The Next Boat

After much discussion and evaluation of the club’s needs and desires, we have chosen the next boat to build! We were looking for a build that would challenge and interest our members, and would provide a stable but exciting boat that was able to carry 3 or 4 sailors comfortably.

The boat we ended up choosing is the Ian Oughtred Gannet, a 14′-5″ planing dinghy, which we plan to build in carvel planking. The club has built a carvel hull before, the Fancy Pram, but that was quite a while ago, before most of our current members became part of the club. We hope our members will enjoy the challenge of a new-to-us construction method. [edit: we changed our minds, and will be using lapstrake instead, in yellow cedar planking on steamed oak frames] [edit 2: we changed our minds again, and are now building the Gannet as designed, in glued lapstrake plywood]

We are in the process now of getting the plans, and choosing the materials from a supply of wood that we have stored in various members’ shops. Then we need to plan the schedule, and get the strongback and moulds built. We hope to start work on the hull in September. Until then, we have some renovations we want to do in the shop, making more room for the bigger boat.

Our lovely Button Swan was relaunched a few weeks ago, looking amazing in her new finishes! She’s been out a number of times since then, drawing compliments and admiration from many. Ragna and Vogler have been busy as well, with members enjoying the beautiful summer winds.

A project that has been on our wish list for many year is refurbishment of the doors to the shed. A few weeks ago, Dylan took on the task, and after examining the door, we decided that replacing the window framing would be enough. Dylan had a supply of gorgeous cedar left over from one of his projects, and created this work of art. Great job – thanks Dylan!

Another long-awaited job that has been started is the replacement of all the dock planking. Eric has taken on that job, and certainly has his hands full, finding and repairing all sorts of problems that were hidden. It will certainly help make the dock safer and more durable!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer, and that we see you at the shop!

Button Swan refresh

Button Swan is sporting a fresh new creamy finish on her interior, and looking fantastic! We ran out of paint when we were nearly finished, and we were unable to find another can at the nearest marine paint supplier, but big thanks to our neighbour on the dock Eric for supplying a new can from his stash! That let us finish that part of the job, and get on to the varnishing. We’ve built up several coats of varnish, and then turned to painting the deck.

This coming Saturday (July 9) we’ll reassemble her interior, turn her over for a coat of bottom paint, and then GET HER BACK IN THE WATER!!!! It’s been much too long!

We had a rude surprise when we noticed that Vogler was sprouting some growth – when we pulled her out of the water for a cleaning, we found a couple of inches of unwelcome wildlife!! Not sure how the bottom paint failed so badly, but the boat has clearly not been taken out for a row nearly enough!! She should be a lot slipperier through the water now.

A recent story in the news was about a home-built boat that was stolen just before the family launched her – but thanks to some observant citizens (and stupid theives), the boat was spotted being rowed in False Creek!

Summer sailing season is here for some of our members, with Anja and Ern and and crew heading up to the Broughtons for a while. We’ll look forward to their stories when they get back!

Bruce had the pleasant surprise of being sent photos and story from Steve Tomlinson in Kitimat who had built a scale model of North Star of Herschel Island! He did an amazing job on it, going from drawings and photos in two of Bruce’s books, North Star of Hershel Island and Sisters of the Ice. I hope Mr. Tomlinson doesn’t mind me sharing the story of how he built the model from scratch. It’s a beautiful recreation of the vessel as she appeared originally when in service in the Arctic, complete with fox furs hanging from the rigging!