Monday, May 23, 2022

Wilcox Crittenden Helmsman Seat and Nav Lights

12 May 22:

Found a few more Wilcox Crittenden items for our collection. The folding Helmsman Seat can also be used in the galley, per WC's advertisement, but Skipper seemed cool on that idea. We'll find a spot for it somewhere, maybe it becomes a portable Moaning Chair in the shop.

The Hurricane Tested nav lights were oil burners, but the seller sent little battery powered LEDs with them.

Wilcox Crittenden.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Small Model Railroad Restoration

 11 May 22:

We always have a "moaning chair" project, the thing(s) we work on while we contemplate miscues or next steps on the primary project. Today we reshuffled the model railroad shelves and temporary cabinets that had been inside the house. Once the shelves moved we decided to use the unemployed cabinets to support our 2007 Great Eastern Trunk model railroad layout....wait, this sounds more like yak shaving or TETRIS...

This layout has made 2 moves with us, from Texas to Florida to Virginia. It looks beat up because scenery and buildings were removed for transport, but the guts and track plan are solid. She'll slowly come back to life.

The layout plans date to 1959, so we are honored to be caretakers of their legacy.

Skipper's Garden and Tool Center got straightened a little as well. 

Wooden Alcort Sunfish Plans Coming Soon

 11 May 22:

As we begin to resurface after our recent move, interest is peaking in the wooden Alcort Sunfish plans. I am starting to make a pile of reference material that will be used to develop the plans. We will use drawings similar to those found on vintage Sunfish and Sailfish plans.

Note: These measurements are not for a Sunfish, but the frame design is similar. Start sourcing you marine grade 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch plywood now, and some 3/4 inch by 6 inch hardwood (oak, mahogany or cypress).

All the info needed for the wooden Alcort Sunfish is right here, it just needs to be transferred to paper in a legible and understandable format.

These are from the 2 page Super Sailfish plans. I'll use the same format, put in wooden Alcort Sunfish numbers, and also enlarge each component so a magnifying glass will not be needed to read the time is carved out from multiple other competing projects...

Here are measurements for the new style rudder (1971 and later). The boat sails better with this rudder than the original tiny blade. I'd suggest you make this out of mahogany while waiting for hull measurements.

Here are the vintage rudder and daggerboard specs, if you must. But the boat sails better with a 39 inch daggerboard and new style rudder shape (1971 and later). So if you can't decide, make both :) 

Tuesday Tool of the Week: Nylon Dead Blow Hammer

 11 May 22:

This little nylon dead blow may come in handy to coax a few boat parts into position, like planks, or to tap paint can lids back on. Whatever, it was neon orange, so I bought it.

Tuesday Tool of the Week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Ferris Wood Steamship Model Shaping

 10 May 22:

The Chief Engineer put in a requisition for a wooden model of a 1917 Ferris wooden steamship, he provided patterns and I supplied scrap 4x4 pine and a variety of wood butchery tools.

Full breadth profile traced with carbon paper.


I smashed the 4x4 through our little Delta bandsaw.

The model was made to a smaller scale, so it would not dwarf the wharf on the model railroad layout. The intent is to get the illusion of a large ship, and let the viewer's brain make the adjustment. Had we made it to the HO's 1:87 scale, it would have been over 4 feet long. Deck gear and paint will be added by Engineering.

The random orbital sander and our new set of old Japanese chisels were used for finals shaping. Guess which tool(s) were more fun to use? Hint: Look for our upcoming book Zen and the Art of Small Small Boat Restoration.

Coastal Grandpa Gear

10 May 22: 

Skipper showed me a news article about how the "Coastal Grandma" fashion look was taking off. Light airy clothes, wine glasses, deck furniture, wall decorations and other gear that imbue the coastal vibe. The Sunfish sailboat was one of the items, resting peacefully on a shoreline. As I was wandering through the Boat Works, I began putting together a list of gear that the Coastal Grandpa, of which I am one, would need.

A lot of items will be recognized as essential for dock and seawall repair, while Grandma is sipping wine and contemplating another sail on the Sunfish. Other items are needed to suck remnants of the bay out of the garage and start on storm debris removal. 

A Little GIant ladder will be needed to take down remnants of the tattered flag at the end of the pier.

Exercise caution with electricity after a storm, but corded tools will make dock repair go faster.

Impact driver for deck screws.

His and Her crowbars. Skipper's tools have pink identification stripes sprayed on them.

Make sure your dock repair is square plumb and level.

Lawn tractor to haul away debris. You'll need a small utility trailer to haul the tractor.

Get two of these, chances are one will go for a swim at the end of the pier and it won't so well as it rusts.

Multipurpose, hauls off other people's smashed lumber and brings in the new stuff.

Ties up Grandma's damaged Sunfish, if there's a place left to tie to...

Next we'll cover items that Coastal Grandpa can use for boat resurrection, like epoxy, fiberglass cloth, fiaring compound, donor parts from other boats, primer, paint, etc....

Don't forget Coastal Grandma's pink Muck Boots, she'll need those of cleanup and for Sea Trials after her Sunfish is repaired.

Mag-Lite Solitaire LED Flashlight

 10 May 22:

The 3 battery AAA incandescent flashlight in Capn Jack's flight jacket stopped working, so I found a replacement today, a very small but powerful Mag-Lite Solitare LED. It uses on AAA battery and does a great job of lighting up an area. Waterproof to 1 meter, longer battery life with the LED technology. It would be plenty powerful to signal a SAR crew at night that was using NVGs, or to see what snacks were handy in the midnight snack bag. It also has a nice ring on the end to attach a lanyard, so it could be secured to a PFD or ditch bag.

So if you're looking for a very small LED flashlight for the arm pocket on your flight jacket, this might be the one.