After the excitement of finishing the planking, things slowed considerably. August brought two weeks in York Beach and then the beginning of the new school year. The goals for fall were to finish important interior details and have the boat ready to flip next spring.
First step was to finish off the seats. I made the seats oversized – I wanted to see them in place before making the final decisions. This part is the main seating area where I will spend all my time, so I wanted it to be just right.
As an aside, I was at the point where I was starting to work on parts that will be visible forever, and it has become a little nervewracking.
Anyway, it turns out that the rim of the olive dish made the perfect corner on the seats. Who knew? This was followed by very careful cutting!
Look at me, sitting in my cockpit. The first of many hours, hopefully. The forward seating area also took shape.
I started working on the king plank, which is important as it sounds. It’s on the top of the deck and it provides the main support for the mast. It starts at the top of bulkhead 2, goes around the mast, connects to the top of bulkhead 1, and goes forward all the way to the top of the stem, thus connecting 3 important structural fixtures.
My version of the Navigator has a different sail than the standard plans, and my mast is not supported by wires on the side (shrouds) or the front (forestay). Because of this, the king plank is 40% wider to provide extra support.But as I started to assemble the parts for the king plank I found that, once again, bulkhead 1 was a problem.
In case you’re forgotten, one of my bigger past screw-ups was to install B1 in the wrong place. Now it appeared that either B1 or B2 were the wrong size! When the king plank touched the right place at the ends, it was much too high in the middle.
When the king plank hit the right spot on B1 and B2, it was far too low at the stem.
I’ll never know which bulkhead was too low, and at this point I really didn’t care. My solution was to add to the top of B1.
Unfortunately, this is the only photo of the process, because I was really pleased how it turned out. In this photo I have started to fit a new piece to the top of B1 to raise it about 3/4 of an inch. Then I had to curve the top to make a consistent base for the eventual deck, and then build it up with several thicknesses of plywood to handle the load that it will one day shoulder. I may not be able to do things right the first time, but I think I’m getting better at fixing my mistakes.
Next on the checklist was the mast box. Very important. This box has to be super strong to hold the mast, super accurate so that the mast is straight, and super airtight because it goes through a section of the boat that has to remain airtight (in the unlikely event of a water landing) to make sure that the boat still floats. Phew!
This is the eventual home of the mast box, just on the front side of B2. I had built to the original plans, so some of my prior work had to come out. Damn! Those parts fit!
This is a shot of a trial fix (we boatbuilders call it a “dry fit” because there’s no glue yet). The king plank forms the top of the box.
The bottom of the mast sits in the mast step, a block of wood several inches thick made of several layers glued together. Yes, getting all of the holes the same size is one of those things that I can do now that I couldn’t do before.