The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has a great fleet and will be the better for adding the restored skipjack,ROSIE PARKS. I have blogged about her before and the museum does a nice job of tracking the update in its blog. I checked in on her while I was there. She’s coming along nicely.
See the “before”pictures in this post from 2007.
It happens all too rarely,but I was able to cash in a Christmas gift an spend another great day with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum‘s Apprentice for a Day program. The current boat is an enhanced reproduction (a reproduction with some more modern updates incorporated) of GHOST,a deadrise bateau from about 1920. She is a longtime fixture in the museum’s collection but has not,as I understand it,seen the water in that time. Little is known,therefore,about her performance. She is just she of 16′LOA with a beam shy of 6′. In her day she carried a sprit rig with 146 square feet of sail.
I found her reincarnation with two rough side planks clamped on to molds and an oak stem. Her chine logs and transom were in place –check out that upsweep in the chines and the laminated keel –as were the initial stab at that most curious of Chesapeake boatbuilding creations,the chunk bow. Rather than planking the forward portion of the bottom,where planks could get twisted and tricky,the builders took a page from the dugout-builders of yore and carved pieces from solid stock. Arduous,but it did the trick.
Our first task was to fit the bottom-most port side plank (the bottom will be diagonally planked). » Continue reading Learning to plank –a great time as a CBMM Apprentice for a Day »
Chesapeake Light Craft’s John Harris had a great blog post a bit back on two faering designs he developed. The post gives a good overview of these lovely Scandinavian working boats,but the thrust of the piece is that John designed his own faering for stitch-and-glue construction.
At the moment,plans to make a fully-fledged kit for this boat are in limbo,but here’s hoping CLC goes forward with it. While their current fleet does have a nice traditional feel,notably,in this case,the existing Iain Oughtred-ish Skerry,this faering design extends the offerings to include a more interesting,“exotic,”traditional boat. That,in turn,introduces kit builders to designs beyond the more established set. Understand I have absolutely nothing against dories,skiffs,and prams –I just want a wider interest in all the other kinds of craft the world has to offer,and kits like CLC’s are a great avenue for achieving that end.
I was even more intrigued by the second boat Harris introduces,a scaled up version based on a Scandinavian craft called a fembøring. This craft includes a small,aft cabin. Harris’s boat includes such a cabin as well as a sliding seat,a lug rig,and a self-draining cockpit. An exceptional pocket cruiser / camp-cruiser,in other words. This one is unlikely to make it to kit form,though I believe I read Harris correctly that plans could be available. It’s a pretty cool-looking boat.
Klaus Schmitt has responded to our post last night with three more designs he has sketched up. He is definitely in a nice vein –classic workboat-inspired yachts. All look like they would be comfy and pleasant while not looking far removed from hauling a barge or a net. Of the first,Klaus writes:“[The first] is a raised mid deck cruiser…a nice way to get some room inside without [the sheer] looking too lumpy.”I agree the approach works well here,thanks to the strong trim on the sheer plank.
The next is “a small motorized pinky that will take you most anywhere. Incredibly seaworthy boats.”And sooo gorgeous. This is easily my favorite of the three. I love the lines of a pinky and this is a great take on the tradition. In fact,it really is what we call a Fusion of Tradition boat,is it not?
Finally,a boat Klaus call “a tough little motor sailor.”Indeed –no one is kicking this one out of the anchorage without a fight. And who’d ant to anyway? Charming.
We here at Chine bLog are pleased to welcome back sketcher extraordinaire Klause Schmitt. He writes that he has put his work up for show in the last year and hopes to again,so here’s hoping this morsel of design goodness –a tug-inspired classic yacht that echos a couple of his past works we’ve shown –will preface more. Keep ‘em coming,Klaus!
The leeboard bracket is giving us a tough lesson in the physics of lateral resistance. My first attempts showed flaws in the bracket to clip the board to the single side gunnel. The second attempt,from late summer,is below. I followed the published models and build a bracket that clips to both gunnels.
This system worked well enough at keeping the bracket in place,but I still had the end that meets the leeboard all wrong. I realized two things. First,the bolt was too thin –at 1/4″it was being bent by the leeboard’s upward,outboard pressure on port tack and upward,inboard pressure on starboard tack. Second,the “face plate”provided too little bearing surface for the board (and the bolt on the outside was too small as well). There wasn’t enough to keep the board clamped in place.
In the Fall,then,I enlarged the “face plate”and make a much bigger knob to clamp in the leeboard itself. The worked much better,but the “face plate”still came apart. In the face of these forces,then,I have now buckled a bit and,how shall we say it…screwed the snot out of it. I am still resisting loads of fiberglass cloth and big metal L joints,but there is more epoxy and bronze than before. I am hoping this will be enough. I find the bracket rather graceful as it is now (scrap white oak FTW!),and don’t want to have to revert to something clunky and ungainly. Physics may overpower,though.
[Editors note:we are doing something here we loath,which is to back-post content to fill in a hole in time. Our only excuse is that the content is genuinely form the period in time,but we never got around to sharing it. Enjoy regardless.]
With the season winding down,we made it out to the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s,MD. With the sailing rig on AL DEMANY CHIMAN complete,it seemed right to put her up for judging again,hoping to beat the second-place finish of two years ago. We also we looking to spread the new sail and try our hand at a race.
Judging looked tough from the outset. Looking around the little green,there was a bumper crop of skin-on-frame boats. Check out the pictures.
The one guy –I didn’t get his name –was showing three,including a Greenland-style kayak he had tricked out with faux-bone spears,mocked-up arctic tools,and even a neoprene “seal.”The others were more straight-forward,but were really well done. AL DEMANY CHIMAN held her own,though,impressing with uniqueness and creativity. We got many nice compliments again. In the end,though,that qajaq was too much,and we took a proud second again.
The race proved much less successful. It was blowing modestly,and for good measure we tied in a reef (worked great!) and headed out with the fleet. Things felt good,with the latest iteration of the leeboard bracket holding it down OK and seeming snug. But then…we came about and the board pivoted up. Athwartships. The bracket failed again in a new way. Ugh. Discouraged but resolute,we headed back in,more iterating ahead of us. In retrospect,we should have given the race a whirl anyway,lateral resistance be darned. But there is always next year…
I took the afternoon off to get AL DEMANY CHIMAN sailing again –I’m still tinkering with the leeboard and steering –expecting I’d have a peaceful outing in light airs of Pohick Bay,VA. I had that,but I also got a pleasant,unexpected surprise. As I was launching,I glanced out and saw someone rowing a large craft with different lines –definitely not a gig or the like. It took me a minute to glance at her more to begin guessing,and,when she got closer I made out a distinct skin-on-frame look. Man of Aran –a curragh,there in the Potomac tidewater! In moments she was ashore and there were two out-of-the-ordinary boats on the beach,both skin-on-frame craft!
The owner / builder is local and is a hardy rower. He was back from a few mile piece,pulling his 20-some foot boat solo (she has seats for three). Check out this nice Irish lass:
It took longer than I had hoped to rebuild the lateen yard so that I could get my skin-on-frame outrigger canoe AL DEMANY CHIMAN under sail again. Recently,though,I finally completed that task and yesterday morning life and the weather gave me an opening to get “the sail canoe”under sail for the second time.
Truthfully,the weather could have helped a bit more –the wind was fairly light and flukey. This said,I did have a nice little sail and made some progress towards having the sailing rig fully tuned and “done.”The new yard did well and the reworked main sheet arrangement was much better. I think I also have identified the right spot on the yard for the halyard.
Left to do is to do some thinking on the leeboard. The boat definitely wants the lateral resistance to go upwind well,but there are two issues. First,the bracket I designed to clip the board to the gunnel just isn’t working. On port tack it was just about pulling up and over the rub rail. I think I am going to need to use a bracket the crosses the hull and clips under the inwale on both sides;this is the more common arrangement I have seen in Gary Dierkingand Todd Bradshaw‘s books.
The other problem is that the board will still not reliably stay down,even after I added leather washers. Not sure what my next step is on this one.
I’ll also be playing with the steer oar to try to improve it. Steering will be something I’ll be playing with further,I suspect.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,nor his manservant,nor his maidservant,nor his ox,nor his ass,nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17)
So that final phrase is fairly open-ended,but is thy neighbor’s Watson Fellowship covered? Because if it is,we’re screwed. We say this after receiving an email this week from a visitor named Will Meadows. Mr. Meadows has recently graduated from university here in the U.S. and succeeded in winning the prestigious fellowship,which grants $25,000 for “a year of independent,purposeful exploration and travel —in international settings new to them —to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness,imagination,openness,and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.”And what will Mr. Meadows do with this gift? Here is where the envy part comes in. He writes:“Traveling for a year non-stop as a Watson Fellow I will build and study traditional canoes on every continent (besides Antarctica).”No one told us we could do that when we were 21! We want a do-over!
In all seriousness,this is an amazing project and we truly commend Mr. Meadows for winning the fellowship and choosing this incredible topic. To be clear,we’d support almost any permutation of this project,but the particular itinerary / boat selection is a great mix. Meadows is covering many major styles and building materials,so the results will allow a great study of strengths and weaknesses as well as unique factors in the evolution of different boat types. In his words:
The global journey begins on lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia where at 12500 feet beautiful reed canoes are made throughout the lake. The native peoples of Titicaca live on floating islands of the same reed harvested in the lake ecosystem a. From there,I build in Zanzibar with the dugout builders of the island,traveling into mainland Tanzania and Uganda as well. After a brief stay in the United Arab Emirates with a palm frond boat builder,I work with Maori war canoe builders on the North Island of New Zealand. Canada calls next in the spring with the intricate birch bark canoes of the north woods. The year ends with a summer building traditional Kayaks in Norway and a stay on the Mekong in northern Laos.
We are,of course,eager to stay in touch with the project. You can too –Mr. Meadows is writing about his travels and sharing his knowledge at the Humanity’s Vessel blog. It’s on our RSS reader and should be on yours too. Please join me in wishing Godspeed to Mr. Meadows!