Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Belle Starr

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.


Brandon Ford said...

Glad to see work continuing on Bell Starr. She is going to be the perfect cruiser for the Salish Sea, especially when you get a little stove for her.
Wish I could have made the Pocket Yachter's meeting. Those boys know how to have a good time!


doryman said...

Lots of little bits and pieces left to do. But you know all about that, I'm sure.

photocurio said...

Actually the Stone Horse was designed by Sam Crocker, of whom it was said "never designed a crock".

I used to own one of these lovely cutter rigged boats, and she sailed very well indeed, upwind, downwind and in winds of all strengths. Going upwind in the steepest chop and force 4 or 5, we used to use motor and staysail-only. She was amazingly weatherly in this configuration.

doryman said...

Thank you, NeonTetra! Sometimes my old mind plays tricks on me and one Sam becomes another. ;-)

I'm happy to hear your report, which confirms many others. Looking forward to trying all the sail options for myself. If the budget allows, I'd like to install roller furling on the jib. Not really looking forward to working out on that bowsprit.

Anonymous said...

That's GREAT progress! I wonder if any used fuing gear is around? Or you can fabricate some-plans are around on the 'net, and Kirk G has done a lovely project

Alternately, consider running that jib on a traveller you haul in and out, cutter-style like Baggywrinkle does