Parker Marine at Riverside Marina, in Ft. Pierce, FL--The big tent, December 2016

The strongback bolted to the asphalt, with diagonal braces and 2x4 stanchions for mounting bulkheads                                     The bulkheads, lofted from the table of offsets, erected on the strongback--note 2x4 stiffeners              

       Longitudinals: sheer clamps, beam shelves and chine logs scarfed full-length                      Longitudinals in place, with the box keel started using 1" marine plywood                                        

                                           The apron/forefoot/knee assembly from 6x6 Wolmanized pine                                                   In place on the frame--beam shelves, sheer clamps and chine logs are installed--box keel started

Forming the "flat-frame" structural members of the duck tail stern                                                   The rope leading left is holding the 6x6 stern post plumb while the epoxy cures

The duck tail stern planked from two layers of 3/8" marine plywood, scarfed into the 3/4" plywood topsides planking. Bottom planking is 1" marine plywood.

Planking the hollow box keel--filling in the propeller aperture (left); preparing to plank the bottom (right)

                                                             The box keel planked                              Topsides planking finished; bottom planking approaching the bow--due to twist, the remaining bottom planking consists of two laminates of 1/2" plywood

                                               Planking finished; note the transition from overlap to butt joint along the chine                    Starting the outer stem laminations using 3/8" x 5 1/2" strips of yellow pine    Finishing the outer stem--the bow structure is over 10" thick--very strong!

The finished hull, ready for Xynole-polyester fabric and epoxy; note the step scarf of outer stem to the solid yellow pine gripe keel; note taped and faired butt joints

Xynole/epoxy covering the hull--the starboard side is finished, and the port side has just been wet out                                           Layers overlap the keel and stem          

The first layer of Xynole/epoxy is finished, including two layers over the keel and stem, and the hull has been sanded to #60 grit using the low-speed Makita body grinder with thick 8" soft pad

After cleaning the sanded hull, a second layer of Xynole/epoxy is laid below the boot top--eight layers are laid over the stem and keel

The sanded hull has been primed with high-build sandable epoxy primers (two coats), and turning wheels are built in place

The very strong lifting eye is located near the center of the hull                                            Bill Smith is setting up the gantry's chain falls                                      

Starting the turn--we had to beef up the turning wheels in situ!                                                                                           Half way--the next part is tricky!

           Almost! We used both chainfalls to control the drop--working at their upper limits!                                                                     Right-side-up at last--back in the tent                                                      

After removing strongback components and cleaning up the interior, I saturated it with penetrating epoxy and began installing deck structure                                                                      A cabin trunk carlin with mortises for side deck beams glued and epoxy sealed                        

Using a router template for beam- and hatch carlin-end mortises                                                                     Douglas fir side deck beams glued and sealed in place      

A fuel tank baffle being Xynole/epoxy covered, starting with the corners                                                            The port side fuel tank into which the baffle will be placed            

Cockpit well deck scupper--from outside (left) and inside (right); the hole (upper left) is for electrical conduit

Cockpit well deck--scupper (left), fuel fill (top) & fuel tank vent (right)                                              Cockpit showing 3" fiberglass scupper (left), and seat/locker over port fuel tank

Starboard-side water tank with baffles, Xynole/epoxy covered and painted with epoxy potable-water tank coating                                                          Settees in the main saloon built over the water tanks--centerboard trunk between                                   

                                      The main companionway steps from the cockpit                                               The cockpit--holding tank and shower well (upper left); starboard fuel tank (lower left); engine compartment (right)

                    The fore deck and forepeak hatch opening                                                                                                            Fore peak (chain & rode locker) and access ladder

The forepeak hatch coamings and hatch frame glued in place                                                                                                      The foc's'le ladder and cabinets roughed in

            The foc's'le V-berth framed with removable cabin sole                                                                                        The cargo hold hatch openings                                                          

The cockpit/pilothouse: starboard helm seat/locker (left); engine compartment and port seat locker (right)                    Forward port seat locker open showing drain channels                         

The aft sleeping cabin showing hanging lockers, drawer boxes and removable cabin sole                                          The aft cockpit showing bench seat/locker              

Using the coachroof beam template to cut the tops of cabin ends; decks covered with Xynole/epoxy                                                      Starting the coachroof frame for the main saloon (note 2x4 stiffener)                                      

A first laminate for a cabin corner using 3mm Meranti plywood                                                                                             The aft cabin coachroof frame, with rounded corners aft                                   

The main saloon coachroof in frame--the 2x4s on top hold the beams in alignment while the headliner is installed

The raised fore deck over the foc's'le--beams here are 2" high (coachroof beams are 1 3/4" high), and crown is the same as for the decks

A cabin trunk corner laminated from six layers of Meranti plywood                                                Headliner installed for the main saloon--pre-wired for overhead lights

                                                     The cockpit/pilothouse showing the port side seat/locker and engine hatch; coamings are doubled in thickness              The Cockpit helm seat on the starboard side; propane bottles under outboard; tool box inboard                                                              

The main saloon with pre-painted headliner installed--Galley to port, office to starboard, settees forward                  View forward from the aft cabin coachroof--the outside head/shower compartment is to starboard--all Xynole/epoxy covered                              

Early May, 2017 -- The structurally complete boat is shrink-wrapped for the brutal south Florida summer; labor time was 24 1/2 weeks, and materials costs were just under $16,000

*   *   *   *   *

            I returned to Riverside Marina on Sunday, October 22, 2017. My shrink-wrap cover had been blown off the boat numerous times, and my boatbuilding partner Bill Smith had replaced it as best as possible. He had to pump a lot of water out of the hull, and added plywood covers where necessary.
            Then Hurricane Irma arrived.

            When I opened up the boat, removing the tattered shrink-wrap and Bill’s plywood, I found water inside numerous compartments. The engine room was completely flooded, containing perhaps 100 gallons of water. There was extensive mold everywhere, and damp plywood under the water in places
            even though everything had been sealed with penetrating epoxy. I used my shop-vac to suck out most of the water, but I had to use a transfer pump to start a siphon in the engine compartment. It took over an hour to drain.

            My financial situation at this stage of my life was a disaster. I was completely broke, and running into debt—I had to borrow thousands of dollars just to keep going. I had two options: One—get a reverse mortgage and establish a line of credit so I could keep building; Two—try to limp through the
            winter with rent money (I had tenants moving into my house on December 1st. ). Fortunately, I also had some boatyard work lined up. It turned out that my income is so pathetic that I don’t qualify for a reverse mortgage, so that option dropped out.

            During my previous summer in Maine, taking advantage of my barn and all my industrial milling tools, I had pre-made all of my trim—deckbeam covers, fiddle rails, seam trim, bunk boards, hatch coaming trim, etc from a very large Honduras mahogany timber I had in stock. I milled rock (sugar)
            maple for my countertops, yellow birch for my centerboard cap, cabinet doors and saloon drop-leaf tables, and miles of big-tooth poplar (pure light tan) for my ceiling planking. All but the mahogany came from my own trees.

Mahogany trim, epoxy sealed and varnished, ready to be installed in my interior

                                   I laminated rock maple on all my counter tops                                                                  The aft sleeping cabin (master's cabin) roughed in; The aftermost removable panel accesses the steering gear

More mahogany trim--bunk boards, fiddle rails, coachroof beam caps, etc

                                  Drawers with beveled yellow birch faces                                                                         The drop leaf tables, made from yellow birch and mahogany

Using a heat gun to bend mahogany corner trim

         Pouring the closed-cell polyurethane foam for the refrigeration compartment          The mess trimmed (using a machete); Galley drawers in place

                                                   The office drawer and cabinet                                                                           The centerboard cap with drop leaf tables; the pipe is for the centerboard penant

        The Nav desk, hinged to access space beneath for drafting & nav tools                                My brief helper (six days) Chure filleting compartments too large for me to get into

Cockpit helm seat locker--my mechanic's tool box will be installed on tracks in the lower opening                                       Companionway to the saloon                   

        Starting the A-frame bulwarks--the solid wood base--note the "bridges" for the scuppers                                         Bulwarks--the outer laminate of 3/8" plywood installed

Installing the upper bulwark cleat                                                                                            The aft end of the starboard bulwark                                                      

                      The bulwark where it rises proceeding forward to enclose the raised foc's'le deck                                                    The bulwarks at the bow prior to installing the inner laminates                                                                        

           The inner bulwark laminate installed and the solid cap started                                           The inner laminate installed around a shelf of 1" marine ply to support the windlass

                      The bulwarks finished from outside (forward)                                                                       The bulwarks aft; The aft cockpit coamings being installed

The pilothouse hardtop in frame; Bulwarks ready for Xynole/epoxy                                                                                         The windscreen in frame          

                                                          The pilothouse in frame from the front                                                        The foam-core hardtop structurally complete, ready for Xynole/epoxy; The small stock by the windows is for the opening window frames

The Hardtop in primer, with mahogany deckbeam trim; The mizzen tabernacle                                                                          Helm console and hatch covers in primer                  

                                                           The aft cockpit and seat locker                                                                      The starboard bulwark end, Xynole/epoxy covered    

                                                    The mainmast tabernacle (two views)                                              

                                                 Louvred companionway doors under construction                                                              Doors and bi-fold hatch cover installed for the saloon companionway; Helm station installed

                   The hardtop painted and trimmed; The black perimeter channels are for vinyl side/back curtains to enclose the pilothouse                                            Companionway doors and bi-fold hatch cover for the aft cabin

The opening window frames in primer                                                                                        The bridge deck with painted cargo-hold hatches and focsle companionway                   

                            The well deck forward; Forepeak hatch, Mooring bitts; Stays'l boom pedestal; Windlass shelf                                                                         Mooring bitts stepped & bolted to the chine logs

                            The refrigerator lid                                                                                                       Galley trim

The saloon--view forward from the nav station (starboard)                                                                                                     The nav station/office (starboard)            

                           The saloon--view forward from the galley (port)                                                                        The saloon--drop-leaf tables open; I installed 3/4" foam insulation behind the poplar ceiling planking

                                         The structurally complete boat in primer                                                                                                              The boat shrinkwrapped for the 2018 summer season (much more carefully than last time!)

Time elapsed was six months, and total expenses were $8,500. Total work time elapsed was now one year, and total expenses were now $24,500.

 Labor is more difficult to pin down, as I didn’t record my hours. But it is safe to estimate my labor for these first two six-month work periods to be over $100,000, for more than 2,000 hours. Unlike most people, I work seven days a week… until I set sail!

“You got to have a dream…

if you don’t have a dream…

how you gonna have a dream come true.”


—Bloody Mary, in South Pacific, by Rodgers and Hammerstein