So close, but so far. We were seaworthy by October 5, and ready to launch. But our boat hauler backed out at the last minute.* But we had a fantastic party anyway. I’ve put up Johan van der Merwe’s lovely set of pictures from the party.
Where do we go from here? Our plan had been to launch Oct 5, spend a week at the Independence Seaport museum doing sea trials and being a part of the tall ships festival, and then motoring the boat to Maine. Once the boat hauler broke our contract, we were stuck with a boat on land and the weather off the East Coast getting colder and rougher – while this hull can take some very heavy weather, making our maiden voyage in November seemed reckless. So we are staying put in Philly till the early spring.
We have used the time to find a reliable alternative hauler and launch point. We have also started building spars, so we will be able to launch her as a proper sail boat!
*I can enthusiastically NOT recommend Bob Brazill of Pleasantville New Jersey as a boat hauler. He is unreliable to say the least.
Its been a hot one, but very productive. Bob and Wendy relocated from beautiful Maine for lovely, but less idyllic, Powelton Village in West Philly. While I (Jonah writing here) toil away at the day job, they have been spending long days in the shop for the final push. I work weekends and a few evenings out of the week. The final punch list before our September launch is deckhouse, (final) engine install, paint, and steerage. As well as the million little details that beset every aspect of this undertaking!
As of mid-July, this is where we are.
This was more of a drag then expected – ages ago I made 18” bulwarks frames, one for every other actual frame below. I then cut holes for them through the deck, and Bob and Wendy installed them. We then spiled, beveled, spliced and installed full-length planks from stem to transom. A few weeks back, right before I took off for a wedding in Ireland, we marked and cut the upper shear.
While the basic framing has been cluttering up the shop for over a year, building the deckhouse only started in earnest this March. We opted for a “Malabar III” deckhouse – the house extends almost to the foremast. On the original 1922 plans, Alden ends the house several feet short of the foremast, opting for a hatch in the deck. However, when he designed the III, which is the same hull with some modifications (notably larger sails), the house was a bit longer. We opted for a bit more space below, trading in some not particularly useful space on the deck.
The house is triple layer plywood, with full doug fir carlins and deck framing, and oak corner posts. It is designed to be entirely removable – the entire until can be lifted out of the opening in the deck. This will make the final interior work (once we get to Maine) easier.
As of this posting, the sides are laminated up, and I am finishing the deck framing. Within the next two weeks, I hope we can get it decked, fabriced (using Xynole again), and painted.
This is the coolest looking progress – while I was in Ireland, Zach came down from New York, we recruited Nic and Sophie, Cliff and Karina to pitch in, and under the supervision of Bob and Wendy, they got the boat painted. They laid down several coats of rustlock primer, followed by brick red antifouling paint below, and a dark green above. The boot top (not done yet) will be white. As always, we are deeply in debt to all of the friends who have pitched in!
More pictures of all of the above to follow.
Not all disaster around here. The deck has been installed and covered with a layer of Xynole fabric.
Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the crowd, we over doubled our initial ask. We have already ordered a new rudder post, and bent it (it is sitting behind me in my apartment right now – we no longer store bronze at the shop!). When Bob gets back to Maine, he will make an order for brand new cast portlights from Spartan marine. Onwards!
We set it up. Check it out at: