Sunday, February 10, 2008

This blows

Today's weather, that is. Mama mia, it's 26 gusting 38! I'm not sure I could even safely taxi out to the runway in that! The temperature is just shy of balmy 20F, and with the wind chill it feels like being stabbed with icicles if you spend even the briefest time outside. At some point, it's going to be hard to not take this kind of weather personally. What did I do, Al, what did I do? Bring back my global warming!

Like an old trail horse heading back to the stable at the end of a ride, once I determined that the weather was in no way flyable I pretty much found myself automatically heading down to the Boat Works. I found a bag of tie straps in the hangar this morning, so I didn't have to brave the crowds at Harbor Freight to replenish my supply. They're a bit garish, as you'll see, but no less functional for that.

It was, as expected, quite difficult to get the bottom chines to come together at the bow. Between two ratcheting tie down straps, plastic tie straps every few inches, and copious amounts of swearing as I'd get to the end and find out that things just hadn't lined up correctly and it had to be taken apart again for a do-over, I finally achieved this:

Unfortunately, some of the gaps between the bottom and the lower chines are still pretty wide:

Between the gaps and all of the holes that I've drilled for the tie straps, it seems that I'm going to be relying pretty heavily on epoxy and filler to keep the water on the outside of the boat. I think I may have to placard the boat against operation in anything deeper than 3 ft. of water for liability reasons.

It's definitely starting to take on the look of a boat, though:

Here you can see the cost of the twist that I accidentally built into the bottom pieces:

In retrospect, it would have been better to use the bent PVC pipe to draw the curve on one side, then measure a bunch of points on the curve and transcribe them to the other side, rather than putting quite so much faith in the pipe to bend equally on both sides using points 24" apart.

I can either cover that up and shape it nicer with epoxy, or sand/rasp/cut it down flush. Or, more likely, a combination of the two. The other end will probably look just as bad. I won't know about that today, though, since I intend to spend a few days recovering before going through the same chore again.


  1. as far as your gaps go i had an idea. not being there in person i can't see for sure if this will work but i'll just shoot off my mouth anyway. do you think that you could run your jig saw down the joints where the plywood meets and cut out just a little bit thus closing the gap. i realize that this may cause more asymmetry but it may leave your boat stronger in the end. you just would not want to take too much. now if i would take the leap on the 3 instead of just reading on the web we would really have something to talk about. keep up the good blog

  2. I'm kicking around the idea of using some shims to fill in the larger of the gaps so that I'm not entirely depending on the epoxy/wood flour filler.

    The jigsaw came to mind as a way to trim down the "overbite" on the ends, though. For some reason, "fixing" things with power tools just seems more gratifying, although I could jusrt be mistaking the adreneline rush from the risk of disaster for gratification.

    By "3" do you mean RV-3?

  3. yea i have the preview plans, no place to build but there is another builder building in his living room and i am single sooooo. i worry about starting and not finishing.

  4. I saw an open cockpit -3 on DReeves site and it really got me thinking.

    But I've always heard that the -3 was the hardest of the bunch to build, and seeing as how I'm not exactly bathing myself in glory with this canoe thing, well...