Caledonia Yawl – Chapter 9: Paint and varnish, Part 1

Scott Whitlow from Shoreline Canvas was over last week and made a pattern for the canvas cover. The mast will be held in place fore and aft and will support the cover allowing water to shed off of it. You can see that the cover will come down to the bottom of the third strake. Originally we planned to have it come down one more strake, but with the flare of the hull being so great, it isn’t necessary.

Pattern for CY cover

Pattern for CY cover

We are currently varnishing the gunwale. We’re working on the top and outboard edges first; we’ll varnish the inboard edges later. I think the photo has only two coats on, so it doesn’t have the gloss it will in the end. We are also in the processing of varnishing the spars, tiller, oarlock pads and other interior bits and pieces.

Varnishing the gunwale

Varnishing the gunwale

We laid out the main on the floor of the living room and assembled the spars and confirmed that everything was a good fit before continuing with final shaping and varnishing.

Checking the fit of the spars to the mainsail

Checking the fit of the spars to the mainsail

We’ve added a strip of fiberglass tape below the mast band to give it a wide shoulder to rest upon.

Reinforcing the shoulder for the mastband

Reinforcing the shoulder for the mastband

Most of the spar will be varnished. The tip of the mast above the mastband will be painted the white of the hull color. We will coat the foot of the mast with epoxy mixed with aluminum for wear resistance.

Making the outboard bracket

Making the outboard bracket

Tom is installing a teak bracket forward of the motor well to reinforce where the motor is mounted.

Installing the forward coaming

Installing the forward coaming

We’ve fabricated and installed the coaming on both the fore and aft decks.

Installing the rudder hardware

Installing the rudder hardware

The rudder hardware is tricky to align on a curved sternpost. The hinge axis needs to be the same on both upper and lower hardware, and for maximum strength the hardware should be as far apart as possible, and for good looks it the rudder should be as close to the sternpost as possible. Wherever possible we have the lower rudder strap capture the rudder blade axle. The threaded rod holds all the parts rigidly in line, while the threads allow for exact placement on the rudder and sternpost.

The curved tiller

The curved tiller

Then once the rudder is installed the tiller can be fitted. We steam bent the ash tiller to be just above the gunwale when hard over. The sweeping curve not only looks nice, it brings the end of the tiller to a more comfortable height. A tiller extension (white oak) is being bent to fit neatly on top of the tiller, several inches aft of the end of the tiller so as not to interfere with the helmsman’s grip.

The first of undercoat goes on

The first of undercoat goes on

The first coat of primer is going on the exterior of the hull. It will take two (or three), then it will mostly get sanded off in preparation for enamel. We were hoping to get enamel on the exterior over the weekend, but it looks like we’re going to run out of primer, and we won’t have more on hand until Monday afternoon.

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