Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lots of projects, but still got time for a paddle

I've so many little projects on at the moment, and none of them complete.

I'm doing a little landscaping along the back fence, but that's bogged down with digging up a stump that's in the way.  I've been playing around with a few proa models, trying to figure out a way of making a replica of the 'WHITE HERON' using no more than 3 sheets of 6mm exterior ply, some softwood and a poly tarp.  While I was studying my photos of the original at the National Maritime Museum, I noticed that the length given on the information plaque of 24'4" seemed way to long.  I paced it at around 14', and 8 foot overall beam, which is as the plaque stated.  I e-mailed the museum, and sure enough, it was a typographical error, the real length is 14'4".  Anyway, the model is coming along but I think I may need to change a couple of features.  I've also been reading up about scows to determine the origin of a vessel I saw moored up in the harbour while I was out or a paddle.

The Mark IV trolley was never tested.  One project I did complete was adding a wider axle and rubber tyred wheels, while reducing the overall height in a quest for stability.  I'm pleased to report that the trip to and from the ramp with the Mark V trolley was event free, everything working as it should.  I went for a 6.5km paddle, nosing around the various boats and ships moored between Island Bay and the entrance to Hellyers Creek.  The water was flat and win d was negligible, so it was nice to paddle in relatively straight lines, although a very strong outgoing tidal flow gave m some challenges.

From this last trip out, I think I'll make a rudder the very lowest priority of things to fix.  The two main things I want to fix is the paddle (its too short and the blades a little too flexible) and the making of a spray skirt.  The first attempt at the latter failed due to my hopeless skills with a sewing machine, so I have a new plan that will be less stitch and more glue.