Mimi Jane
The “Boat Yard”

The “Boat Yard”

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Blog Category Logistics and Planning

Moving To The Country

The first logistic problem to build a boat (and more so a 30 ton beast) is where? We have explored different options, all limited by the same condition: we would live and build at the same location.

We opted to buy a house in the country and here is were we moved in June 2003. We were lucky to find a charming property, but It took us a good year to get it ready to start building. The house needed work and the shop…well…needed even more work.

Truth be said, the house was a bit of a mess. The century farm house had been neglected, and most of the property abused.

Romantic dreamers that we are, we saw a sweet little piece of paradise. A few acres to our own, isolated enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about neighbors.

Among our requirements we wanted a workshop separated from the house. Welding fumes and dust shall be limited to the working area.

Blinded by necessity, we figured we could make a fine shop from this.

We brought the barn down to poles and a roof, pored a cement slab and built new walls. In retrospect, it might of been easier to build from scratch.

We love our shop now. A wide garage door at one end and a patio door at the other making it nice and open in the summer. We board and batten it in 2015
Room in the shop for good company

In the end there is no doubt that our location choice has been a saving in time, money and stress. Boat building does get expensive, time consuming, and demanding. I believe buying this country property has been the most crucial decision we have made to succeed with our project. Like for any endeavor keeping a good quality of life can only help. Life quality is in the details as being in reach of our home fridge, having proper lunches, no transit time to the boat, having access to our small pool which can make a hot day much more workable or access to the warmth of the house on cold days.

Neighbors are far enough and municipal regulations are such that we can build at ease with no worry of complaints or limitations. We also like to keep the place tidy as we believe that keeping our building environment neat leads to less stress and better work.

Being somewhere nice makes hard work somewhat easier. The animals roam around, being themselves. Dogs, cat, chickens, ducks…everyday we get a good laugh or at least an honest smile from them.

The time saving from living at the same location as we build is not all saved on transportation. It’s also about not having to put everything away each time we put the tools down. We gained a lot not having to set up every morning and secure it all at night… or every time we need a meal or a break. On days we’re not sure the conditions are right to get a full day of work there isn’t much commitment to giving it a try, so we just do and if we only get two hours in; that’s great, we haven’t spent those two hours driving and setting up.

On the draw back it takes a lot of discipline getting work done on nice days when the hammock isn’t too far….but some way work still seems to gets done.

Along with a farm we need a….. Tractor! I can’t resist to anything red. We bought this cute little International B250. From moving heavy stuff to bush-hogging the back field it has done more then it fair share of work. This little tractor is was over 60 years old when we purchased it, but it still did us good.

We are doing fine with the B250 but if we were to do it again we would spend a little more money and get a tractor with down pressure on the bucket and power steering. 

Quote from the past, we made the move

The little red tractor never failed us but we did eventually feel the need for an upgrade and purchased a sweet Kubota B26… With a backhoe!
The plan was to amortize the backhoe with work needing to be done around the yard and then sell it…. But who ever gets rid of a backhoe?

Seriously, if I could do it again, I would go to the modern, good hydraulics, down pressure bucket form the get go.  

Orange is the new red (backhoe not mounted)

It’s amazing all the work involved in just getting ready to build. Once the shop was built we still needed to set it up. While tools may not make the craftsman, good tools and a good working space are an asset to good craftsmanship. A clean and organized setup will favor good work but also safety. Mark is a safe work environment freak…that’s not a bad thing, I actually agree with keeping all my body parts attached and in good functioning order.

I didn’t want to be working off the floor more than necessary, there was going to be enough awkwardly positioned work to handle. I built a few different sizes steel welding tables with adjustable feet, that would allow me to move them around to support big pieces (like boat ribs) on a flat plane. My two main working tables have tops made of 1/2 steel, they are nice and heavy. The rest of the tables are lighter with 1/8 steel tops and double up purposes; one is the table saw extension, the other is the chop saw bench.

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Blog Category Logistics and Planning