Thursday, November 14, 2013


We've been waiting for things to set in the boat shed over the last few days and so while we've been waiting we decided to get a head start on the deadeyes for Lena Blanche. And you guessed it stripes are in fashion. You can't imagine the strange looks you get when you tell people you're making deadeyes but the rigging wouldn't be the same without them and we thought we'd make them spectacular. This is where we started with them but you'll have to wait for the finished product. They are made of black locust and angelique. Thank you, once again, to our friends from Atlantic Arbourists Ltd. for the gorgeous black locust- we are making use of every splinter.
 Glued up in long strips.

 Cut into blocks and then coarse cut in rounds and teardrop shapes.
 A closer look at an eye in the rough.

 Shaping to the line.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall in the boatshed. No, don't fall- Autumn

So, we've been questioned about new pics. The trouble with showing pics of the progress is that, well........ it never looks like as much in pics as it does when you see it in person. I tried to take pictures that show how high up the planks are now and they just look like pictures of planks. These planks are now above my head and let me tell you it is hard to swing a 5 lb hammer above your head to smack in a trunn'l. I have to, gulp, sometimes ask Warren to finish a trunn'l because I can't actually reach it with the hammer. There. That is my confession for the week. I am short! Who'd have thought, right?
 Here is a pic from way up high in the cutting room. The stern board  bottom is about 11 feet off the floor
 Warren reaching up. The green you see is the the rudder and rudder shaft.
 A view from the side of the rudder and the fittings and planks.
 A broader view. Can you count the trunn'ls? We have to take more harpens off to put the next strake of planks on.
 This is part of the forest of head bangers that we have every time we put a new plank on. Keep your eyes open and your head down. Notice the harpens above the clamps- they have to come off for the next plank but for now we are making use of them for hold downs to make sure that the planks are tight together.
This is looking aft from the bow on the starboard side. I can stand under the stem (or forefoot) that you see on the edge of this picture. The bottom of the keel will eventually have a cap on it (as a worm shield).
We are enjoying the visitors that we have- and there are many.Great to have so many people encouraging us on. We have even become a stopping site on people's vacations each year.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Busy Saturday

So between trunnelling, cutting, fitting and gluing new planks and turkey farming this has been a busy day here at the farm/ boat yard. I'll show a couple of up dated pics but first I found the video of the first plank being trunnelled. Warren used the wooden mallet to hammer the trunnel at first but since then we have switched to a 5 lb hammer. I believe the poor mallet would have suffered irreparably from such abuse.

I don't talk much about the activity around here but we get quite a few visitors to the shop. Often it's someone who was told by a friend who has been here. It's usually a great way to meet other boat enthusiasts and we have found that everyone has a good story to tell. This week we have had visitors from Maine, Maryland, Ontario, Nova Scotia (other parts of NS) and Warren's son, Adam, is visiting from Fort MacMurray. Between visiting family and friends and doing some things that he needs to do he's able to give us a couple of days help working on the boat- I see a boat building future for that fellow. Our son, Sheamus, also stopped by to give us a day's help with the boat. It's great when the kids, well, not really kids anymore, still want to be involved with what's going on.

As you can see we generally fasten a plank to one side of the vessel and then fit and glue one to the other side. We try to keep both sides symmetrical.It was a super day in the shop and a great day outside. Sunny, clear and 20 degrees C.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New photos

Wanted to update some photos and generally let everyone know what we've been up to. The rudder is now completely secure on the vessel, after a very long and tedious fitting process. We cast all of the rudder fittings here in our foundry and they're all shined up and looking good.The water box (rudder port) is fitted in nicely so water won't be pouring in from her stern- that's good. As far as we know she's water tight from the top of the rudder to where the deck will be. The rudder stock is 6" oak.From the pics you'll see that she's pentox green but she'll be a different colour when she's done.
We had to caulk beneath the rudder straps because it couldn't be done after the fact so I got my first lesson in the art of caulking. By the time it's done I'll probably be a great amateur at it.
We can now continue with the planking. Yeah!!! We measured for, cut and fitted the plank just above the tuck and it will be placed and fastened Sunday. We put a couple of pics of trunnels in before they're driven kind of as a before and after shot.
The king plank is all ready to go in. This plank goes directly between the rudder stock and transom. We're so excited to be at this juncture because you can see the progress more plainly as the planks go higher, and higher and higher. Gasp!
We've had many many visitors from all over. Thank you all for your interest and encouraging words. We are enjoying this journey so much and when the creative journey is over we'll enjoy the travelling too. We hope that some can make a journey with us. We've met so many interesting people with their own story to tell that it makes this all worth while.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rudder Fittings and Tightening the Keelson

What a great day to work at the vessel. We could almost smell the salt air. As you can see we were working on the bronze rudder fittings. The fittings are custom cast in our own foundry and after 10 hours of rounding out, cutting and fitting the side pieces, it looks beautiful. The round tip will go into the fixture ahead of it with a water lubed rubber bearing mounted inside the fixture.
I took off the old washers on the keelson and replaced them with the permanent square plates and washers. Looks great and everything is down tight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Engines Finished

As you can see the engines are just about completed. We completely rebuilt them from the crank to the valves. We got amazing help for the technical stuff from Les MacLean whose knowledge about Detroit Diesels is vast. Thank you, Les. All that's left to do is a little plumbing from the heat exchangers to the raw water pumps.
We'll have a run in period for the engines before they are installed in the vessel to make sure everything is as it should be and then they'll await installment.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Brrr Are you ready for Spring?

We've had a cold one haven't we? We were shooed out of the boat shed by cold weather and car troubles. Thankfully, the car troubles have been fixed. I know far more about fixing engines than I care to AND most importantly, SPRING IS COMING. Whoohoo. This weekend we are heading back to the shed and picking up the tools to continue on with the building. When we scarf the planks for the vessel we put epoxy in the splice and epoxy will not cure in the extreme cold so we haven't taken a chance with possible future leaks.

This does not mean we have been idle. We have 2- Detroit Diesel 4-53 engines that we have been dismantling, cleaning and replacing the inner parts. Everything had to be cataloged, scraped, checked over for any wear and now we are waiting for seals and refit parts. When it all goes back we will have 2 new engines. It's all looking good.
Keep warm.