Monday, August 29, 2016

Sampson Post

Work proceeds apace as the last days of summer wane and autumn weather lies boding on the horizon. Will this boat float this year?

All sorts of distractions keep me from working on it. Last week my school teaching gig picked up again, ending the long summer days when I could gaze wistfully at the boat shaped thing and ponder my next move. Now I have no more than two hours at a time in the evening to get something done.

Over the weekend I managed to get several pieces cut which will become the supports for the center thwart bench, and also for the "sternsheets" seat. I have no idea why they call it that. Stern as in rear of the boat, and sheets means a control line on a sail, but "sternsheets" somehow means the seat in the back of the boat. It also functions as an airtight chamber for reserve buoyancy.

But the big news today is that I cut and fitted the foredeck (is it too presumptuous to call it a "foc'sl"?) and sampson post. The front deck also functions as an airtight chamber for flotation. Because it is fitted with inspection ports, you could use it as cargo space, but anything you put in there detracts a bit from the reserve flotation. That's why I made the foredeck 4 inches lower than the sheer (top edge), so that I could lash cargo up on the deck.

Foc'sl, inspection hatches, and sampson post
In addition to the foredeck you may notice the sampson post in the middle of the foredeck. "Won't that get in the way?" you ask. Well, maybe so. "Isn't it a little presumptuous, on such a small boat?" you ask. Well, maybe so. But it looks cool and that's all that matters. "What's it for?" you ask. I'm glad you asked. The sampson post is tied in to the framing of the boat below the deck so that you could really tug on it. After I finish all the assembly, I will install a bronze rod, or "bitt" cross-wise through the post. Then I will be able to use it as a towing point, or as an anchor tie-off. The area in front of the sampson post will be dedicated to storing an anchor I think.

With all of this flurry of activity I'm waiting for a good weekend day when I can glue a bunch of pieces into place. I have a gallon of epoxy coming in the mail. With all the pieces cut and ready, that will complete the major construction. All that's left will be rigging, paint and varnish. Stay tuned!

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