Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heads and tails

Last weekend I spliced on Ravn's figurehead. I've been putting it off for a couple of reasons. One reason was that I wanted to get the curve of the dragon's neck to flow into the stem. Another concern was just getting a nice-fitting splice so it would be solid. But most of all I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of putting it on at all. A couple of weeks ago I shaped the stern stem and I think it turned out real nice. I simply couldn't go wrong replicating the same shape at the bow.

I guess if you peeled away all the layers of the onion, my real concern was: Would it look goofy? I have no doubt that many will think it does, but I decided I like it. Those who don't, can just go hang.

As I was fairing the neck into the stem I realized that I carved this thing 10 years ago. At the time I had not decided for sure on a design. It's been a long journey.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


A furniture commission has kept me busy in the shop and slowed progress on the boat. I did manage make time to install the rest of the boat furniture, however. I epoxied in the risers for the rowing thwarts and made the thwarts and the mast bench by March 6 when my oldest son, Ethan, and granddaughter, Maddy, visited. I talked them into the photo above.

Atkin said the original faering from which he drew the plans had removable rowing thwarts. "Our forefathers knew a thing or two about making boats handy," he said, so he retained that feature in his design. I determined early on that I would keep that feature as well on Ravn.

What I discovered is that the thwarts are close enough in size that it's easy to mix them up and get them turned around. My solution to that problem was to use a scratch beader to scratch a single bead in the center thwart and a double bead in the forward thwart. I put them on the forward edge. They looked so good that I decided to scratch beads in the mast bench and the "princess seat" as well. It's a nice touch that serves a practical purpose, but it was another unplanned project that took time away from finishing the boat.