Author Archives: Sally

Frames for the Hudson Star

By Lorne Swarthout

This Sunday’s boatbuilding agenda included making the patterns for the frames that will stabilize the hull and support the seats. This involved some tedious scribing and cutting and planing and sanding of skinning 1/8″ plywood. When we are happy with the fit, these patterns will be traced onto 1/2″ marine plywood, which will then be cut out and epoxied into the hull. Five teams worked on five patterns yesterday and everyone did a great job.

Meanwhile, Chuck and John did some fine work (as is their custom) on the breasthook and transom knees.

The last thing we did was clean out the boat, scuff the finish, and apply one more fill coat of epoxy resin. Then we all dispersed to coffee or naps or the Super Bowl. 

Boatbuilding Update 1/23

By Lorne Swarthout

We have almost finished scraping and sanding the interior of our new racing boat, Hudson Star. Leaning over into the boat, engulfed in noise and dust: certainly the least pleasant job in building a cedar strip boat. But everyone pitched in with a will and now it is almost as smooth as a baby’s a__. 

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we will give the interior one last lick with some hand sanding and then put on a sealer coat of clear epoxy. On Sunday (Jan 28) we will start the fiberglass process. As we did on the outside, we will lay down two overlapping layers of cloth.

We might also start creating some templates for interior frames (like in picture 2). There will be 7 or 8 frames across the boat. We will fine tune the templates after the fiberglass is complete, trace them on to 1/2″ plywood, cut and trim until we have a nice fit, and then epoxy them in place. The frames will support the seats and give stiffness to our eggshell hull. 

The Wednesday crew finished the sanding and put a sealer coat of epoxy resin on the inside of Hudson Star. Fiberglass cloth on Sunday. 

Sunday, 1/7 Boatbuilding Update


Lorne Swarthout

The Sunday boatbuilding crew glued the first part of the gunwales in place today. Last Wednesday we steamed and bent these 5/8″ x 1 3/4″ x 28′ members in order to get them to bend smoothly around the boat. They will help stabilize our cedar/fiberglass eggshell. This was the last task before we flip the Hudson Star over to work on the inside. There was a full shop today as we marked the first session of 2024 with lots of enthusiasm.

Chuck and Gus also prepped the Quixotic for a rope fender. They cut a neat groove in the outer gunwale of this veteran gig in which we will glue a 1″ rope.Dan and Elys began building the cradle that will hold our Star when we flip it

over next week. 

Rob Buchanan: VCB Founder & Board Member

Sunday Boatbuilding Update

By Lorne Swarthout

The sanding is finished, and today was time for the first coat of epoxy. This was just a primer coat today; the epoxy-plus-fiberglass will be next. As the resin hit the wood the change in color, as you can see, was dramatic. The brown/red cedar got deeper and the white cedar stripe got whiter. 

It was over pretty quickly, as jobs with so many willing hands tend to be. We kept busy moving boats, cleaning boats, trailering boats, and patching boats. John and Chuck also prepared the outside rails, and Gus and Richard worked on coxswain guards for Quixotic.

Over the next several weeks we will be busy with fiberglassing the exterior. Some of you told me that you will be away holidayizing. We will miss you and wish you all the blessings of the season. Rest assured, there will be plenty of work on the interior of our beautiful boat when you return.