Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Progress on Long Steps and some other things.

Life has ambushed me a bit, so my work on things boating have had to fit in between other things of late.  But progress is happening,  I’ve another frame for Long Steps about done, that’s four.  That last one is the one at the after edge of the cuddly, it has a laminated beam over the top and being a bit short on  “treewood” ( as opposed to “plywood” ) I sliced up some scrap 6mm plywood to make four lamells, ( what you make laminated items out of) and laid out the curve, applied the glue and clamped it all up.

A day and a half later, and this at midwinter with no heating, the epoxy was all hard, and it was time to take the curved beam off the floor jig.
Springback!  Generally four lamells is enough to stop a laminated curve from springing back more than a mm or two, but this one straightened by about 20mm each end.  Plywood seems to behave a little differently from solid wood.
That springback was much too much, so that one will be used for the forward end of the after deck, it will be a little different to the plan but that’s ok, if you’re going to build Long Steps yourself, read the instructions where it tells you how much to increase the bend in the jig before you glue the beam up.

Another little difference,  I’ve used 6mm plywood for two of the frames where I’ve specified 9mm, this is to save a little weight, I’m being particularly careful in this respect so am looking to shave a few grams wherever possible.

But this means that there is a little extra work to do here and there,  the slots where the stringers go through  need to be doubled so I can fasten through the stringer and into the edge of the plywood.  Its hard to get a screw to hold into the edge of 6mm plywood so those little round doublers have been cut from scrap, and glued on, the slots will be cut a little later.

Frame 4, that’s the one that forms the forward end of the side seat boxes and supports the offcenterboard case, its also the forward end of the ballast tank, supports the cockpit floor as well as the “cuddly” sides and the after edge of the cabin top, it’s a busy piece of plywood!.  So there is still quite a bit to do to it in the way of seat supports, the piece that will support the cockpit floor, the edge pieces for the cabin sides and side decks and the piece that will connect it to the central spine that comes back from the stem through the other three frames to its forward face.

I’m also working on some of the background stuff, the organisational and logistics for Howard Rice’s venture south in his customised SCAMP.  We’re actively working on fundraising for the video that will be made, this is not a cheap venture and while we’ve had a wonderful donation there is still a long way to go.
Have a read here,
Please do consider putting a few bucks in or buying some of the merchandise, Howard himself is funding the actual voyage but it’s the video that needs your help.  While we’re doing well, it’s a big commitment, and you’ll see in the funraising section of the website above that we’re making progress.  There is enough now to make sure that its going to happen so any dollars you put in wont just vanish.  This is going to be the small boat adventure of a lifetime, and we want to make sure that we can all share it.
So please, a little each from a lot of people will do it.

Here in the South it was the shortest day of the year yesterday, the warmest on record throughout New Zealand.  Shorts and tee shirt weather for much of the day which was nice, but it’s a sobering thought that the lovely gate sales orchard just down the road no longer grows my favorite variety of peaches, for several years now , the winters are no longer cold enough here to set the fruit.

But the passing of the winter solstice does mean that the long hot days of summer are not so far away.  You people in the north, enjoy them while you can, it will be our turn in a few months.


  1. Delighted that you are getting to work on Longsteps and build for yourself. Best wishes it continue.

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  3. I cannot stop myself to thank you for giving this info. Please keep sharing this.
    Donate your Boat

  4. John, keep up the good work on Longsteps :-)