Cabin top

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November 20, 2017

Fall weather has definitely arrived with its short days. We’re hiking off our island to Drummond more often, but still making progress on Huron Jewel. The beginning of November Julie finished installing the insulation and stainless steel liner for the icebox.

We’ve been framing the overhead now, with a second set of longitudinals running the full length of the cabin. The 12’ set for the main salon is sassafras and the long ones (18’) for the foreward and midship are made of tulip poplar. Oak bracing went in for the foresheet blocks and then the first layer of MDO plywood on the cabin top. We finally bought a little benchtop planer to help with this stage and it’s been a big help smoothing and sizing the pieces that are going in now. Not that we’re not boating much, I can’t run home and do it these days, although the big jointer is there. Instead I’ve had to either joint them at home and carry them out or do it by hand.

All the ports have had their holes cut out so we can see to trim inside. It looks like a boat now instead of a open tub and she has a cozy feel to her.

The butterfly skylight has been framed and set up, getting ready for when the cloth and epoxy go on top of the cabin. It has four opening glass lights for ventilation and light down below over the settee and salon table. It also incorporates a sea hood for the companionway hatch to slide into, to help keep the water out. Ahead of the skylight, a dorade box with brass ventilators fits in just behind the mainmast.

The main boom is taking more shape – in the picture at right, you can see that I’m blocking out pieces to straighten it and reduce the size more quickly than planing and less mess and smoke than the chainsaw. I drew a spar taper curve on it with a flexible batten and used an electric saw to cut the curve, finishing the cut with a sharp handsaw. It weighed about four hundred pounds roughed out square when we brought it in to the shop, and it should be about 200 pounds when tapered and round. It’s something to do when it’s too cold for epoxy or varnish to cure.

Next is the second layer of ply for the cabin top and lots of trim.

Learn more about Schooner Huron Jewel at or stop by Schooner House at 38988 S McKenzie Pt Rd., Drummond Island, MI.

Want a tour? Tours are available by appointment or by chance. If we’re there we’re happy to give you a tour and answer your questions.

Directions: Take Johnswood Rd east, past Scammon Cove to McKenzie Pt Rd, turn right and go south one mile. Schooner House, the big white shrink wrap building, is on the right often with a Jeep or two parked there. The entrance is on the southeast side of the building.

Want to get involved? Give us a call (906-430-5854 or 906-440-5338) or stop by there’s plenty to do, no previous experience required.

– Captain Hugh

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