Storage Seats, Breasthook/Mast Collar, Decking, Main Hatch and Oarlocks.
I have decided to put seats into my Prince William Sound Yawl. I am a little too old and creaky to sit on the floor to sail her. I debated back and forth about using the seats for storage or only for floatation. I decided to try to do a little of both. The seats will have somewhat of an air seal but I will be able to open the top to access the storage area. Later, If I decide that I do not need the storage space, I can epoxy the seats shut resulting in buoyancy tanks.
I have run a coaming around the seat frame. There will be a matching coaming in the seat top that will fit on top of the frame. This will give me a 6mm (1/4″) lip to keep the water out.
If I get water in the storage areas, I could glue a rubber seal onto the coamings.
Here is a close-up of how I am holding the back of the seats down onto the frame. The seat peg fits under the clip, holding the back of the seat down. I will use webbing with either snap buttons or clips to hold the front of the seat down.
The end result will be that the tops of the seats will be 1/2″ higher than the seat frame. The seats are inset from the edges by 1/2″ or so for drainage. I had this problem of rain water sitting on the seats with Gwragedd Annwn, because I did not put in any way for the water to drain. I am hopeful that this arrangement will allow the water to run off of the seats, down the sides and into the bilge. If that is not effective, I may put scuppers along the top of the sea frame to drain water to the outside of the hull.
Here I am deviating from the plans again. In the plans, Phil has a breasthook with a hole in it for the mast. With Gwragedd Annwn, I found stepping her mast to be difficult, almost at the limits of my strength. I had to lift and balance the 15′ birds-mouth mast up about two feet and put it into the mast partner in the thwart and then into the mast step on the keel. For this build, I have decided to make a folding mast collar.
My Millwright friend, Matt, made this up for me out of stainless steel. He did not have any Bronze. He also made the two side pins 1/2″ instead of 1/4″.
Relative to the plans, the mast will be in the same spot. I have made the breasthook smaller and doubled its thickness to compensate. There will be more surface area for gluing than in the original plans. The breasthook will also get covered by epoxy and cloth.
The mast collar is stainless steel, 3″ inside diameter. 1/2″ bolts on either side to hold the collar together. One is the hinge side the other is the locking pin side. The distance between the top and bottom plates is the thickness of two 6mm marine plywood pieces with a coat of epoxy and cloth. The collar will swing open for the mast and then closed with a pin to hold the mast in place.
I am also going to fit the breasthook.
Here I am prepping for the glue-down. I will use a combination of clamps and clamping screws to hold the deck down to the framing. I mixed up epoxy and sawdust, spread the mixture onto the frame tops and the gunnel tops. Put the heater into the storage area and covered the boat with a tarp to keep the heat in.
I had an “oops”. One of the clamping screws let go overnight. The deck popped up in the centre. I had to cut out the epoxy mix between the frame and the deck piece, mix up some more and re-clamp the deck down to the frame. In the photo, you can see how I am holding the deck down for the fix. You can also see that I have filled every clamping screw hold with a bamboo skewer piece epoxied in. This “pins” the deck in place and reinforces the joint. I do this wherever I use screws to temporarily hold something, pinning and epoxying afterward.
After the epoxy has set, I cut off any protruding skewers and give the deck a good sanding.
I lay out the cloth. The heater has been in the storage area, heating up the deck. I also have a heater warming the breasthook. I will leave the heater on overnight.
The epoxy and cloth has covered the deck and sealed in the bamboo skewer pegs.
I sand off all ot the sharp edges and test fit the collar. I drill the securing bolt holes and put the bolts in. Looking good.
I am making a simple hatch for the storage area. In the plans, Phil says about the Slide: “Slide lifts out and stows; try how access to forward stowage works without this bulkhead opening, as it would obviously be better not to have it.” So, I will try it without the slide opening. If it is unworkable, I can always add it later.
I am not really a fan of leeboards, so, I am going to have a centreboard. It will be offset to Starboard, against the Starboard seat. This will keep the centre of the boat open (about 25″ wide). My centreboard is not as wide as the leeboard in the plans, but, it will go deeper into the water. The area in the water for both is almost the same, with the centreboard being slightly larger in area. The centre of balance will be at the same point. My centreboard is made up of laminated Red Cedar, using biscuit jointing. After shaping, I will coat with epoxy and cloth. To get the shape, I made longitudinal cuts, taking the blade depth from the plans. This gave me a guide for the shaping. Plane down to the cuts and then you know that you have removed enough wood. The centreboard is a complex shape.
I have put the centre mold station back into the hull to help hold the shape while I fit the bulkheads. I am going to put them in belfore I epoxy and cloth the inside of the hull. I cut a 4″ wide strip of cloth and put it under the bulkheads. This way I will have epoxy and cloth on the inside of the hull, uninterrupted by the bulkheads.
I use the station molds at stations #5 and #8 as templates for the bulkheads. They are both slightly bigger than the bulkheads, so I trim them to fit.
I epoxy in the bulkheads. I then put in an epoxy and sawdust fillet which I later cover with epoxy and cloth.
With her on the strongback, I cannot reach the inside of the hull. So, with the bulkheads in place, I feel confident enough to place her on the dolly. Her shape will not change now.
Because she is so deep and wide, I am going to do the epoxy and cloth in two sections, one side at a time. I will overlap the cloth along the centre line.
A photo of the bow section.
Note the overlap of the 9.7oz cloth. Very tight weave.
I am finding this tight weave heavy cloth hard to work with and I am getting a lot more bubbles than I would like.
I do not like the bubbles. I grind out and patch each one. Takes a long time to do.
I epoxy in the forward bulkhead, which is not in the plans. I am going to have a more “conventional” looking forward storage compartment.
I have scarfed some douglas fir strips for the gunnel and the lower wale strip. The wood actually came from a recycled ballance beam from a high school in West Vancouver.
I am going to glue bird’s eye maple veneer onto the wale, using the gunnel strip and the lower wale strip to hold the veneer in place while the epoxy cures.
Here is the veneer and gunnel and lower wale strips epoxied up. Across the top of the boat are the stips for the starboard side.
The weather turned so I brought the hull into the shop for the starboard side.
I am fitting the forward mast step. I am not following the plans, which have the forward floor sloping towards the bow with two drainage holes. My drainage holes will be on the aft end, beside the bulkhead. This is because I could not figure out how to have the mast step drain forward.
I am epoxying the mast step and floor. The floor is supported by a beam that runs from the inside keel to the bulkhead. The forward floor also has a cloth coating. This makes the area under the floor a watertight compartment. There is no access to this area.
The mast step has a slot that allows any water in the mast step to drain out aft.
With Gwragedd Annwn, I have plugged all of the screw holes with bamboo pins. The pins fill the holes and act to hold the pieces together, not allowing the pieces to move reletive to each other.
I am laminating the deck beams in place. The forward storage area deck will be supported by two beams running across the deck and beams on each of the bulkheads. The will be two beams going from one bulkhead to the other as well.
In running my 1″ belt sander, I woke up a queen wasp that was hibernating in the on/off switch for the winter. I took the cover off so she could fly away.
Well, I am a little to old to sit on the floor. I am making seat/buoyancy tanks to sit on. To make a flat sleeping platform, I will fill in the area between the seats. Worked well on Gwragedd Annwn. I level out/square up everything and go for it.
I epoxy in the seat fronts.
My shop is not heated and it is a little cold. I put heat lamps on the job overnight. You can see the seat “coaming” strips being epoxied on. The seats also have a corresponding coaming that the seat coamings fit into. I tried this system out on Gwragedd Annwn and it did work to keep water out of the storage tanks.
The seat undersides will get a coat of epoxy sealer.
Here I am epoxying in the drains. I drilled a hole to the outside of the hull, placed tape over it and then saturated epoxy and cloth around the plastic pipe to form an epoxy and cloth drain. I will trim down the tops so the area drains well.
Well, that is it for now…The weather is cold and I have to wait for a non-rainy day. A rare event here in North Vancouver in the winter.
After my failure to plank the PWSY diagonally, on the advice of my boat building friends, I decide to double strip plank the boat, one strip overlapping another. The advice is that 1/4″ strips will be too light for a boat 16+’ long. I have a lot of 1/4″ cedar strips. The strips are not bead and cove. The problem was that they are old and dirty. I would have to plane them down to get a clean gluing surface. With double diagonal planking, that would not be a problem. I could plane the strips to 3/16″ and end up with a 3/8″ thick skin. Now I am going to plane the strips down to 3/16″ and then overlap them. a 3/8″ skin, with double overlapping strips should be strong enough.
The double overlapping strip construction will take a long time. I can only do one strip at a time. The issue is the glue drying time and clamping.
So this is what I am doing. Bulldog clips are used for clamping. The two mating surfaces are generously coated with Titebond II. At each station mold I use a screw with a washer to clamp the strips to the mold. Multiple bulldog clamps hold the strips together between the station molds. The glue needs about two hours to set up enough for the clamps to be removed for the next two strips. I am lucky to get in four strips a day at this rate.
At the end of the first stripping day, I have four inside strips and three outside strips done.
I am making progress. After the strip has dried, I remove the screws and plug the holes with bamboo dowels (bamboo skewer pieces).
At the transom and the bow, I use bamboo skewer pieces that go into the inner keel and that go into the transom to “peg” the strips in. All the other screw holes are just plugged with short strips that do not go into the station molds.
With a 16’+ boat, the strips need to be just over 17′ long. This is my 12 to 1 scarfing jig on my Shopsmith. With 12 to 1 scarfs, I do not have to worry about spacing out the scarfs on the boat. A strip with a 12 to 1 scarf is as strong as a whole strip. The table is set at about 10° and the scarfs are a little over 2″ long.
Getting to the point where the strips will not take the bend easily.
The transom is held on only by the strips at this point.
I have cut the strips and will now plank down from the keel (centre of the boat) down, filling the “football”.
The first three strips go on. They are glued to the inner keel and the transom.
Using a batten, I cut the planking along a smooth line to make the “Football”. This line is where there is too much twist in the strips for them to lie flat on the station molds. So the strips I now put on from the keel down will lie flat on the forms. I did some distructive testing on the planking I cut off. I was really pleased with the how well the strips glued…better than 95% adhesion. The wood failed before the glue joint. This was where there was the most shape in the hull. With the really “twisty” bits cut off, I am filling in the “football”. The middle of the boat is really flat.
To keep the planking as flat as possible, I am using cross pieces and screws to keep the planks against the station molds.
The yellow cedar strip is where the inboard rudder will come through the hull later.
As the “Football” fills in, the strips become shorter.
Only a few strips to go.
For the last few strips, the clamps will not fit anymore. It is all screws and washers. I buy thinner screws for this part. Note the two-washer set-up.
The planking is done. I will fill any gaps with fairing compound.
I decide to cover the ends of the strips with a few laminations of 1/4″ yellow cedar. In this case, I use epoxy and cloth to glue the laminations on.
With all of the wood on the hull, fairing begins. I decide to rough sand the hull first, then I will use the fairing compound.
The last strip is glued on…and it is only a 1/2 strip.
There is a lot of sanding to do. The more I do here, the smoother the final hull will be. Do not want to be able to see the stips when I am finished.
I used this Quikfair stuff from System Three. Sandable in three hours. I found it very hard to mix properly. It has a peanut butter like consistancy and I found it hard to measure accurately. This left me with some areas where it did not cure completely.
It does sand easily.
With the hull sanded smooth, it is time to coat the hull with epoxy and cloth. I used 6oz. cloth for the transom and I will use 9.6oz. cloth I got from Ian of Great Northern Craft on the rest of the hull. The cloth has a very heavy weave.
I am using some masking tape to hold the cloth on the hull.
I do not overlap the transom. I over lapped the transom cloth onto the hull earlier.
I filled in “Football” with some scrap pieces. I had a very hard time working out all of the bubbles in the cloth because the cloth had such a tight weave.
I have marked where the water line should be. I will put another layer of cloth on, doubling the cloth below the waterline. I have glued on yellow cedar strips to make the 1/8″ thick wale specified in the plans.
Fitting the double layer of cloth…Time for the epoxy.
I wanted to get the grounding skids fitted before taking the hull off of the station molds to keep the shape from shifting.
With the grounding skids on, the hull is sanded smooth again and given another coat of epoxy. There are three coats done.
I have brought the hull into the shop for priming and the first coat. This will keep the paint from attracting bugs.
Interlux grey primer.
And of course, most of the primer gets sanded off.
The first coat of Interlux Seattle Grey. Now I can leave the hull outside, even in the rain while I work on other pieces in my shop.
My flip crew of Ian, Matt and Dan help me take her off of the strongback.
The hull goes back into the shop. she is too high on the strongback…I will make a lower cradle for her.
In the next instalment, I will install the bulkheads and epoxy and cloth the interior.
I have sold both Myst and Gwragedd Annwn. Time for a new boat. From Phil’s book “Different Boats”, The Prince William Sound Yawl (PWSY) is a purpose designed cruising row-sailor. The design (#356) is 16′ 3″ by 4′ 6″ and has a draft of 5″.
I had not considered the design before as she is on the large size, you sit on the floor, the fore and aft decks slope down, the inboard rudder and lee boards.
With a few alterations, such as an offset centreboard, making the forward and aft deck not slope down and having side seats that can be seats, boyancy tanks and storage areas. I had great success with the inboard rudder in Myst as well. She also has a provision for an outboard motor.
I googled the design and found two references. One to a boat for sale by Duck Flat Wooden Boats in Austrailia named “Elf” and a 14′ build by Tom on the Wooden Boat Forum. I like how Tom made the forward “cabin” storage area into a more useful space. I was not sure about his outboard rudder that replaced the inboard one and eliminated the outboard motor well.
I ordered the plans from Susanne Altenburger of Phil Bolger & Friends: (firstname.lastname@example.org). I believe in paying for the design and the right to build one, even though I owned the book and already had the plans.
Rod Tait, of Orca Boats lent me his strongback for the build. We are both members of the Vancouver Wooden Boat Society. Thanks Rod! The really nice thing about this is that Rod has built the strong back “square” and I do not have to make any adjustments. The strongback breaks into two 8′ pieces for transport. To move the boat around, I mounted the strongback onto casters.
I used 5/8″ plywood for the station molds. Six sheets of plywood.
I used a thin strip of wood to mark the curves for the hull. I then cut out the station molds with a jigsaw. I used my Shopsmith 10″ sanding disk to true up the molds to the line.
Having cut out and trued up all of the station molds, the next step is to put them onto the strongback.
At the intervals specified on the plans, I screw in blocks to attach the station molds to. I take my time as this will determine the final shape of the hull.
To align the station molds, I have drilled a reference hold in each mold at the same spot. I used a 1/4″ fiberglass rod to help align the molds. If I could slide the rod easily between the molds, that meant that the alignment was good. I am using station mold #6 as my baseline. All measurements will be made from #6. I made up right-angle blocks to hold the station molds. They are screwed into the strongback and the station molds.
I cut spacers to go along the keel line between the molds. Each spacer had blocks on the ends. I made sure that each spacer was “square”, to help keep the molds in place. Note that the forward molds and spacers are offset down the depth of the forward keel. The Prince William Sound Yawl has an inner keel similar to a canoe inner keel. The inner keel goes to Station Mold #5. The central station mold # 6 was braced to insure that it was perpendicular to the strongback.
I am going to laminate the inner keel on the station molds. Here I am gluing block so I can clamp the laminations together. The 1/4″ alignment holes can be seen at the top of the station molds, just below the spacing blocks.
With the station molds and the bow mold set up, I am going to cut out the Transom.
Here I am marking out the transom. I am going to make it out of three layers of 6mm marine plywood for the frame and one piece of 6mm marine plywood for the actual transom. Phil askes for 3/4″ for the frame and 1/4″ for the transom. I am doing 18mm for the frame and 6mm for the transom.
I mark and cut out three transom frame pieces.
After I cut the pieces out, I mark where the outboard motor space will be. Time to lay on the glue. I am using Titebond II.
After the frame pieces are dry, I cut the frame piece out.
I have to be careful to allow for the shape of the transom frame where the strips will be attached.
This is my transom template. It has the outboard motor mount area marked and the frame. I am using it to cut the bevels in the transom for the planking.
The transom is mounted using clamps. I have to be able to take it off of the strongback after planking, so, no screws.
I am using yellow cedar strips for the inner keel. Here I am steaming the strips where the bend will be using our roasting pan, steam box and towels. Worked great. Under the wet towels is a brick holding the strips in the heat. I steamed for half an hour.
You can see my soaking tank to the right of the picture. It is a section of gutter, plugged at each end. I did soak the strips overnight before steaming.
Here I am laminating the strips. I am again using Titebond II. I used Titebond II where ever I could. Much less expensive than epoxy and glues up just as well. Maybe even a little easier to get a good bond. Dries faster.
Here is the inner keel clamped up.
The station molds have all been taped up so the glue and strips will not stick to them. I am placing temporary inner gunnel strips onto the station molds. they will help me get the first few strips on and help keep the station molds in place.
Before I start planking, I give the transom a coat of epoxy to help keep it from getting banged up during construction.
The plans call for double diagional to finish 1/4″ scant, cedar and epoxy West System, planks laid at a 20 drgree angle to the centre line. I give it a try and cannot make it work. I go to Plan “B”.
Plan “B” will be in the next installment of Building the Prince William Sound Yawl.
Loaded up and ready to leave home for Grant Narrows. The weather prediction is for rain today, sun on Tuesday and Wednesday and then rain again on Thursday and Friday.
Matthew is taking the two new Greenland Paddles to check out. Which paddle will be the most comfortable to paddle a long trip with? He will find out.
Matthew and I leave home around 9a.m. for the trip to Grant Narrows. When we arrive, the Canoe Rentals and Launch fee building is gone. The last time I was here in May of 2019, there were canoe rentals and a $15.00 launch fee and a $20.00 fee for parking. Now there is no one to take your money. The canoes and the building is gone.
Route for day one.
Mast is up, I just have to take off the tie-downs to the trailer and in she will go. You never know, there may be some wind and I will be able to sail. I launch Gwragedd Annwn, tie her to the dock and go park the FJ. I help Matthew launch off of the beach.
Matthew launches from the beach. He is using the West Greenland Paddle that I made for him. The paddle is made from yellow cedar. It is 85½” long, the blade is 3¼” wide at the tip, 2″ at the shoulder. As Matthew leaves, I see that his aft carrying handle is dragging. In future, I will make sure that the aft carrying handle is on the deck and not dragging in the water.
There is a light rain and Matthew puts his rain jacket on. It will “mist” all day long.
Matthew paddles Anemone and I row Gwragedd Annwn up Grant Channel in the drizzle. When we pass the channel markers we see that there is an outgoing current…must be the start of the tide going out, as there was no real current at the launching ramp.
A flight of Trumpeter Swans flies down Lake towards us, honking loudly.
The dyke for the game sanctuary is in the background. Progress is slow as we are going against the tide, costing us a knot or two in speed. As you can tell, it is still raining, my swag tent cover is getting soaked through.
About three and a half hours after launching, we arrive at Raven Creek Campground. We paddle to the campground sign scouting out the beach.
Scouting along the beach.
Boats on the shore, checking out the campsite and setting up. No blisters and no sore shoulders, a successful day.
We are going to camp on the beach, well South of the Raven Creek Campsite sign.
Gwragedd Annwn on the shore. The tide is now coming in.
Matthew does some exploring along the beach. It never really stops raining.
Matthew sets up camp. It is almost dry under the trees. We found that the rain was light enough that we were not wet while paddling or rowing. I guess that we were drying off as quickly as we were getting wet. My jeans stayed dry, however, all of the varnished surfaces on Gwragedd Annwn were covered with beaded water, Anemone’s decks were wet. Everything not under a tree was wet or damp at the campsite.
Dusk. We have pulled Gwragedd Annwn up the beach well above the high tide line with her beach rollers. It is still raining lightly. With the North up-lake exposure of this beach, I have decided to camp ashore. My swag tent enters from the top so I have a tarp over the entrance to keep the interior of the swag tent dry. If I was sleeping on the boat, I have a boom tent to keep the swag tent out of the rain.
We put the cockpit cover on Anemone to keep the rain out and hang our food bags up in the tree. We do not have a fire tonight.
Route day two.
As predicted, Tuesday dawns bright and clear. No Rain! It was a cold night. No wind fortunately. Here we are beginning to pack-up in the shade (East side of the lake) for the paddle & row to the Dark Creek Campground.
Getting organized and having a breakfast of oatmeal. You can see Gwragedd Annwn on her beach rollers. Unfortunately, one of the rollers got punctured rolling her down the beach. Too bad, the rollers really made moving her up the beach easier.
The sunshine finally hits our campsite and we are stowing stuff in Anemone and Gwragedd Annwn for the trip over to Dark Creek.
Matthew is orientating himself to Dark Creek. We use the chart to pick a landmark on the West shore. We will paddle/row across and then follow the coast uplake. I hope that the beach at Dark Creek is not covered with drift logs and we can land there. The tide is coming in.
Matthew sets off first. Today he is using the smaller of the two Greenland Paddles that I made for him. This “storm” paddle is 84″ long, the blade is 3″ wide at the tip and tapers to 1¼” wide at the shoulder. The storm paddle is 10.4 ounces lighter than the regular paddle. Which will he prefer? Paddling conditions are GREAT! No wind and no swell. Only the occasional boat wake to deal with.
Looking back (East) towards Raven Creek. As there is no wind while I am rowing across, I am making 2 ½ to 3 knots.
At Dark Creek Campground (Dark Creek Provincial Marine Park). There is too much driftwood on the beach to land. We will sightsee, going uplake along the shore looking for a place to camp. If we do not find a campsite that we can land on, we will return to Raven Creek for tonight.
The mouth of Dark Creek. There is a mooring buoy anchored off of the mouth.
Paddling along the shore. Anemone looks well balanced…She suits Matthew. Matthew says that the storm paddle moves the kayak slower than the West Greenland paddle with the same effort. I guess that now he has a normal paddle and a storm paddle. The paddles are very light, 30.7 ounces (1 pound 14.7 ounces) for the West Greenland and 20.3 ounces (1 pound 4.3ounces) for the storm.
Matthew finds a crack in the shore to explore. Does it go anywhere?
The crack is not too deep and he does not get very far.
There are some Petrographs along the shore.
Usually you look for an orangey colour on the rock. Petrograph? I am not sure.
A few more figures.
Are the orangey dots pictographs too?
We keep following the West shore of Pitt Lake.
Defrauder Creek has a large beach area with almost no driftwood on it.
On the beach. Defrauder Falls are quite loud. They are marked on the chart (Pitt Lake #3062). 9.92km of paddling/rowing in the sun.
We walk up the creek to the falls
Anemone and Gwragedd Annwn on the beach at Defrauder Falls. Unlike the lower part of Pitt lake, the water in the upper part of the lake is quite clear.
A butterfly lands on our food bag. It looks like a Painted Lady. The only other bugs we saw were a few Bumble Bees. No mosquitos or flies.
Evening falls and we are in the shadow of Gloomy Peak. The tide is going out.
Our camp at Defrauder Creek. No need for a tarp for the Swag Tent.
Having a bit of a relax and getting the fire ready to go. The orange and black object on the table is a solar-charged battery pack to recharge our phones and my camera. Matthew used it to charge up his phone and the solar panels recharged the unit over the day. It has two charging ports so can recharge two devices at one. Actually worked well!
On the East side of lake, sunshine in the evening, West side, sun early in the morning.
Raven in the trees.
Golden Ears in the late afternoon.
Baked potatoes in the fire. We made up four of them, a potato, some butter and Onion, wrapped in tin foil.
Probably the best meal of the trip.
We sat near the fire as the sunset. When the fire had died down, Matthew put it out with several buckets of water.
Just about dark, time to hit the sack. I later woke up at 11:25pm. Gwragedd Annwn was rocking in the swell. I pulled her further up the beach. The night sky was incredible…inky, inky black and the stars were so bright. Sadly, my camera does not take very good night photos.
Route day three.
As predicted, we wake up to sunny and clear skies. Morning in the sun. It was a cold night, I slept in my mummy bag which I had inside my summer bag. I wore wooly socks, long underwear bottoms and top and a toque. I was warm enough. Matthew brought a winter bag. He did say that he will bring warmer shoes for around the camp next time, not Crocs.
Morning in the sun. the tide is coming in. The nice part about morning sun is that it makes your tent warm for getting out of your sleeping bag and putting on your clothes.
After breakfast, we pack up our camp and leave for Osprey Creek Campground (Osprey Provincial Marine Park) on the East side of the lake.
We leave Defrauder Creek behind. Again, the paddling/rowing conditions are perfect. No wind and flat water.
About half-way across, we pause for a snack and decide to go directly to Raven Creek. We can see that the beach at Osprey Creed is covered with driftwood. We have cell phone reception and I call my wife for the weather forecast. She says that it will be heavy rain starting overnight and continuing through Friday. Sigh, I guess the good weather will not last for us.
Perfect paddling conditions. Silky flat and no wind. Nearing Goose Island, Raven Creek is behind the island.
We are going around the East side of Goose Island. No easy landing here.
Big deadhead near Goose Island. No hazard for us.
Heading for Raven Creek
Landing at Raven Creek for a rest stop.
We talk about setting up camp early to get ahead of the upcoming rain. I call my wife for the latest weather report. It is not looking good, with heavy rain expected overnight and for all day Thursday. This means that we will be packing up camp in the rain and paddling/rowing home in the heavy rain as well.
The rest/decision stop at Raven Creek. Goose Island in the background. If only it was going to be like this tomorrow!
While we are at Raven Creek, a Bumble Bee crawls into my mug, looking for the Cranberry Juice I was drinking. While rowing, I always have a mug of something to drink. Today it is water mixed with cranberry juice. I usually go through two litres or so of fluids a day while rowing.
We decide to paddle/row back in the sunshine. The tide is also a factor. For an outgoing tide, we would have to wait in a rainy camp tomorrow until about 1pm for the tide to start going out. This will be wet waiting. Right now, at about noon, the tide is starting to go out…It will be an easy paddle/row home as opposed to the paddle/row that we had on the first day. Matthew and I decide to paddle/row back to the Grant’s Landing boat launch in the sun, making this a fair weather trip. About 2½ hours later, we arrive at the Grant Narrows boat launch, load up Gwragedd Annwn and Anemone and head home in the evening sun. 16.54km paddled/rowed on the last leg.
True to the weather prediction, the heavy rain starts overnight and continues through Friday. It would have been a soaker.
Total tip length: 36.23km or 19.56 nautical miles or 22.51 statute miles.
Paddling/rowing time: approx. 3½ hours day one, 3 hours day two and 5½ hours day three.
As you might imagine, we get a lot of rain in North Vancouver. We usually average two metres of rain per year at the house. I have not put a drain plug into Myst, so a cover is essential.
To make the cover, I purchased ten plus metres of Sunbrella fabric. It was on sale at Fanny’s Fabrics. I bought what was left on the roll, about thirty five feet. The roll was four feet wide.
Before I used the “good” fabric, I made a temporary cover using some left-over Tyvek from my garage build. Tyvek is easy to cut, does not fray and can be easily taped up using the tac-tape. No Sewing required.
A piece of webbing, with “D” rings sewed in both ends, goes from bow to stern, held in place by a bow and stern “cap” that fits over the bow and stern stems. By using the webbing, I will not need to rely on a mast to keep the cover “up”. The sailing rig can be stored in my garage for the winter if I am not going to use it.
Using some left over plywood, I made up some wooden clips to hold the cover in place. The drawstring will hold the cover tight.
The overall width I needed was about six feet, so I sewed the two pieces together to get the needed width. I am using my trusty Elna Supermatic sewing machine. I did a number of trials with some scrap pieces to get the tension right.
I stitched the two pieces together, running along the frayed edge. I then turned the seam over one-half inch and sewed it again (going through four layers of fabric). I turned this seam over and sewed it again (going through five layers of fabric). This hid the unhemmed edge inside a hem…My Elna struggled a bit going through the layers. To run the fabric through, I had to roll up both sides so one side would fit under the arm, between the needle and the upright arm. This put the seam on the inside of the cover and sewed the bow to stern strap over it.
The webbing will cover the seam so there will be no abrasion to the seam from the mast when the cover is on.
Here I am marking where to cut the cover, using the gunnel as a guide. I used a scrap piece of wood (6″) to measure the overlap from the gunnel. One of the problems I have had in the past is that there is not enough overlap so I am insuring that this cover will go over the gunnels and down the sides of Myst. I am also making sure that the webbing that runs from bow to stern will fit properly on the stem caps.
With the cover cut to shape, I make the hems. I sew the bow and stern hems first. Again, I turn over the edge about one-half inch and sew. I turn the edge over again, this time about one inch. I found that ironing the seams flat before sewing works the best. I set the iron to “Rayon” and flattened the hems.
I used up four bobbins of thread with this cover. Each edge is over sixteen feet long, probably over forty feet each time around.
I have run into a real problem. I cannot make the clips work with the cover. I had intended to use the button hole function on the Elna to make the holes for the drawstring to go through to engage the hooks. The problem is the unfinished button hole edge. It will fray unless I can hem it. The Elna will not make a button hole (thereby hemming the hole for the clip) in the sunbrella fabric. In my test pieces, it keeps jamming up, the thread balling up under the needle plate of the machine. Making button holes is a no-go. I tried making “pockets” that the clips would fit into, but the fabric is not stretchy enough for that idea to work. I have sewn paracord onto sunbrella before, so I tried to sew some shock cord loops onto the sunbrella for the clips to hook onto, but, the Elna would not sew through the shock cord. I decided to just use webbing straps to hold the cover down and tight. The clips will stay on the boat and the pockets on the cover…I will just not use them.
Quick trip to MEC to buy twenty feet of one inch webbing (green) and three male and female clips. All of the female clips go onto the Port side. The male clips are on straps that come from the Starboard side. I have three straps, After, Midships and Forward. The Forward and Midships straps will go around the dolly and help keep Myst on her dolly.
I am going to sew a “flap” that will go around the bow and stern. Velcro will secure the flaps.
This photo shows all of the details. The end cap that holds the webbing in place. The end caps have a notch cut into them for the “D” rings. You can see the draw cord and the cord lock. Amazingly I managed to get the pattern to “line-up” on this end of the cover.
Myst with her cover at the sailing club. The forward two straps go under the tongue of the launching dolly and hold Myst to the dolly. After a week of rain and snow, she is dry on the inside.
The cover is finished. Seems to be working well. On to the next project.
The 2022 Barefoot Raid started at Rebecca Spit, went around Cortes Island and returned.
Myst is an Iain Oughtred designed “Elf” faering that I built for the raid. I started the raid in Myst and finished it in Gwragedd Annwn.
A Barefoot Raid is a small boat sailing adventure. Most of the raid skippers race, so sailing “bare”, (not having any extra weight in the boat) is an advantage. Meals are provided and you can put your stuff onto one of the mother ships, sailing your boat “bare”. Your stuff consists of your own plates, cutlery and camping gear. There are three meals a day. Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. This was the 2022 Barefoot Raid.I am sailing with Dan and Heather because they have been on the raid and sailed the coast before. Going with an experienced crew is always a good idea.
Sailing Day One:
Thursday June 23rd, 2022. HSC to Plumber Cove. I Left Hollyburn Sailing Club, aiming for Plumber Cove, ending up at Snug Cove. 10:30am, I left HSC in Myst. Ian Magrath launched his Wayfarer, “Waif” from the club ramp. Ian has the oldest wooden Wayfarer in Canada. Ian, a professional boatbuilder (Great Northern Craft), has rebuilt the boat.
He took the Wayfarer on a shake-down cruise, joining us for the sail to Plumber Cove and then returning to HSC on Friday. Dan, Heather and I planned to continue up to Secret Cove on route to the Barefoot Raid. They launched their Mirror 16 “Mirror Mirror” from the public ramp where it is more sheltered and less wavy. Winds were light but the seas were very rough and unsettled. The current was against us. Myst is not sailing as fast as I hoped. I have not kept pace with the other two boas. Dan, Heather and Ian had to wait for me quite a lot on the sail to Plumper Cove.
They waited two maybe two and a half hours overall for me. I rowed to meet them outside of Caulfeild Cove. Because of the light wind conditions, we decided to go for Sung Cove instead of Plumper Cove. Winds are light from West and the waves keep knocking Myst’s speed down.
Rounded Point Atkinson. Winds were light, seas have calmed. I made for Whyte Cliff, mostly by oar. I sailed when the winds allowed. A West to North-West drift started up half way across. I updated Pat, my emergency contact, with the change in plans. I will update her with any change in my itinerary.
Dan and Heather waited for me off of Whyte Islet and then sailed for Snug Cove. I had the realization that a row-sailing boat is not as fast as a pure sailboat. Heather booked spots at the marina for all of us. I arrived at Snug Cove and tied-up, took down my sailing rig that evening.
We got some supper ashore. Doc Morgan’s full, Bowen Island Pub full, every place full. “The Crew” ended up at Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar and ate there.
We returned to boats nineish. I set up my tent on the dock, as Myst is too small for the tent to fit into. I could sleep on the floor boards, but there is a chance of rain for tonight.
Sailing Day Two:
Friday June 24th, 2022. Sung Cove back to HSC. I have come to the conclusion that Myst is too slow compared to Mirror-Mirror (Dan and Heather’s boat). It is not fair to them that they have to wait so often and for so long for me. Gwragedd Annwn is a faster sailor. I will return in Myst to HSC, change boats and trailer Gwragedd Annwn up to Lund and meet Dan and Heather there.
Plans made, Dan and Heather row out of Snug Cove and head up coast. They actually motored most of the way up to Secret Cove, the next stop on our cruise.
Ian and I set sail for HSC. Today the sailing is better, as there is some breeze in Howe Sound.
Myst was on a close reach to Atkinson and then downwind to HSC. Myst is much happier going downwind. Ian was only thirty minutes or so ahead of me when we arrived at HSC. I trailered Myst home and got Gwragedd Annwn ready for the raid.
Preparations Day One:
Saturday June 25th, 2022. Prepare Gwragedd Annwn. Dan and Heather have insisted that I have a motor, so, I install a motor mount onto Gwragedd Annwn’s transom for my little Seagull.
Preparations Day Two:
Sunday June 26th, 2022. Continued to prepare Gwragedd Annwn.
Trailering on Day Three:
Monday June 27th, 2022. Trailered up to Lund. Gwragedd Annwn is ready to go. I have put up and taken down her sailing rig several times in the backyard and everything is set. I am all packed and headed out to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry to Langdale. I cannot get a reservation and will have to chance it. Horseshoe Bay at 6:50am. 7:12am buy ticket. 7:19am, parked on the upper deck. 10:00am, board the ferry to Langdale. 10:12am, the ferry left for Langdale.
I drove up the Sunshine Coast to Earl’s Cove.
12:23pm, arrived at Earl’s Cove. My Starboard leeboard has come loose and dragged on the road, taking off about 3/4” from the tip. Sigh! Repairs for the Errata sheet.
The stopper knot securing the line in the leeboard has slipped out of the retaining hole in the leeboard. I retied and resecured the leeboards. 1:00pm, boarded the ferry, 1:10pm, the ferry sailed. There is not much wind on the sailing.
The ferry docked on the other side. I drove to Lund, buying gas on the way.
I arrived in Lund around 3pm. Dan and Heather have arrived maybe ten minutes before me…great timing.
I rigged and launched Gwragedd Annwn. Four dollars in and four dollars out.
Best launching bargoon on the coast. Parking, however, is another story. $200.00 for two weeks. There is no overnight street parking in Lund.
Heather rowed her to my spot on the dock while I drove the FJ and trailer to Lund Parking, the parking lot up the hill.
Dan, Heather and I went to the Lund Hotel to have supper. The hotel is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Rats! So are all of the restaurants. We grabed a bite to eat (I get a premade sandwich) at the Stock Pile, the market in Lund. I started getting ready for bed by nine. Should be more wind tomorrow, predicted to be SE 10 to 20 knots.
Tuesday June 28th, 2022. Lund to Gorge Harbour. Sunny morning. Rocky night. Must have been windy in Thulin Passage off of Lund. Mooring lines creaked all night. Swag tent worked great! The neck pillow that I brought is not quite enough. I am missing my pillow. I put my toiletries bag under the foam mattress as a substitute pillow. I was warm enough with the sleeping bag as a duvet. Woke up early then cat-napped until 8:30am. Winds picked up around 9:30am/10:00am, so we are waiting out the winds in Lund. We are staying in Lund today. The wind is much stronger than predicted. Better safe than sorry.
Almost nothing is open in Lund on Mondays and Tuesdays except the Stock Pile store, open 7am to 7pm. They have a deli with sandwiches. We explored Lund Harbour.
We are sitting at Nancy’s having coffee, (that we brought with us as Nancy’s is closed) looking at the wind on the water. There is a colourful orangy bird. Hard to get a photo of.
I rigged a tarp on Gwragedd Annwn. The tarp covers the main deck area from the mast to the transom. It creates an ten foot by five foot dry area on the deck to pitch my tent.
Beginning at 6pm, there are spits of rain then RAIN!
With the tarp, I am dry making my bed and no rain is falling onto the tent. The tarp is a little noisy in the rain but it is doing what it should, keeping the rain off of me while I pitch the tent and the tent itself. The swag tent entrance is from the top of the tent.
The only problem with the tarp is that it does not go over the gunnels, so all of the rain that lands on the tarp still ends up in the bilge. I will have to pump it out from time to time. For supper, I tried the tuna can salad stuff from TV (Rio Mare “Insalatissime”). Surprisingly good…could have eaten two of them. I am going to store my spare oars on the Starboard side so I can get the floor/deck boards in and out more easily. When the rain stops I am going to double tie the fenders so they lie horizontal and not vertically.
Sailing Day Three:
Wednesday June 29th, 2022. Lund to Gorge Harbour. Had a good sleep, rain a little noisy on the tarp, but the tent stayed dry. I did too.
Up early for coffee and cinnamon buns at Nancy’s. I have brought my New York mug.
Left Lund under light wind conditions around 9:00am. Set course for Gorge Harbour.
The winds strengthened as we left, so Gwragedd Annwn sailed along up to 5.7 knots at times, easily keeping up to Dan and Heather.
By 11:30am, the winds are dying and we are ghosting onwards towards Gorge Harbour.
By 1:00pm, the wind has died completely. Dan, Heather and I started our Seagulls and motored along Hernando Island until the wind picked up.
Around 2pm, the wind picked up, so, we stop motoring and ghost on.
I sailed past the marker buoy on the South-West tip of Cortes Island on route to Gorge Harbour.
Winds are light and fading as we ghosted along until the wind finally died.
This time, my Seagull will not run so Dan and Heather give me a tow into Gorge Harbour. We arrived a little after 5:00pm.
We are set-up for the night.
The moorage is expensive. $40.00. This is a very pretty resort. I started the Seagull at the dock, she ran well. I do not know why she ran now and would not run earlier. I left it on the mount for the row out tomorrow. There is a great restaurant here, and we got reservations for 8:00pm. I had probably the best lamb shank ever.
Dan and Heather had shrimp Caesar salads. I had the lamb shank.
Sailing Day Four:
Thursday June 30th, 2022. Gorge Harbour to Heriot Bay. Get up and have coffee and a breakfast sandwich at the food truck at the resort.
We left the dock around 9:00am, rowing (riding?) the tide out of Gorge Harbour.
As we leave, I see and photograph petroglyphs at the harbour entrance (West side).
Leaving the harbour, it turned out to be enough wind to sail. I rigged a “tiller-tamer”, a rope going across the aft cockpit, twice around the tiller. Worked Great!!! I can now take my hands off of the tiller for minutes at a time. I also re-orientated the deck/floor boards for more comfortable seating.
Slow sail through Uganda Passage. Shark Spit is the sand bar ahead of me.
Took the Seagull off of the motor mount and put it onto the transom, now completely out of the water. Sailed, my speed 1 to 1½ knots or so.
Slow sail to Rebecca Spit, I did not motor.
I alternate between sailing and row-sailing. Row-sailing is where you leave your sails up because there is a slight wind pushing you in the right direction. Wind resistance can be quite a factor when you are rowing. If the slight wind is not in your favor, you take all of you sail(s) down, mast too, to reduce your windage.
I see humpback whales and take photos of them without much success. Sailed past Rebecca Spit on route to Heriot Bay, arriving at the Heriot Bay Inn Marina around quarter to five.
Tied up to the dock. Ate supper in the Heriot Bay Inn, had a mushroom burger with Caesar salad. Met fourteen or so Barefoot Raiders at the Inn. Got to know them. Great people.
We will all gather at Rebecca Spit tomorrow.
Made up my bed at 9:00pm.
Sailing Day Five:
July 1st, 2022. Heriot Bay to Rebecca Spit…“The Gathering”. RABBITS! Calm night, slept pretty well. Cold, used the bag liner, but, stupidly, left my blue fleece & toque outside of the tent, in the forward storage box. At least they are dry. Had oatmeal for breakfast. We are going to Rebecca Spit after lunch. We will camp/anchor at the Spit tonight.
Arrived at Rebecca Spit, near boat launch at 3:30pm.
Ellie Mae Launches.
Eight raid boats plus Dan & Heather and me, equal ten boats on the water plus two support boats.
“Poor Man’s Rock”, a landing craft style and “Julie May”, an ex-fishboat. This is “The Gathering ”. There are still boats on the hard, there for the night, that will launch in the morning.
Cooked supper on the beach using Pat’s Trangia stove. Chicken and noodles. Not bad!
Rowed into the sunset and set anchor for the night.
Sailing Day Six:
July 2nd, 2022. Rebecca Spit to Lake Bay on Read Island.
Sailed away from Rebecca Spit and headed towards Read Island. Light winds again.
Ellie Mae sailing in light airs.
Had to be towed half of the way or so…Seagull quit. I will have to figure out why it is not running. Mothership “Julie May” towed me to Lake Bay on Read Island (at the Read Island Provincial Park). They came back for me when I dropped my sail and started rowing. (the dropped sail was a sure sign!)
On the sail from Lake Bay to Carrington Bay, I arrived only fifteen minutes behind Dan and Heather, just behind “Nisse” and ahead of “Katie Mae”, a yawl owned by Matthew, a friend (client) of Ian Magrath’s.
Katie Mae is a classic canoe yawl, 21’, built in 1995 at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, with lines inspired by the Drascombe Peters-boat. I was well ahead of four boats, putting Gwragedd Annwn in the middle of the single-hull fleet. Well ahead of the Bolger Chebacco, the Wave Runner Trimaran, the Southwester from Chesapeake Light Craft and the pretty Gartside clinker. Wow! Very Happy and a leeboard sail.
The tide is not high enough for me to row into the lagoon.
We are all anchoring for the night, some of the raiders will “bush camp” on shore.
Settled in for the night.
The plan for tomorrow is: Von Donop Inlet (Háthayim) for lunch and them Penn Islands for the night. I have always wanted to explore the tidal area of Von Donop, located in the South East part of the top of the inlet.
Sailing Day Seven:
July 3rd, 2022 Carrington Bay to Penn Island, ending up at Squirrel Cove.
Change of plans, we sailed a nice broad reach to Penn Island.
Not much wind heading out of Carrington.
Sailed up the middle channel to top of Cortes. Saw humpback whales. Tried to take photos.
Poor Man’s Rock is the lunch stop, anchored near Bullock Bluff.
At least it is not raining!
Dan and Heather refuse the tow…they are “racing”.
Julie May towed me about half of the way up the channel to where Poor Man’s Rock was anchored.
Of course, at thelunch stop the wind picked up, so, I decided to skip lunch and sailed on.
Sailed SE down Lewis Channel in the rain, making at times 4+ knots.
Picked up by the “Grim Sweeper” Julie May about three-quarters of the way to Squirrel Cove. The wind died and the heavens opened up. Dan and Heather, Kilian and Megan, who are “racing” preferred rowing to a towing.
Glad that I had the waterproof pants on.
Ate supper on Poor Man’s Rock and then moored to the Squirrel Cove Gov’t dock. $12.00! Put the tarp up in the rain-It works! I have a 10’ by 5’ dry area on deck to pitch the tent! Pitched the tent on deck, put my wet clothes on top of the swag tent to dry. Worked! I slept warm and dry while Gwragedd Annwn is rafted up to Stimpy, a Bolger Chebacco. A nice boat originally built in Vernon. I was a little damp, but, dried out in the tent. Developed a real appreciation for boats with cabins.
Sailing Day Eight:
July 4th, 2022 Squirrel Cove Rain Day. Wake up @6:30am. Broke down tent under the tarp. It worked again! Rolled up the tent in the dry.
Probably three inches of water in the bilge. This is the problem with not having the edges of the tarp go out over the gunnels. Pumped Gwragedd Annwn out. Went to breakfast and lunch on Poor Man’s Rock, anchored at the head of the cove, ferried there by Julie May. Poor Man’s Rock has rigged a tarp that covers the foredeck of the landing craft. We stayed in Squirrel Cove because it rained hard all day. There is a tidal lagoon at the head of the cove. In the early afternoon, I got Quill to take Alan (Wave Runner trimaran Crazy Janey) Eric (Chebacco Stimpy) and me back to the Squirrel Cove Gov’t dock. Pumped out Gwragedd Annwn again…probably six inches of water in her this time. It has really rained all day. Went up the dock to the store and looked around. I am going to anchor further up Squirrel Cove tonight. Closer to Poor Man’s Rock and Julie May, when the rain stops! Chatting with Alan and Eric on Stimpy as I write. Rain stoped about sixish.
I pulled up my rudder and then I rowed up to the head of the cove and then into the tidal lagoon. I rowed backwards so I could see the rocks in the channel into the tidal lagoon.
Gwragedd Annwn is not the only boat going into the lagoon.
I rowed around the lagoon for fun.
Have cell service so I phoned and updated Pat.
Rowing out is a little difficult as the tide is coming into the lagoon faster than I can row. The incoming current is so strong that I had to have help to get out.
The barefoot raiders long-line me out by taking my bow line and pulling me out of the lagoon.
While aboardPoor Man’s Rock, I get to see the infamous “R2AK steak knife”.
After supper on Poor Man’s Rock, I anchored near Dan & Heather and Andy on the NE side of the upper cove. There will be a drop of 7.2′ tonight. Need to anchor in at least 8′ of water.
I am a little cold, so I put my Viking toque on.
Anchored in about 10′ of water last night.
Sailing Day Nine:
July 5th, 2022 Squirrel Cove to Mary Point to Spilsbury Point to Manson’s Landing. Poor Man’s Rock was now anchored near the Gov’t dock.
Rowed back to (forty-five minutes) Squirrel Cove Gov’t dock for breakfast after breakfast there was a rowing race to Mary Point.
I am a “cruiser” and not a “racer” on this raid, so I left a little early and took photos of the racers as they passed.
Rowing Gwragedd Annwn, I was able to beat Dan & Heather and one of the cats.
Gwragedd Annwn rowed quite well, even with all of my gear aboard.
We ate lunch at Mary Point (Cortes Island). I lent my spare pair of oars and oarlocks to Francois in the Chesapeake Light Craft Southwester Dory.
His oars do not work so well. No leathers or collars, so his oars were very hard for him to control. His captive oarlocks are fixed in their sockets, so, to remove his oars, he must slide them out of the oarlocks. That is why his oars do not have collars. My oarlocks fitted his sockets. My spares were almost the right length, and although a little heavier than his, really worked for him. We all sailed for Spilsbury Point on Hernando. FUTILE! Incoming current canceled most of my efforts. Tacked a dozen times and make little headway. Light and variable winds made sailing pretty useless.
Finally get towed by Julie May with two others to Spilsbury Point. Landed at Spilsbury Point. The beach is public, the foreshore is private.
After we arrived, the adults on the shore would not let their kids play on the beach near us or our boats…I guess we were a little scary.
The decision is made to go for Manson’s Landing. No camping at Spilsbury Point.
Francois is getting towed by Eric in Stimpy.
Andy and I are getting towed by Matthew in Katie May.
I got to see a different stern view this tow.
Had cell service so I updated Pat.
Nice sandy beach at Manson’s Landing.
Arrived at Manson’s Landing around eightish.
Ate supper, then went on a walk-about looking for the outhouse. Not well marked, but, I found it. Francois had to leave, family emergency. He has returned my oars and oarlocks. I will stow them tomorrow. Anchored for the night at the lagoon entrance. Set up the tarp in the rain, starting about nine forty-five. Got the tarp and tent set up OK, then noticed how strong the current was going into the lagoon. Put out a little more rode to be sure. Took my water pants, long johns, and socks into the tent with me. Put my electronic stuff into the tent as well. Draped jacket over tent…all under the tarp.
Sailing Day Ten:
July 6th, 2022 Manson’s Landing to Shark Spit. Slept OK. Start out sleeping on the sleeping bag liner, gradually cooling off and then getting into my sleeping bag. Woke up around four and put on fleece. Woke up six thirtyish and cat napped until eight. Packed everything up. I rolled my phone up in the swag tent. Dumb. Have to unroll and search for the phone. Find it. Repack the tent. I could not find my camera. I used it to take photos last night. I did not see it in the tent when looking for my phone. RATS! The camera must be in the tent, in Gwragedd Annwn or overboard. Matthew’s phone has gotten water in the charging port so it is non-functional. I lent him my paper charts of Cortes. We are going to Shark Spit, about two hours away by oar. I rowed one-quarter of the way and sailed three-quarters of the way. Did not put the leeboards down.
Gwragedd Annwn makes distance to windward without them. Dan and Heather went into Gorge Harbour. Gwragedd Annwn is the second boat to arrive at Shark Spit.
I am miffed about the camera and used my cell phone to take some pictures.
The water between Shark Spit (on Marina Island) and Cortes Island is Uganda Passage.
View from the end of the spit.
Gwragedd Annwn, on the hard, at the Spit.
I thought that I would anchor off with a stern/shore line. Over night the tide rose 8.2′ and dropped 8.5′ for a net drop of .3′ (about eight inches). I could anchor in pretty shallow water. Dan and Heather arrived. I got my anchor lines organized for the evening.
Rigged the tarp just in case of rain…those cabin boats have it easy.
The clouds broke for sunset. I pitched my tent and FOUND MY CAMERA!!! It was in my pants pocket and the pants were under the sleeping bag.
Sailing Day Eleven:
July 7th, 2022 Shark Spit to Manson’s Landing and return (racing/sailing). Good night, no rain. Start packing things up at seven fifteen.
Ready for eight. The morning leg is arace from Shark Spit to Manson’s Landing and back.
I am not a racer, so, I “cruised” to Manson’s Landing and back.
Dan and Heather have a had time at the start, their centreboard is jammed in the case in the up position by sand from sitting on the beach.
Dan and Heather are frantically trying to un-jamb their centreboard.
Issues resolved, they go for a spinnaker run to Manson’s Landing.
The turn around at Manson’s Landing:
Downwind I kept up to Dan and Heather. Upwind not so good. Overall, I had a great sail. I have a little shore/rock crap stowaway. He/she is my second one…I bailed out the first one and will bail this one out too. Charging my phone…this battery pack/charger seems to have lost some of its charge. Good thing that it is sunny.
I will have a deckhand for the next leg of the Spit to Landing series…Kiala. I will have to see how this (having crew) works out. Having Kiala is great, the wind is quite strong, requiring a bit of hiking out. This is the fastest sailing on the raid or ever! Gwragedd Annwn had a gear failure…the Port leeboard mount failed. There was a big “crack” and the mount separated away from the hull. Still have the starboard Leeboard. I will put the repairs onto the “errata list”. We just sailed a little more conservatively back to the spit.
A big thunder storm approaching us.
It may still miss us, but, it is not looking likely.
I had cell service and updated Pat. She checked the weather for me and said that no rain tonight, a forty percent chance overnight until 10am tomorrow then good weather. Charging phone with the new toy (the battery pack/charger). Eighty-eight percent currently. My cell phone battery lasted the entire trip. I turned it off when not in use.
I was hoping that the thunder head would miss us. It did not.
We have lost Matthew and his son Rowen. They have left for home. They are going to Rebecca Spit where their car and trailer is.
I put up the tarp, just in case Pat’s weather report does not pan out.
Sailing Day Twelve:
July 8th, 2022 Shark Spit to Lund. Good-bye. Rained last night, the tarp noisy in the NW wind. Anchor held, I did not move in the night. Said my good-byes to the raiders. They are a great bunch of people. Dan and Heather stayed a little longer, for their good-byes. I sailed Gwragedd Annwn downwind (no leeboard) at 2½ to 3 knots.
The wind died. I began to row/sail, the drift was going my way so I left the sail hoisted. Dan and Heather were catching up. Just off of Marina Island they caught up and I accept a tow.
My Seagull will not run because the motor mount puts it too deep into the water for the exhaust to work. The lacing on the lug sail worked loose. I dropped the sail and retied it while being towed. I have rolled my Tilly hat up in the tent. It is sunny and hot so I am wearing my bandana as a gumby hat now.
Ghosting the other way…
The wind picked up for the final sail into Lund.
We arrived around three-thirty. The dock was full, rafting three or more deep. No room for Gwragedd Annwn. It seemed as if I could make the ferries going home if I leave now.
I loaded up and de-rigged Gwragedd Annwn and made a “Midnight” run for the ferry. I am lucky,
I made the Egmont ferry and ran down the coast and caught the last ferry from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay. Ian Magrath is also on the ferry. We had a nice chat about the Raid. We make plans for the next trip.
Great Trip, hope to see you on the 2023 Barefoot Raid!
June 23rd Thursday Leave Hollyburn Sailing Club@ 10am, to Plumper Cove.
June 24th Friday Plumber Cove to Secret Cove.
June 25th Saturday Secret Cove to Pender Harbour.
June 26th Sunday Pender Harbour to Powell River.
June 27th Monday Powell River to Lund.
June 28th Tuesday Lund to Gorge Harbour.
June 29th Wednesday Gorge Harbour to Drew Harbour.
June 30th Thursday Drew Harbour to Rebeca Spit.
July 1st Friday Rebecca Spit “Gathering Day”.
July 2nd Saturday Rebecca Spit to Lake Bay to Carrington Bay.
July 3rd Sunday Carrington Bay to Von Donop Inlet to Penn Island.
July 4th Monday Penn Island to Teakarne Arm to Squirrel Cove.
July 5th Tuesday Squirrel Cove to Kinghorn Island to Cortes Bay.
July 6th Wednesday Cortes Bay to Herando Island (North) to Manson’s Landing.
July 7th Thursday Manson’s Landing to Gorge Harbour to Shark Spit.
July 8th Friday Shark Spit to Open Bay. Ceremonies in PM.
July 9th Saturday Open Bay to Gorge Harbour.
July 10th Sunday Gorge Harbour to Lund.
July 11th Monday Lund to Powell River.
July 12th Tuesday Powell River to Pender Harbour.
July 13th Wednesday Pender Harbour to Secret Cove.
July 14th Thursday Secret Cove to Plumber Cove.
July 15th Friday Plumber Cove to Hollyburn Sailing Club.
Twenty-three days at sea.
June 23rd Thursday (Myst) Leave Hollyburn Sailing Club@ 10am, to Snug Cove.
June 24th Friday (Myst) Snug Cove to Hollyburn Sailing Club (return).
June 25th Saturday Prepare Gwragedd Annwn for raid.
June 26th Sunday Prepare Gwragedd Annwn for raid.
June 27th Monday Trailer Day. Take ferry to Lund, launch Gwragedd Annwn in Lund.
June 28th Tuesday Too windy to leave, overnight in Lund.
June 29th Wednesday Lund to Gorge Harbour.
June 30th Thursday Gorge Harbour to Drew Harbour (Heriot Bay Marina).
July 1st Friday Heriot Bay to Rebecca Spit…Gathering day.
July 2nd Saturday Rebecca Spit to Lake Bay to Carrington Bay.
July 3rd Sunday Carrington Bay to Squirrel Cove Gov’t dock (rainy).
July 4th Monday Rainy all day, overnight in Squirrel Cove).
July 5th Tuesday Squirrel Cove to Spilsbury Point (Hernando) to Manson’s Landing.
July 6th Wednesday Manson’s Landing to Shark Spit.
July 7th Thursday Shark Spit to Manson’s Landing and back to Shark Spit.
July 8th Friday Shark Spit to Lund take ferry home (last ferry sailing).
Fourteen days at sea.
Oars stored in pairs, one pair each side
Halyard sheet sheave – got jammed once.
Buoyancy tanks – Rationalize, make bigger and make central footwell narrower.
Put leeboards inboard, either a daggerboard or a centreboard.
Bring six (three each side) fenders
Modify outboard bracket so Seagull runs.
Fix Rudder – Make sure that it can be fully retracted out of water for rowing.
Boom tent – Make one that has good headroom and can close up.
Forward storage box – Maybe make into a forward storage area by bringing up the deck to gunnel level.
Rationalize forward anchor and towing.
Tiller tamer – Trim lines to fit.
Port and Starboard Gear bags (lunch bags) – replace with ones that can have the tops closed for rain and a drain hole.
Mast wind vane – move so it does not get interfered with by lug spar.
Traveler horse – move so sheet does not tangle onto oars.
Maybe more belaying pins?
Forward chocks for anchoring or towing.
Move GPS base two inches away from side of boat so GPS can be seen from any tack.
come up with a dedicated tow line system.
Charts: Approaches to Toba Inlet #3541, Desolation Sound and Sutil Channel #3838 and Sunshine Coast Vancouver Harbour to Desolation Sound #3311. I have painted all of my charts with Thompson’s Water Seal. According to the internet, the old stuff works and the new stuff does not. My can of Thompson’s Water Seal dates from the early 90’s. The treatment seems to work.
Building the Herreshoff Pram was fun…but it was not the rowboat for me. Gwragedd Annwn is a little too big for everyday rowing and cruising. At 225lbs stripped weight, she was getting a little hard for me to handle launching by myself. A lighter boat is in order.
I am going on the 2022 Barefoot Raid around Cortes Island, In British Columbia’s Discovery Islands archipelago. I would like a “camp beach cruiser” that is lighter than Gwragedd Annwn. Iain Oughtred’s elf was featured in an article by Mats Vuorenjuuri in the October 2019 issue of Small Boats Magazine about a cruise in the Archipelago Sea on Finland’s coast. there is also a video on line of the an English Raid in 2012 showing an Iain Oughtred elf with an inboard rudder sailing quite well.
January 8th, 2021, I order the plans from the WoodenBoat store.
“Elf” is lighter than Gwragedd Annwn, will row faster and is designed to sail well. Elf will be able to take me and my gear on extended cruising trips.
Of course there are a few changes that I would like to make. I intend to sleep aboard, so no daggerboard. Instead I will add 3″ to her keel. The centre thwart will be removable to make room for sleeping aboard. I find the designed rudder to be problematic…very hard to raise for beaching. As you move towards the stern, the stern sinks. An inboard rudder in a cassette will help keep the balance when raising the rudder to beach. I found a video about an English Raid with an Elf with an inboard rudder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxrBQnkQ0vU ). I really like balanced lug rigs over the sprit rig (What Elfyn has). The Tanbark 9’6″ Nutshell pram sail, at 55 sq’ looks good to me and almost the same size as the sprit rig.
June 21st, 2021, “I lay down the keel”
I have some well-seasoned fir leftover from the mast builds. I rip it into strips for the inner keel, I am going to laminate the keel from stem to stern. The strips will need to be 19′ long. I will have to scarf them.
The cheapest plywood at the lumber yard is ¾” Baltic Birch at $64 dollars a sheet. I get three to make the forms out of. ¾” plywood is a bit of an overkill, but, it is the cheapest plywood they have. I spend a couple of hours marking out the forms. I cut them out with a jig saw.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, I seem to always be wearing a mask!
I am re-using parts of the Herreshoff pram build strongback.
The steel angle iron is still straight. I am screwing them into the strongback.
“Elf” is going to be 15′ long. I trim the strongback a little to get a good fit for the bow and stern stem pieces.
I mark where the station molds will go. I will use two by four blocks to attach the mold stations to the strongback.
I have marked all of the station mold station spots. I drill holes into the angle iron for the attachment screws. I use my square to insure that the station molds will be square to the strongback.
Test fit of the station molds. I will cut-out the centre pieces to make them lighter. I am going to re-use the futon frame parts to put the strongback on.
The futon frame is assembled.
I put the frame on caster wheels so I can move it into and out of the shop.
The strong back is completed, I am glueing up the ribbands from left-over strip planking stock from Paul’s Canoe build.
Taking the bead and cove off of the ribbands with the Shopsmith table saw.
The ribbands are ready to go.
Using the ribband to measure and cut the notches in the frames.
The frames cut out, with the lightening holes and ribband notches cut out.
Assembling the frames onto the strongback. I clamp them onto the station blocks and them “level” them all out.
With all of the frames “leveled” and “plumbed”, I screw them onto the station blocks. I then screw on the bow and stern stem forms.
All of the bracing pieces are in…just have to insure that nothing will stick to them. Wax time!
A pot of wax, melted on the plant-pot heater. I will brush the wax onto the forms.
The waxing process is carefully watched.
With everything waxed, I can start laminating the inner keel.
Cutting the laminations for the inner keel from the left-over mast stock.
The first lamination goes on.
My scarfing jig. A 10″ sanding disk with the table set at 10°.
August 21st, I start scarfing the inner keel. Not a bad looking scarf. I am using Titebond II for the gluing.
Gluing the scarf on the building jig. I will have to wait for an hour or two until I can do the next one.
A combination of F and bulldog clamps.
Next lamination goes on…The nice thing about using Titebond II is that the wait time between laminations is shorter than using epoxy.
As the inner keel gets thicker, I can no longer use the bulldog clamps. No probs, I have a lot of clamps.
The inner keel is laminated and cleaned up, I put on the ribbands.
This is the time to insure that the forms are fair. Still some tweaking to be done.
The ribbands are looking quite fair. These will form the plank edges when I cut-out the planks.
I drill in some drain holes that also serve to hold the inner keel to the frames.
Shaping the bevel on the inner keel. For the rough work, I use a power planer. As I get closer to the correct bevel, I switch to a hand plane for the finer work.
With the bevels cut, I am using some floor protector cardboard to make the plank templates.
The blue painter’s tape is helping me get a smooth curve and reinforcing the edge of the template.
The second plank template.
Third plank template done.
A change is a good as a break. I am going to work on the oars. They are a “skinny” blade design. The fiberglass rod is being used to put a slight curve into the blades.
they are an unusual design…a right angle where the oars fit to the kabes. I am going to make regular oars and my usual oarlocks.
Cutting the blades out on the bandsaw.
Using the blue painter’s tape as a cutting line.
With the blades cut out, I am doing the handles.
Gluing a spline onto the shafts. Using Titebond II again.
Time for the amazing Bud Mackintosh spar shaper!
Shaped on right, not shaped on left. Still have the handles to do as well.
Tips get a coating of epoxy and cloth.
Setting up for the plank scarfing. 2″ over ¼ ” gives 8 to 1.
Using my belt sander, I smooth out the edges. They actually look pretty good to me!
The dry fit. the scarf seems pretty tight.
I am using epoxy for these scarfs. I am scarfing all three planks at the same time, one on top of another. I let the epoxy soak into the plywood ends for 20 minutes before I put the two pieces together.
Railroad track piece used as a clamping weight.
Not a bad looking scarf, even if I so say so myself.
The planks for the other side get the same scarfing treatment. They turn out well too.
Using one of the templates to cut out a plank.
Plank laid out and ready to cut. A few Halloween decorations are also on the bench.
Plank laid out for final trimming.
Trying to insure that I get a good bond, I use epoxy and cloth to glue the plank to the keel.
A combination of clamps, bulldog clamps, screws and blocks hold the plank tight to the inner keel and to the ribband. Packing tape keeps things that should not stick from sticking.
The first plank glued on and removed to fill any gaps between the inner keel and the planks.
Any gaps are filled. Note the slings on the sawhorses…left over from the canoe build.
Hull back on the forms, beveling the plank laps.
Rough fitting the second plank.
To get a nice, smooth and fair curve to the plank edge, I am using a longboard to sand the edges.
Nice looking curve(s) on both plank edges!
Fitting the second planks. I am very happy with the fit of the plank laps…probably one of my better jobs.
With the clamps removed, the edges are beveled for the last plank.
Third plank fitted.
Gluing up the gunnels. I let the epoxy soak into the end-grain for a while so I do not get starved joints.
Epoxying up the gunnel (inside and outside) pieces.
One of the planks has turned out to be a little shy of where it should be, so I scarf on a little extra. It is now October, so the epoxy needs some extra heat to set.
Cleaning up the inner keel/planking joint for laminating on the outer keel.
Time to get the scarfing jig going again.
I am using epoxy to glue on the outer keel. The screw holes will be filled in by the next layer.
Second layer epoxied on.
As I said, I am going to replace the daggerboard with a shallow keel. The keel area is the same as the daggerboard area.
The strips are epoxied on, The gunnels are glueing. Shaping the outer keel is next.
Bow curve marked on. and outer gunnels epoxied on.
Keel roughly shaped, with the outer gunnels glued on to help keep the shape, it is time to take the boat off of the molds. She came off easily.
With the faering off of the molds, I dissemble the strong back. She has done her job very well.
Epoxying on the inner gunnels. There was a lot of wiping up of epoxy from the planks.
The faering has two frames in the midsection of the boat, at stations with the centre (station 5) and forward (station 3) two rowing thwarts. I took the two station molds and used them as forms to laminate up the two frames.
Using the two mold stations as forms for the laminated frames.
The two frames did not fit…The hull shape changed too much when removed from the strongback that I could not use them.
I ended up using some scrap to make a new form for the frames. The two forms are in this photo with the resulting frames.
The new form. It consists of blocks, covered with tape on a 3/4″ plywood frame.
My steam-box in action. The “steamer” is from Lee Valley.
Patterns for the rangs (forward and after diagonal frames).
Making the form to laminate up the rangs…there are two forms, the rangs are different at each end.
Test fitting the rangs.
Epoxying in the rowing thwart frames.
Rangs epoxied in, using cardboard to make a template for the forward (and after) breasthooks.
On her side for shaping the keel.
I have had this plane for 50+ years. It was a gift to me by My Big Brother (Big Brother Organization) Brian.
I leave a flat spot to attach the brass keel band to.
A bit of fairing is needed…but not too much.
I am going to have an inboard rudder. At the Hollyburn Sailing Club, where I will keep her, we do beach landings. I believe that having a stern hung runner according to the plans will be too awkward to bring up (and let down when leaving) when beaching. there is not a lot of buoyancy in Elf’s shapely ends.
The rudder blank.
Rudder shaft dry-fit.
Letting the epoxy cure.
Rudder frame (Left) and rudder (right).
Building up the rudder cassette.
The rudder cassette.
Test fitting the rudder. Next step will be to cut the hole for the rudder cassette.
Test fitting the rudder cassette. I used my oscillating tool to cut the slot.
I have some salvaged 2 by 10’s from Dan’s old carport to make the thwarts out of.
Rough fit of the thwarts and rudder cassette. Note that the rudder cassette protrudes above the rear thwart.
Leveling everything out. Note the “legs” to keep the faering level. Rudder cassette cut flush and sides attached. I made them out of salvaged walnut flooring.
The rubbing strip and brass half-round.
The flaws in the thwarts are dealt with.
Brass half-round being installed.
The rub strip. I have not yet screwed in all of the screws on the keel strip. I had to pre-drill every screw.
A little epoxy will seal the deal.
The entire outside of the hull gets a coat of epoxy resin.
Checking the rudder fit into the cassette.
The rudder frame in the rudder cassette. The top of the frame has a handle. When the frame is out of the cassette, the rudder is high enough in the cassette to beach the faering without it hitting. It will be a push-pull tiller, similar as designed.
Making the rudder arm.
Rudder arm on the rudder shaft. There is a drilled and tapped hole through the arm and rudder shaft.
Gunnel cap going on. Due to the bend, it will be a three piece lamination. The pegs hold the first strip in place while the epoxy cures.
The gunnel cap rail epoxied into place. Note that two of the thwarts are not installed yet. Only the after one with the cassette rudder case.
Rudder & frame in. A tiller extension will fit into the arm (on the right in this photo)
Matt cut me these “D” rings.
Thwart supports epoxied in.
Stern seat supports epoxied in. Tiller extension on. Top of rudder shaft still needs work.
Top of rudder shaft is threaded to take an acorn nut.
Inside gets a coat of resin. I am using pool noodles to cushion gunnels (etc.) when handling the faering.
Rudder frame and rudder get an epoxy coat, as do the thwarts.
Starting on the flooring.
Forward and midships flooring.
Looking really good. Flooring in, Thwarts in (Centre thwart is removable for sleeping in the faering), and ready for sanding.
Cassette rudder in the beaching position.
Fitting the oarlock pads.
Oarlock pads epoxied in.
Cutting the recesses for the oarlock sockets.
Since this will be a row/sail/camp cruiser, cargo tie-down are needed.
The tie-downs are maple blocks with 2″ brass “D” rings.
The sanding starts.
Varnishing is right behind…eight coats.
The floor boards get varnished too, with non-slip (ground walnuts) on the topsides. The floor boards are held in by stainless steel wingnuts.
Because the faering is a Norse design, and I am making the boat for the 2022 Barefoot Raid, a frightening figure head (and tail) is required.
My dragon head is made up of laminated pieces of plywood.
The figurehead gets copper scales.
The dragon head, tail and template.
The figure head and the tail fit onto the bow and stem of the faering…they are removable so as not to scare the friendly land spirits when you come home.
The faering’s tail piece.
Side view of the “Elf” faering.
The interior is sanded and the cargo tie-downs are in. You can see the bolts that hold the floors in place.
The interior varnishing begins…Eight coats later…
I am cutting up some spruce to make a bird’s mouth mast for her sailing rig.
All boats deserve a name, and my faering is named “MYST”. Her name is oak veneer epoxied onto her hull. This is the test fitting using packing tape.
Glue Myst’s name on.
Glueing up spruce strips for the bird’s mouth mast.
The scarfs in the mast strips.
Cutting the birds mouths.
Strips ready for epoxy
Bird’s mouth mast assembled and clamped up. It is important to keep the mast level.
I decided that I am not happy with the oars I had made, so I am making up another two pairs.
Oar blanks with the pattern.
Marking the curve for the blades.
Cutting out the oars.
Rounding out the hollow mast.
And what does every Norse inspired boat require? Why a bearded axe of course!
Axe head shaped on the pattern that I will etch into it.
My etching equipment…a battery charger, salt solution, pliers, cotton balls and the axe head with a coating where I do not want it etched.
This is how I did it. attach the negative wire to the pliers. Attach the positive wire to the axe head. Pick up a cotton ball with the pliers. Dip the cotton ball into the salt solution. Turn on the battery charger. Rub the axe head with the cotton ball.
Under the cotton ball, the axe head is etched. I went through quite a few cotton balls.
Side one of the axe head when cleaned up.
The top of the bearded axe says “MYST” in runes.
Fitting the handle.
Every axe needs a sheath.
Mast gets the final shaping.
Gluing up the boom and the lug spar.
Myst with the new oars, mast, boom and lug spar.
Final shaping of the oars…handles, blades, shaft, etc.
Leathering the oars.
Test fitting the sail.
Making up the top of the mast section. It will have a dumb sheave for the halyard.
Mast top on the fireplace mantle to cure the epoxy.
Top fitted, shaped and epoxied into place. I stood the mast upside down while the epoxy cured so all of the epoxy would stay at the joint.
More test fitting…the mast seems a little high.
I shortened the mast for a better fit.
Making up the mast step.
I wrapped the base of the mast with epoxy and cloth where it will be stepped.
I threaded the mast partner so it will hold better when it is epoxied into the forward seat.
Mast partner epoxied into the forward thwart.
I decided to paint the hull white below the waterline. You can see the brass pipe that makes the forward painter tie point has not been shaped yet.
I think that she looks great (Three coats)
Myst gets her custom launching dolly. Two beach rollers (Myst’s floatation) are in the background.
Myst on her launching dolly.
Myst, side view, with mast, spars and oars. You cannot see them, but, the beach rollers are inflated and under the thwarts for floatation.
Myst with her sail raised.
Myst’s rain cover.
Racks to hold her mast, spars and oars. Note the “dragon’s eye” symbol on the oar tips.
On the road trailer, ready to go down to Hollyburn Sailing Club.
May 26th, 2022. Delivering Myst to the Sailing Club. Her official launch will be at the 2022 HSC Sailpast.
Myst on her dolly, with her rain cover, in her spot at the Hollyburn Sailing Club, ready for her launching at the Club Sailpast.
There will be more posts about Myst…Her launching on Sailpast day and her sailing to the 2022 Barefoot Raid around Cortes Island.
The Hollyburn Sailing Club has seen the launch of many member built boats…Nothing Social Distances you better that building a boat!!!
Crwban (pronounced ” Crew-ben”) is the Welsh name for a turtle. Land turtles are not found in Wales, but Leatherback Sea turtles frequent their shores. The backs of Leatherback turtles look a lot like the clinker planking on the pram.
Photos courtesy of Steve Britten & Rueben Schulz. Thanks Steve & Rueben!
We actually say at the club, stay an oar-length apart for the rowers, a boat width apart for the sailors and a paddle distance apart for the Kayakers and Paddle Boarders. (All of which are a little over two metres)
For the rest of the Ceremony, all attendees are poured some bubbly for toasts at appropriate times.
Builder Mike is playing bagpipe music, “Scotland the Brave” as he rolls Crwban down the ramp.Click to play launching music!
There are two parts to the ceremony…Where Crwban is given to the sea and where she is asked to return safely to the land.
Madame Commodore: For Fifty-seven years, the Hollyburn Sailing Club has seen the launching of many boats. From Sabots built in the clubhouse to vessels built in member’s homes and first set to sea here.
These boats have nurtured our members over the years and so we affectionately call them “she.” With the blessing of the Gods of the sea and the waters of the earth, they will continue to nurture and care for our sailors, paddlers and rowers in the waters of English Bay and beyond.
To our home-built boats we toast, and ask to celebrate “Crwban.” (Then everybody raises their glass filled with champagne or your favorite beverage and shouts: “TO THE ROWERS OF OLD…TO: “Crwban!” (Everybody takes a sip.)
The moods of the bay are many, from quiet and tranquil to angry and violent. We ask that the waters upon which she rows treat her kindly and that Crwban be given the strength to carry on. Her Hull is strong and she keeps out the waters of the sea.” (Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts: “TO THE SEA…To Mike Bretner and Crwban….TO THE SEA!” Everybody takes another sip.)
Today we come to name this lady, Crwban, crafted with love and care by Mike, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for Mike and all who row in her from the Hollyburn Sailing Club. We ask the spirits of the sailors of old and the moods of Gods of the sea and the mighty sea herself to accept Crwban as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. (Again, with the raising of the glasses) “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO CRWBAN” (The glasses are drained by a last, long sip by all.)
Now pour champagne over the bow to appease the gods of the sea. And brush her with cedar bows to encourage Crwban to remember the land and return from the sea with her crew, safely.
Mike, you may now launch your boat Crwban.
Crwban is sitting right on her waterlines. Just about perfect!
The top pennant is the Hollyburn Sailing Club pennant, the lower one is for the Vancouver Wooden Boat Society.
I would like to thank our Commodore, Jennifer, for her good humor in officiating at the ceremony. I would also like to thank the club members who attended and participated in the launch.
Crwban’s maiden voyage of the Solstice Row was a great success. Leaving the doom and gloom of a cloudy Ambleside and rowing into the Solstice summer sunshine was a great adventure.
I trust that Crwban will work out. Light enough to car-top easily and big enough for two.
With the Covid-19 pandemic breaking out, it seemed as if “Social Distancing” by building a boat would be a good idea. I have always admired the Herreshoff Pram design in John Gardner’s “Building Classic Small Craft” book. I thought I could build her light enough to car-top and she would be big enough for two . I began to build “Crwban” a 10′ Herreshoff Pram on March 29th, 2020.
I will build her using the Glued-Lap method. I will use light ribbands to determine the plank lines. In the book, the plans have suggested plank widths at three of the stations.
My first step was to build a building frame for the station molds. I picked through a lot of 2 by 4s to get two relatively straight ones.
A crosspiece for each station mold. Trying to keep the base as “square” as possible.
The legs for the base are repurposed pieces from a futon frame.
The building frame is complete and as “square” as I can make it.
I have gotten a deal on some chipboard. I am laying the molds out on them. I am cutting the chipboards down to the mold size.
Laying out the molds onto the chipboard is hard, so I paint the boards white so the lines will show better and it is also a better surface to draw on.
Here I am drawing the lines for the mold. I am using a flexible piece of oak strip to draw the outside mold line. I will be building the boat upside down and have adjusted all of the measurements for this.
I recently acquired some walnut flooring. I mill the flooring pieces and glue them together getting a 1/2″+ bow and stern transom.
I am using Titebond II to glue-up the transoms.
I cut all of the station molds out using my jig saw.
With the molds rough-cut out, I will use my disk sander to fair the curves.
I sand the molds and the bow and stern templates to get a fair and even curve.
This is the most finically part of the process. The pieces are held in by screws to the cross members. I can adjust the height and sideways placement until all the marks line up. I then clamp everything up. Double check the alignments, then, screw it all together.
I am fitting the stern transom for a rough cut to shape…Final shaping will be when the planks are laid.
Getting everything roughed out and aligned.
I use my 14″ bandsaw to cut out the transoms.
With the transoms roughed out, I begin to put the ribbands on.
I am going to use the ribbands to determine the plank shapes.
The plans have plank widths for station #8, station #3 and the stern transom. I cut notches in stations #8 & #3 for the ribbands.
This is another finically operation. Put the ribband onto the molds, have a look and see if the plank outlines look good…maybe adjust one which makes you adjust another…and so on.
When I am satisfied, I duplicate the measurements to the other side.
I decide to take the ribbands to the transoms. I will trim off all of these ends.
I lock all of the ribbands down with epoxy and remove all of the finishing nails.
I have trimmed off all of the ribband ends and the bow transom will be rough cut and have its final shaping when the planking goes on.
The bow transom is ready to start planking. The wide notch is for the garboard plank…I decided to do a plank keel instead of two planks with a keel piece.
It was my intention to use that stiff floor protector construction cardboard (Ramboard) stuff to get a pattern for the planks. Place a strip along the ribbands, draw to the outside of the ribbands. Presto! a plank pattern.
Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my supplier of floor protector is closed and Ramboard is out of my budget. After a lot of thought, trial and error I develop an alternate plan.
I am going to cut all of my plywood into strips, splice them together to get planks and then lay the planks onto the form to get the plank shapes. To quote John Gardner: “Fortunately, our pram has an easy shape to plank. Strakes can be lined out nearly straight, for the greater part, and go on without twist or sny.” “Building Classic Small Craft, pg 27)
The bevel for the scarf joint cut with the sanding disk jig. 8 to 1.
I am using epoxy glue for the scarfs.
I just have to insure that the epoxy does not soak into the wood and starve the joint.
In trying to make the pram light, I am using 6mm marine plywood for the first three planks, 4mm marine plywood for plank 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9. Back to 6mm fo the sheer plank.
To cut the plank bevels, I am using an idea I saw in Tom Hill’s book, “Ultralight Boatbuilding”, where you take a block plane and attach a guide to it.
I drill a hole in the side of my block plane for a guide and tap it.
So the procedure is as follows: place plank onto form. Insure that plank covers appropriate ribbands. Mark plan with pencil. Edge nearer to the keel is the overlap mark. Edge closer to the sheer strake is the edge of the plank. This garboard/keel plank has two plank edge marks.
Now I attach the plank to the bow and stern transoms.
I use a barrier of cellophane tape to keep the plank from sticking to the forms and the ribbands.
Lots of room for the clamps. I am using the ribbands to clamp to.
I am trying not to use any nails/screws in the construction, so, one plank a day.
It is still quite cold, so I leave little heat on under the hull.
The block plane with the guide works great! Mark the overlap and then plane the plank edge down using the next ribband as a guide. If I was going to use this method again, I would not notch any of the station molds. The plane hits the molds at the notches.
The first three planks are 6mm.
I lay the plank along the ribbands and insure that the plank covers them.
The planks are almost 16′ long so I can stagger the scarf joints well.
If I have fitted the planks well, I can use bulldog clips to clamp the planks together.
I am putting on a plank a day. So, ten days to plank.
I cut a notch in each transom for each plank. The better the fit, the tighter the seam between the planks.
I have to be careful fitting the planks. Some of the planks are not identical to their sibling on the other side.
Plank nine is the last of the 4mm planks. Plank ten, the sheer strake, will be 6mm.
With the hull planked, time to set the sheer line.
Using the measurements from the plans and a lot of eyeballing, I mark the sheerline.
With the sheerline marked, the next step is to cut it out. I will have to remove the boat from the forms to cut the sheerline.
Now I disassemble the form to make space for the boat while I finish her.
To cushion the hull, I use a big dropcloth.
To tie the colour scheme together, I am gluing a walnut veneer to the sheer strake.
I am using Titebond II to glue the walnut veneer on with.
I am going to use maple for the gunnels and along the bottom of the sheer strake to highlight the walnut,
My pieces of maple are not quite long enough…Time for another scarf joint.
I made two sawhorses using Tom Devries’s ideas from Small Boats e-Magazine. (April 2020)
Lots of clamps help, as I have to pull the gunnel strips in for a tight fit.
To highlight the walnut sheer strake, I am epoxying a maple accent strip to the bottom the the plank. It will look good and protect the bottom edge of the strake.
Get to use the Brenne clamps again. They actually work really well.
There will be a lot of sanding to do. I am aiming for a bright finish.
I am making it out of 3/4″ maple.
I am going to laminate all of my knees. I rip up the rest of my maple stock and boil them up for bending.
I make up a form for each type of knee. Keel to Stern, Keel to Bow, two Stern to Gunnel and two Bow to Gunnel. I will make up the 12 thwart knees (Each seat will have two knees) when I do the thwarts.
I only have one form for each type of knee. The epoxy cures overnight.
With all of the hull knees in, I trim the planks flush with the bow transom.
The keel is going on in two laminations. I glue on the first piece. There is enough plank left to clamp to.
When the epoxy has cured, I trim the planks flush. Ready for the next piece.
More sanding occurs now
A coat of epoxy seals the marine plywood and insures that all of the plank laps are glued together.
Some of the drips visible on the inside are from gaps in the planks. The tape is marking where the centre thwart will go.
I am doing this to determine how much material I need to make the seats. I have not yet decided how I am going to make the seats.
In the meantime, I make and epoxy on the rub strips.
The hull is prepped for another epoxy coat. Lotsa sanding.
With the outside of the hull more or less finished, I work on the seat knees.
More ripping of maple stock.
While the maple strips soak, I work on the seat risers…maple strips
I mark the hull where the seat risers should go…6″ below the gunnel.
The floors will be fitted to the first three planks, with limber holes.
I am going to weigh the boat. I had predicted a hull weigh (planking only) of 60 lbs. What will she weigh with the knees, gunnels, seat riser and keel?
The hull weight is good. I am hopeful for a light boat
The knee strips are bent and ready to be glued up. Titebond II and lots of clamps.
Each strip is coated on both sides with Titebond II. The form has been waxed to prevent sticking.
While I am making the seat knees, I begin work on the floors.
The floors are scribed and then cut. I use the 12″ disk sander to fine fit them.
I use a pencil on a block to mark the cuts, then the disk sander to fine fit.
I cut limber holes for drainage.
I use my drill press to cut the limber holes. I used a 1″ hole saw, clamped the floor in place to make the cut. I sand the limber holes smooth with a drum sander.
I have leveled the hull and level the floors as I epoxy them in.
After the floors have been epoxied in, I begin to fit the walkway. I am using leftover 6mm marine plywood. The gaps between the panels are for bailing access. They will be under the thwarts.
With the walkways more or less fitted, time to do the seats. I got a deal on “White Maple”. I decide to use the nearly 1″ thick material for the thwarts. They will not need a centre support. I decide to add a walnut trim to the seat edges.
I have to laminate up a piece for the stern thwart.
Using Titebond II for the thwarts
With the thwarts all glued up and sanded, I fit them into the boat.
Fitting the knees. I mark them out and use the 12″ disk sander to shape.
I will be epoxying them in using a low clamping pressure method.
With the thwart knees fitted and ready to go, I finish up the walkways. They need a way to keep them in place.
I make up some maple catches to hold one side of the walkways…Six in total.
I design a maple latch for the other edge of the walkway. Twist to lock, twist the other way to unlock and remove the walkways.
I cut a guide hole about half way into the block for the base of the latch.
The second cut is done on the bandsaw. The latch is cut to shape.
The third cut makes the sloped section that goes over the walkway.
The walkways have a half-circle cut into them for the latch.
I dry-fit the walkways in the boat. Seems OK.
To glue in the clips, I drill a screw hole, epoxy the clip to the floors and when the epoxy has cured, I remove the screw and replace it with a bamboo dowel.
With the walkways fitted, I am varnishing them. Time to sand the inside of the hull.
After the second coat of varnish, I sprinkle some ground up walnut shells for non-slip.
After the epoxy cures, the inside and outside of the hull gets a through sanding in preparation for varnishing.
Flip her over and install the brass half-rounds and we are ready for Varnish, Varnish, Varnish….I drill the bow transom painter hole before varnishing so I can varnish the hole too.
I put two coats a day on the outside of the hull. Rolled and tipped. One in the morning and one in the evening. Eight coats in total on the outside.
I then flip the hull over and brush on eight coats on the inside, Thwarts and all.
Crwban will have only one line…The painter. I will use the hawseholes to run lines through.
The hawseholes are more hand grips for carrying than hawseholes for hawsers.
I flip her right side up and paint on her name using the Papyrus font in white paint.
Crwban (pronounced ” Crew-ben”) is the Welsh name for a turtle. Land turtles are not found in Wales, but Leatherback Sea turtles frequent their shores. The backs of Leatherback turtles look a lot like the clinker planking on the pram.
Crwban is flying the Hollyburn Sailing Club burgee and the Vancouver Wooden Boat Society burgee. She has a Port (red) and Starboard (green) clip-on bag for stuff. Her 1/4″ bow painter runs through a painter hole in the bow transom.