After gracing my back deck for what seemed like months waiting for decent weather, and then trying to find a kind soul with a pick-up truck that I wouldn’t mind being beholding to I finally have gotten the boat into the water and I must say I am well and truly pleased with my efforts. The little greenshank rows well, is relatively stable and tows easily under both power and sail. This afternoon I had a trial excursion sailing out to Cumberland, anchoring , and then rowing in to shore. A very satisfying experience. Initially I had made the oars just a little too long and barked my knuckles as I haven’t mastered to overlapping rowing technique (which seems a recipe for disaster in a pram where there are all sorts of back and forth strokes). However, quick work with the saw, rasp and sandpaper and new slightly shorter oars emerged. A bonus is that they now fit more easily into the boat. [Click on any of the images for a larger view]
At last. Ivory is ready for the water. It sits in the basement in its Flag Blue and Cream set off by the varnished gunwales and seats. I spliced up a painter from a left-over length of rope and screwed in the oarlock holders. This week I will attempt a pair or oars. The ones that I had been using were made for Swallow 10 years ago or more and are just too short for the 50″ beam of the pram.
Now if the weather would only cooperate a little. Last night we had a dump of snow the world is white again so it has taken the edge off getting the boat into the water. even if I did there is nothing for it to be tied up to as the work of getting the docks and floats into the water will not begin until this week.
Now that I have finished this boat I have been speculating on what I might build next winter. I am leaning towards a rowing boat about 10 – 14 feet in length (longer would be difficult to manoeuver up the stairs ) that I could use for sculling. The Selway-Fisher catalogue has a couple of nice designs and I have put a message up on the S-F discussion group asking for suggestions.
I have put the lid on the interior paint and the varnish. While there may be a need to do another coat of the varnish for the time being three coats is enough. I have peeled off the masking tape on the seat, hull joints and although not ecstatic with the results I have decided to let it go for now (and probably forever). One pesky little task was inserting a stainless “U” bolt for the painter. I used a scrap of oak to make a knee for the bow transom and rasped and sanded it into a semblance of nautical design. The bolt seems a little low on the transom but for towing it will be ideal (hopefully). Off to the shop for proper sized screws for the oarlocks and then once the paint has completely dried it will be turn-over time and the work begins on sanding and painting the exterior. At least the priming is complete. Perhaps by next weekend I will be done.