Building Bolger boats
- Here is something on-topic, if mundane...
Yesterday evening, I took some white polytarp bought from...
...and white duct tape bought at Ace Hardware and built a sail for my
Tortoise. My yards are crooked, so I first layed them down with the
concave face pointing towards the center of the sail and traced their
lines with pencil.
Then I took a red sharpie pen, and eyeballing a smooth curve, placed
dots starting on the pencil line at the tack, curving outside the
line towards "fat" 2 inches maximum at about the 40% point and then
back across the pencil line towards about 1 inch "flat". Repeat for
the other yard.
The trailing edge of the sail, I reinforced with a strip of duct tape
[actually two because I messed up]. I then cast a straight line and
cut it with a razorblade curving inwards about 2 inches at the
I reinforced the edges against the yards with 5/16 nylon rope,
fastened down with white duct tape following the red dots. I then
took a razor blade and cut about 1 1/2" inch outside of the rope.
This was folded over and taped with more duct tape.
I then melted small holes at 10" spacing around two edges with my
micro-torch soldering iron. I Poked nylon cable ties through the
holes and around the yards and cinched them tight.
I haven't mounted the mast, centerboard, or rudder yet, so I can't
say how the sail performs, but holding it up to the wind it seems to
have a decent shape. Nice and flat on the trailing edge and fullness
in the center. In hindsight, curving the luff edge out and adding
duct tape "battens" might be a worthwhile experiment.
===My Bastard Kotick===
And, I took my bastard Kotick "learning experiment" for a dry run on
the lawn for the first time last night. It fits my body snuggly, and
getting in and out is a little tight on my shins, but once seated, it
feels really fine. The shear lines are crooked when you eyeball them
against the centerline, which bugs me, but I think the problem is
cosmetic only. I haven't measured the total weight, but I can lift
it with one arm.
I think I will cut off and raise the coaming about an inch tonight,
just for the heck of it... I am still "learning the hard way" with
epoxy and glass, and am getting the feel of it a little better now.
I like dealing with www.raka.com because they seem to be fair and
I should be able finish sanding my double bladed paddle [which is a
pretty thing] this weekend, and maybe start varnishing the top coat
on everything, mixed with working on my income taxes.
I have been experimenting by writing some Visual Basic code to
interpolate points from the table of offsets given at 3 foot stations
to 1 foot centers "on a fair curve", just to see what shape each rib
might be... [short of lofting the whole boat full size]. There ain't
no green oak for sale in California, but green Douglas Fir is cheap
and plentiful. I think you can steam bend Douglas Fir, and it might
be fun to try...