Tuesday, 26 December 2017

To build a boat...

Inspired by the view of dozens of small sailboats taking to the bay every weekend, I have decided to build my own boat. My somewhat limited skills, such as they are, seem a perfect fit for the puddle duck racer.

The PD Racer is probably one of the simplest sail boats you can build, essentially being a plywood box with a sail attached. In theory, I will learn some important lessons in carpentry and boat construction which will allow me to progress to a more complex and capable hull for my next build.

The puddle duck is basically a 8'x4' box made from plywood with 1 inch pine chines (small beams the plywood is glued onto). All the provided plans are provided in imperial measurements, but the panels from my local hardware store are metric (2400mm X 1200mm). This means my boat will actually be 38mm shorter than design (8 feet = 2438mm).

To begin, I need to cut out the 'sides' of the boat. After a few measurements and lines marked in pencil, a skinny piece of plywood is clamped to evenly spaced nails along the bottom hull curve. This provides a nice even curve to trace along.

After cutting out the first side, I use it as a template to trace out lines for the remaining pieces. The jigsaw makes short work of the 6mm plywood.

By this stage, I felt enough work had being done and it was time to call it a day. The next step will be clamping all the sides together and sanding them back, then cutting up 8' long strips of timber to become the frame.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The view from here

Taken this morning in the hills behind Governors Bay, New Zealand

Monday, 3 July 2017

Back in the Manse

Well, not really. After a year in Laos we have got back to Australia with notions in our heads of blue skies, easy days and chooks. Moving to the Clarence Valley near Grafton has given us the blue skies, even in winter. But the easy days and chooks have to wait until my new employees inform me of the site office location so I can rent a suitably close house.
Clear blue skies at the Lawrence Golf Course
In the meantime, staying with family, I saw no reason to delay and brewed up a barrel of ginger beer plus a demijohn of lemon wine using fresh fruit from the garden. Perhaps in a few weeks when they are ready we will feel back in the spirit of Zeehan Manse!