Saturday, January 2, 2010
I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Skipping Fish Boat School here in Louisville, which teaches and guides people through the skin-on-frame boat building process. Through the owners' generosity and kind spirits I was able to sit in some of the boats, make novice inquiries, and snap photographs.
After visiting Skipping Fish I did change the direction in my own building plans. I have decided to forgo redwood gunwales after the general concensus that redwood is too brittle. I am scarfing (or joining together) three 6 foot long white pine sections for each gunwale to make the 16 foot long sections needed. I used the most volatile epoxy I have ever worked with to adhere the joints in the scarfs. This particular joining method yields joints that are stronger than the wood that surrounds them.
On this particular day I was assisted by my good friend Ed Moll, also soon-to-be step-father in-law. Geometry and fractions were something to be avoided in high-school but there is no getting around it when working with wood. Ed's experience was very much welcomed. Our time was spent transferring the measurements of my body to the kayak. The West Greenland kayak is a reflection of it's pilot in every sense. The rib spacing is measured by the length between my thumb and middle finger. The length of the kayak is 3 fathoms (one armspan is a fathom) minus a cubit, the length of my middle finger down to my elbow. The width is measured by my hips plus two fist-lengths. Time moved quickly and with the gunwales now adequately marked we moved to the door. Ed was able to meet my grandfather, so much of my repect for him was able to be shared. I haved learned much even in just the short time working on the boat and remembering my grandfather. In his life he never stopped learning. Perhaps that is one of the things that made my papaw who he was. Have you met someone who has stopped learning?