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My son and I spent Spring Break 2004 in Rockport, Texas helping my friend Chuck build a medium sized catboat from some Charles Wittholz plans. Someone else has built one and documented it on the web.
Chuck had already completed the strongback and the frames. We added this chine log (pressure-treated SYP) and the two temporary battens (for strength while building) above and below it.
He had also completed the transom. Here you can see chine log (upper right corner of the transom) in between the two temporary battens.
My son, James, in an action shot. The chine log bends in three planes and is held in notches in the frame with NP-1 adhesive and 2" square-drive stainless deck screws.
Me in the white Oracle/Linux t-shirt and Chuck in the Cubs hat. (I couldn't find mine while I was packing that week.) We're forming the stem. I'm using an old drawknife.
At one point we needed to separate the port chine log from frame one (below my left hand). It had been in place for 24 hours. I gingerly removed the first screw while keeping my hand tightly pressed against the chine log. Fully expecting to be sent into the next county as it sprung back into place.
I pressed harder on the chine log as I took the second screw out.
I tugged a little bit. More nothing. We had to chisel the rubbery NP-1 out. Amazing.
My son and one of Chuck's neighbors "sailing" the Betty Lou.
(We took a break from building Chuck's cat.)
"I think I'll spend most of my life on boats.
One is free on a boat. For a time. Relatively."
           Rosencrantz, from Act Three
The (nearly) finished stem with the port chine log attached and the port deck log starting to get into place.
A view from the stern. It took us the better part of the week to get the two chine logs in place and tied into the stem. The two deck logs took all of four hours. Confidence, I expect. The battens are there for temporary strength.

We've been invited back for Spring Break 2005 to go for a sail on it.

© 2001-2010 Jeffrey D Gifford