I've heard that miners used to carry canaries with them into the mines to ascertain whether the air was safe to breathe. If the canary didn't die, then the air was OK. The idea of using a very sensitive indicator to test for imminent danger is a good one.
In boatbuilding, the danger is that you get wrapped up in it, choosing to dedicate time to the build rather than things like doing the laundry, cooking, keeping up on house maintenance, and spending quality time with your (circle all that apply) friends/family/girlfriend/wife/dog/bartender. The net results is an imbalance in your life that will carry unfortunate consequences of one form or another. Clearly this must be avoided. And it can be, if you look for the warning signs, if you keep an eye on your canary.
My "canary" is my violin instructor. My ability to produce an acceptable sound on the fiddle is proportional to the amount of time I spend practicing in a week. Practice time is the first thing that suffers when boatbuilding activities start consuming too much of my time. A painful sound generated during the violin lesson is a warning klaxon telling me to moderate on the time in the shop. I've really been on a roll on the boat in the past few weeks, and there have been a couple times that I've heard the alarm. So far, though, I've heeded the warning, kept my life in balance, and kept the canary alive. I'm actually kinda proud of that.
Anyway, most of the boat-related work of late has involved me being hooked up to a sander, slowly reducing the bright, shiny, epoxy-coated surfaces of my hull to a smooth, dull gray. It has actually been going faster than I expected, but still, there is just a lot of area to cover. I don't want to think about how many hours it has taken so far, or how many hours are ahead.
|With all the sanding, my dust collector has been getting full.|
To break up the sanding monotony, I have been indulging in what PocketShip builder Sean called Procrastination Projects. The first project was installing the rubrails. The rubrails consist of three layers of 3/4" thick timber, milled to a trapezoidal shape that tapers from 1 1/4" to 3/4" in width. These lay right along the sheer, and, for the sake of good looks, it is essential that they run nice and fair. Ensuring that they're nice and fair involves temporarily installing the first layer and standing back from the boat and looking at it from different angles, making any adjustments required to remove any waviness. Unfortunately, my garage is too small to fully enable the "stand back" part of that process.
|Installing the rubrails.|
|The rails really add definition to the sheerline. It transforms |
the boat from a big kayak into a proper sailboat. You can see the cowl vents on for a trial fit too.
|A rare photo of a tiller hangin' out, lookin' casual.|