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building Autumn Leaves
I'll check it out. Don't know what to say about the hoop size, I guess they are kind of big but the sail fills and draws normally. Always room for improvement though! After helping Tom rig "Spirit Wind" today, I have some ideas for my rig for next year. Barry had some neat ideas. Maybe I'll do a full overhaul for the spring and incorporate more sensible hoops or lacing!
After trying lacing on my skipjack, I’d go to a track and lugs
My recovery is proceeding apace.  And because of that, I was able to spend a couple days in the shop. 

 Right away I ran headlong into a trap I set for myself right at the very beginning of the build.  I recognized that one of my trunks was a bit off from completely straight.  In the end I set it in place with the thought that I would be able to straighten it up by  leaving one inch sticks in the trunk holding it in a proper position until I needed to insert the board and all would be well.  Not even close.  I tried to insert the starboard board in the slot and found that the braces had no effect whatsoever.  I hammered the board into the slot and had to do likewise to remove it.  It then occurred to me that I had no boat.  Without boards working properly, the  boat was a failure.  Two days later, after hatching and rejecting numerous schemes to rectify the situation (schemes that included cutting open the side of the hull and replacing the  bent plywood and rebuilding the hull side),  I simply smoothed out the inside walls of the trunk with an extra long sanding  block that looked  like a long rip saw made of one inch lumber with a saw like handle on one end.  Worked like a dream.  I had coated the inside of the trunks with two coats of epoxy with one layer of glass and a final coat of graphite.  I figured that ought to take up some of the extra space in the slot so the board wouldn't be sloppy inside.  It took me two days of exhausting hand sawing to merely scratch the graphite smooth, which opened up the gap enough to allow the board to just squeeze through.  What is left of the coating is more than plenty to protect the inside of the trunk forever.

Next, I gouged out the middle of the one side of the starboard board that was causing all the trouble.  I took off one ply layer of wood along with the MDO resin and the glass/epoxy to make a thinner area on the side that met the bent trunk wall, and that did the trick.  I wanted the board to drop through the slot easily and on its own.  Here's the trick.  I have a 7 inch grinder and a 16 grit disc that I took most of the extra width off with.  It took a whole day and a blown up belt sander to get the job done.  If anyone tries to tell you that MDO isn't tough or the resin will not stand up to rough handling, you can refer them to me.  Now I have a board with a gaping wound on one side that takes up nearly all of that side.  I also took all the unnecessary outter layers of finish off both sides of the starboard board down to the smoothened fiberglass/epoxy level.  I will not re-coat that board because I have determined by my experience trying to rip that stuff off, that that level of protection is plenty.  All I have to do is armor the one side and water proof any dings that I knocked into the rest and viola.

After I got that done, I installed the pins so that the boards would hang in their proper positions.  I mention this because there are  brothers building their boats and might like to know what I found.  I don't know if this is a bad thing or not but the boards hang down below the hull about 3/4's of an inch.  I'm not too sure about this when running up on a beach.  On the other hand, they drop like a thirty pound stone.  Get ready to haul when you pull them up.  Up top, they also stick up above the deck.  I pretty much don't like this.  I think I am going to cut them down flush with the deck before I do the final install.  The reason I say this is I foresee walking on them would be very uncomfortable bare footed.  Also, walking around on them would put extra strain on the pin bushings.  

I have only one thing left to make before I start rigging.  I need a mast.  I have a pretty good  idea how I am going to build it which is good because I don't have much time before the cold sets in for good.  I want to build as much of this as I can outside to minimize the dust in the shop so I really need to get on it now.


Al, Glad to hear you're back at work on the boat. I'm getting ready to roll mine over for the bottom. Carry on!
Reply Purge Spammer
Al, my original skipjack mast is available if you live close enough to the Seattle area and don't mind the weight of a solid mast.  It's made from carefully chosen clear quartersawn Douglas Fir.
Thanks for the offer, but it will be too short.  Indigos mast will  be at least two feet longer and narrower.  I have a pile of the same doug fir on my  bench right now that I am getting read to cut up.  I am going to try a different shape this time.  I will try no taper until the spot where the gaff jaws rest at full height.  Then I will taper to the top.  This will give more trapped air inside as well as consistent diameter for the lacing.  I'm not quite done engineering the mast, but in a pinch I could start cutting right now.  I don't think it will take too long to assemble it, but it will take some time to finish it.


I finally did something of consequence on the boat.  I  built the mast.  It isn't what I had envisioned earlier, but all in all it will serve me until I think I need a new one.  All October I futzed around with making up my mind about the mast's dimensions and shape as well as it's construction style.  I even made a little birds mouth section to see if I could do it easily.  Yeah, it is easy to do.  If I did the mast in a birds mouth layup, I would have to laminate both ends in quite a sophisticated way which would end up probably stronger than what I ultimately did, but wow what a job.  

I ultimately bought a couple 16 ft. two by fours and hollowed out one  side  of each to match the spaces I wanted in the mast.  The bottom nine inches needed to be solid because I will through bolt the hinges there.  The top three feet also needed to be solid because the attachments for the gaff rigging will be mounted there.  I ended up ripping out the space on my table saw, then gouging it out round with a chisel.  The inside of the mast looks like a dugout canoe.  The two pieces that I bought were really pretty nice and when I glued them together, they came out pretty darn straight.  I used construction screws to hold the pieces together which left me with some little holes that I have to fill with epoxy, but I don't see that as a problem.  

After I ripped the mast down to the 3 by 3 dimension that I had decided on, I had to rip it down to an octagon shape except for the bottom nine inches.  I have a method to stop me from going too far when I am making a blind rip and need to stop before the cut is done.  I determined that I wanted the mast full dimension up to the place where the gaff would ride.  I had decided on that on my own, but when I saw it recommended in The Gaff Rig Handbook, that did it.  This ended up making everything easier because I didn't need to account for a taper.  I ripped the stick into an octagon shape, all but the bottom nine inches and it came out pretty good.  

After that was done I clamped the mast down to the bench and got out my Big Boy.  I bought a jointer plane some years ago and I couldn't live without it.  It is 18 1/2 inches long and wide.  It weighs a ton.  I had to taper the top three feet of the mast, and planning was my best option.  I tapered the front and both sides, leaving the back of the mast straight.  I did it this way in order to allow the rigging to fall straight down without touching the mast.  I marked the three foot line and the lines for the inch and a half top and went to work making beautiful shavings.  It didn't take that long to get a taper that I was satisfied with.  I went out this morning to fire up the heater and in the process I weighed the mast.  It is right in the fifteen pound range.  I think the bigger mast for Indie is lighter than Duckie's mast which is also hollow.  

Now I have to join the two pieces together with the hinges.  That will  be all I can do this winter.  I have to wait until I can get the boat on the trailer and outside before I can stand it up and adjust everything.  I am going to have to spend a good bit of time designing the rigging plan and mount as much as I can on the sticks before then.  For example I decided to run the mainsail outhaul through a bee hole on the end of the boom, which I have done.  It took a while to carve and it is only one small bit of the bigger picture.  

Anyway that is where we stand right now.  If I was to really get down and hump, I could get her ready in a month.  Not gonna happen. I have to make a couple dozen wooden blocks and that is going to take a while.  I am also going to add a fourth sail to her suit.  I am going to add a mizzen staysail.  Should be fun.

Great to hear that more progress is being made - mizzen staysail should make her fly!
Reply Purge Spammer
I've been playing around lately and there is some progress.

I assembled the mast hinge assembly, but I won't know if it fits until I can get it stood up outside.  I think it fits pretty good, but if not it is a simple fix.  The mast came out on a par with Duckies mast, so I should be okay.  I am moving along with planning the rigging  so that I won't have to leave the cockpit.  I have a pretty good idea how I am going  to deal with the oars which is critical, because  I won't be able to launch without oars.  

I am making a dozen new wooden blocks for the new boat.  I bought a new disc/belt sander bench top tool which is making shaping the new  blocks a matter of a few minutes.  I already made the sheaves with my drill press.  The hardest part of the whole process is stropping the blocks.  It is really hard on my hands.  I have a method of making the wooden part of the blocks sort of mass produced.  I rip a board which is the exact height of the blocks out on my table saw.  I then rip a channel down the length of the whole board that is the width of half the hole for the sheave and the height of the hole.  I then cut the board in two and face the channels together.  I glue the boards together channels facing each other and end up with a board that I can cut small sections off of for individual blocks.  I cut individual  blocks and shape them with the disc sander, drill the hole for the axle shaft and voila I have a block ready for finishing.  This is how I made all the blocks for Duckie.  After all the beatings they have taken so far, none have broken or worn out.  I really enjoy this process.  

It turns out that there won't be much difference in size between Duckies mainsail and the mainsail for Indie.  In fact I might just launch Indie with my weekender mainsail.  After that, I will probably make up the sail that I sort of settled on.  Just like Duckie, I will probably sail for the first year on tarp sails of my own making, then have a nice set professionally made.  

I'm getting there


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