Winter work

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December 21, 2017

Now the last layer of MDO plywood is down on the cabin tops and we’re waiting for it to cure, which is a slow process in the winter. We’ll then we tape the seams and then cover it all with Dynel cloth and epoxy.

Julie covered all the port and hatch holes with clear plastic, and with the companionway covered with a flap, we can now heat the inside of the boat to a comfortable temperature to work on things in there.

After cleaning up a lot of wood shavings and epoxy drips I’ve put the galley, head and salon back together, made a countertop, and soon will be hanging the gimballed propane cookstove.

There’s now a pipe stanchion by the stove for the galley chef to hold on to when the boat is heeled over (instead of the stove that swings) and soon the icebox will have a lid. The salon table also needs to be fashioned and set on its telescopic legs.

The four L16T AGM batteries, which weigh about 120 pounds, got hoisted and set in place under the companioinway steps and the inverter has been mounted on the aft bulkhead. Now electrical wiring can be run throughout the boat.

Vent lines and wires need to be run from all the tanks before they get entirely covered. Then there’s trim for the interior cabin sides and carlins…the list is still long but getting shorter.

On the cold days, those generally below 20° F, we’re working from home. I’ve been researching various splicing techniques for the rigging. I’ve been working with steel wire for the standing rigging that is 1/2” galvanized 6×19. It can be a steel squid trying to weave that stuff together with a Liverpool eyesplice, so I may be doing some Flemish eyes for the soft eyes that slip over the masts.

In December Julie spent a couple days in the test kitchen working on recipes that will be served on charters. The pineapple rum bundt cake was a winner with all the taste testers. And she took to heart my suggestion to practice her knots whenever she has the chance – she made nautical pretzels! Can you name the knots?

As a fundraiser to help raise money for matching funds for a grant we’re applying for, we’re offering a fun way for you to put your mark on history and your name on the schooner, well at least a part of it.

Put your name on one of the ballast bricks that will be installed when Schooner Huron Jewel is launched. You tell us what name (up to 20 characters) you would like on the brick and we’ll write it on before the brick is placed forever in the schooner’s keel. It could be your father’s, best friend’s, your family’s name or in memory of someone such as your great grandfather who was a shipwright himself. Or come to the launch party and write the name on the brick yourself!

The choice is yours and there are a few options for you – check out our Brick page on our website’s Shop and purchase “your” brick today! It also makes a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. Better hurry though as there’s only 300 bricks to be named. See http://ditallship.com/product/bricks/ 

They are on “sale” through January 15th and options range from $30 – $100 (which includes an invitation to the launch party!)

Now that the cabin top is on it is harder to see down into the boat from the catwalk but it looks even more like a boat and visitors are always welcome!

Learn more about Schooner Huron Jewel at www.ditallship.com 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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