Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 1

Every good project starts with a list

Yesterday, we got up early. After breakfast, we walked up to the marina office and our new best friend there walked us over to the build site.

We met the desalination plant manager and then came back to get to work. The girls and I did the oh-so-glamorous job of cleaning up the boat (it had been a month since wed had shore power or easy water access…you imagine). We dragged our month-old stinky laundry through the tourist zone of Cabo to the marina laundry facilities, conveniently located by the small marina pool!
Bryan walked an hour or so in the heat to Home Depot.

He ordered 3 sheets of plywood and a couple of boards and packed the other supplies we needed in his backpack. Thankfully, the delivery truck gave him a ride to the build site and he came and joined us for a couple minutes cooling off in the pool. Hannah had been invited to go shopping with some friends from another boat, so while I waited for laundry, Meira went with Bryan to start tracing lines on the plywood.


Much of this process is similar to sewing. We have to transfer the pattern to the material, cut it out, and stitch the seams together. The plans are not full sized patterns, of course. And because most of the pieces have a lot of curves and angles to tackle, we have to do what boatbuilders call lofting. The plans give us a series of measurements, one for every foot along the length of the piece. We mark these measurements up from a straight baseline, and tap in a nail at each given point. (If you look closely, you can see the nails sticking out in a curved line along the wood. The brick is Bryan’s improvised second hammer.) Then we curve a flexible straightedge along the points of the nails and trace the curve it forms. It’s important to get the curves right, or the boat won’t come together or row well.


After it got too dark to work, after we scampered through a holiday parade to get some dinner, the girls and I went to retrieve tools from another boat and Bryan came back to our boat for a little more work. We’re using a plan from a digital copy of a book we left at home (who would have thought we needed to bring a book of boatbuilding plans on this trip?!) and some of the measurements aren’t clear in our digital copy. So he searched the internet for a better scan of those pages and then taped together a bunch of sheets of paper to make paper patterns for some of the trickier portions (the internal stabilization frames).

Today we hope to finish tracing and get most, if not all, of the cutting done. The shop says they will make cuts for us if our limited tool supply (read: 1 skil saw, 3 hand saws, and a bunch of clamps) isn’t enough. Then all we have to do is stitch the seams, glass the boat and paint…that’s all:-)

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