The current focus is on rowing and the first project on the docket is adding leathers to the oars.
I got a leather kit from Duckworks that includes everything one could need – even a tape measure and pre-threaded needles!
After determining the placement location on the oar and measuring the diameters at each end, the leather is cut to size. When it wraps around the oar there will hopefully be a 3/16" gap which will be closed up with stitching.
Holes are punched every 3/8 inch about 1/4" in from the edge.
The leather is wrapped around the oar with a strip of contact cement down the center to keep it in position. The stitch pattern is created with two needles, one at each end of the thread.
One oar completed.
Then we add a leather strip "button" to help keep the oar from slipping out of the lock. Here it is glued in place with contact cement and clamped while drying.
The completed oars leaning on that still-going-strong Arrow canoe.
And the second project – adding another set of oarlocks for the forward seat.
And one other small update: we experienced a heavy downpour that filled tarp cover with water. After bailing it out, I propped a bunch of heavy and clunky 2x4s underneath to help raise the center for the duration of the storm. But when the weather cleared, I fashioned this lightweight alternative from some scrap plywood trimmings that just slip in to the gunwale slots.
Another outing on the water, this time with the opportunity to try out the oar leathers and the newly-added forward rowing station.
My wife holding down the fort while I return from parking the trailer.
Applying a little tallow to the oarlock stems and cradle.
The oar action is now smooth and quiet and when rowing from the forward seat, the lower part of station three provides a perfectly-positioned foot brace! Also the improved handling and speed is noticeable with the redistributed passenger weight.
We headed out to a secluded little island.
Landing on shore...
...with a picnic lunch packed aboard.
The next afternoon we cruised the local river (sorry, no camera on board. Photo is from Lowell Boat Shop)...
...and were surprised to see among all the canoes and kayaks, a beautiful wooden dory rowing by — an original from the Lowell Boat Shop. We happened to meet up with the owners at the ramp, spoke a bit and exchanged contact info. Nice to know there are other wooden boat enthusiasts in our area!
It's looking like old times again back in the workshop. After a few outings on the water I have renewed energy to tackle that mis-measured daggerboard (mentioned a few months back).
Apparently, one number on the plan was incorrect which resulted in an improperly angled board. I could have caught the error had I double-checked the board measurements against the trunk angles, but I didn't. The discrepancy is easy to see here with the correct line pencilled in.
Adjustments underway — work went quickly with a straightedge, chisel and rasp. (This is the line about 1/3 down the board where the fairing starts.)
The angle at the tip also needs modifying.
A quick cut with the pull saw will be followed by some additional planing and sanding.
Wood must be added to fix the angle at the top of the board. I'll be doing that with a modified cap. Here I'm glueing up some wood in preparation.
Believe it or not, there was still quite a bit of overall sanding to do. I've made multiple trips to the boat to test the fit — still more to do.
Drawing up the cut lines for the new base of the cap.
And once again I had to interrupt the boatbuilding tasks with firewood hauling and stacking.
So this summer is coming to an end. At least I was successful in getting the boat launched and up to speed with the oars, next will be the sailing rig, daggerboard, rudder, tiller, mast and spars, and we'll concentrate on sailing for a while. Eventually I'd like to get an electric motor and some type of bimini top to make a cruising launch alternative — three boats in one!