Day eight of the build. Today is bottom day. Janek is using a real hand tool today, planing down the inner chines to accept the bottom.

Trying the bottom on for size. Last night’s bizarre measuring and scarfing worked.

Quiz: if fourteen inches of railroad rail weighs fifty-seven pounds, what do the combined railroad rails of America weigh? And why haven’t we wobbled off our axis yet? Well, maybe some of us have…

Holding down the bow.

We marked all the contacts and computed all the screw placements, so it’s time to drill a few hundred holes in the floor and saw up a few hundred dollars’ worth of Meranti marine plywood. Fingers crossed we got it right.

Miracles never cease. It came out right. We have screwed the back on exactly in place and are now putting the pookey (caulk) on the seams of the forward end of the bottom.

That worked. Next, unscrew the stern and pookey the rear seams.

Several years ago when I was planning to replicate Buzz Holmstrom’s 1937 Julius F, I was talking to Buzz’s younger brother Rolf, who had helped build the original boat. Rolf was able to provide a tremendous amount of insight into how Buzz built the boat and what sort of work and materials went into the process. As I was leaving he said, “Wait a minute.” He walked into the back of the house, came back and handed me an old Yankee screwdriver. “You’ll need this,” he said. “This was Buzz’s. He screwed the boat together with this.” I’ve used Buzz’s screwdriver to put in at least some of the screws in every boat I’ve built. since. Janek has taken every opportunity to use the magic.

And it’s a wrap. Time for the perfunctory boat bottom dance.

Cricket is going on holiday starting tomorrow and  will miss a lot of the  remaining boat-build. I promised we’d roll the boat up before she left. We put the gunwales in the steam bender this evening,  cooked them for an hour, then clamped them on. Up she goes. Sweep out a landing.

And up on her side. Holy mackerel, she’d a big one. The boat, not Cricket.

And tall.

And wide.

And beautimous.

Kinda like the model.