Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Varnished Truth Christmas 2010

Last week the major event was the venture to Dempster Boats where Ron Frenette lead our volunteer team through the planning, planing, jointing, biscuiting, epoxying and clamping up of 4 skiff transoms! Thank you Ron for your coaching and ascerbic encouragement....
This week the angle cuts and scrollsawing.

Meanwhile back at the shop - nothing happened - everyone went away and had a good time.
Rumour has it that many of our team showed up at a certain party last Saturday which went to 2 AM...
This week however, Lightning beckons and scarphing as well.

Who's on for Tuesday??

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Dec 18 10

The core volunteers have been "at it" as usual and visible progress has been made on our key projects.

The Lightning seat structure is complete and bolted in place, George will be figuring out the seats themselves next. Chris meanwhile has completed and fitted the side deck braces and will have them permanently installed this week. Almost time for final priming and painting the inside of the hull! A milestone approaches.

Skiff kit production has received a boost from Ron Frenette and K&C Volunteer Alastair Dempster who is going to coach us on the production of fine transoms and knees next week in their new Georgetown Canoe shop (416 543-2760). They have the equipment we don't have! (well maybe a bit of skill we don't yet have either).

Jim has been sanding away at skiffs and will be into some staining and varnishing this week, lot's of room for assistence here!

The bottom of the big Shepherd has been scraped back to the dolley (ie most of it) and the next step is to draw and plug  some bottom screw holes so they sit flush when re-installed. Voluteers welcome on this one as well.

We'll have a vist from a few members of the local North Halton CPS Bridge this Saturday as well - they are curious and would like to see what joint efforts might be appropriate.

For those who would like to go antique boating in Florida in March next year, there are several ways you can join the team of volunteers planning to go down for the ACBS St. John's River Cruise and the big boat show at Mt. Dora, Fla. Contact Malcolm or Grant if you are curious.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Dec 11 10

This was a week of steady progress in the boatshop.

Lightning restoration, Chris has two more deck braces to go and George has all the seat support brackets ready for brass bolts and is starting on the repair of the cedar seat for the port side.

Shepherd detailing, the port bottom is scraped back to the dolley , now on the the stbd side...

Skiff projects, the blue skiff in the "store" has sold and will be headed off to be under a tree for christmas! Jim has finished the varnishing on the next skiff so it needs to sit for a week or so before the painting begins. So this week it will be on to the last skiff for varnishing it's bright bits.

Skiff Kits, we have the material for 3 more sets of transoms etc and The Canoe Shop in town under Ron Frenettes' guidance will help us plane and joint the parts - thanks Ron!

St. John River Cruise 2011, if we are to participate in this event this year the 27' Shepherd has to be in the water in Jacksonville Fla by March 19. It really needs to be in the water in Fla at least a week earlier than that. If you wish to be on this team let us know soon as the booking date is early in the new year. Grant, John and I took the Hunter down to this event 2 years ago and it was a total blast (see pics from that trip)

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Dec 04 10

Action on every front again this past week…

Lightning team:
George has completed the new seat support system and Chris has been creating and installing side deck gussets with loads resolved in-line this time. Scott has just about finished scraping and sanding the varnish dribbles from the inside bottom.

     Skiff Front:
Jim has refreshed the stain and begun the varnishing inside one of the skiffs and it is really looking amazing now. Scuff it up before the next few coats and it should be done next week.

The second skiff should be right behind it.

Oars have been ordered and will be here in 4 to 6 weeks.

Shepherd team:
the scraping of the bottom prior to repainting is about 30% complete.

Other tasks for this week:

Scrapper II and Wings need a winter covers and we have the covers. Scrounge up some ridge poles, sawhorse brackets and some 2x4's and we can get this done.

See you in the Boatshop!

Friday, 26 November 2010

More Despina!

There is a new page added to the blog!
Click on the heading over on the right called Despina in the Water and see a ton of photos and some video of the grand day out!
This clip is actually of our chase boat, the Hunter.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Nov 27 10

Ooops, I think I missed last week...
Let's see where we are now...
Lightning has been the focus of lots of attention:
  • seat frames are pretty much fitted and levelled, very nice too
  • the inside of the bottom has had some scraping and sanding to get rid of the varnish runs   from doing the outside of the bottom.
  • finishing up these two areas should get done this week. We'll need some brass bolts and white cedar to complete the seat restoration.
  • the mast step needs to be stripped and refinished soon as do the seat bottoms which will be retained.
Shepherd Despina:
  • scraping of the bottom has begun, lots to do there before new paint.
  • the cuddy cabin needs to come apart for cleaning and refinishing next.
  • one has had some attention from Jim and is almost ready for varnishing of the stained areas.
  • materials for the next skiff kits is coming together thanks to two new sponsorships - please welcome Carbon Steel Profiles and Poczo Manufacturing to our team!
Harry Hodson Yawl:
  • the ceiling boards are out of the hull now revealing a couple of more cracked planks. Our Boatbuilder friend Dwight Boyd of Clarion Boats dropped in this week and suggested that we just "spline" the cracks and make minimal rib repairs as required, all following stripping and cleaning the hull.
  • this 17' Canoe Yawl (as they are called) is a very pretty boat and promises to be an interesting sailer.
  • long term we would like to take the lines off and make a few new ones that can be vigorously sailed!

Roni is refinishing some small furniture items for sale in the booth.
There are a few longer term plans in the works of which more anon...

 See you in the shop!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Nov 13 2010

Do you believe this weather?? Shop door open all day today - wonderful!
Several of our volunteers attended the Power Squadron Rib Fest just up the road at St. Alban's church on Sat night. It was really terrific - good food, lots of it and a very entertaining and informative speaker. The Weather Guy. He taught us through humour how to read what's coming by looking at clouds. You gotta catch this guy - Ron Bianchi!
If you envision operating any of our growing restored powerboat fleet next summer, you might consider doing the Boating Course through the North Halton Power & Sail Squadron, or call Dave Aitken at 905 878-2035 
Can we put together a fundraiser dinner like this?
Today John came over with his portable lift truck and we took the Shepherd back off the trailer so we can scrape, sand and refinish the bottom. There are few other little things to do as well.
Chris and the Lightning crew are into making up new seating for her. The idea is to create an arrangement that works, is removable, is structurally sound yet still adheres to the 60's look.
Seats for one of the skiffs have their finish coat of varnish and are off to one side to harden. One boat has a couple of coats of primer and now needs some filling before another coat.
Tuesday evening it would be nice to see some new faces. Roni picked up a few pieces of antique furniture for selling in the booth - but they need some attention first. If you have any experience with old furniture - give us a hand!
your board is digging into the creation of an "alternative education" programme that would operate in partnership with the schools. This has always been part of our long term vision but the recent article about the programme on Lake Champlain has inspired us to get to work on it.
Stay tuned..

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Oct 31 10

A great day today! John came over and after some fooling around we have both engines in The Despina running! What sweet music - too bad we couldn't run them at the same time...Next step - the Grand Launching.
The shop has completely changed this week, a much better layout, more benches (if only we had more light)
If you have a few odd electrical boxes, switches, receptacles - any of that wiring stuff lying around or if you know someone in the business who can have this sort of stuff donated, bring it in. We need a few hundred feet of Romex in 3 and 4 conductor variations I suspect.
OK, back to this week's programme.
Lightning is right side up again and looking shipshape. Next a clean-up of the interior where varnish and Sikaflex dripped through when we did the bottom. The team is already figuring out the seat supports etc. Lots of stripping, sanding and varnishing coming up before the new deck.
Skiffs have room to get finished now, a bit more sanding then coatings go on.
A new addition to the shop is Amie Lou, our 1906 Harry Hodson 17' Yawl. The Despina team wants to restore her this winter and find out how she sails next summer. Work will include a partial plank replacement, deck restoration, new gunnels and lots of stripping, sanding and varnishing! (who'd have guessed).

Stay tuned for the launching of Despina!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Varnished Truth w/e Oct 23 10

Another great weekend! Gretchen and yours truly drove off to look at leaves this afternoon - very pleasant meander.
Meanwhile back at the boatshop - things are moving along nicely.
Welcome new volunteer Jim Steeves from Milton, dropped by the shop by accident last week and jumped in this past Saturday.
Jim joined Alan and George in wet sanding and applying coat #3 of primer to the Lightning - looking really good now. This week either: a) one more wet sanding and another coat of primer - should be perfect for colour or.. b) turn over and leave final finishing until interior is done. Chris! what do you think?
Shepherd 27':
bottom is tightened, tank straps redone and horns both repaired. New carpet on hand and needs to be cut and fitted, few more increasingly minor things BUT! Thursday is scheduled for the great trailer loading adventure! grant is bringing the truck, John is bringing a lift truck (that works) and we'll get at it about 4 PM this Thursday.
minor finishing touches before paint or varnish but once the 27 is of of the shop, let's get these little girls done up.
Potential skiff sponsor visiting the shop on Thursday evening, come out if you can and bring kids if you have 'em.

Ignore that 22' Shepherd beside the boatshop - it isn't ours yet....


Thursday, 30 September 2010

Sad Skiff in the rain

The skiff i took home and painted and finishes this summer, there was no room inthe garage, so it got parked on my front lawn! And then got caught in the rain!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Pilot Gigs programme

The Sept/Oct issue of WoodenBoat Magasine has a great article on the Champlain Longboats program hosted and partnered by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. This is one hell of a success story! It has lessons for us and can call us into a new level of action here at Kids & Classics Boatshops. You can also visit the website and see video about the Pilot Gig program there as well.

The gigs they are building in their program are the same ones I had selected back in 1997 when creating my vision for Mahogany Harbour. It was my sense at the time that these gigs are far easier to build than the Atlantic Challenge Captain's Gigs and much more versatile - as these guys have shown to be true.

Who's up for making our own version of this happen here? Clearly the secret is the school system tie-in and partial funding from that source, this gets the kids in the boatshop every day.

I would suggest that step one is to take a copy of this article and our brochure to all the local schools and drum up some interest there. Your thoughts?

Monday, 6 September 2010

Boatshop Newsletter Sept 5 - 11 2010

Hello crew!
Hope everyone had a great Labour Day Weekend (because you weren't at the boatshop....well except for Allan, Roni & George of course).
The boating plan got washed or frozen out but stuff got done in the shop:

A few little spots to fill and fair on the Lightning but George got the filler blocks installed where the self bailers used to be. Tuesday evening they can be smoothed and faired if all still looks OK under the clamps. We need a 1/2" plug cutter to make plugs for where the frame ends are bolted through the keelson.

Can we prime by the end of the week???

seat frames are in, except the captains station, hatches to the cuddy and front deck are installed, wiper bezels are installed, boarding ladders are done, not much left to do now (except wiring).

We need some hardware this week to finish a few things.

Next weekend John and I and whoever else can help will move things around in the Quonset hut at the quarry so we can put the other 27' Shepherd inside and get the trailer extracted from under it. Lots of hands will help!! Probably Sunday - stay tuned.

Both skiffs are nearly ready for varnish. The seats etc out of the last one need to be bleached then stained blonde before we can begin varnishing and before bleaching - SANDING FUN!!!

Several of you have expressed an interest in buying one of the skiffs in the past. The blue one is ready to go and it needs to be sold so we can replace our stock of oars and wood for the next build. Step right up and row, row, row your new boat!


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Boatshop This Week

what a great week at the shop.
A good turnout of volunteers including James twice!
Many enquiries about buying skiffs or Pond Boats as seems to be the hot button around here.

The last skiff is S1'ed three coats on the inside, the outside needs filling and fairing before S1ing.
The Jan skiff is faired and ready for stain touch-up and S1 touch up as well before varnish and paint.
To those of you who have expressed and interest in purchasing one of our skiffs, now would be a perfect time. We need a batch of oars and parts for the next few builds. There is a waiting list of kids for our Boats 4 Folks event!
The Lightning needs a final sand-out then S1, primer and paint.
The windshield is in the big Shepherd which is the last dirty job, just leaves wipers, spots, hatch, ladders and seats. Oh yes, after the wiring is complete...poke poke...
Got sailing with Chris in the Sonatina last week in lots of breeze, great fun and we learned the trick of righting it too - very educational outing on Bellwood. Wouldn't believe what happened to the water level in two weeks though!
Who wants to go boating this week??