Friday, April 29, 2016

Cotton, oakum, seal it!

Well, it's been a busy month for sure. We started off at the beginning if the month rolling cotton in the seams of the vessel and using the irons and mallet to pound them in solid. If you saw the video on Schooner Lena Blanche facebook page ,you will see what I'm talking about. That was the first couple of weeks and 16 lbs of cotton later, she was all cotton caulked (corked, some call it. I had an older shipwright ,I believe he was in his late 80s or early 90s , correct my pronunciation. He had spent a lifetime building and caulking  (corking) boats- who am I to argue.)

Next we started on the oakum. A totally different kettle of fish,  as it were. Thankfully,  we have quite a bit of it pre-rolled. Each strand of oakum has to be bunched up and pounded into the seam until it fills the seam and then it's pounded to get all the little bits in. It's time consuming and your back hurts a little but , surprisingly,  it's very satisfying and when it's done you can look at it and take pride in a job well done.  AND, when the boat doesn't leak- you'll know you did a good job.  Haha.
As we caulk we are also sealing the seams with a marine sealant. This gives a finished look and keeps the water out.
Warren pounding in oakum

Two strands of oakum for a wider seam

Marine sealant after the oakum has been put in the seams. 

We'll keep at the caulking for the next few weeks until the vessel is all finished. It's  coming along great.

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