Only in Your Dreams

Only in Your Dreams
By sv Prairie SeaShell on 22 Apr, 2005 3:00 PM

Once upon a time, a long time ago, (about 19 years) there were two avid scuba divers on a diving trip in Belize. Diver #1 (aka Don) made a comment "wouldn't it be nice if we had our own boat, and we could go diving when ever and where ever we wanted ..." Diver #2, (aka Lynn) thought "only in your dreams" ...


"Only in Your Dreams"

Once upon a time, a long time ago, (about 19 years) there were two avid scuba divers on a diving trip in Belize. Back then, Belize (formerly known as British Honduras ) was not a popular tourist destination, and there was only one boat available to take divers out to the Blue Hole, a world renowned dive site. The cost of a week-end live-aboard trip was incredibly expensive, so these two divers returned to land locked Calgary without having seen the sites at the Blue Hole. Diver #1 (aka Don) made a comment about "wouldn't it be nice if we had our own boat, and we could go diving when ever and where ever we wanted ..." Diver #2, (aka Lynn) thought "only in your dreams" ...

Well, sometimes dreams do come true!

We spent the next few years searching, up and down the coast of Vancouver, Seattle, Florida and California, for an affordable boat, but nothing seemed quite right. Then, Don stumbled upon a Boat Builders Club, right here in Calgary, where at the time, there were about 30 members. They were all building different types of sailboats, and they were all at different stages of construction. With a little help from friends at the Chinook Boat Builders Association, and a lot of research, we settled on plans for a Bruce Roberts Design. Our original plans were for a 34' sailboat, but after chartering one of that size, we up-sized to a 37', which has now been altered slightly to be almost 38' from stem to stern.

lead melting potLynn is melting lead in a melting pot I made. Each pot held two thousand pounds of molten lead.
 
lead mold
 Lead mold
The project began in 1994 and was supposed to take about 3 or 4 years. It is now 10 years since I began and I still don't know when I will be done. The picture on the left shows the mold that I made to pour the molten lead into. It contains over 7000 pounds of lead.
 
Boat Garage
 Boat Garage
Next I covered over the back yard to protect the temporary framework of the boat from the weather. It helps to have good neighbours as you can see I needed to use a little piece of their back yard.
 
Temporary forms
 Temporary forms
Next the temporary forms that I had made in the garage during the winter were set in place. The lead keel is already in place underneath, dug into a pit so that the boat doesn't stick up in the air after the hull is turned over.
 

 Lynn glueing fir
Lynn is glueing together several layers of old growth fir. these are called the floors. They will hold the 7000 pound lead keel when the boat is in the water.
 
Clamping wood
 Clamping wood
The layers of fir were glued together with epoxy and clamped for a day until the epoxy set up
 
Scarf joints
 Scarf joints
Lynn is making scarf joints. We needed stringers 40 feet long so the pieces were joined with scarf joints. no metal fastners, just epoxy.
 

 Looking from stern to bow
Looking through the temporary frames from stern to bow. Lynn looks like she is a long way off.
 
Greg on keelson
 Greg on keelson
Greg is setting on the keelson which is the part of the hull that the keelbolts will be attached to.
 
Just a quick foot note. Out of the thirty or more boats that were under construction 15 or more years ago. Less than ten have made it into the water. The rest are either still under construction or have changed owners or have been abandoned either at the request of the bank or the wife.


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