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March 25, 2018

As the weather warms, we have gotten more helpers and have been able to do more projects on the outside of the boat. We started off the month in the engine room, building a ladder for access and a battery box for the engine start batteries. Chris made some hold-downs for the transmission heat exchangers. On some cold days I finished up an electrical panel to hold circuit breakers and battery switches.

I got the sliding companionway hatch on, made of black locust and purpleheart for the slides and sassafras for the rest. Then a sea hood for it to slide into to help keep water out and give a better place to stand when handing the main. The skylight for saloon is getting the finishing pieces and will be ready to be glued as soon as it is a bit warmer. The dorade box for the ventilators is built and ready to fasten down in front of the skylight when that is done. It has baffles in it to let the air by and strain out the water. I cut more holes in the boat for two midship hatches, one in the head for ventilation and one by the main berth. Then there were also holes for the windlass mount and the chainpipes for leading the anchor chain to the chain locker.

We started working on some pieces for toerails or low (6”) bulwark, loading one with lead to shape it to the curve of the boat. I started working on the final assembly of the binnacle, gluing the front on and filling fastener holes with epoxy. I decided it needed to be taller so I made base from white cedar to raise it four inches. This had to conform to the crown of the deck, of course, so more tapered curves like the big osage handle on the companionway hatch.

Nick Asztalos has been helping make the lifeline stanchion bases – quarter-inch stainless steel bar stock and heavy two by three box tubing to hold osage orange wood stanchions.

Julie has been sanding the cabintops, and doing more varnishing and painting. As the weather warms there will be plenty more of that.

This upcoming month we’ll be able to finish the wiring to the electrical panel and install some of these loose assemblies. Then, the last big gluing project – laminating the masts. They will be about as long as the boat itself and will take up a lot of floor space.

After the decks are painted, the windlass, binnacle and wheelbox can go on.

And be sure to mark your calendar and save the date of Saturday, June 23rd for the official celebration and christening of Schooner Huron Jewel at the Drummond Island Yacht Haven. We’ll have lots going on – including a concert by Lee Murdock, balladier of the Great Lakes, so you won’t want to miss it!

– Captain Hugh

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