Monday, November 22, 2010

Building ‘Sharpy’ Part 30

Nothing is perfect, at least on this earth - in Heaven, yes! Meanwhile, I and countless millions have to settle for the reality of ‘now’, while we look forward to the new reality of the future.*

Well, what has this to do with boatbuilding? Certainly I can speak for myself. Over the years I have built small sailing boats - none of them perfect. I am flawed and imperfect; therefore I cannot expect to make the perfect boat, but that doesn’t stop me trying, while knowing I cannot achieve perfection. My work on the boat today substantiates this truth.

You would think that fitting a straight hog, and equally straight stringers for stiffening the floor of the boat, would be a simple matter.

Cutting notches in the frames for the hog went relatively well. I took great care to countersink the hog into every frame so that it did not stand proud or be inset more than it should have been. Shaping the tapered part at the bow, where it met the inner stem post, did not go according to plan, but the result was tolerable; because I’ll be able to infill the spaces either side with epoxy putty. The join at the transom was spot-on.

I made two incorrect measurements for fitting the stringers, but because I always double-check and often treble-check measurements before cutting and shaping components, I discovered the errors, and by so doing, I saved myself from remedial carpentry.

Derek Munnion, the designer of ‘Sharpy’, phoned me to advise where I should place the butt joint for the hog, which is made from two 8 foot pieces of planed Utile. The natural position for the joint is at the aft end of the piece that is fitted to the stem post. The other piece is butted to it, and it is held in place with an overlapping 9 inch length of identical timber. Because the joint comes where it does, it will be hidden from view under the helmsman’s seat.

My next job will be epoxying the hog and the stringers to the frames, and the transom. The weather forecast predicts a cold spell that will become colder towards the end of the week, which could mean that I may not be able to heat the garage to the required temperature for doing the epoxying. Time will tell.

*Revelation Chapter 21


Fernando Costa said...

Hi Bill!

Perfection don't exist!

But the TQC can help us to come close to the impossible perfection, a star farway in the sky.
I would like to publish a post in my blog commenting my 10 favorites extraits of your messages concerning the construction of the Sharpie.
Tell me please if I can do it. Don't forget that my comments can be sometimes crazy and a little bit insolent. That is true. But I haven’t bad intentions. And I love everybody that loves the divine SEA.
If you want I can send the mail for you before publish it.

Good winds

Fernando Costa, from Cabo Frio, Brazil, South Atlantic

William Serjeant said...


My use of the word perfect in my article refers the quality of being without fault, i.e., an object or a person without any flaw. I'm certainly flawed, and the boats that I build are also flawed.

You have my permission to publish extracts from my web site, providing you give links to their source.

Best wishes,


Fernando Costa said...

Ok Bill

Thanks a lot!

I had begin downloading all your 33 posts about the construction of the Sharpy.

I am sure I will learn a lot of important things with you, living this little-big adventure.

For me, to know is goog, but realy important and excitant in all sens is to learn.

Good winds!

Fernando, from Cabo Frio, Brazil, South Atlantic