Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I wanted to congratulate John Stone who launched his Cape Dory 36 this spring and is out sailing now. His website is a wealth of information and details the excellent work he has done completely rebuilding  his boat "Far Reach". A project this big takes a great effort and a lot of discipline. Check out his boat  here:


Been working on the galley lately. First job was to finished the ash hull ceiling. The top layers are fastened with bronze oval head screws to be able to access the bolts for the rub rail and bulwark etc. Once the hull ceiling was varnished I could put in the mahogany slat gable end for the cabinet. I used slats to promote air circulation.

Here is the yellow cedar sub counter before the stainless steel counter was glued down. I have used solid red or yellow cedar for most places one usually finds plywood.

Here the stainless steel counter is being glued down. The counter was perfectly made by Straight Metal in Sidney (here in BC a short drive away). It fit perfectly and the finish was second to none. I roughed the back side with a 40x ginder and wiped down with paint thinner in case of any oil residue. 3M5200 was troweled on and the whole counter was weighed down with 25lbs sacks of lead shot and clamps. The shelves behind the stove can be seen installed.

Next came the stove liner also made by Straight Metal. The piece the the photo below is a complete piece so no chance of leaks. It folds up about 3/4" underneath the piece that will go on the aft bulkhead. The same process was done to glue the liner in as with the counter.

 Making the galley counter trim in ash. Decided on ash as it is consistent with the rest of the boat but also a lot harder than mahogany in a place that will be a lot of wear. Here are the corner pieces. While I do a butt joint with the bulkhead trim with the counter fiddles I use a 45 degree angle at the joint to give a better glue joint. I prefer to do the straight butt joint on the bulkheads however due to appearance but when gluing them I make a series of very small holes in each piece and then glue with thickened epoxy. The theory being that the epoxy will key into the holes in the joint and make for a stronger joint.

Here is all the trim dry fitted. The bulkhead trims still need shaping. You can see the yellow cedar slat shelving in the lower cabinet. Behind the stove there will be a flip up ash lid that gives access to a generous bin for cooking pots.

Shaping the bulkhead trim.

Here I have made the flip up counter extension that will bridge between the Galley and the icebox. There is a simple bronze pin retainer that will keep it in place when down. The fiddles are tapered as can be seen in the photo. Waiting for the brass barrel bolts to arrive before I install it. Working on the varnish now and starting the salon hull ceiling. Will keep updating this post as the galley gets finished off....

Boot Stripe

This was a bit tricky as I had not done it before. I had the stripe taped on the boat for some weeks looking at it now and again to see if I was happy with it. I wanted the stripe to follow the sheer at the bow to reduce the visual free-board. My friend Rick who helped me with the spray-painting also spent a few hours with me looking at it and helping fairing the lines. He showed me a trick where you use the tape to lay down a strip above your line and then take away the one below and then relay a new strip and so on. Each strip of tape you can fair out the minor imperfections. I really like the 3M233+ tape as you can stretch it pretty tight when laying it down. Once I was satisfied with the strip on the port side I had to transfer it to the starboard side. To do that  measurements were taken every two feet and then transferred and marked and faired with the tape the same way. Anyways, finally posting photos of  the finished boot stripe and the real test of it's success will be when you can stand back 50ft and see the whole boat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


The hull finally got painted last week. Took a lot of time to prep the boat and the spraying equipment and shop. Thursday Rick sprayed on the topcoat of Awlgrip Off -White. I was his hose slave and guided the two air hoses and gun hose over and around the staging and obstacles while he concentrated on spraying. We did four coats and by the last coat the lighting was getting to be a challenge being an overcast day and it was hard to see how we were doing. The result was great though and am very pleased with the results. The photos with my point and shoot camera are not very good and everything is so shiny the photos are full of reflections. But here it is anyways to get the idea.

Rick Spraying the 545 epoxy primer

The topcoat the next morning. Time to unwrap the boat.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Door Work

Some pictures of the cabinet door work since it is not that interesting to take photos of paint and varnish coat number this or that. Coat 6 looks pretty much like coat 8. Finished spraying the hull this week so will post photos of that as well.

For cabinet doors I really like using loose tenons for construction. It has a lot of advantages such as simple and quick to make, very strong, and measuring out the rails and stiles is simpler. Plus it still feels like honest woodworking and not cheating. I make up lengths of lose tenon stock out of what ever hardwood I have in the shorts bin.

Fitting hinges. Not my favorite job. The hinges are set into the frame bead. Normally I would let in the hinges 50/50 but here I want the hing pin to line up in the bead to I set them in enough to give me a nice door gap and surface mount them on the door frame.

A pile of doors. There is a total of 20 doors and 4 drawers on the boat. You would not think there would be so many but they add up. The regular cabinetry are solid frame and panel with a bead around the frame. When deciding on the aesthetics for the boat I got a lot of inspiration from an old Wooden Boat article on the re-building of a Sardine Carrier "GRAYLING" by Doug Hylan. The cabinet doors and hardware (catches by Phoenix Lock) and settee backs are mainly inspired by studying those photos ( Wooden Boat Issues; 141 & 142 Mar/April 98 & May/June 98 ). I like a quote written in the article that said something to the extent that the router should not be an arbiter of taste. Hand shaping bulwarkcaps, bulkhead caps, counter edges and fiddles to a more pleasing oval shape is much nicer than a simple machined round over. 

Details of  "GRAYLING" can be seen here:

 The sail locker doors I decided to build with slats to promote air circulation. 

Some bead details around the starboard settee book shelf locker.

Construction detail of the galley sliding door frame. The top bead is set into a rabbet in the frame. The frame is joined with a bridle joint. I used raised finger holes for the sliding doors.