Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not quite there...

Saturday rained buckets so no boat work for me. (I want a shop!) I find it slightly ironic that I need to protect the boat from the weather but I can't because of the weather...

Sunday found my morning taken up with helping a friend load (one of) his antique tractor(s). I want a tractor.

Then I found that I needed more galvanized hardware to bolt the structure together (so that it can be taken apart someday without destruction). Hopefully, I will have better luck with the galvanized hardware this time. Last year, after six months of being outside, I found the galvanized hardware corroded to the point where it would not screw apart and had to be destroyed to take the cover down and transported home. Crossing my fingers but I don't have much faith. New hardware = $50. I also picked up 3 2x4's to form a new ridge pole. Last year I made a ridge pole from strapping with spacer blocks in between just like the bows. That didn't work too well. The ridge was too flexy and there wasn't enough meat to anchor to the bows effectively. This year I will have 2x4's which should be stout enough to hoist my engine out should I find the desire.

Anyway, a late start to real work.

First off I laid out the ground frame that I used last year. It all bolted together just like it was before. I had to make some adjustments because the boat is blocked lower this year. Or rather, it hasn't settled like it had over the two year haulout.

The frame gives the bows something to attach to on the bottom and the crossmembers keep the whole shebang from flying away. The cover wants to fly like an airplane wing when the wind starts blowing and the crossbars mean either the boat has to fly or the crossmembers have to break before the structure flies away (It can happen, I have seen pictures). It took some time to get the frame square and positioned correctly. I am working near my maximum permitted dimensions at the boatyard and I am trying not to go over the line and ruin my welcome. Boat projects are always distrusted in boatyards. Too many of them get abandoned leaving the yard crew to dispose of the mess.

Last week I had laid out and cut two bow ends to fit together.

The top spacer 2x3 was left long so that there would be enough to remove later.

Then I glued and screwed a gusset onto one frame and drilled holes for bolts on the other frame. I need to be able to take the bow halves apart so I can truck them home over the cab of my pickup.

With a pair of bows ready to go I did a test fit.

This one fits well. It looks like the bows are a little too straight so I don't think the bows will naturally straddle the boat at its widest point. I am going to have to tweek the bows a bit in the middle. Oh well.

Then I realized that I had to spend some time with the ridgepole before I could nail down the bow spacing. The 12 foot 2x4's are linked with a short piece bolted on the side. I knew I was going to roughly space the bows 3 feet apart but I needed to fudge it a bit to clear the double wide ridgepole at the joints.

Sadly, I wasn't able to erect the structure. I could have put up maybe half the bows but decided it would be more stable and productive to wait until I could do them all in one day. Each bow becomes half of a matched set and I didn't want to have half of them built and then forget which goes where. Better to do it all at once. It always takes longer than I expect to clean up and get all my tools and materials put away back home anyway.

Next week should be no problem. Unless the weather continues to challenge me...

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