We have a boat!

Well, it looks like one now!

The sheerstrake was glued this afternoon, and duly celebrated among the building team with a nip of Glenlivet (The liquor Store did not have Highland Park which is my favour tipple for boat related celebrations.).

Builders present at the finish. L to R in front of Hull: Leo, David Wentworth, Dave Gilles, Mike Smith, John. Alec Jordan behind the hull.

To have consistently hung two pairs of planks a day with a team who mostly had not been involved in building boats is a fantastic achievement.  Well done to the men of Tawas for putting up with my hectoring over the past ten days.

Alec Jordan

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Penultimate Planking

More planking – we got 9 and 10 glued today.

Tomorrow is the day for the Whisky Plank.  We’ll have a tot when the last plank goes on tomorrow afternoon, then we’re going to have lie-in on Wednesday morning before the boat is turned at 1pm.

If you would like to to come along to the turning, our workshop is at 811 Westover, East Tawas.

Alec Jordan

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Eight down, four to go.

It’s been another good day in the workshop, with another two pairs of planks on the boat. Two more days will see us get to the whisky plank, and then turn the boat on Wednesday.

We are working at a high rate to get the planking done so that the details of the internal fittings can be worked out before I return to Scotland next Saturday. If anyone out there is intending trying to build any boat at the speed that we are doing this one – don’t bother – there is only so long that you can maintain this effort, and rushing things leads to mistakes. That was where we ended today, so that we weren’t able to hang three pairs.

Here is the secret of being able to build fast…

All wrapped up in a heavy tarpaulin, with electric heaters underneath to speed up the epoxy curing time.

And some more pictures from today…


Alec Jordan

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Scottish Coastal Rowing Talk

The success of Scottish Coastal Rowing has been one of the inspirations for the Heritage 23. The project was launched on October 2009, and since then an incredible 54 St Ayles Skiffs have been ordered, with 26 now launched, and another 28 under construction – another 5 launches expected in the next month or so.

St Ayles Skiffs

Alec Jordan, one of the founders of the Scottish project is in Tawas helping build the first Heritage 23. He will be giving talks about how the scottish project has been so successful in such a short space of time.

Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

A Different Blend
513 West Bay
East Tawas

Thursday April 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Great Lakes Maritime Center
500 West Fletcher
Alpena, Michigan

We will look forward to seeing a good turnout.

Dave Wentworth

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Planking Halfway

Halfway through the planking now.  Six on, Six to go.  We realized early on today that we weren’t going to make three today, so we concentrated on prepping the rest of the frames for an attempt at three pairs on Sunday, and to glue two pairs today – an objective that was achieved.

If you are in the Tawas Area, the boat is being built at 811 Westover St, East Tawas.  You are welcome to call by – there will be someone around most of the time during the day until Wednesday.  If there isn’t we’ll be taking a break, and will leave a message to say when we will be back.  Please email dwent00(at)aol.com if you can to let us know that you are coming, including a phone number.

Look forward to seeing you.

Alec Jordan

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Friday April 20, 4 planks on.

I don’t think that I have ever managed to see such fast progress on a boat build, but then previously, I haven’t had the benefit of working with such a committed group of volunteers.

This evening, our team of six regulars had finished gluing up plank 4 on the Heritage 23.  She is beginning to look like a boat, and as the planks start the turn of the bilge, we will see a big change in the look of her.

I have built quite a few clinker ply boats from my kits.  This one is definitely going together more easily than any of the previous designs.  It is probably largely to do with the the planking being finer, and hence easier to twist into the right position.  It’s possibly also to do with the straighter run of the planks compared to many of Iain Oughtred’s designs.  Whatever the reason is, this boat is a good one for amateurs to build – there are other features that are simpler and these I will cover in a retrospective post after the weekend.

Anyway, below are the pictures of today’s progress, with planks 3 & 4 going on.  With a demanding schedule to get the hull turned well before I head home to Fife next Saturday, our aim for tomorrow is to glue 3 sets of planks, before we head off to a Blugrass Concert in the evening – if we have any energy left!

Alec Jordan

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