Mainsheet collar after finishing
This series on Building ‘Sharpy’ does not entirely consist of descriptions of how I am building my keelboat; it also includes snippets that reveal how I feel. Sometimes I’m down, and on other occasions I am up. Today is definitely a downer! That shouldn’t be the case, because I’ve made the crucial decision to add GRP tape to her chines, and I’ve bought the materials, including more West System epoxy for doing it. At Homebase I also found a nice piece of half-round hardwood for the upper outside edges of her coamings. The hardwood will help secure a waterproof cover that will protect me when the going gets tough, just as a cycle cape keeps a rider dry when it rains. Because most of the handling of the boat will take place within the cockpit, there should be no need for me to get wet from spray or rain when sailing. Paddling with my single blade Canadian canoe style paddle will be a different matter, but I do have waterproof clothing I can wear, if required.
I had intended to paint the bottom of the boat today, but the wet weather put paid to that idea! Just as well, because I had time to think through the consequences of painting her hull without adding GRP tape to her chines. I have concluded that tape is a ‘must’ for the type of sailing I intend doing. Sailing her off a beach or a concrete slipway could bring about situations when her chines will come into contact with rough surfaces. She does have internal chine stringers, but her bottom panels have their edges exposed, which means that abrasion could open them to water ingress, in turn causing the plywood to delaminate.
The reason for my deflated state is that I had hoped to make good progress towards finishing the boat; instead, I see quite a bit more work will be required. That always seems to be case. I arrive at a point where I think the next job will be ‘plain sailing’; then another obstacle or hurdle pops up! That’s life, but things could be much worse. In fact, nothing has been bad about today’s events, because they will lead to positive outcomes.