The work didn’t stop while I was away
The work didn’t stop while I was away

The work didn’t stop while I was away

The work on the boat stopped during a long 3 month for me as I spent the entire summer caring for my grand-mother back in France. It is something we have to accept with a long term project, sometimes life interferes with other priorities. 

My absence was no reason for the progress to come to a halt; Mark kept at it and, why not, he also put his father to work. 

We were lucky to have had Marks parents support during these difficult few month. Instead of there usual summer glamping (glamour camping 🙂 ) around Ontario, the Ovenden parents set camp in sunny South Mountain.

With the three (and then four) dogs at home and Mark going to work in the city every day, it was great help having our favorite pet sitters “move in” while I was away. With the yard and house maintained, meals cooked and dogs card for, Mark was able to focus his spare time on the boat. 

Mainly three projects were tackled this summer; the icebox, oiling and varnishing the blocks, and the wood rail caps on the bulwarks.

Dad put to work

We have to keep the retired folks busy…and we happened to have 120 pulley blocks needing to be finished (task that neither Mark or I really wanted to tackle). 

Mark researched finish options and opted for a two step finish. First the blocks would be soaked in warm raw linseed oil to impregnate the wood with oil, then, after being dried, they were varnished with a linseed solvent free varnish. 

The blocks were soaked in raw linseed oil, maintained at 50c, for 24 hours. Then hung dry before getting varnished

Thanks for the work Brian!! 

The Ice Box

The icebox is an important part of the galleys layout, using a lot of space and difficult to place. Ideally we want to position it first and build around the icebox. 

I had my computer and the boat plans with me in France so I was able to design the icebox and provide Mark with dimensions (I will never say enough how much I love working from solid modeling).
The goal was that Mark gets the icebox done for when I return home so I can get working full tilt on the boats interior.

Mark did an awesome job on the box. It looks no lesser then a commercial build. 

I came back home for 2 weeks before going back to France. In that period of time I positioned and molded the outside shape of the box to the hull, so Mark could finish glassing the outer foam surface. 

I did have time in my two week “vacation” home to also finish up the top in wood. he panels are epoxied to the icebox top. 

The Bulwarks

Now the oak bulwark rail caps are the most awesome achievement of this complicated summer, and Mark’s patient work of love. 
The Bulwark project actually started early in the spring with a lot of humming and hawing about how to go about with each step. To steam or not, how to clamp, how to bond to the hull…
Each piece was templated, rough cut, fitted, adjusted, drilled, recut and back in place to gooped and bolted to the rail. They are made of white oak, sealed from the hull with butyl mastic tape and finished with linseed oil. 

Off course everyone kept busy this summer…. 

Also we could have afforded for those two to take it easy. 

…and my return into boat building??

Lovely! I missed my home routine, my dogs, my shop, my boat. I’m trying to be nice and not reclame my shop and tools too quick (I can be a little possessive of my workspace) but I’m so happy to be back in my groove. 

I have often teased mark about his “office hands”… well… three month was enough for my hands to get soft… the two first weeks back in the shop have been a little “tough” as I’m rebuilding muscle tone, ladder legs and working hands.


  1. Pingback: The interior is shaping up – Mimi Jane

  2. Damon Jarrett

    Hi Muriel
    Thanks for sending me to your insulation page update.
    Interesting that the Armaflex wasn’t dimensionally stable. I’m still unsure of how to insulate my boat as ideally I’d like a light solution and understand the need to use plywood internally. I have a glass hull and will probably insulate with glued hard foam battens and then glass over the top to fix the interior to.
    Your boat is looking fantastic. What a accomplishment!
    Cheers Damon

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