Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Belle Starr, as you know, is a Stone Horse, built in wood, as originally designed by Sam Crocker. She spent the summer waiting patiently for Doryman to pick up where he left off last spring.
A shipwright is trained in many disciplines, in fact, must be well versed in anything involving boats of all sizes, shapes and descriptions. This includes welding metal. Doryman does not weld. But for this, he might one day become a shipwright, like his grandfather.
But today, when it comes to metal work, he must resort to his resourceful cunning. Belle Starr was delivered last winter on a flatbed trailer intended for a backhoe. If Doryman were not as resourceful as he is, a new trailer might cost more than the boat itself. So, a used tandem axle trailer was procured and upgrades engineered to make the utility fit the trade.
In the absence of welding skills, four new padded tripod stanchions were bolted to the old trailer this week. The support plates are made of 3/4" plywood with recycled rubber horse-stall pads cut to shape and screwed to the plywood. The pylons are of 2" square mild steel with 2" x 2" angle-iron braces. At some future date, this assembly might be tack-welded for added security, but that will be redundant because the design is rock solid, as-is.
The only element remaining is to investigate and update her standing rigging and Belle Starr will be ready. For what, you might ask? Please stay tuned my friends - when the winter monsoons retreat, it will be an exciting sailing season, indeed. While winter rages, the search is on for a suitable wood stove for Belle Starr. She once sported a Tiny Tot, which rusted to oblivion. For cruising in the Pacific Northwest, a stove is not a luxury.
Other planned projects include a new galley sink, forward berth cushions and a depth sounder. A shipwright must have many talents.
Last evening, Doryman made a road trip north to Port Townsend to attend a winter planning session with the Pocket Yachters. Those guys know how to party. Cold cuts, crackers, wine and beer. Now that's my kind of meeting! Despite their serious demeanor, they are a fun loving bunch.