Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Building a Rowing Shell
Two weeks so far.
Recently Adrian Morgan, writer and boat builder extraordinaire from Scotland has a new blog. Adrian is a traditionalist and the tradition he follows is of the old Vikings. His boats are pure art. He also has very strict opinions. It's hard to argue with someone who walks the walk.
Stitch and glue is not my favorite building method. Never have been able to get used to the quick build method, minus the building mold either. So I don't follow the directions. Make up some bulkheads from sections and wrap the planks, there is no other way. Don't like the idea of sewing boards together with wire, either. Dull. Boring.
Well, so how do you lay up your boat, Doryman? Can't tell you, it just happens. Perhaps Adrian and I would agree so far. But halfway into this project, I read and he writes that plywood is not wood. And we know well that epoxy impregnated fiberglass is not a fastener. So according to Adrain this boat is no different than a fiberglass canoe. Now he has me depressed. He even recommends I paint the plywood to hide my shame. You'll have to read his stuff for yourself. He's the greatest!
Perhaps calling this boat a rowing shell is not quite on the mark. This is not the first time I've attempted to design a fast lightweight car-top-able rowing vessel. I love to row. So many places to visit and explore by water! Lightweight with a long waterline is what we are looking for here, but as soon as I get started the conflict between durability, seaworthiness, and light weight takes effect. More freeboard, increased wetted surface says my inner mariner. I spent nearly two days trying to decide whether to cut down the shear......
But now the shape is done. Nothing left but the details.
The rowing shell emerges from the sewing room as from a chrysalis.