Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Building ‘Sharpy’ Part 32

If you’ve been following this series on building Derek Munnion’s ‘Sharpy’, I trust you are finding it useful. The aim on my part is to provide information, mainly by way of photographs, for any person who may consider building such a boat.

I was attracted to ‘Sharpy’ because of her unique characteristic of being a keelboat that could be transported on the top of a car. I liked the concept of a decked sharpie in which I could sit facing forwards. The boat does not require me to sit her out, or perform gymnastics to keep her upright. She is perfect for someone who is not particularly agile or fit - all that is required of her crew, is that he should sit on a comfortable seat while steering the boat with his feet resting on a rudder bar. One hand controls the sheet, and the other is free. Raising or lowering the keel, is not taxing, because a tackle system reduces the effort required. Another attractive feature is the protection provided by the deck and coaming, which help keep the crew dry, except when the boat is being sailed in the most demanding conditions.

Thoughts of sailing ‘Sharpy’ spur me on, with the aim of finishing her in time for the summer season. Much will depend on me being able to have the metal parts made in time. To make major progress I shall need the pintles and the aluminium parts of the keel made fairly soon. Ideally the pintles should be bolted onto the transom before the stern deck is permanently attached. To find the exact measurements for the keel box, particularly the width of the slot, it would be preferable to have the keel made up, including the aluminium plates that sandwich the keel. The keel can then be measured to ascertain its precise thickness. There should be at least an eighth of an inch either side of the keel to allow for any irregularity of the keel or the box.

As I dream of sailing the new boat I continue working on her, and today I epoxied the hog and the stringers to the bottoms of the frames. Despite the cold weather, the heaters were more than a match, by raising the temperature to 17 degrees Celsius. I subsequently turned them down to conserve fuel and costs.

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