Saturday, July 30, 2016

____________________________ WHAT RIG? ____________________________

The question is: With a mast in each corner of this yacht of sublime design, what rig is it? A four masted? ........ (Auxiliary engine works well).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

_______________________ SORTING THE SHED ________________________

My work shed is quite small - 2.13 x 2.44 meters ( 7 x 8 feet). Surprisingly I can actually work in it quite well so long as the job is not too big  (I can't get the dinghy I am working on at the moment inside this space). The problem with small work spaces is keeping them clean, tidy and uncluttered. Planing, sanding or grinding anything soon has everything covered in debris. So the trick is to use the space mainly for gear and tool storage and for doing small clean jobs. The carport that the workshop opens onto complete with its small workbench is the main work area. This arrangement works quite well so long as the weather is reasonably fine and warm. At this time of year rain is often driven into the carport making it an unpleasant place to work..... which I don't mind at all because it gives me time to commune with the physically passive side of being retired which is meditating, reading, cogitating on the meaning of life and eating food.

Recently this little work space had become so untidy and cluttered that I couldn't get from one end of the workshop to the other. Boxes of unsorted tools and gear were literally at waist height and the whole workshop resembled the chaos of someone with a serious hoarding problem.

So over the last couple of days I have been sorting, rearranging and throwing out a whole swag of gear. I still have a few boxes of gear to deal to but I think I am now pretty much sorted. Feels good.

The graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher said: 

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

______________________ MARINER'S DINGHY (7) _______________________

The 'inwales' or internal gunwales are now completed including a new transom block which provides internal strengthening for attaching an outboard motor and enough wooden area to cut in a semicircular sculling hole.

The new internal ribs are now complete with six, 2mm laminations per rib. These ribs have greatly strengthen the hull. I can now move the dinghy around without feeling the hull flex and twist as it has done in the past.

When the central seat or rowing thwart is in place the dinghy will be stronger than it has ever been.
Apart from the added strength to the hull the new ribs will provide fastening points for wooden slats that will make up the new floor.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

_____________________ Leonard Cohen - Anthem _____________________

It is an old cliche to say that if you can remember the 1960s / 70s you weren't there. I will swim against and contradict this stream of thought and state that I was there and that I remember Leonard Cohen very well indeed.

Tonight on Prime TVs'  'Prime Rocks' series  Leonard Cohen was featured; and back flooded the songs and the memories. All those years ago I thought his songs were dark, brooding and somewhat foreboding. His was a voice from the depths of the human condition.

Forty odd years on I feel the voice of his work as paradoxical. Often he seems like a prophet, sage or shaman come down from the mountain to speak of what he has seen - yet at other times his songs speak of someone sharing and illuminating our common humanity; peeling the weeping layers of an existential onion of sorts; digging deeper, searching to find the way. He is a true fellow pilgrim. His musical lantern still shines its light, and I give thanks.


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in. 

That's how the light gets in.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

______________________ MARINER'S DINGHY (6) _______________________

What you see are the first laminations for four structural ribs; six laminations per rib. I am using West System Glue, something I am not familiar with but not too much trouble if you read the manual first.

Again, my trusty G - gramps come into their own for part of the job as have some big blocks of fire wood which are keeping the ribs in contact with the bottom of the dinghy. I counted my G - gramps the other day and found I had 26 - which for some jobs is still not enough!

For subsequent laminations a staple gun will make it easier to fasten them in place and to keep  pressure on the glue.

Friday, July 1, 2016

______________________ MARINER'S DINGHY (5) _______________________

The new port and starboard inner gunwales or 'shelves' have been glued in place. I have also cut and fitted a new central thwart. The thwart needed some careful work as the ends are curved horizontally and cambered vertically to fit the sides of the hull. I was pleased with the fit and happy that this time I didn't have to fill up the gaps left by bad woodwork with glue.

From a sheet of 2mm plywood I have cut enough long lengths 4mm wide to use as laminations for the installation of the four new ribs. The addition of ribs, knees and a thicker and strong central thwart will add weight to the dinghy but will make the boat much stronger and more robust.

........... and shipmates; you can see why a renovator of small boats needs as many sawhorses as he can lay his hands on.