Monday, April 02, 2007

Still Alive

Damn, I haven't done a post in two months!

Despite my lack of posting though, we're still working away on the boat. We work on the boat for a couple of hours once or twice per week, and the drill is pretty constant... throw back a brew or two, smoke a cigar, work for a while, toss back another beer or two and admire the night's handywork... and curse the new flaws that we continually find.

Each new session is progressively shorter than the last one, which I take as a good sign. We are finding fewer flaws each time, and the flaws are continually more minor as time passes. Eventually we'll need to take out the magnifying glass to find the defects, at which point we'll know that we're satisfied with our craftsmanship or in serious need of psychological help.

Since my last post -- and picture -- we've laid two more coats of the red-pigmented epoxy, found a few more flaws, laid a coat of white-pigmented epoxy, found a few more flaws, worked on the spray rails, and found a few more flaws. We've been finding and fixing these flaws since Moses was a child. It still amazes me how long we've been working on this project, and how much it DOESN'T look like a boat. Yeah, I see the hull, and I can picture the boat, but your average joe on the street couldn't be expected to visualize our finished product.

For a while I was really gung-ho on the boat, and then we got stuck in sanding-and-fairing hell. We've been stuck in this stage since roughly July -- almost nine months. In retrospect, Greg thinks (and I agree) that we would be much farther along if we didn't make perfectly sharp chines and if we had omitted the spray rail. If it weren't for these two minor variations from the plans, we would have undoubtedly have flipped the boat by now. Those two modifications have made for uncounted additional hours of labor and several weeks of burnout.

Eventually though, you work through the burnout and get re-motivated. The main thing is that we continue to make progress, and that we continue to work on the boat. The progress comes in fits and starts, and anyone who builds a boat -- especially on this large scale -- will undoubtedly agree that sanding and fairing is the worst part.

So what's the point of this post? Well, I have a couple of points...

-We're not dead.

-We're still working on the boat.

-Try not to get discouraged by a lack of visible progress.

-If you build a planing hulled boat, don't make perfectly hard chines.

-Spray rails seem to be more work than they're worth.

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