I popped the last of the ribs in today, drank a toast to them, and stared at the beautiful lines of dancing wood for a bit. Damn!
This afternoon we laid up the outer gunwale sticks. On this boat they consist of a thin, half-inch by one-and-one-eighth-inch oak cap—not a structural member at all. But their placement defines the sheer of the boat, and looks-wise, can make or break the aesthetics of the entire boat. I measured up off the floor every foot according to the drawings and clamped on some test strips. An eighth to a quarter one way or another makes an astounding difference. I think it is just about there, but it’s damned hard to know. With all those clamps and the uneven extra protruding above my test strips, it’s hard to picture just precisely how she looks. One brainstorm I had was to photograph her and then delete the distractions to see how it looked. No luck, as to get a good side view I had to suture ten pictures together, and the ensuing distortion pretty well defeated my purpose. Fun exercise though—check it out (It is really a lot more fair than the collages suggest.)
I also took this opportunity to squeeze the hull in and out a little here and there to get a bit closer to the plans. All in all, the whole thing isn’t off by more than a quarter inch, which truly blows my mind. I got all the cross sections as close as I could, then affixed spalls (braces) where the two bulkheads go. When I removed all the clamps and spreaders, only one measurement changed, and that one I can re-compress when I put in the decking (plus, the inner gunwale, which is a true structural member, will help correct that one spot as well).
Tomorrow I cut the sheer line! I really hate to do it as she looks SOO cool with forty rib ends sticking up in the air. Send good, fair and true thoughts to Edith about midday tomorrow. Think about sexy sheer lines.