Steve's Tolman Project 11th page...

Saturday, May 11,2002

Friday night I got home from work with daylight to spare! Yeehaw, gonna get some Jumbo building done or at least I'll prep things for Saturday I thought to myself. I'd made arrangements with some friends to come over and help lift the bottom up and put it on the jig. But before it could go on the jig there was a bit of sanding to do. The Sander/Polisher made quick work of the inside of the bottom.

Something I've been struggling with is figuring out exactly how big this Jumbo really is. My space is so tight, I can't really get back far enough to really take in the whole boat. So here's a "stitch and glue" psuedo panaramic image of what I have so far.I still don't really know how big it is.

Saturday morning was busy, busy with me running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (sorry Ruby and Opal). Folks were due to show up at 10:30 and I had stuff to do to get ready. 6:30 is too early to get up in the morning unless one is going fishing. Even the cats didn't want to get up, although I heard the chickens stirring out back. I did a bunch of chores, then removed excess supporting frame work from the bottom and then wiped it down with a damp rag. I noticed a couple of pea sized and slightly larger bubbles on the inner keel. I made a note to myself to drill them out later and fill with epoxy, but for now I just outlined them with a magic marker.

Ran to the grocery and picked up orange juice, coffee and pastries for the bottom loading crew. And then ran to the hardware store and got gloves for everyone, since fiberglass is sharp and itchy.

Got back just in time for the first of the crew to show up. Dick was his usual jovial self and was eager to see my progress on the boat. Doug and Melissa showed up a little later, with Melissa proclaiming that she was here to supervise. Then my big strong next door neighbor, Jose showed up eager to get things going. We waited a bit for Lee, but since Jose couldn't hang around, I decided we might as well get started. I gave instructions on how we were going to lift the bottom without twisting it, and I think before the words were out of my mouth it was on the jig! Wow, that was easy and Melissa didn't even have time to supervise, since she was at the bow lifting with the rest of us.

With the bottom on the jig I now know how big the Jumbo really is. I've said before that this thing is huge, but now I truly know these words to be true.

Lee showed up a few minutes after we put the bottom on (sorry we didn't wait, Lee). We all got some food and drinks and hung out chatting, with me explaining all the bits and pieces and what was coming up next. Folks drifted away, but Lee visited for a while and we yakked about boats and work and life. It was a good day.

After everyone took off, I started the initial work on figuring out the stringer length and started whittling on the bowstem and front edge of the bow. I pulled a muscle in my back Friday evening moving that bottom around, so I called it a day early and put on some ice. Tomorrow, I'll attempt to finalize the stringer length, finish the bowstem and who knows...


Well, I frittered away much of the day. This is the first day of Jumbo building that I actually just didn't feel like building. Very strange feeling. I ended up at the local marina, just to get into the mood. Looked at a lot of very large, and very ugly boats that mostly were in a huge state of disrepair. For a short while I watched a fellow sanding and fairing a rather large 40-50' sailboat. He had an awful lot of work to do. Made my project seem trivial in comparison. I headed back after a while, still not quite in the mood to stand in the sun and work on my Jumbo. But I had to get something done....

So after standing around, measuring, remeasuring and scratching my head, I took a few half hearted swipes at the bowstem with the block plane. The bowstem is finally almost there, but I admit that I've probably been a little too cautious at skinnying this thing down. Because of the shelf it seems as though I really need to notch the bowstem where the shelf/bow of the bottom meets the bowstem. Could be that maybe I really didn't have a 55 degree angle at the front of the bottom. Then again, with the bottom sitting on the jig and meeting up to the bowstem, the angle doesn't look off.

The stringers on the other hand just do not want to meet up at the bow the way they should. No matter how far forward or back they are they never seem on the money. In fact, I'd be lieing if I said they were closer than an inch to being right. All along the rest of the bottom the stringers fit just right.

Looking at the bottom, the stringers and the bowstem, it appears to me that the culprit might seem to be the bowstem, in that it doesn't let the bottom go all the way down. But I don't think this is the case. The stringers make contact at their tips, with the bottom and much of the curvature is about an inch away from making contact. I know Renn says to get your assistant to go stand on the bottom and this will make it come into contact. I'm not so sure this will work and I'm no so sure I'd want to force the bottom to come into contact.

Anyway. I'm going to sleep on it and look at this tomorrow when my brain is a little fresher.

Monday proved to be a better boat building day. First thing that happened is my sweetheart came home after being away for three weeks and made me happier. Then I experimented a bit more by moving the stringers, the bottom and bowstem around. I came to the conclusion that I was struggling with getting good contact between the stringers and bottom because of incorrect angles cut on the stringers or because my bottom ended up with a different shape than Renn's due to plywood differences in stiffness. I also discovered that one of the stringers had mysteriously gotten a slight warp that was pulling it to the side. I tied it off with a piece of cord to pull it straight. Then I stopped fretting and went about the business of fairing the stringers since that was a lot easier and more practical than rebuilding the bottom.

So, I started by measuring the angle of the bottom where the stringers made contact and comparing those angles to the stringers. They were off, and so I whittled down only the first six inches or so of the stringer tips so their angles were the same as the bottom. Took me a couple of times, but I got it right and the stringers ended up fitting the bottom almost perfectly. A slight and gentle pressure on the bottom brought everthing into good contact. Now doesn't that feel better?

next installment...