Well, tomorrow I gots to cover up that cool architecture, dad gum it. It sure has been fun to stare at. Today I finished milling out a pile of 3/8″ cedar planking for the decks and oiled it up. Seems kinda skinny, but that’s what the Kolbs had.
I also spent quite a while reconciling the deck arches to each other and the sheer, raising a few boards by an eighth or a quarter, belt-sanding a few others down in places, to where they all seem to be in the same plane. “Seem” is the key word here, as there is really no way to make them actually agree totally, since every one is a different radius. I’ll be really interested to see what the decks look like once they are on.
While the juice was soaking into the deck lumber, I cut down the cockpit gunwale and cut the curved oak gunwale cap. It will be a showy piece in the final boat and it looked so good when I oiled it and screwed it on that it gave me shivers. Whee! So I did the other one. And the seat rails. And the seat.
It is a mighty big cockpit. Seems to have been the style back then, as the Powell boats before Galloway and the Nevills boats after them all had the same huge bathtubs that had the dual disadvantage of being an awkward space to store anything, but a huge invitation to swamping and bailing. Having run both a Powell boat and a Nevills, I can vouch for this.
The Kolbs, in their journals, describe their excitement when they got to Green River, Utah, because they received some waterproof boxes. These they could secure into the cockpit, so they no longer had to bury their cameras in the hatches. I am taking this tidbit of information as a license to build a couple nice water-resistant wooden side-boxes to put in the cockpit for the very same reason—convenience—but also to fill some of that great water-hungry void. I don’t think I’ll have much trouble making them match the look of the boat. There is also about a foot of space behind the seat that I can use to store soft duffel bags. That should eat up some more of the great pit and give me a backrest as well.