Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brush with greatness...

I had the privilege of meeting up with three of the Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge paddlers this evening.  I have been following their progress across Michigan here and here.  Thanks to Toby's SPOT tracker I was able to make an educated guess about where I could try and meet up with them.  My guess was pretty good because about 5 minutes after we got to the Grand River Park boat launch, they showed up.  I gave them a shout and they paddled up so I could give them some fresh banana bread (thanks to Emily's fantastic baking skills).  
Actually getting to the boat launch was a mini-adventure.  The launch is at the end of a dirt road which turned out to be flooded.  I rolled up my pants and found that the water was only ankle deep, so I figured it was safe to drive through.  We made it without incident and Mark, Dan, and Toby showed up minutes later.  We had a nice chat about their paddling experiences so far and my Watertribe ambitions, then they had to get moving.  Turns out they paddled 52 miles today! Wow.  I will definitely be thinking of them as they venture into Lake Michigan tomorrow for the remainder of their trip to Chicago.  With all the wind we have had lately, the lake has built up some pretty substantial waves.
Back to boatbuilding soon, but here are some pics of the flooded launch:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scarfs cut at last

...well I guess since I used a belt sander, I didn't really "cut" the scarfs, but they are done anyway.  It wasn't really as bad as I thought it would be.  I did use a plane for some of the intial rough cutting, then switched to the belt sander to do most of the work.  I finshed things up with the random oribital.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results.  Epoxy is next!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


This is probably the most boring post ever... but I'll do it anyway.  I was happy to get my plywood yesterday, but it almost didn't happen.  I spend the early afternoon with the family at Meijer Gardens seeing the butterflies and other things, and planned to stop at Johnsons Workbench on the way home.  I didn't bother to check their hours of operation, but I walked into the store only a couple minutes before 4pm (aparently when they close, oops).  They had already shut the lights out in the lumber room, but they were glad to help me anyway.  I got my six sheets of 4mm marine ply and they helped me load them into the truck.  I must say that 4mm thick ply is a lot easier to move around then the 1/2" stuff I have worked with before!  Scarfing is next...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scarfing and Layout Table

Quick update... Got the scarfing and layout table finished.  I am planning to cut the scarfs on the end closest to the camera because it has the largest support platform.

I am planning on picking up the plywood this weekend; then cuttingand glueing the scarfs as soon as possible.  When glued up, the panels will be 8 ft. wide and almost 20 ft. long and I can start laying out the hull panels.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I managed to get both kids to nap simultaneously, so I was able to get some more boatbuilding prep work done.  First, I got the strongback up on legs... it seems a little high, but it will probably be nice for puting all those stitches in.  Here is a picture:

I also managed to get all three building frames cut out.  I am not going to mount them to the strongback yet, since I am also using the strongback as my scarfing table.  Here are the three frames: