Sunday, April 8, 2012

Deadeyes Installed




Upgrading to deadeye purchase blocks on your shrouds carries no guarantee of improved performance. But on the scale of "how cool is that?", the ranking is very high.



The Doryman Valgerda, Saga, is a very cool boat.







Thanks go out to Paul Miller who suggested this upgrade and made a substantial effort to make it happen.




If you ever wonder how much exertion it takes to post a simple missive such as this - consider that this small project has been actively on the burner for over four months. I could give you all the details but who, honestly, wants to know?

Never a dull moment...

14 comments:

Joel Bergen said...

Dang, Man. Those deadeyes are so salty they make my eyes burn! Nice.

doryman said...

Everyone needs some.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Very nice - although not sure dead eyes are quite the thing on our latest craft!!

Port-Na-Storm said...

Who wants to know?
Oh we do we do.

They seem to fit with the boat very nicely.

doryman said...

Oh, yeah. I forgot about those fancy racing boat guys. They probably don't want the maintenance...

Graham, you probably know how this story goes. You start with a piece that looks right and in your excitement, you assume it will be easy. You start putting the finish on, but the weather is not cooperative and it takes a month to get four coats. Meanwhile you shop for hardware, which is no longer made or marketed. The bronze strap is particularly hard to find.
When you find the metal you need, it's a millimeter too wide, so you have to carve out the beautifully routered deadeye by hand, which destroys the finish. This process is particularly difficult because the pieces of this puzzle are already stropped together. Getting closer, though!
Four more coats of varnish.

The boat is under cover for the winter, so you must wait for a day when it isn't raining to pull it out into the open. It's then you realize you put the boat away with the promise you would paint the interior before you took it out again. So, you do that. And finally the anticipated day comes.

Well, you must know there are a lot of boats around here. It took a full day of moving them with the truck to get this boat out of the shed and the next project in.

When I put the mast up (who parked the boat under that tree?!), it was soon apparent the (expensive) fake hemp line I'd made up for the deadeyes was too short and I'd have to seize up some new ones.

That's why it's a Saga.

shipwright said...

Looking Good Michael.

doryman said...

Thanks Paul. You might be right - the Stone Horse should have some of these, too. I'd have to splice them into the wires (which I didn't do here) for that application. Just a bit too much effort for this season, I'm afraid.

Brandon Ford said...

Very salty. Now you have to tar them down so they smell right, however.

doryman said...

You know the Bristol Channel Cutter I'm working on has tarred rigging. It comes off on everything. Not only does the boat smell, so does the sailor. That's why they're called "Tars" ;-)

Steve R. said...

I agree, it doesn't add anything mechanically, but the "It looks cool factor" definitely goes up. In Texas its hard to find any boats still using deadeyes. Perhaps because we don't come from a historic sailing community like the northeast. Beautiful boat, enjoy the season.

doryman said...

Steve, I believe this kind of hardware has gone out of use because of marketing. In an all-out effort to create something new for fickle consumers we've abandoned some beautiful details. (and who created those fickle consumers in the first place?)
Now, when the uninitiated see something like this on a boat, they are predisposed to think it's too much trouble or not worth it for some reason, even though everyone agrees they are attractive.
The problem for the chandler is, a setup like this costs almost nothing to make. A good bit of talent, yes. Paul has the talent, for sure and the wood came from his "scrap" pile.

Max makes the point that wooden deadeyes wouldn't look quite right on a modern racing craft and he's probably right - the whole traditional aesthetic has been abandoned in modern yacht design. Many people are convinced that's a good thing, but I'm not so sure. I want the best of both worlds!

Anonymous said...

Atkin was right, don't change the design. His two part lanyard through the gunwale was all that is needed. This is a lot of high weight and windage and an affectation. This isn't salty, it's tacky. The design already can't stand the amount of sail increased from Atkin's design as witnessed by the capsize. Failure to watch the weights are one of the homebuilder's common mistakes.

doryman said...

What capsize? This boat has performed admirably in a wide range of conditions and I am very pleased. There has never been any capsize.
Mr Atkin was a very talented designer and adamant about not changing his designs, it's true. But I do not adhere to the same philosophy.
I am also not a home builder, but a professional with 40 years of sailing and design experience. This detail is anything but tacky. The deadeyes were suggested and made for me by another shipwright with even more life experience than I. Together we push almost 90 years of boatbuilding and design.
If you want to make disparaging remarks about our work, come out from behind your anonymous cloak.

doryman said...

In fact, this boat has wooden cheekblocks on the mainsheet, made by a dear friend and another life-long boatbuilder. The sail was made with love by my local sailmaker who has been in the business for four decades. Not to mention the offending deadeyes which were donated by one of the most brilliant woodworkers I have ever known (from a long list, mind you).
If these are affectations, so be it; the contributions of such a gallery of talent make this the most beautiful boat on earth to me.