Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Repairs: Eight Weeks In

Lots of time in the shop milling.
Some new pieces being dry fit – Happy Day.

Chris removing plank fasteners to then remove rotten transom frame

Out comes the bad frame. Rest in Peace.
Luke Illian, carpenter working with Chris, making new white oak transom frame.

Dry fitting new frame

Repairing split top ends of transom framing. 
Original builders split them with fasteners, should have predrilled.

Luke feeding the planner. Making battens which will become new deck edge.

Finishing a piece of new ceiling stock. 
Luke just breaks the sharp milled edge with a plane.

Checking that cut was “fair”

Fussy Chris…’d think he was building the Space Shuttle

Milling yields a bunch of stock ready to fit

And a pile of shavings and sawdust

Luke fitting new ceiling strakes

New ceiling dry fit at transom. 

And you thought we would never start putting things back together.
Now all we need is planking on the outside!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter Repairs: Wood & Snow

Lots of changes since we last updated you.
All six planks around sheer are off. We’ll be able to repair and salvage all planks most likely. Great because that will save money and time for the nasty surprises we have turned up.

Top two planks are off transom. The rot we found in transom framing extends down to bottom, so we’ve cut scarfs in two lower transom planks, to access transom framing for replacement, and repair plank ends that were getting a little suspect.

Remainder of cockpit “ceiling” has been removed. We’ve bought most of the lumber we’ll need. Starting to mill the lumber now.

It will be great to stop removing pieces and start making and installing new. Hopefully soon.

Last plank coming off sides. There are six planks making up sheer strake.

Starting to remove top plank on transom / stern

It snowed for forty days and forty nights.

Top plank of transom off.
Need to go deeper to get at rot in transom corner framing.

Here you can see that rot in transom frame (fashion piece) continues down below next plank.

We find that transom frames were split during original construction.
This we can fix.

Now we’ve taken off another plank. Need to keep going.
That corner frame will have to be completely replaced.

We cut scarfs in place on two bottom planks so we can remove rotten corner frame. Easier than removing the entire two bottom planks because that would mean we had to remove engine exhaust assembly. Domino effect.

New ends will be glued onto these two planks and because of tapered joint  (scarf) they will have 100% integrity.

Detail showing both scarfs.

Chris removing last of cockpit ceiling to access repairs at transom from inside.

Chris - yes, he had a beard, in this photo it’s gone, now (2/18) it’s back.
I’m losing track.

New stock in shop – ready for milling. 
Our six sheer strake planks in shop for cleanup and repair.

All around the deck edge where we cut the nails off to release the sheer strakes we’ve cut into the deck and removed the nail heads. We’ll use the existing holes for screws from deck to planking when we reinstall the sheer strakes.

My daughter Nellie sanding inside faces of hull frames clean to receive new ceiling.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Whale of a Winter

It's hard to decide what is the most magical time on the Hudson River. The summer when the water is warm and we can get in it, and on it, and feel that we are one with it? Or the winter when it transforms daily before our eyes from fluid to solid and back again?

Of course the spring and fall both offer picture-postcard-beauty, but I find my connection with the river strongest in its extreme states.

Creaking crystalline shoreline

Another treat of this season are the cold weather creatures. Harbor Seals are repeat visitors to Tappan Zee and Haverstraw Bay where they enjoy the frigid salt water and the delicious fish.

Lounging on a dock in Haverstraw last week

Sunbathing along the shore in Piermont, 1/09

More surprising, but increasingly common, are the whales south of New York Harbor (and sometimes in the harbor).

Humpback Whale that swam under the Verrazano Bridge in 2009

Scientists are reporting that the number of seals, dolphins and whales in New York waters is increasing dramatically. In the past they have migrated through our waters, now there are pods of whales living just off the coast of Staten Island.

One enterprising skipper is even offering Whale Watching Tours.

Six types of whales have been spotted to date including Humpback, Blue, Fin and Atlantic Right Whales. South of the Verrazano Bridge an estimated 30-50 Fin Whales are living full-time.

Learn more about the whales and the people studying them.