Floorboards and Cockpit Organizer

In the latest edition of “Small Boats” by Wooden Boat magazine there were several pictures of Chris Cunningham’s Caledonia Yawl floorboards that raised into a sleeping platform. With the Perseids meteor shower coming up and wanting to take the family out in comfort to watch them I started working on making some floorboards in early August. I had also decided that I needed some sort of organizer to hold drinks, sunglasses, cameras, sunscreen, etc. so I worked on that at the same time.

The floorboards were made from 1 x 6 mahogany purchased finished on all four sides. I used Douglas fir for the cleats mounted on the seat supports. Four 5/16″ bolts on each cleat with heads recessed using a Forstner bit.

The organizer was made with mahogany as well and a piece of plexiglass salvaged from an old golf cart windshield that was given to me by my old friend Terry who had it in his shop.

I had some great help from a couple of little neighbour girls and finished everything the morning of August 12th. We drove out to the lake, got the boat in the water and I then used a couple of fold-up foam beds the boys use for sleep-overs to turn the cockpit into a big bed. Add pillows and quilts and we were ready to motor to the far side of the lake and drop anchor to watch the meteor shower.

Not much of a light show as the extremely bright full moon allowed us to see only the brightest meteors but it was a great time out there in the moonlight with the boys. On the way back Patty and the boys all fell asleep. It was like a dream using the outboard to head back to the cabin in the soft moonlight. Like steering a bed across the water.

The next couple of days I came to absolutely love the floorboards in the raised position. It just seemed to make the cockpit more usable when crowded with a couple of adults, 2 kids and 2 small dogs.

Here are some photos….

The dogs seemed to like being able to sprawl out.

Always nice to be able to drop anchor and go for a swim with Stella and Rowie, twin grand-daughters of old friends of mine that live at the lake.



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Gunwale Repairs

I asked dwforum folks about repairing this delamination. Wood dowels and bolts were suggested. I thought dowels would look better but wound up using bolts for the ease of installation and strength.

So, I started by using my Fein to widen the crack in order to get fresh wood surface for the epoxy and to make it easier for the epoxy to get into the crack. Then I mixed up a small amount of epoxy and put it in the crack unthickened. I poked at it with toothpicks to get the bubbles to burst and work it the full depth of the crack. I left that to soak in for a while. Then I added some wood flour to the remaining epoxy until it was thicker but still quite runny. I poured that in and worked it the same way with toothpicks. I used a couple of clamps to squeeze it a bit and then left it overnight.

The next day I drilled small pilot holes. Then I used a Forstner bit to make recesses on the inside of the boat. When that was done I drilled 5/16″ holes for the bolts.

After scraping and sanding I varnished the gunwale with about 3 coats. I used a Q-tip to get varnish inside the bolt holes. When that had all dried I bolted it with stainless bolts, washers and locking nuts.

It looks pretty solid but we’ll see how it stands up after it has been sailed for a while. Here are some photos:

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Gunwale Delamination

I recently noticed a small crack between the two layers of mahogany I laminated together to make the gunwales on Ugoigotoo.

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Mast Partner Mod

My shoulder and elbow on my right arm have been very sore this spring from martial arts related overuse. This past weekend I also managed to mess up my right arm to the point I can’t lift it to my shoulder without pain. So, although I’ve been thinking of figuring out a way to step the mast without lifting it and dropping it into the partner, this weekend I had lots of reasons to motivate me.

So, I decided to saw the aluminum bar on one side so that I could rotate the bar to release the partner. I figured I’d do it so that the bar would drop downwards onto the bolt. Only problem was the rake of the mast prevented that from happening…..hmmmmm.

So, I decided to rotate the bar upwards. The only thing I don’t like about this is gravity is always looking to move the bar downwards, leaving the mast potentially unsupported. So, I used a rudder hold-down I had ordered from Duckworks Boatbuilders Supply to prevent the bar from dropping downwards.

I don’t really know how much stress the small screw will be subjected to but I am going to get the guys on the Duckworks Yahoo Group to have a look at the following photos and let me know if they see any issues with what I have done.

It sure is niceto be able to just put the base of the mast into the mast foot and just lift the mast vertical into the partner and then rotate the bar and holddown to secure it into place.

Partner wide open after mast lifted into place.

Bar being rotated to secure the mast

Nearly closed!

Holddown before securing partner bar

Holddown in position to secure partner bar

Ready to finish rigging and go sailing!


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Photos from June/July 2010

Shots from the last couple of months at the cabin at Emerald Lake….


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First Sail of 2010

We went out to the cabin for the first time this year. I put the boat lift into the water and then went down and launched Ugoigotoo. It took me a long time to get going….man I had forgotten everything about rigging the sail! Finally Hunter and I were underway in very light winds. We sailed around for a while and then took the boat in, covered it on the lift and came back to town.

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Saturday September 19th, 2009 – Gido

On Saturday, Patty’s Dad, Ed, was visiting us from Yorkton and I headed out to the lake with the boys and Gido (Grampa in Ukrainian). Went down and got the boat organized, helped Gido aboard and away we sailed…like a herd of turtles.

Ed, who is 82 years old now, had never been in a sailboat in his life before and I think he thought it was pretty neat judging from the grin on his face. There’s always something new!




The winds piped up pretty quickly and were gusty and squirrelly all day. I was pretty nervous about dumping the boat with Gido aboard as I’d never get him back in. We spotted my old friend JRE fishing down near the park boat launch so I decided to head over and see whether he was catching anything or not. As we got closer, I reached into the cooler and grabbed a Sleeman’s I’d put in there to give JRE if we saw him out there. As it was “Talk Like A Pirate Day” and Hunter had his Nerf sword Hunter started yelling “Prepare to be boarded you scurvy dog, etc.” as we approached and I yelled at JRE we had something for him and to go to the bow of his boat. As we scooted by, Gido passed him the beer and we sailed away, making plans for him to brave going out sailing with me.

After a while the boys were getting a bit bored so I dropped them off at the main beach and Gido and I carried on for a while. (I found out later that Cameron helped JRE’s sister carry a big bag of fish guts to the garbage as one of the things he did after getting dropped off – sounds way more fun than sailing lol)

We headed in and Gido was enjoying a cool one and JRE came by after a few minutes and we went out for another sail. By now the winds were really quite strong in the gusts and absolutely impossible to read at times so I was fairly nervous. We were flying across the water at times but I didn’t like the unpredictability of the winds so we headed in sooner than I would have liked but we had a great visit sitting on the dock and chilling out. Cameron and I were laying back against the tube, JRE and Gido in chairs having a cool one and we had some laughs. Absolutely fantastic day…it was +29 on our thermometer and they set records in Saskatoon.

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