Now that the showy stuff is on, it’s time for a mess of details.

Justin and Janek are chiseling in the latch landings.

They are little aluminum things that I cut out of angle stock with a table saw and a circular saw. Carbide blades are amazing things.

Now that the hatches can be closed we’re going to work a bit on the bottom.

Ick. Fiberglass. A thick layer of matt/biaxial glass with a thin layer of 6oz glass over that, so Bruce won’t have to worry about bottom abrasion.

And a flow coat of graphite-infused resin to make it slip off the rocks. That is theory, of course.

A coat of primer.

And stripe taping.

While the tan stripe dries, Justin and I pull the neoprene exterior chines through the table saw to put a 34° bevel on the bottom edge. I think my table saw may hate me for this sort of abuse.

Bruce wanted to match the colors of his truck (which are metallic) for the boat (in nonmetallic), so I asked George Kirby (who makes my favorite boat paint) to see what he could do. Those guys do good work–the sides of the model are the original truck paint; the dabs on the transom are Kirby.

Whee! the top coat of paint goes on.


And pin striping.

The walnut bowpost has a strange rolling bevel, so I am using Bruce’s mother’s lovely plane to sneak up on what I need.

We interrupt this boat build for a requisite celebration of Winter Solstice.

Back to the boat build. Janek and Zasha are affixing the dhow eyes to the bow.

Thirty-some years ago Bruce and Nancy honeymooned off the coast of Kenya on the island of Lamu, where the Swahili language was born as a trade tongue between Arab traders and many different African dialects. The trading boats were wild looking things called dhows, and every dhow had a dhow eye affixed on either side of the bow so it could see the rocks. Bruce brought several home for just this sort of happenstance.

Aside: My friend Elena and I were in Lamu at the same time as Bruce and Nancy. The four of us went on a small dhow ride together, which whetted our appetites. After asking around, Elena and I got to go down the coast in one of the last of the old freighter dhows, the Tusitiri. But that’s another story. Here’s a shot of the Tusitiri today–now converted to a tourist dhow. You can see the eyes below the turquoise nameplates. The price for passage has gone up from the $10 we paid in 1986 for three days, to a bit over $700 a night.

It is painful to take a circular saw to a beautiful hull and hack it to bits, but that’s what has to happen sometimes. Here we are making the removable transom so Bruce can motor upstream on occasion.

And on goes the SeaDek–lovely nonskid foam rubber stuff made for sailboats and surfboards. 

It makes a very luxurious-feeling deck that is ever-so unslippery.

Back to spiling and battening to get the curves right.

Bob is going to have to go upstairs soon to make room for his little sister Omo—a standard-sized Briggs–coming up next.