If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last day of May. I have a month on the self-imposed clock! Again it was hot today. In the eighties. I got the tillers glued up first thing this morning and will leave them until tomorrow late before I pull the clamps. Hopefully the bends will remain and hopefully they will fill. I made them snug as I didn't want slop in the tiller to rudder connection. The last part of the rudders will be installing the cheeks that the tillers rest on. I likely will need to get some more wood for these as I'm running out of useful scraps.

The other big project today was gluing up the cockpit box. I added a cant strip around the interior bottom edge so there are no corners to hold sand and the like. I'll fair over this strip to get a clean look. My plan at the moment is to permanently attach seat boxes for storage such that the cockpit sides double as one side of the seat box. I've made the cockpit wider than the plans call for at 52 inches which leaves 13 inches per side for the seat boxes. The top of the boxes will have operable lids so that you can store stuff here.



Wednesday, May 30, 2007


How time flys. With today's heat, I started early. 5 am early and then I finished late 11 pm. That's a solid days work. I got all the beam pads cleaned up except I forgot one, which I had hoped to coat tonight so now I'll have to tomorrow. I got the tillers fitted and the pieces cut out already to glue. I was going to do it tonight when I discovered that the deck I had the tillers clamped to, to work a bend into them, was flexing. Oh well there is always tomorrow. Early this morning I coated the insides of the cockpit panels so this evening I stiched everything together and glued the sides to the bottom. Onwards. My plan is to use cant strips around the base on the inside with a fillet to finish this off. The inside bottom is glassed as will the outside (all of it) be. I finished the extra aft beam which will sit on the rear deck and be the aft end of the aft tramp. I don't know what else I did. It was a long day!

Does that really say 11:07 pm!


Late night epoxy work. The temperature in the shade hit 85 today.


I took the time to clean tools and misc stuff off the hulls. It didn't last long.


Fitting tillers

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

At this point of the project, it has become an activity management puzzle. There are so many things going on. When you are building a hull you are focused. Now it's easy to get lost. Today for example I set up measured for and cut the components for the cockpit. I went and got the necessary doug fir for the cockpit too as I was out of stock. I cleaned up and glued in place the last two beam pads, I glassed to sole (topside) of the cockpit. I coated the mast seat and beam end cleats. I lashed on the rudders and began to mill the spacers for the tillers. On top of that I did some general clean up, moving stuff around and dealt with the heat so I had to time when I did any epoxy work.

I now have a little less than five weeks to launch. The push is to be ready for paint in two weeks. There are lots of little things to get ready. These are decks, hatches, beams, tillers and rudders. ....and I think I'm going to be ready! Ya right!!!


Rudders temporarily mounted with electrical wire.


The aft tramp beam with the mandrel still in place.


Gluing beam pads in place.


The cockpit sole.
I am hard at work trying to finish all the miscellaneous details that need to be done to get this boat ready for launch. It took most of yesterday to cut and fit the beam pads where the beams sit on the deck. While I was at that I also finished turning the aftermost extra beam (round) out of some extra Sitka Spruce I had. I used the same Hole Hawg lathe that I used to make the mast. It went off without a hitch. After cutting the beam with a saw and a power planer to a 16 sided cross-section I used a 24 grit sanding belt cut open and attached with spring clamps to an eight pound dive weight. This took the load off me and I could focus on getting the shape consistent. I also cut a 1/3 circle into a 2x4 of the final size plus a bit that I set on top of the sanding belt. When it lay flush all the way the beam was at the final size. I still have finish sanding to do but a I have a good looking round stick of wood. Other things I made, as you can see in the photos below were the mast seat and beam end cleats.

Today I will continue to install the beam seats but the big job for the day is starting the cockpit. Most likely I'll try to lash the rudders on too so I can finish the tillers. These I cut out all the pieces for months ago but have yet to start their assembly and shaping.

Gluing on the flange to the forward beam.


Set up to start shaping the aft extra beam. Hole Hawg attached to treehouse support.


Forward beam pads installed.


Mast seat with guide and knee which will all be installed once the flange is on.


Beam end cleats shaped.

Monday, May 28, 2007


A boat appears from under the tarp!
Blogger is misbehaving this morning. I can't upload photos. No giant steps yesterday as I only got to work for a few hours. I started turning the aft (extra) beam which will support a rear trampoline. Otherwise I continued work on the beam blocks and finishing the forward beam. Much to do yet but I will keep at it until I'm done.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I'm starting to put on weight. No not me, the boat. I'll try to post a good picture later but as I start to assemble all the parts, I am getting the sense of the mass of a Tiki 26. Ok so it's much lighter than say my former Westsail 28 which had a displacement of 9500 lbs plus with 3500 lbs of that a big chunk of lead at the bottom of the keel but the finished T26 won't be something you can throw your shoulder against when it's sitting in the sand and you move it. Maybe if it's balanced on some rollers but not otherwise. I guess I've just gotten use to being able to push the whole thing around on my own. I may need to rethink launch day!

Yesterday, My friend Carter came by to check out my progress. I don't think he'd been by since I started H2. He was like a boy with a new toy - wide eyed and darting around. He did point out an interesting thing about the keel-skeg design; on a sandy grounding you'd be ok but if you bounced over a rock and then caught the skeg the outcome could be serious as in tearing off a skeg and rudder. I've seen photos from MatjaĆŸ Chvatal web site on his T26 the Ariki http://ariki.zalozba-turistika.si/2005/modif/index.htm that fills in the space between the lowest keel point and the skeg. My concern would be with the extra water resistance to course change but maybe it is minor. A solution, if there even is a problem would bw to add a section of stainless angle or channel bolted through the skeg and running forward to the keel where the flange(s) could be cut off and the web then attached to the hull with a flush screw. While on the topic of modifications, I've been wondering if anyone has played around with adding wings off the skeg as a way of dampening the hobby-horse motion that is suppose to be an issue with canoe sterned cats. They could act like the stabilizer fins often added to offshore power boats to dampen the rolling motion such vessels experince.

On the list of activities today are cockpit construction and starting on an extra beam for the stern trampoline. I've already glued up a 4 inch square of Sitka for this so next is cutting down to its finished size and then turning it to get a round section.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My job now is to finish the boat. the key tasks are finish the beams and the tillers and build the cockpit. I can worry about paint and fitting out later. To make this happen I flipped the hulls upright. This takes me max ten minutes per hull now from upside down on my own. I've got the beams in place and the boats level and square. My immediate goal is to get the lashing plates positioned so I can measure for the cockpit and get it started. I'll be temporarily mounting the rudders so I can figure out the tillers. Everything is cut for them the bits just need to be glued and shaped.

I fit the bow hatch I'm using in the forward compartment in H2. If you've been following my blog you'll know that I added a sub deck about 14 inches down from the main deck and that the space below that is full of two part expansion foam. I plan on using the accessible space for spare rope, heave to gear, mooring lines and an anchor set up. Not totally sure how I'll set up the anchor gear but I'm thinking a webbing bridle that clips into an eye at the bow at each hull. At the apex of the bridle there will be a float and a jam cleat through which the anchor line runs. The bitter end of the anchor line can then be attached to a cleat on the forward beam.

One thing I need to add in the upper bow compartments are drainage holes if I end up using them as wet lockers.

Dilling the hole for the jig saw


Starting the cut.


Half way around!


Hatch set in hole. When I mount it permanently I'll install it so the hatch lide flips out boards not towards the bow.
Here are a couple of photos of the UHMW Polyethylene strips I've attached to the keel as a rub strip. As nothing really will adhere to this material I routed a semi-circular groove in the underside, bedded the material in Sika caulk and screwed the whole thing on one foot centers. Hopefully it will stay in place. It did well today when I flipped the hulls over.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dare I say it! All I did today was sand. Rudders, hatches and the mast. It took all day. Oh I also attached strips of UHMW Polyethene to the keels as rubbing strips. Hopefully they will protect the keel during beach landings.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It is coming down to managing many details and completeing as many of them as each day allows. The exterior of the hatches are ready for primer. I still need to add stiffners and fillets to the inside of the hatches. I'll get to these details once the hulls are flipped and I can mount the hatch coamings. All these things need to be coordinated. The mast too is nearing completion. I have to finish sanding it, then give it a final thin coat of epoxy before I prime it for paint. No clear coat for me, it is for those who love to do brightwork.

Like slabs of beef, I hung the freshly epoxy coated rudders to cure in the garage. One last light sand and then primer before I install them.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I don't own a TV so I make instead of watch!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It rained steadily here all day and temperatures dropped into the forties. I did a bit of work mainly finishing up odd tasks. The rudder hinges are now all cut ready to be sealed with resin. I prepped lashing blocks and cleaned up the shed. Not a big day. Tomorrow the weather is suppose to be better. Productivity is definitely related to the weather and this is no time for the cold rain to return.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I didn't feel like hanging around watching paint (primer) dry so I went kite flying with my daughter. There was a good wind blowind so there were many people out at of of the local hills that's a popular spot. It would have been a brisk day for sailing requiring a reef or two.

After dinner I got back to work on things. I temporarily mounted one rudder, made a drilling jig and drilled holes for the rudder hinge. I also enjoyed a beer and applied a coat of epoxy to the mast. I'm staying up for awhile so I can turn it so I don't get epoxy bumps on the underside.

MILEHIGH - I left you a message after your comment.


Night view with light coming out from the shop.


Rudder temporarily mounted.


Drilling Jig


Drilled holes


Mast head looking shiny.
I sprayed two coats of primer on the hulls this morning. I'm going to let this cure, give it a light sand then shoot a final coat of primer before I turn the hulls right side up. Meanwhile I plan to finish epoxy coating the mast and mill a slight curve in the UHMW Polyethylene stips that I'll be mounting to the keel.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I am done sanding the bottom of the boat. All the bits and pieces have been attached that need to go on before I can prime. Everything has been sealed, glassed and sanded. I cleaned up the shed this evening. Done with that. My plan is to prime the hull upside down but paint right side up. After I prime the hulls, I'll attach the UHMW polyethylene strips that I'm using in lieu of metal strip down the keel suggested in the plans.

I prototyped the hinges I'm thinking of using today. The material, at 1/8 inch thich may be too stiff. It is also uhmw Polyethylene/ What I need to do is mount the actual rudder to hull and see if it works. This at a minimum means routing 1/8 inch kerfs into a rudder and a stern and mounting these. Then I'll need to see how it works with the tillers which are only cut out but not assembled. More on this as I work it out. I may just go with the laced hinges. Those who use them seem to think them fine.


Main Hatches with a second coat of resin. Tomorrow I'll fair them and then do a final coat of resin. There is more work to be done on the inside of these still.


7/16 thick UHMW Polyethelene strips for the keels.


Fairing a lashing doubler.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I went shopping this morning for supplies. How quickly you eat up epoxy, cloth, brushes, squeegees etc. I hope I now have enough to finish the project. On a very cool note I went to get some UHMW Polyethylene from a place called Laird Plastics. The sales rep was totally helpful and gave me what I needed for free! Life is good. I may still need to buy some more material from them but how cool was that! I got some 1/8 inch sheet material that I am going to test out as rudder hinges. This stuff is extremely tough, flexible enough to serve as a hinge and should bear the brunt of the service it needs to provide. More detail later.

Other than shopping the main tasks today were Glassing the second main hatch and locating the beams on the hull so I could locate the stringer doubler, shape these to take the hull curve and epoxy them in place. I'm still up as I waiting for epoxy to kick so I can remove the tape I masked the attachment area with.

I'm impressed by how tough the hulls are. I'm purposefully handling them a little roughly at this point as I want to get a sense of their toughness. At 400 plus pounds I can still turn them over by hand alone, lift one end to reposition stands etc. Also the more times I do this the better I'm getting at it. I can now flip them in about ten minutes. My cut out barrel works great and by using two reefing hooks and a snatch block with line run through the handle at the stern I can lift and pull the barrel in from the bow until it is in position mid-hull.

Today was the first time that I got a sense of how big this boat is. It is really wide. It will be awesome once it is floating, what a platform. I'll need to figure out where to store it in the water. A mooring would be best but not sure I can make that happen close to home. I'm not super keen on keeping alongside a dock. But that is something I'll figure out when I'm confident I'm ready to go to water.


My backyard get swallowed up.


A new challenge, fitting all the bits. I hope it's all right!


Late night glassing


Back upside down gluing lashing doublers on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Glass composite plywood Boatbuilding defined - the art/drudgery of sandings for days in a row, sanding sanding and more sanding. Is it smooth enough yet? What else is there to sand? The bottoms of H1 and H2 are now faired and sanded. Quick get some primer on to stop the sanding but wait I'll be sanding the primer too before I paint. Oh good that means I get to sand more. No pictures today all I did for six hours was sand. I hate sanding!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I moved H1 several times today and made a nifty stand for it ot of some Mountain Dew syrup barrels that I recovered after they rolled out the back of a truck sans syrup. You never know when stuff you find will come in handy. It was fun seeing the hull lying on its side on the ground. At the current weight (400 lbs) I can still lift and flip one hull by hand on my own. The bottom is now sanded for paint though that won't come for a while. First I need to add the flange for the seat box. To do this I need to figure out the beams and their attachment. Stay tuned.

Being silly after I "dropped" the hull while flipping it.


Mountain Dew crushed!


Ready for sanding.


Perfectly propped!


Moved for cleaning the work space, note single 2x4 prop. I'll carry a few of these when I sail I case of dissasembly need.
Jury-rigged - rigged for emergency or temporary use. I think this defines my mast making methods perfectly besides there are many in the larger nautical community out there who think Wharram's boats insane. Afterall they are tied together. Who in their right mind would so much as contemplate leaving the dock on such a vessel. In this case the mast met the same principle. By allowing the whole thing the freedom to move around, it worked better. Jungle-better!

Below are some new pictures. As conduit for cabling in the mast I used press fitted irrigation tubing. At each end are male garden hose connectors. This way I can continue the wiring to the electrical panel/radio through garden hoses. Perfectly flexible/waterproof and cheap.


Mast bottom.


Mast top. Note block with epoxied on studs for mounting tri-light.


The gaff takes shape.


The first hatch. Circles drawn on top are for future 18" plexiglass dome.


Dust on a well sanded deck.
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