November Boatbuilding Update


Lorne Swarthout


It has been a busy season of boatbuilding at VCB this fall. We have two craft underway, the David T. Heim Whitehall gig and a 15′ strip-built canoe. Every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon volunteers have been working with Marcel and Lorne to put together the wood and glue and fiberglass that will result in a couple of beautiful boats. 

The DTH gig has been fully planked (with red cedar strips) and fiberglassed (inside and out). We have also inserted frames (to support the seats) and floors (to support the floorboards) as well as bulkheads fore and aft. This week we installed four beautiful mahogany seats. Then we set to work on the wide gunwales that will anchor the oarlocks. We may end up painting part of the DTH–discussions are lively on this subject!–but we are working carefully to ensure that if we want to simply varnish the whole craft it will look absolutely ship-shape. 
The Ranger canoe was begun a few weeks ago with the building of a strong back and 13 molds. This week we steam bent the ash stems and next week we plan to machine the Sitka spruce strips that we will use to plank this craft. It promises to be a lovely companion to the Zoe canoe. 
The VCB boat shop is open to all volunteers, Wednesdays, and Sundays from 12:00 noon on. It is a great place to learn some woodworking skills or just to escape the shackles of your desk for a few hours. 
Lorne and Marcel – Boathouse foremen with David T Heim Strip-built Whitehall Gig
Frames and Floors
Marcel and Jorge
Gunwale Construction
Installing the Seats
Anne and Brian working on molds for Ranger Canoe – 15′ strip-built canoe 
Bending the stems
Anne Brian & Fred with Ranger Canoe – Stems Bent

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