Saturday, October 18, 2008

Well I finally have a chance to return and update my blog. its tough to find the time to update, but i really want to share my heres whats been going on for the past two weeks:

October 3, 2008:

I had been thinking about the boat, and wanting to get back in the swing of things. No progress had been made since early September. So here it is a Friday night, Coors lights chilling in the fridge. Well i headed out to the barn at 9pm, phone rang, started chatting and never picked up a tool! My phone conversation was a distraction that i guess i needed. I was really having trouble finding a place to start and was a bit overwhelmed.

October 5, 2008:

Its now Sunday, the kids and i have completed our outside chores, we spent some time riding the mini-bike around and the 3 of us were mentally prepared for get back to work on the woody. We spent the entire afternoon watching the NASCAR race at Talladaga and tearing the rest of the wood off the deck and side rails. There are a ton of screws on each peice of wood. Its amazing how well these boats were made. This boat is 52 years old and it decent shape...well its in some sort of shape. My guess is that all the wood will need to be replaced.

Tommy and Matty actually helped. They are really getting into this project. I am teaching them about the tools we are using. They have learned where each tool goes in the tool boxes, and they put them back when they are done using them. I am not sure they share my vision of the completed project, but they are starting to understand that this boat might be pretty cool when its done....much better than when i first brought her home and Tommy said "Dad, your new boat is old and not cool!"

The kids did not have school on Thursday or Friday so we went out to the barn Wednesday night and Thursday night to extend our progress. I started to feel better about the progress. By the end of Thursday night we had removed all the wood on the deck and side rails. I was able to build support beams to keep the boat from crumbling under the pressure while we flipped it.

Friday October 10, 2008: Its about flipping time!!

All day at work i kept thinking about the boat and the next step, flipping it over. I have been using this book: "How to Restore Your Wooden Runabout" by Don Danenberg to guide me on the rebuilding process. It has been so helpful. So anyway, they have an illisturation and guide to flipping your boat over. They suguesst you put straps around the boat, one in the front and one in the back. Use a long heavy duty pipe to lift the boat using (2) chainfalls (one at the bow and one at the stern), then you can spin the pipe and the boat will rotate. Sounded simple to me! (fyi: I tend to over simplify everything).

I made a trip to Home Depot during the day, picked up the supplies i needed and kept thinking about the flip. Friday night, i loaded a cooler full of beers (didnt want to waste time running back to the house every 20 minutes), and we headed out for our next adventure. The boys and i were joined by my 4 year old neice Lauren who quickly learned that she needed lots of tools like the boys. I wish i would have taken pictures of the 3 kids working in the boat with every hammer, screwdriver and wrench i own. I layed everything out and ran the scenerio of the flip over and over again in my mind. About 830, i brought the kids in for the night and returned to the barn to execute my cleaver plan.

Quick side note: I have only one chain fall on a "trolly" with a 15' track attached to the roof of my barn. And my barn, its close to 75 years old, not really a barn it was a chicken coup located on the property next door and the original owner of our house moved the barn to its existing place 40 years the over stablity of my structure is questionable at best.
I used the chain fall and my recently purchased motor lift to raise the pipe and straps holding the boat. Sweet! We are air born! I moved the cradle outside and opened all the doors so i had a place to run incase the roof caved in or something failed and the boat came crashing down into a pile of splinters.

I rigged a plug on the end of the pipe so i could use a ratchet to turn the pipe. Great idea that worked perfectly. I started to turn the pipe and the boat was moving, I could not beleive how easy this was, with in 5 minutes i had the boat almost on it side when i realized that i had a problem. I did not have the boat high enough in the air to clear the floor. Crap! Crap! Crap!

I spent about an hour running around the boat trying to figure how to raise it another 2 inches. I hate loosing and there was no way i was going to give up! After a little liquide engineering I finally came up with an idea that worked. I used a com-along and connected directly to the track then to the pipe. It gave me just enough clearance. With a little finagling i was able to get to weight of the boat to shift, now we are heading in the right direction!! I lowered the boat back on the cradle and secured the boat from moving.

That was a great feeling! I was able to acomplishe my goal and my plan worked.....with only a few modifications.

Through out the rest of last week I started to remove the screws and nails from the planks on the bottom. They must have used 100 screws and 200 nails on each board. I'm not kidding, there is some fasener ever inch along the plank. This is going to take me weeks to remove the boards. It took almost 2 hours of work to remove just one board. But i have come up with a plan to speed the process along.......till next time - Jason

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