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Welcome to my blog on the building and sailing of a Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Join us on the Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans forum or on Facebook, where the community of Storer Boat builders, owners, and admirers share their ideas, experiences, and watery hi-jinx.

If you are new to this blog, start at the beginning by selecting the oldest date in the blog archive located in the left-hand column. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Start at the Beginning

[Editorial note:  This first post is about a week late.  It originally appeared in the Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans Forum on April 20, 2011.  My next post will summarize what was learned from that discussion and how I proceeded]

It’s time to begin building a Goat Island Skiff!

I’ve started by making my own sail (not yet complete as I write this) which is detailed in my other blog.  But warm weather is coming, so I'd better get started with the boat part of the sailboat.  I recently ordered and received a bunch of System Three Epoxy (from Duckworks Boat Builders Supply).  So it’s time for me to get some wood and start the butchery!

I will tackle making the mast and spars first.  My motive is to have the spars done as soon as possible, measure how much they flex, and then finish the sail’s head and foot to match.  The plans call for Douglas Fir lumber and that’s readily available in the US northeast, although I’m not sure yet how easy it will be to find tight clear stock in the lengths required.

Michael Storer, the designer, has updated his plans to feature a hollow, box-sectioned mast that is as strong as his original solid round pole but at at 55% of the weight.  I plan to rip the mast staves (the individuals sides) from 2x4 stock, getting the wide staves from one board and the narrow staves from another.  The remnant from the narrow stave board should also provide material for other parts, inwale spacers maybe?  It’s not the Western Red Cedar spec’d for the spacers, and the widest dimension is a little smaller than called for, but I’ve seen enough variation from other members to feel comfortable doing that.  Below is a layout of the cuts I plan to make.

I'm also considering trying to squeeze the yard and the boom (or spars) out of a 2x4 board.  The 1 ½” finished dimension is less than the diameter of the spars by about 2-3mm.  However, I’m inclined rip two halves of each spar and laminate them with alternating grain to fight warping.  With that in mind, I should probably just cut the long edge of each half spar(s) from the long side of the board and keep the plan’s dimension to the millimeter.

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