hole, then alternating between 7/8" and 3/4" wood bits, stirring them a bit, to produce the tapered holes that roughly matched the taper on the socket set I had.
We rolled an off white cream oil enamel over the white interior, with the idea of painting the seats a medium brown. Then Gary and I thought that if we made the seat tops green to match the trim, we'd have a prettier boat. So more painting was accomplished after work with only a few short beer breaks.
I got a good deal on two plastic deck plates, and we cut and mounted them in white silicone with stainless steel screws. Also mounted the oar sockets and a bow cleat.
We were done! I scheduled a launch party for Friday June 20 at 6.
Then we took her down to Peter Music Boats on the Cataraqui River at lunch time Thursday for a trial run to make sure she floated and to pre-warn ourselves of any surprises. There weren't any.
Peter Music is an experienced boat builder. The kind who can eyeball a garboard, plane it in his lap, and have it fit like a glove. He's not like me at all. He got to the west by building a rowboat and rowing across the Adriatic from Yugoslavia in the 1950s. But "Twisted Seagull" earned his praise. He said it was my best yet, that she rowed and trimmed well and that the water-line was perfect. High praise for an epoxyman like I.
"Twisted Seagull" went feet wet for the first time at 11:45 am Thursday June 19, 2004 and floated high and dry.
I took her for a quick first row. She went like she was on greased rails, glided beautifully between each stroke and was a pleasure. I loved her at once. Trevor Lowe, my foreman, then took her out and had a great time for 20 minutes in which I swear he covered over a mile. Twisted Seagull looked so sweet, and her sheer line is a credit to her designer.
Then we tried her with a good, healthy load. Elaine, Trevor and I hopped in. E at the bow, Trev rowing and I resting in the stern sheets to trim her flat. Even with this 600 plus pound load she rowed easily and didn't quite settle to her waterline. I was relieved to note the complete lack of screeching or snapping sounds.
Elaine then took her for a short row before we slid her back in the truck and returned to the shop for a few last minute touches.
I roughed up the back side of a Loonie (a brass Canadian $1 coin) and epoxied it onto the bow thwart near the stemless stem. This is an old seamen's tradition. Should the vessel flounder and any hands are lost, they are said to use this coin to pay Charon's fare to ferry them across the River Styx to the gates of hell. Not wanting to find myself without a fare in such a situation, I epoxied another one in a more hidden location, for emergencies only.
A final coat of green was rolled onto the gunwales and Twisted Seagull was put to bed to await her launching ceremony tomorrow. She'll be christened by my sister, just returned from Malawai, Africa. Twisted Seagull got her name, when I noticed I'd built in a small 1'2" twist when I first filleted her together. This was my first stitch and glue boat, and I didn't know to carefully eyeball it from all angles before I spread on the thickened epoxy fillets. Only the next morning, far too late, did we notice one side of the stern was 1'2 higher than the other.
The designer advised me not to try to correct it until I'd seen her in the water. As the lower side, would have more buoyancy, and the effect might be minimized. John was right, she looks just fine to me, under load or empty.
I'm mighty proud of her. Home