Monday, 24 January 2011

The Varnished Truth w/e Jan 11

Bloody cold outside - warm in the boatshop!

Jim Steeves has been leading the charge getting the transoms and knees ready for the skiff kits. With expert help from Ron Frenette, jigs have been made to run these parts easily and accurately - this will really pay off in the future.

Meanwhile everybody has been involved in scarphing up the panels for the skiff bottoms and sides - just one more bottom to cut out now. Anton has worked his magic on the panels and they are smooth as glass! Here you can see Tamara jigsawing out the next batch of skiff sides!

The built skiff in the shop has now had 4 coats of varnish on it's stained areas - looking very nice!

Chris and George have been pressing on with the Lightning and all the deck beam work is done and the new seat structures are ready for stain and varnish. A few original parts still need to be stripped, stained and varnished. All the old screw holes that were holding the deck on were quite bad as they used steel screws so we have drilled them out to good wood and fashioned plugs for all holes - ready for epoxy and setting.

John has been at the bottom or the big Shepherd and all fasteners that were in too deep have been pulled, plugged and reset flush with the bottom. He has squeezed Slick Seam (reccommended by Dwight Boyd of Clarion Boats) into all remaining spots and sanded the whole thing. The paint will be on hand tomorrow and the bottom should have two coats this week - next the cuddy.

Roni is re-inventing the booth to be more "boaty" with the goal of having a sharp focus on why we are doing what we are doing and selling skiffs more often that we have been. Watch for more from Roni!

Come join the crew in Florida the week of March 19-27 on our 27' Shepherd! limit of 6 spots! Accomodation reservations need to be made soon!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Varnished Truth w/e Jan 15 11

Lots got done this past week - thank you!

Skiff Kits are coming along nicely, planing the panels is mostly done and the first pair are ready for epoxy. Chris says the solid parts are coming this week courtesy of Ron Frenette.  Anybody with extra time let us know if you wish to come in, above and beyond Tues and Thurs evening.

We are trying to get a kit ready for the new group starting in Burlinton! Cheers!

Bottom of the Shepherd is all refastened and half of it sanded and filled - until the sander died.

Roni would like to shift the emphasis in the booth to boats and boaty stuff. From a fundrasing perspective, selling skiffs puts everything else in the shade. George will have his next 12' canoe finished in the next couple of weeks and he would like to sell it in our booth with a portion going to the program. Watch for this if you need a small canoe!

Speak up if you would like to go antique boating in march in Florida! We have concluded that the crew limit on the 27' Shepherd is 6 (3 are spoken for).


Operators of our powerboats this summer will have to have the CPS Boating Course under their belts. Let us know if you are interested!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

2010 In Review

A few pictures from around here over the past year!
(If anyone else has pictures they would like to see on the blog, let us know!)

Some kids in a kid-built skiff.

An uncle with same.

Kids in sailing skiffs: during the BOOM school at Mississauga Sailing Club, Port Credit, in August.

A raft up: Grant's tugboat and the newly donated Sonatina, Chris and Malcolm aboard, about to take off for a scream up Humber Bay. Photo by Scott from shore, trying to figure out how to get out there. Doesn't look windy, but it was.


A grand day out on Belwoods Lake: Malcolm, Roni and son, John.

Shots form Tall Ships sailpast in Toronto in June.

Pride of Baltimore

HMS Bounty, looking forward on deck.

Does anyone know who this is! The cutest little Tancook Schooner went by, trim as bedamned, but I didn't find out the name of the vessel!

Pride of B., again.

Bounty, again.

Brig Niagara.

Scott's Grew at the shop, in July, STILL not in the water.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Varnished Truth Happy New Year Edition

Great news from Chris, he is the proud new owner of a beautiful Folkboat called Puffin (well it will be beautiful soon). He says it will be based at Mimico and will be availble to our kids program for budding sailors.

Skiffs! another session coming up to finish the transoms and other 2" bits and let's get set up to scarph panels this week as well. Who's availble Tuesday evening??

Shepherd bottom is coming along with at least half of the re-fastening done. We need to get it on the trailer in a few weeks at least to keep the Florida trip on track.

The Lightning team has all the new seat frames constructed and epoxied ready for final fitting in the boat and Chris has a new deck collar built in way of the mast.

Let us know if you are interested in being part of the Florida "Boating in March" team!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Kayaking in the High Arctic

Attended a VERY interesting talk and slide show over at Ron Frenette/Alistair Dempster's Canoe Shop in Georgetown on wednesday evening. The guest was Xander Oldaker, a native of georgetown, who is a professional kayaking guide, licensed ship's captain and veteran trip leader in Canada’s High Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Bahamas and South America. He does this for Explorers' Corner.

We met in the upper loft area of the shop, dubbed the Explorer's Refuge. There was a small audience, but  attentive, as Xander described the logistics of guiding groups on the shore of Ellesmere Island: just getting there is arduous, as the closest canadian settlement that can be reached by commercial flights is Resolute on Cornwallis Island. After that they fly in Twin otter aircraft, loaded to the maximum, landing at a strip that is part of a RCMP camp in the Kane Basin, Buchanan Bay, latitude 80 degrees North. There establishing base camp in a pair of wooden shacks (that they use to store the kayaks as it isn't feasible to take the boats back and forth); then paddling a area of roughly 100 km over 13 days.

Interesting facts:
Ellesmere island has the most northerly canadian settlement, Grise Fjord, which must be populated so that Canada can lay claim to the land.

The climate is so arid, that remains, both animal and human, (there were photos of whalebones, musk ox skulls, human skulls) stay in perfect condition for hundreds of years

The boats are plastic.

Has only had two capsizes. They don't wear drysuits ( there were shots of kayaks being pushed/pulled over ice floes...)

They manage 2 trips per season, July to August, which is as long as the arctic summer lasts

Lots of wildlife..

Flying in can be dicey: they are sometimes rerouted because of weather to Eureka or Alert AFBs....

All in all, a worthwhile evening.

Looking forward to the next one.