Saturday, October 31, 2009

Getting the Marine Plywood

It was time to get some more wood if I was going to build a boat. I purchased all my hardwood from Armstrong’s Mill but I needed to go to Detroit to buy the Plywood. I found Public Lumber very good to deal with and they had all the material I needed. Art Atkinson who is also building a "Squirt" need to get his plywood so we a trip of it after work. My brother Joey loaned me his Hot Air Balloon trailer and we were able to get everything in one trip. I picked up 6 sheets of 1/4 inch and 1 sheet of 3/4 inch. Ouch...the bill was about $700. I keep telling myself, measure twice and cut once.........Right.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Very Big Day at the Wood Mill

The last couple of days I have been spending my evenings down in the basement wood shop transferring the plans onto a witness board and making wood templates. I did not have any of the my wood so I was making the best of my time.

Well, today was a very big day at the wood mill. Art Atkinson (pictured on the ladder) and I went out to Armstrong Mill Works in Highland, Michigan. The Mill is about 1 hour away so we headed out to select all of our Mahogany for the Frames, Chine, Shear and Keel. We will get our plywood from another lumber yard. If you don't remember, Art Atkinson is a good friend who is also building a boat. His will be a Glen-L "Squirt", which is a 10' runabout that he will extend to 11 feet. We both took advantage of each others help and made one trip to the mill.

Now we have no excuse. Each of us are building a boat. We have the wood, plans...and it's time to get started.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Bengal Cat & The Workshop

Last night while I began to look over the boat plans and attempted to make templates from the drawings, I became a little distracted by our cat. As you can see from the photo, my workshop is small. I am guessing it is about 14' square and full of things like a table saw, band saw, lathe, chop saw, shop vac, dust collection, shop smith, router table, planer, jointer and other misc. hand tools. Even with the small space, it seems to work out because everything is on wheels and I just move stuff around to make it work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Return Trip to California

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, I first saw Warren Percell building a sailboat called a "Weekender" when I was on vacation two years ago in California. Well, I am in California again and today I stopped by to see Warren. His sailboat is finished and he told me he is having a ball sailing it and even took it to Mexico for a couple of weeks. He showed me a video of him sailing and does it really move through the water. Since then, he has been building a houseboat that is all wood and encapsulated in epoxy. He even built the wood ladder. I was very impressed. He's accomplished all this while running his sign company (and I thought that I get a lot done)! Warren also put me on to a guy who sells outboard motors. He has powered his house boat with a 55 hp. Bearcat. The Bearcat is an American four stroke outboard, produced from 1967-1972.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A first Look a finished Zip

I was searching the Boat Builders Forum and found a guy, Howard Katzman, who lives less than 3 miles from me who completed a beautiful Zip Runabout. I sent him an email and he invited me over to take a look. What a wonderful job he's done! He is a true craftsmen. I only hope I can do as good a job as he has! Howard was very kind with his time and offered me all kinds of suggestions. I am really looking forward to the day when I can show him my completed boat.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Boat Plans Arrive

After many years trying to make up my mind about which boat to build, I finally decided to build the "Glen-L Zip". Two years ago, I was on vacation in Petaluma, California when I came across a guy, Warren Percell, who was building a "Weekender" sailboat and I was hooked. I really did not want a sailboat because I just did not think that I would get that much use from it. Well, after researching the web and talking to a lot of people, I made up my mind and ordered the plans from Glen-L boats. Along with the plans, I ordered the fasteners and a book called, "Building with Plywood", which I am told is the bible for frame, plank and plywood boat building.

The hardest thing for me was to pull the trigger (make the jump or decision) to get started. All I needed was a little push because I have been thinking about this for years. Well, that push came when a good friend and co-worker, Art Atkinson, came into my office one day and said to me that he was visiting a friend in Northern Michigan on Torch Lake who had built a boat which convinced my friend Art to build a boat. Art brought home some plans and ideas and we both kicked the idea around for weeks. Art changed his mind on the type of boat he was going to build and finally ordered his plans for the "Glen-L Squirt." In the weeks and months to come, I will try my best to keep you updated on my progress. I am really looking forward to this even though I know this is a very long project and a lot of hard work. Everyone tells me, "if you can build an airplane, you will have no trouble building a boat." Time will tell.