Custom Search
   boat plans
   gift certificates
Join Duckworks
Get free newsletter
on this site
by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

Part One - Part Two

We're well into our fifth winter, living on the hard here in Almost Canada. And, again this year, my boatbuilding/fixing/modifying/kinetic daydreaming was put on hold from about Thanksgiving to about the first week of January. It's a big slice of the Building Season. But, can't be helped. Domestic imperatives.

This year, I dreamed up a new set of cabinets, shelves, and whatnot for Kate's sewing room. A worthy task. Just didn't get the Roughneck project any closer to launch day.

This little diversion from the Main Event ate up a lot of particle board, pine, cedar, and shop time. I'll chalk it up to "practice."

And, then about the time I was ready to shift back to things in the boat shop, along came a sort of impulse purchase. I went out and bought a new-to-me 1947 Allis-Chalmers farm tractor with a snow blade. Waaaaaaaay cool, I'd say. Except, I'm really not allowed to indulge in yard-art-with-wheels. I'm not authorized by SWMBO to store any vehicles, boats, or un-expended building materials outside. And, while I can see her point of view. That makes for a lot of racking and stacking on my part. Anyhow.

Little Alice needed a home. This is a problem. What's to do with 3,500 pounds of steel and cast iron nearly as old as I am? Kate's "suggestion" was to "hide her in the trees." OK. So, instead of getting back to boatstuff, as scheduled. I built a bridge out of very heavy and very frozen 2x12's and 4x4's. I skidded the assembly off across the snow, across the ditch, and into place. I cut down a really big tree and cleared a space to erect Little Alice's winter shelter. And, pretty much like I build boats. I discovered that I had overlooked a significant issue. It's just not gonna' work as planned. Soooooo, another couple days got dissolved in erecting a compromise shelter (unfortunately in front of the window in her sewing room). So it goes.

So, with a bolus of completed-sort of-honeydo's; I at long last got back to the boat shop yesterday. Amazing, how "stuff' accumulates when you are dashing from one project to the next. But the partially put-together Roughneck sat patiently on her building cart. Just like I left her, back in November. Time to get back to destroying perfectly good sheets of plywood!

First up, was to do something about the windows. I've been veering dangerously between a rather complex set of sliders and simply using some sort of vinyl snap-on stuff. And, back again. Mostly, it's a matter of compromise. Well, maybe more a recognition of a basic physical law. I never quite get things exactly flat, level, straight, or true. All valid reasons why I don't get to call myself a Real Boatbuilder. Anyhow, I was pretty sure sliding windows of the magnitude required would never quite shut the elements out. Something would leak, rattle, or just not work right.

So. I came up with something I've never actually seen done in this manner. There's probably a good reason for that. But, what's logic got to do with reasserting momentum? The side window on Roughneck are going to hinge from the top and lift like gull wings. Sort of.

This particular assemblage is over two feet tall, and around six feet long. One for each side of the cabin.

The inspiration came when I decided to make the three-window units as a single piece. At this point hinges, securing dogs, and glazing methods are simply speculation. But, at least I'm back at it!

Then, there is the matter of a rather elaborate fore hatch. One that I made while I was really supposed to be doing "approved' projects around Christmas time. It's a rather attractive domed edifice that slides on rails under a yet-to-be-fashioned window panel that is supposed to tilt up, or swing out, or maybe just get stuck on with glue and screws. Anyhow, this hatch took several days away from what ever I was otherwise going to be doing a the time.

But, ya now what? It just ain't gonna' work. Too tall, and in your face from the helm station. So it goes.

And, so here I sit in the moaning chair. Something will pop up.


See the first four parts of Dan's build called Change.

To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit one of the following:

our Yahoo forum our Facebook page