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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

This was that unbudgeted, unplanned, but certainly not unloved boat project that was "allowed" a six week nitch on the building schedule. That was back in November. Somehow, six weeks turned into four months. But, after a great deal of fretting, and even more grunting and groaning, Roughneck emerged from the shop today and reluctantly clambered on to her trailer.

She's too tall to lift inside the barn. So, this all had to be done outside.

Somehow, I managed to break at least one of the casters under the building cradle. A set of heavy duty vehicle movers got plugged in, and she more or less was willing to roll from the nice warm shop out into a world still piled with snow. Some three-quarter inch anchor warps, two 4,000 pound mobile cranes, two floor jacks, and Little Alice, with her own trailer ball and hydraulic lift up forward persuaded the (much heavier than I have been assuming) boat to take this rather large leap of faith. And as a bit of reminder that we do in fact inhabit that frozen north netherworld here of Almostcanada. Float testing and engine mounting will have to wait for less-solid water at the launch ramp.

Time to get Roughneck off to storage and get the "first up" boat into the shop. That would be Lady Bug. She's been scheduled for a bit of a facelift for the past two years. Time to get to gettin'.

This is part of my winter-build rogues gallery. The past three Building Seasons are represented here. All, once-derelict hulls, given a new lease on life.

OK. Miss Lady Bug, The doctor will see you now...


Lady Bug in Front


Been quite a week. This boating business is so darn relaxing-or so I have read. Basically, a whole winter's worth of overhaul, maintenance, and cosmetics were slapped into about 7 or 8 days. But, just in time to wave goodbye to the last of the lake ice.

The night crew knocked off early at 2400, tonight, Friday. And, this is the punch list they left for the day crew.

And this is the shambles they left the benches in.

But, they also turned out one more semi-derelict-to-silk-purse. This one started out a couple days ago, like this.

And that was after scraping off about an inch of chicken poop from every possible surface on both boat and trailer. I epoxy'd the entire bilge just to overcome the stench and mold. But, this little girl is surprisingly sound. And, pretty interesting from a sailboat point of view. The centerboard is made out of ¾" aluminum plate, and has even been machined to a reasonable facsimile of a proper foil.

Tomorrow, we'll go down to the pond and see if the water stays out. Then, another day or so to get a rig on her, and off we go...

Just before this "I can't believe I'm doin' this!?!" marathon; Shenanigan came home in a snow-burst, and was in the shop for a new steering setup, motor controls, helm seat, paint touch up, and whatnot. And, then right back into storage.

And, just before that, Lady Bug came home for some trailer mods, a rudder overhaul (Again!), motor mounting, a new mast crutch, and a completely different tabernacle.

And that was how I spent the week. Time for somethin' different.

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