Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making a bow

Making several actually.

I started the weekend with some material shopping.

I am right about $200 in materials so far which is about right for me. I seem to spend $200-300 every season on structure upgrades and new tarps every other year.

Then I had to spend some time laying out the profile for the shelter I have in mind. The bows I made last year were bent into position as I went along and by sorting through them I found one that would make a good form for the new bows. This design is based on what I have seen of Stimson sheds but the profile is different because I don't have the width to height ratio of a real Stimson shed available to me. My bows are relatively straight near the bottom and have more curve towards the top.

Using an old bow as a form I took one 16 foot piece of strapping and glued and screwed short blocks made from the 2x3's.

Once the single strap was clamped into position I glued and screwed the second piece into place which locks the curve into the bow.

I built two bows and then checked them to make sure the boat would fit under them.

and then I made fourteen more. The first few were exciting but the routine got pretty dull pretty quickly. I had hoped to get more built this weekend but a lack of enthusiasm and a lack of glue ended my work before the last few bows were made.

At the moment I have enough bows to space them about 4 feet apart. I think next weekend I will make a few more so that I can space them at something like 3 feet. Then I have to figure out how I am going to tie them together. I need to find a way to lock them together solidly but make them easy to break apart and truck home every spring.

Today, as I was thinking about this structure idea and how it has developed over the past few years I realized that it all started when I had no deck hardware to attach to. The self-supporting idea sprang up after I removed the stanchions and had nothing to attach a frame to.

This was my first cover and it worked quite well.

Later, I needed to keep the tarp off the hull so I added three bows per side to hold the tarp out with two stands on deck to support the ridge pole.

What I could have done this year is spend an hour mounting the stanchion bases (which I already drilled and filled for the mounting screws) and then attached a frame to the stanchion tubes again like most normal boat owners.

Oh well, at least this way I will have a nice roomy structure to play under all winter. I think I am satisfying my need to build stuff. My boat cover is my substitute 'shop' until I can find one of those. I dream of finding a bit of land where I can build more 'stuff'


Tim said...

You wrote: "I built two bows and then checked them to make sure the boat would fit under them."

Wow, such uncharacteristic foresight! There's hope for you yet...:<)

Britton said...

I am learning. Slowly.

Actually, the bows are only just wide enough at deck height for about 2 inches of clearance with the toerail.