Of all the tools I have used in the construction of Ivory the most satisfying to use is a little block plane that I have had for thirty years. I have finally finished the taping of the inside seams of Ivory and am relatively certain that the bits and pieces of the boat won’t fly apart (even if dropped off the saw horses again). Flipping the hull I use the plane to trim the edges of the planks and shape the hull where poor plank cutting has resulted in gaps and spaces. The various protruding fillets and popsicle sticks are brought into line and rather than the floor being littered with globs of epoxy, glass tape cut-offs and discarded and hardened mixing cups there are wonderful curls of plane-cut wood releasing the faint smell of fir and pine. It is just a hint of the way things used to be in a dory shop before epoxy and fibreglass and gelcoat.
Of course I am far from finished. Only one of the three seats has been mounted, the skeg and bottom runners must be added and the several voids and holes filled from the bottom. To add to the strength and durability of the bottom I propose taping the outer seams of the lowest three panels as well. A bit more sanding, a little painting and then its done! Easy to say – harder to do. Luckily I have enough of a practical side of me to realize that those steps (at my rate of progress) could take a couple of months. Besides there is no need to rush – The ice still covers the harbour and launch day is still at least 2 months away.