Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sailing Inspiration

Today is my first day back to work on the boat in over a week. Last weekend I took a four-day sailing trip on Element, my Tiki 21, cruising to the Gulf Islands National Seashore just south of where I keep her docked. It was a great trip and provided some new insights on these designs that I will apply to the building of Element II. I'm really looking forward to doing the same trip in the Tiki 26, but I was quite comfortable on the Tiki 21 and spent each night sleeping aboard in one of the single bunks, even though I had expected it to be too hot to do so this time of year. There was a nice breeze each night though, and no rain in sight, so I was able to sleep in the starboard hull with the hatch open, which is much simpler than having to pitch an tent on deck each evening. I cooked on deck using a portable two-burner stove, washing dishes in a bucket and keeping food and other supplies in dry bags on the bunks while underway.

I'm going sailing again tomorrow, to take my girlfriend and her daughter out on the boat for the first time, (and possibly the last). The reason for cramming in all this sailing all of a sudden is not only because of great weather, but because I have a possible buyer coming to look at the Tiki 21 next week, and if he likes it I won't be sailing again until Element II is launched. This is okay though, because if it does sell I will have much more time and money to devote to getting this build finished. It really is hard to divide time between two boats, and selling the smaller one will help me get the Tiki 26 finished much faster. The Tiki 21 served it's purpose, that's for sure, mainly in helping me make the decision about which boat to build and also the complete refit of it taught me a lot about potential problems that can be built out of the new boat by starting from scratch. The man who is buying it needs the trailerability of the smaller design, while I need the extra range and load-carrying capacity of the 26.

I found a new supplier of clear Doug fir lumber this past week and brought home some nice 16-foot 1 x 8 pieces. Today I ripped and scarfed the upper topside stringers for the port hull and when the glue cures these will be ready to glue to the upper topside panels, which are already joined up. I've also spent many more hours sanding bunk fillets and finishing up everything in the lower hullsides in preparation for installing these topside panels, which will hopefully be done in the next few days.

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