1995 Boatbuilding

I only worked to mid July 1995, since I was posted from Ottawa to Brunssum The Netherlands (for 3 years).  Therefore, I was obliged to finish the hull to a state where I could leave it “in storage” for 3 years. I completely finished the hull and welding, attaching whatever chainplates, bits and bobs I could think of. I dragged the hull out of the barn, and then sandblasted and primed it (Devoe inorganic zinc primer, then Bar-Rust 235 2 part epoxy).

Just moving the hull out of the barn seemed like a herculean task. I invited whoever I thought could help, including the curious. We first moved the hull on its cradle (jacked up on heavy 2” pipes), dragging it with a 3/4 ton come-a-long. This worked well, until we reached the wall.

Thankfully, I had the sense to chop out a sizable portion of the barn wall the day before, with my chainsaw. You can see by the snow/ice outside that this took place in the early spring. I wanted to be able to move the boat while the ground was still frozen.

Now, the heavy equipment comes out. I hired a small excavator / backhoe to do the “heavy lifting”. It didn’t have to lift the boat, just drag it, on its cradle. Once the hull cradle was no long on the flat concrete barn floor, the come-a-long wasn’t going to do it.

This is a good shot, showing the hull almost completely out of the barn.

The next step was to add the ballast into the keel. Remember, the keel had already been sandblasted and primed with epoxy the previous year. I had collected and smelted over 10,000 pounds of lead. Some of the lead was smelted into blocks or pigs and some remained as original lead type. I had thousands of pounds of lead type that I just dropped into a slurry of concrete, fixing it into the bottom of the keel forever. On the top of the ballast, I welded the top shut.

Since I had sold my house/barn/acreage and was moving to Europe for three years, I had to leave the hull behind in a secure spot. My friend Wes Watson was nice enough to let me leave it on his property. My friend Dick White helped me to jack up the hull and cradle and weld front axles from school buses to the cradle. This transformed the stationary cradle into a very, very low profile trailer (3” clearance).  In late June 1995, I hired a fellow with a large farm tractor to move it down the road to Wes’s place for me. 

On Wes’s property, in early July 1995, I sandblasted and primed the hull, inside and outside. Sandblasting outside was a piece of cake. You can see where I extra coated the weld seams with epoxy. Inside was a real bitch and I hope I never have to do something so difficult. The paint used was Devoe inorganic zinc primer (galvanic coating), then Bar-Rust 235 — inside and out. The hull was now primed to withstand the elements.