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Badger

Badger
In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail

Fantail

Fantail
At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Annie Hill

Annie Hill
Photo credit: Alvah Simon

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

About Me

09 April, 2016

SibLim update



Every week, I try to post new photographs in my 'albums' on the Junk Rig Association's website. The outfit that hosts our site seems to keep moving the goal posts and what works one month, doesn't work the next.  The last few times I've uploaded photos to said albums, they've appeared in a totally random fashion.  One of my fellow members has suggested a way round this, but the whole thing takes forever, anyway, and I'm simply not prepared to delete all the photos and reload them.  Life is too short - especially when you are building a boat!  So for those of you who have tried to follow progress via the JRA, my apologies.

I didn't write about the wonderful Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta, that has also become the major junket for the NZ 'chapter' of the JRA.  Suffice it to say that it was excellent.  I only attended for a couple of days - being a busy boatbuilder - and the weather on the evening that I arrived was dire, but I enjoyed the whole event tremendously.  The bad weather had prevented our newest member of the fleet, Blondie from sailing up there (I hope to have some photos of her to show you some time), and Fantail's new owner (did I mention that I'd sold her?) had yet to take her over; neither La Chica nor Shoestring could make it, but we had quite a fleet for all that: Arcadian and Footprints from NZ, Tystie and Zebedee, who despite wearing the red ensign are almost Kiwi boats and Lakatao and Grand PHA from France, each on an extended voyage.  The latter I've already mentioned - Bertrand is a member of the SibLim Club - but I fell madly in love with Lakatao, which, while a Western design (Le Forrestiere) has many characteristics of a Chinese junk:



















Her owners, Bruno and Elise are wonderful people and there is always laughter on board.  I found her incredibly inspirational for my own build, although I will never attain the craftsmanship of Bruno.

Back to Whangarei and my boatbuilding.  Because not everyone will want to follow my JRA links, I thought I'd just post a few photos here, so that anyone interested can follow my (glacial) progress.  The good news is that the money is holding out and I always knew that this project would take a long time, regardless of the other people who reckoned I should be able to 'knock it over' in a year.  I'm really enjoying the process, and that's the main thing.


At the end of December, the Icebreakers came along and fitted the skegs, thus earning membership of the SibLim Club.




Because of the junk bow, which is flat rather than pointy, the planking is put on starting with the bottom and I got into this, early in January.  Aft, I could use 12 mm plywood, but forward, where the bottom rolls into the bow, I had to use 6 mm because of the extreme curve.  On this photo a piece is laid out, ready to fit.


Before any further planking could be done, however, it was necessary to install longitudinals: a chine log, stringer and sheer clamp on each side.  These were laminated where necessary, in order to bend the wood to the curves of the hull.  The Alaskan Yellow Cedar that I buy comes in lengths of around 4 m, so once these were sawn and planed, they had to be scarphed together, as in the photo above.   WEST epoxy is my glue of choice, largely because I know it and can anticipate how it works.  I've tried other brands in the past but never got on with them as well. A lot of February was spent joining and fitting all these pieces of wood.



















Come March and planking was in sight, but first I had to fit the sheer clamps.  SibLim is going to have davits and David designed them to be part of the main structure of the boat, running out from the sheer clamp.  I felt that these needed to be made from hardwood, rather than Alaskan yellow cedar and my friend, Marcus, contributed a variety of boards that he had stored away.  They varied from iroko to purpleheart.  I would be almost tempted to varnish them, just for their interesting colours!























So here we are in April, and the boat is starting to take shape.  It's really exciting to see what she looks like.  My little camera has quite a wide angle lens, which somewhat distorts the appearance of the hull.  In fact it's rather less beamy aft than it looks in this photo: indeed it's rather 'cod's head, mackerel tail' in appearance, which I very much like.

I never thought I'd find myself building another boat.  I most certainly never thought I'd find myself building another boat on my own, although to be perfectly honest, without good friends lending me a hand at certain critical moments, I don't think I could.  However, in essence I'm building this boat by myself and I have to say it's an incredibly satisfying process.  I'm not a clever woodworker: indeed I'm barely competent, but thanks to wonderful epoxy (yes, I know it's very toxic), good advice and the tendency of 12 mm plywood to fair out any wobbles, my boat seems to be pretty sound so far.  Because I know I will remember every bodge, every short cut, every 'she'll be right' moment, I am doing the best work I can and, thus far, I think I will be able to trust it.  Oddly enough, my greatest (irrational) concern is that there are no fastenings.  Badger had no fastenings and relied entirely on glue, and to the best of my knowledge and belief is still in one piece, so I'm not sure where this worry comes from.  I can actually see myself, one dark night, rushing round with drill and screws, shoving in fastenings left, right and centre, just before I put the glass and epoxy on the hull!

11 comments:

Louise Spraggon said...

Hi Annie, do you have an email I may contact you on. I am developing a documentary series and would like to talk with you.
Thank you
Louise

Alden Smith said...

She's looking good - one step at a time gets you there - that's what I told myself during my 4 year build! It worked and she's still sailing.

Peter hope-simpson said...

Looks great, Annie. I noted a comment from the designer, david, that the plan is in the public domain-very public spirited of him, and this is the sort of affordable boat whichwill minimise the well known negative impacts boat building can sometimes have on lives .Where can I actually see the plan, and I don't mind paying for it? It seems to me that , if you know where togo, it's a fair bit cheaper getting materials here around brisbane than over there across the ditch,

Annie Hill said...

Hi, if you want to look at the plans, go to this site: http://www.junkrigassociation.org/members_files. It may not be available to non-members of the JRA, but the 7 quid it will cost you to join is not a big price to pay for the plans. As a member, you will be able to communicate with David, too, who will be more than happy to encourage you to build another SibLim. She's coming along nicely and looks like she will be a lovely sailing boat. Best of luck!

Annie Hill said...

Hi Louise

Just post YOUR address as a comment: they're not published until I moderate them, so no-one else will see it.

Annie

Annie Hill said...

Hi Louise

Just post YOUR address as a comment: they're not published until I moderate them, so no-one else will see it.

Annie

Skaraborgcraft said...

Nice to see progress. I have the same issue when it comes to no fastenings and taking the leap of faith in trusting 100% an epoxy bond; guess i just like the belt and braces technique, especially when offshore! Summer just starting up here in Scandinavia, so i hope your winter will be mild and good for epoxy! Enjoy.

Tuomas Lehti said...

Hello Annie

I just finnished reading your book Voyagin on a small income. Thank you a lot. It was one of the best cruising book I have ever read.

You are kind of a professionar junk rigger, so maybe you can ansver one question. Can you heave to one masted junk rigged vessel? I know it can be don with two masted vessel, but what hapens whit only one mast which is situated in very front?

Tuomas

Annie Hill said...

Skaraborgcraft said...

Nice to see progress ...

We built Badger without any fastenings at all, and she sailed all over the place and is still, as far as I know, in one piece. I may well use trunnels - wooden pegs - for my belt and braces, but if there are no fastenings through the plywood, any repairs or alterations will be that much easier. In this part of North Island, it is rarely too cold even for slow hardener, but I've bought some fast hardener for those overcast days when the temperature doesn't even make the teens.

Annie Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie Hill said...

Blogger Tuomas Lehti said...

I just finnished reading your book Voyagin on a small income...

Hi Tuomas. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my book. It's good to know that people are still reading it and getting something from it.

I am far from a professional, but yes, you can heave to with a single-masted junk rig and there was some discussion about it a while ago on the Junk Rig Association website: http://www.junkrigassociation.org/general_forum/3783859?rid=3784539#3784539.

Essentially, what you do is to reef the sail to the appropriate amount and then sheet it in as hard as it will go. With some boats you need to put the helm down, with some you need to lash it and some boats will heave to under the wind-vane self-steering gear. If you just want to stop for a few minutes, for whatever reason, all you need to do is let the sheet fly and put the helm down a little.