Fighting The Small Boat Threat

>>> Fighting The Small Boat Threat

Today, Mad Marinerâ„¢ has another article (see another take on the situation here) discussing some of the threats posed by small boats to national security, along with some of the actions being taken to guard against these threats.

Regardless of your opinion about the threat or the response, if you are boating in the U.S. (or even near U.S. flagged ships) you should stay aware of the precautions being taken so that you can make sure and not be mistaken for a "bad guy".

For full disclosure, I write some paid articles for Mad Marinerâ„¢.

Epoxy order

Forgot to mention that I also ordered more epoxy and supporting supplies today… I have a fair amount of the U.S. Composites epoxy left, but have ran out of Cabosil and also wanted to get an epoxy “roller” for smoothing in some of the fiberglass tape, a couple of pumps for measuring it, etc. A friend needed some epoxy for a boat he’s repairing, so I ordered for us both and lumped it in one shipment. I ordered the larger “4 gallon” size of Cabosil… some for my friend and most for me. That may be WAY overkill, but its much cheaper in bulk. We’ll see how much I use. I bet I use it somewhere 🙂

Money = $111.45 + $20.08 (freight) = $131.53

The (not so) Great Lakes?

>>> The (not so) Great Lakes?

This is an interesting article by Jeff Alexander of The Muskegon Chronicle detailing dropping water levels in the Great Lakes… not an issue I had heard of before. I hope to cruise at least a little of the Great Lakes someday, making the Great Circle route… guess we’ll see how much they have changed by then (hopefully it won’t be so long that they are the Great Puddles).


Got home at a decent hour (twice in a week! Hope my boss doesn’t read this :-)) and got to trim hull bottom some more. And guess what… I finished! Got both sides of the bow done and all. That part went MUCH faster than the first time. I think it was a case of knowing how to do it this time (plus new, sharp blades on the planer). At least they were sharp until I hit a few screws I missed removing before I got there. Anyway, I got all the hull panels trimmed to shape. Took a few minutes and started marking the centerline to fit the external keel. I have to mark a strip 2" wide right down the centerline and plane it flat and start on the keel next.

Time = 1.5 hours

Homeland Security and Boaters

>>> Homeland Security and Boaters

Navagear has a post that might be of interest to our US based readers (and potential visitors to the US). The Department of Homeland Security has been meeting with the boating "community" and is formulating plans for more boating oversite and ways for boaters to report potential security issues, etc.

All-in-all I don’t know how I feel about it, but Navagear has some good commentary and a beginning discussion over there that you might want to follow (or jump in to).

Trim and Cramp

After a little yard work (including a flat tire on the mower) I got to spend a while trimming up the hull bottom flush with the side panels. Again, when you get stuff flushed up, it really changes the looks.

It probably doesn’t show in the picture that much, but it really looks boatlike. I think the thing would actually float for a while (just a few small holes left).

I learned a couple of critical boatbuilding facts tonight. The first involves pockets on your shirts. I always wear a shirt with pockets because I have to have my pen and pocket screwdriver handy. Well, if you are planing and cutting above your chest level, you would be amazed how much sawdust you catch in your pocket 🙂

The other big learning experience of the evening involved working more of your muscles than you anticipate. I got one side of the hull trimmed within about 8′ of the bow and the other side I got 10′ plus at the aft end finished. I was getting tired, so packed up and called it quits. On the way into the house I reached up to brush some of the dust and wood chips off.

Have you ever had a cramp in the muscle that goes above your shoulder blade? I don’t recommend it… after Melanie rubbed on it awhile it calmed down, but that didn’t feel good.

Time = 1.5 hours

Putting down sole

Doesn’t it look nice?

No, that’s not really on the boat (I wish)… part of the day was taken up putting down some of the Bruce laminate wood flooring in our hallway. Looks pretty well so far, I think. (had to buy Bruce brand, given the name :-)) Nothing appropriate for use in the boat, but I think we’ll enjoy it in the house.

After doing that for a while, I did get out and get to work on the boat for an hour or so… got the last of the second layer of the hull on! I am so relieved to have that done. Lots of patching, trimming, fairing and other work to do on it, but its all on there!

The starboard side second layer came out better than the port, just like the first layer. One would think they would match, but…

NavQuest – Marine Navigation Made Easyâ„¢

>>> NavQuest – Marine Navigation Made Easyâ„¢

Billed as the "Home of Online Marine Trip Planning" this is an interesting site with various boating, scuba and even user uploaded videos and photos. They have lots of navigation "stuff" with interactive charts and other resources that are worth a look. Its not a full navigation suite, but for some route planning and dreaming, it might be just the thing.

8 more inches to go

On one side, anyhow. Stopped by the orange box (Home Depot), grabbed some screws and stuff, and got another couple of strips of hull bottom on one side. only 8 more inches to go.

I really thought that the second layer would be easier than the first with the entire first layer to screw to, etc., but so far it has been much harder. Somehow getting the two layers to fit together tightly requires a lot more twisting and bending to get all the wood lined up. The stress on the panels has been pretty high.

Add to that one of them I "rough measured", cut and started fastening down. Did you know that if something goes around a curve it takes more length than the straight path? I did… too bad I didn’t take it into account when I measured it. I start fastening it and as it followed the curve of the bow, it was coming up short at the keel end. Had to take that off and redo it.

Made progress, but honestly it was just one of those frustrating evenings.

Money = $20.93 + $1.47 (tax) = $22.40

Time = 1.5 hours