro was sweet.So proud of both my guys!love you, mom Blessings, SandraDailyGod.net

    From: Als Boats To: shm2610@sbcglobal.net Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 9:44 PM Subject: [New post] Wee Lass – Part 2 #yiv3041498943 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3041498943 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3041498943 a.yiv3041498943primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3041498943 a.yiv3041498943primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3041498943 a.yiv3041498943primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3041498943 a.yiv3041498943primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3041498943 WordPress.com | alsboats posted: “So planking Wee Lass turned out to be not as difficult as I imagined.  I was actually quite pleased with the job.  After planking, attach the outer stem and keel.  At the designer’s recommendation, I gave the hull two coats of epoxy sealer.  Then it’s tur” | |

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