I had been rather worried that the boat was going to have a corkscrew stern. However I put it together—clamping every which way, screws here and there, ratchet strap and cable ties, the transom would twist up at one corner and sneer at me. Local advice ranged from hitting it with a hammer to hanging it from a tree. I was just getting disheartened when the designer stepped in with some timely encouragement that got me in the workshop forcing the upper chines into position. Amid the creaking and the groaning, I secured them with cable ties, then stood back and lo, the boat was straight. What a relief. My chief eyeballer deemed it still out a tad but I was satisfied and, keen to ride the wave, went on to fit the sole. But first I had to turn the boat.
Now this garden is communal and although most of the houses are holiday homes more often than not there’s some bod about, some purveyor of dodgy advice, lurking round my bench. Today, just when Vitalstatistix or Unhygenix would have come in handy the place was deserted. Like policemen they disappear on the rare occasion that you actually need them. So I did it myself and it wasn’t that difficult.
I clamped trestles to bulkheads 1 and 3, took a deep breath and, uttering the war cry ‘Allez op!’ heaved the boat onto its beam, then scuttled round to the other side and pulled it over on top of me, tortoise style. Then it was just a question of setting it down gently. I wouldn’t recommend this method for back sufferers but for me it sufficed.
The sole had only been roughly cut which was fortunate as its lines didn’t coincide with the bottom shape. Later I wondered that the stern of the sole might have been on the bows of the boat. But in no mood for more worrying I simply marked out the sole from underneath using the hull as a stencil, cut and gave it a bevel with the circular saw and fixed it to the bilge chines with packing tape. The tape, as well as keeping the sole in place, will hold in the resin when I epoxy the interior seams.
And that’s it, we have our shape. Now I’ve got to take measurements for frame 7, make and fit it. And then the gluing begins.
Straight at last.
Ready to roll.