With the hull varnished, I could start fitting out. First item was to install the mast step:
The mast step has a dado milled on the bottom running fore and aft, so no moisture gets trapped inside the step. I purchased a bronze eye strap from the local chandlery; the block mounted on the step will be used for a downhaul on the boom.
Some time ago I read of a tradition where a gold coin was customarily placed at the mast step. In honor of this tradition I mounted a coin just in front of the step. The coin is a silver dollar minted this year, and was a Father’s Day gift from the children.
Next was installing the mast partner. The partner was leathered to reduce wear on the mast, and held in place with copper tacks. Holes for the belaying pins have been drilled and the pins installed; the pins will be a convenient way to stow dock lines and the anchor rode. The mast partner is hung from it’s brackets with bronze carriage bolts.
Installing the bow eye came next. The bow eye is re-purposed from Wee Lass, and has a single 3/8″ diameter shank. The hole for the shank needs to be drilled on the centerline of the stem, and perpendicular to the stem face. Rather than try to drill the hole free-hand, I made a jig and drilled a pilot hole with a long 1/4″ drill bit. A 1/4″ square dado was milled into scrap and another piece of scrap screwed onto that, so I had a guide for the drill bit. Some mounting blocks screwed to the guide allowed the jig to sit on it’s proper position on the stem. After drilling the pilot hole, the finished hole of 3/8″ was then bored.
The stem head needs some touch up paint, and a half-oval band needs to be placed above the bow eye, but other than that, this chore is done.
The floorboards come next. I debated on what type of wood to use for the floorboards. In their book, “How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats,” John Brooks and Ruth Ann Hill recommend white cedar. I checked the local Purveyor of Very Expensive Lumber and they had some in stock, so Saturday morning I made a trek to the Big City – and also made the owners of my credit card very happy. White Cedar is a very good choice for floorboards; it is rot-resistant and it’s also flexible. You don’t want a stiff board for floorboard stock. The floorboards have some rocker fore and aft, and also a bit of twist near the bow and stern.
Start by milling the stock. The floorboards are 4″ wide so they were cut to rough length and then ripped on the table saw. While ripping the stock, make some 3/4″ square pieces that can be used as temporary spacers between the boards. Next the thickness planer was brought out and the floorboards planed down to 5/8″. Cut and install the center pieces; one fore and one aft of the centerboard case, after first rounding over the edges with the router and making sure the boards are centered on the keelson. The boards are screwed into the floors with bronze screws; no glue or epoxy is used.
With the center floorboards installed, place the spacer pieces next to the boards and place the next floorboard. These floorboards will have to be sprung into position; I used some heavy lead weights to hold down the boards against the floors until I could get the screws installed. The inner pieces are rectangular stock; you only need to cut them to length.
The outer floorboards have a taper fore and aft, so I got a couple of plywood scraps and made patterns of each end. My ability to freehand a smooth curve is minimal at best, and my ability to draw a mirror image of a curve in non-existant, so the patterns were helpful. To draw the curve, I sprung a batten until I was pleased with the curve, then cut the pattern out with a jig saw and sanded smooth. The pattern piece was then placed on the floorboard stock and the curve traced out. Like the inner boards, the outer boards will have to be sprung into posistion, so the lead weights are very helpful.
It’s starting to look like a boat. I’ve still got a bunch of small details to take care of, and some touch up work, but I’m starting to think that I may launch it before cold weather sets in.