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Mold frames set up, apron & longitudinals on, T&G planking just started; T&G layer ends in rabbeted bilge stringer

View from above; Transom on, T&G planking started

T&G planking; clamps & blocks; Note the rabbeted bilge stringer to marry bottom & topsides planking

T&G layer finished; starting first diagonal layer (1/2" marine plywood planking)

First diagonal layer complete & trimmed at bilge stringer

First diagonal layer at stern; note staggered centerline joints

First topside planking layer is on--finishes flush to first diagonal bottom layer

Second diagonal bottom layer overlaps first topside layer 3" creating a full-length joint; Layer is trimmed off along a release-tape below joint; Teak strips are laid out to be laminated over the plywood transom

Second diagonal layer showing release tape above which it is trimmed

Second diagonal bottom layer is complete, ready to be trimmed off

View from above showing butted centerline joints different from first diagonal layer. The joints are covered by keel laminates

The 2nd diagonal layer is trimmed off and the second & final topsides layer has been laid

The outer stem,  keel and wale planks are laminated in place and epoxy fairing has been started; Butt joints in topsides planking have been ground hollow, glass taped and faired

The stack laminated keel showing centerboard slot and gap for the steel "Flatiron" ballast box; Note the large fillets

End joint where the Flatiron ballast box joins the keel deadwood

Wale plank finished; glazing & fairing taking place

The shaft log mortises are cut into each component of the stack-laminated keel deadwood as it is assembled;
The fiberglass log is inserted and the gaps filled with resin after the hull is righted;
The inlaid trapazoidal SS fitting is welded to a pipe for the rudder shaft

The prop aperture is sculpted and faired to an elliptical trailing edge; Note the cap planks notched for the gudgeon

The teak overlay is laminated to the plywood transom prior to fabric/epoxy covering the planking

The final coat of wet-out epoxy benefits from an admixture of microballoons; Note transom overlap; You can just see the boot-top line below which the fabric layer is doubled; Xynole wets out so well you can saturate many layers simultaneously

View from the bow showing epoxy saturation with microballoon thixogen in final coat of three

The hull is painted with several coats of high-build epoxy primer, sanding between coats

Underwater viewing ports are inlaid into the hull near the bow; Lexan disks are thru-bolted and bedded with polysulfide

Turning the hull over using square wheels and a boom truck; Note the belay to the Flatiron keel (heavy!)

Halfway home


Now you can see what a rocketship this really is! LEOPARD is a Virginia Pilot Schooner inspired by French Naval Constructor Maristier's lines taken off in 1821 (NUMBER 17); Bill Smith and strongback in foreground

Starting the deck framing; Mast Partner to right; Centerboard trunk being assembled (note curved laminated aft post)

Deck frame and Bulkheads are assembled in concert; The first deck layer is leaning against the hull--pre-painted 1/4" plywood (Sherwin Williams Tile Clad II white epoxy paint); When fresh (less than 48 hours old) the Tile Clad bonds to the epoxy glue used to laminate the deck layers; Cleanup must be done immediately under the deck using rags and denatured alcohol (wear gloves & respirator!); The deck beams & carlins are pre-varnished or -painted (sprayed) before final installation

First deck layer laid; spacer blocks laid over deck beams, carlins & sheer are for the foam insulation layer; Ice hold throat is to left--the hold dog-legs into the galley where a top-access hatch is located. Poured polyurethane foam insulation is 6" thick

The foam core insulation layer being dryfit; foam & deck covering must be laid simultaniously

Final deck layer in place

Interior being roughed in; Note large filets with glass tape; The official Parker Marine Ghetto Blaster is just visible to the right, probably playing Anjelique Kidjo, Third World, or possibly Antonin Dvorak

The Cargo Holds, with built-in ladders, are divided by the centerboard trunk

View from above

Cabin trunks going in with interior bulkheads which will be trimmed to the coachroof beams; The tape is to protect endgrain

The foam-core butterfly cargo hold hatches are center-hinged and can be completely removed in one unit

Looking aft into the saloon and galley

The cockpit in frame

Drawers: beveled mahogany faces with inset bottoms and rabetted corners; all epoxy glued & sealed--waterproof

Companionway carlin with built-in handle; A "pullman berth" can be seen below with settee/water tank below & inboard

Double-laminated trunk cabin corner; Trunks are 1/4" ply over 5/8" ply

The cockpit framing finished, ready for Xynole/epoxy; My 17 yr-old secretary Rachel Smith, Bill's youngest daughter;
Note the saddle-shaped laminated helm seat

Mahogany cockpit coaming caps showing scarf joints

View into the galley & saloon; The settees are integral water tanks

Coachroof work; Center: the official one-of-a-kind Parker Marine Ghetto-Blaster

The Forepeak hatch; Beyond: Forward cabin getting foam core dry fitted

Hatch covers

The squared-off 2" SS rudder shaft with stuffing box and floor timber

The FLATIRON keel box ready for molten lead

The SS centerboard pin, bolted flange & end-plate

The rolling stove for melting lead; Keel box to left

The Flatiron Keel box showing plywood form to hold 1/2" SS allthread rods in correct allignment

Using railroad jacks to raise the Flatiron keel into position in the deadwood keel apperture; Bedding is 3M 5200

Cement stucco fairing compound is troweled in place prior to epoxy compound and Xynole covering

My girlfriend Sylvia working on the transom; Being a criminal-defense lawyer, she may be slightly over-qualified

Spot filling with acrylic putty prior to shooting LP finish coats

Reuel shooting linear polyurethane using a pressure-pot and Binks 2001 spraygun; Spotter/assistant Hershel below left

Ditto--shooting the buff-colored wale plank (Sherwin Williams Polane HS)

Naca 0009 foil-shaped rudder with sculpted end-plate; 3-blade prop (changed later for a feathering Luke prop)

Cockpit almost finished; Ice hold hatch to left; Perkins 4-236 diesel below center hatch

Cockpit, looking aft, getting ready for nonskid & finish coats of LP

The teak transom varnished; black linear polyurethane topsides finished; red boot stripe, my dory below upside down

Laminated white oak gaff jaws just out of the jigs

Oak boom jaws being thru-bolted

Lowering LEOPARD onto her foil-shaped centerboard prior to launching; Reuel in Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt

In the slings at Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida, March 1994

Afloat for the first time; My Swamscot dory GANDY DANCER alongside

The bulwarks are stack laminated in two layers from industrial Wolmanized yellow pine air-cured for two years

Inside the saloon (aft cabin); Main companionway; Note mahogany trim & corner posts

Hand splicing 1/2" SS 7x7 wire rope for standing rigging (I had motored LEOPARD to Norfolk, VA)

Shrouds ready to be hung, served with tarred marlin

Sailing north up the Chesapeake Bay for the first time; The blue bundle is wood to finish the interior

LEOPARD's 38" ash & mahogany wheel, which I made (only one) and A-frame "grandfather clock" pedestal

First mate Pagan Hill

LEOPARD at anchor in Gloucester, MA, summer 1994