Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sailing a wooden boat

It's ten years now since I decided to build and sail  a wooden boat.
Despite any doubts I had when I began, this boat has never let me down.
Even with the appaling weather here in Ireland over the last several years
Spirit has remained a tough, dry and stable sailboat. 

 Spirit docked at Eastferry with Dan Gough as crew.

I have since started building and have built other smaller sailboats but thats for another post :)

A few nice sailing trips..

Sailing out past Roaches point

Being passed by traffic off the coast

Approaching Cobh, heading downriver.

A bit of sailing and a few more changes..

I sailed Spirit around the harbor and along the coast for a year or so. After this time I decided to make a few more changes, not so many as the last lay up though. I changed the cabin hatch to a raised one so that I would have standing room inside, a useful feature when staying overnight anywhere, I made the pullpit less in height, added a boom vang and a cockpit brace to run the main sheets from. All the lines could be controlled now from the cocpit which is needed for solo sailing.

Spirit was now quite comfortable inside and easily rode out any rough weather I met.

An almost built boat

At this stage I had been working on the boat for about two years, I
had to deviate from the plan a little bit though. The swing keel bothered me, I had heard a few scary stories about what could happen with them and it's housing took up a lot of space in the cabin.
So I redid the lower part of the hull and fitted a fixed and weighted keel instead, keeping to the original required parameters for the boat as it would be with the keel down.

Then came the expensive part.. kitting it out, it took a while, you can't take chances here.. I had had the construction inspected so far and was told that she was sound and solid and would be quite safe.. if a little heavy. But she needed all the gear a boat would need and so that's what she got.

Amazingly, by the time Spirit was finished...

                                                                                ... she looked just like a sailboat

With the hull cabin and cockpit nearing completion I fitted
a mast and boom to spirit. Now it really began to take shape
I had been really nervous when I started building this as I do
understand how quickly things can go wrong and that I might have been left with a bit of a mess on my hands. However luck
was on my side... this was really starting to look like a boat :)

Once I had the mast in place I made the rigging out of stainless steel
cabling. I made the crimping tools out of scrap metal I had collected.
I managed to get some old turnbuckles from wreaked sailboats as my rigging adjusters.

Monday, April 15, 2002

First time boat building

Hello and welcome to my boat building blog, while the posts on this
blog are new the material is a few years old having originally been
displayed on another web which is now no longer functioning.
    This was my first boat build, its a design called Tango which I 
purchased from a company called Glen-L.
I'd never done this before so I really had to take my time with it. I had read a few books on the subject and figured it could be done. I came across the Glen-L company online and got the idea there that any average joe could build a boat, as long as he paid attention to the details and played by the rules and followed the plans.

Here's a few pictures of the work as it progressed, the image quality is not great, apologies for that, but I lost all the original pics of the earlier part of the build and had to use only the thumbnails.

It took me about two years to build Spirit, if i had to do it again I know it would be faster, there was a learning curve and it was built mostly with hand tools... I have long since changed to the more powerful and accurate ( for me ) machine tools which speed up the process greatly.

The opposite picture is from 2002, fitting the coachroof to the cabin.

Heres a picture of the roof and cockpit finished, Spirit has a mahogany plywood shell over a mahogany frame with cedar batons and chines. when complete the shell is encased in an epoxy fiberglass coat to protect and strengthen the boat.