Shipyard Memories #1: The Smaug Blog

353
9

This is part 1 in a 22 part series: Shipyard Memories

Looks like some of you might like to see a little more boatbuilding (and I need to rescue my blogs from oblivion) so here goes.

- These are twelve years old now but the subject material is much older.


Wood Boatbuilding 101, A Trip to the Sawmill

For those of you who requested more photos and explanations of my boatbuilding days, thank you for sending me into my stacks of old photos and allowing me the enjoyment of remembering a youth spent doing what I loved and creating just really cool stuff. My days building wooden boats, from age 22 to 55, are all magical memories to me from the aromatic smell of yellow cedar coming out of the planer to the amazing geometrical shapes of bent frames to the sheer mass of some of the timbers we shaped with chainsaws, adzes, planes and chisels. (I may enjoy this reminiscence more than you, the reader.)

To start the show I will go through some of the photos of "Smaug" the 34' Pinky Ketch I built in 1978 in my shop in Coal Harbour B.C.. I say 1978 because she was laid out and the hull built that year. She was completed on the owners' timetable
over the next couple of years.

The first requirement is of course to gather together the required materials. This required a trip to the sawmill in Telegraph Cove. The mill is no longer there but in 1978 it was in full operation and was located a very short distance from a dry sorting yard where I was able to pick out a couple of good looking yellow cedar logs and have them floated over to the mill. Then one fine sunny morning I went to the mill and stood beside the sawyer and watched as each slab was taken off. Depending on the quality, I would choose the size for the next cut and the sawyer would run the piece. If the log was clear where we were cutting, I would ask for 1 3/4" for planking and beam stock. If it had a few knots we would cut thicker stock for timbers and so on. This place smelled like heaven but was noisy as hell. Here are the earliest photos of what would become "Smaug"

One log section is in the headrig as another awaits it's turn.

 

This piece would have been clear enough to render planking.

 

This is about 1/2 of what I got from two logs. The larger timbers were for a troller that a local fisherman wanted me to build. He backed out and I still have one of the 10×10s.
2022 update: I still have that 10X10!

 

I'll try to get back to this tomorrow and go through the backbone timbers and framing.

Feedback is encouraged. Criticism is always welcome also, I'm new to blogging.

'Till next time

Paul

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures, Paul.

May you have the day you deserve!

Looking forward to this read. This is very interesting. What a beautiful part of the world you live in.
Thanks guys. I’ll keep them coming. 😁

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Curious,  what kind of plans did you have for it.   Napkin drawing in crayon?

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

The plans for this boat were drawn by naval architect Jay Benford.
I’ve known Jay for about fifty years now and have built over 500’ of his designs.
All the boats I’m going to post here are his designs actually.
https://www.facebook.com/BenfordDesignGroup/
The picture on his FB page was taken in front of my shop. Smaug is on the right.
The others will all be in this series.
If you don’t do FB, here is a screenshot. 😁


The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Paul, thanks for sharing your story. This will be an interesting serries to read.

Main Street to the Mountains

Nice, what an advantage to be able to go to the mill and help with the cutting/selection.  
I don't know if that was common then or not,  but it is the first step to a quality build.

When I go to the lumberyard,  I have to go through most of the unit to find acceptable pieces.
Dealing with what's available at the time can make a big difference on the outcome of the project.

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

It was something I was able to do back then and it was a great help, both in terms of quality and price. Buying whole logs can be a gamble though. 😅

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.