Bish… the build

Finally… after three years of struggles getting the shop built… I am finally starting the build for Bish. Bish was my dad’s nickname (for Erwin Walter Bischoff… I don’t blame him). He loved the Canadian Voyageurs, tug boat captains, world adventurers, exploring by canoe, exploring caves (spelunking), and was a voracious reader. He never really did his big adventure, so I felt it would be a great tribute to name a cruising wooden schooner after him. Bish will be a 30′ Murray Peterson “Susan” wooden schooner. So it starts……..finally.

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131 responses

24 06 2010
Karl Bischoff

The first thing to do was to cover the building area, now car decking over concrete, with 3/8 plywood. Paint it white. Start lofting the lines. Lofting is the process of drawing the boat on the floor full size. This is done by using a set of “offsets” (numbers on a chart developed by the architect) and referring to the lines drawing. Patterns are made from this.

25 06 2010
Dave

This is great! I can’t wait to see progress…. now’s the time to set up a time lapse camera in the corner of the shop. Better get one with a big battery.

25 06 2010
Richard Vancil

Karl, I am a 30-year Bainbridge Islander, sailor, lighting designer and fabricator, and friend (I hope!) of Korum. I have owned four sailboats over the years.
Korum helps me with my website. I would love to be kept in the loop as you continue with your project. As I looked at your photos, I recognized the person with the long goatee as the owner of a sailboat next to the one that I race on every Wednesday out of Eagle Harbor. I know he and his family took a long cruise and that they are also musicians, but his name escapes me. We were anchored once off of Portland Island and a woman rowed over to ask me if I knew him, as she had hung out with him in the South Pacific. I believe her boat is moored in Victoria. I was able to tell her, “yes, I will say hi to her as I see him and his boat every week or so.” Anyway, small sailing community. Regards, Richard Vancil

25 06 2010
Karl Bischoff

The fellow you are referring to is my lovely brother, Kurt. Also known as Korum’s father. Yes, they cruised the South Pacific a few years ago. Before that they cruised Mexico, Panama Canal, to New Orleans with Nancy, Korum and his brother Jherek as crew. I got to sail with them from Isla Mujeres to New Orleans.

26 06 2010
Richard Vancil

Wow, Karl. This is amazing. I have known Korum for some time and have talked with Kurt without ever asking his last name. Thank you for the responses.
Richard

30 06 2010
Kurt

Richard:

Howdy Do! Yep, I’m Korum’s father and co-owner of Gumbo Ya-Ya. Itsa small world!

See ya on the dock or on the water.

PS. The lady you ran into on Portland Island is Dama Hanks who owns the cold-molded 8-meter “Reality”. We met her and her family while we were all cruising in Mexico. And Jherek (Korum’s brother) and I sailed with them on Reality from LaPaz to Hawaii. Quite a blast since their boat is FAST (we once hit 19.5 knots!).

Kurt

26 06 2010
Mary kay

How great! Can’t wait for more chapters..

2 09 2010
Karl Bischoff

So the lofting is done. Now it’s on to the build. First off, get the mold built for the lead keel. I’ve decided to let someone else poor the molten lead (I already had treatment for toxic levels of heavy metals due to my repeated bottom painting on Eglantine). But I still need to build the mold for the foundry to use. Due to the fact that there will be 4400 lbs of lead in this box, I’ve made it super stong.. I am estimating the box weighs over 400 lbs. So I have built it on a heavy duty rolling table that will hopefully allow me to slide it onto the truck.

Keel Mold

keel mold

Next step will be to cut out the wood keel (6″x12″x20′) out of purpleheart and attach it to the lead keel. Haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to off load and position the lead keel yet.

20 09 2010
Karl Bischoff

Now the dirty part starts. Non Ferrous Metals just delivered the mold with the lead poured. My good friends down the block at V. Van Dyke Hauling drove their big forklift down to offload it and bring it into the shop. It is designed to be a 4400# ballast keel, but it turned out to be 6500#. We think the sloped bottom collapsed so it filled with the molten lead… added a couple inches overall. Now I have to work the lead, using chisels, chain saws, power planers, files and rasps. I will make full size patterns for top, bottom, and sides to aid in the shaping. I designed the mold to accommodate 1/8″ shrinkage per foot, but it actually grew a bit instead. The foundry supplied a box I can use to collect the shaved off lead for a refund.

Meanwhile, I am also starting to build the molds for each station. So far #5 completed and I’m set up to speed that up (once the lead in shaped). Still waiting for EdenSaw to get my 20′ purpleheart wood keel piece in. It will be bolted to the lead keel. I now have a palette jack to use when it’s time to move the keel into position.

Delivered Ballast Keel

22 09 2010
Kurt

You might want to use a mask when shaving that lead! When I think of all the time I spent handling lead at The Printer for typesetting and not even washing my hands before eating lunch, I shudder!

3 11 2010
Karl Bischoff

OK… I was really right. Working with lead is really dirty, messy work. But, today I returned the extra 2,000 lbs of lead to the foundry (1,000 lbs of chunks and 1,000 lbs. of flakes/chips). I basically had to sculp the entire keel with a chainsaw, powerplaner, hand planes, chisels, hammers. But… it’s done now. I have a pallet jack to move it around on, so when I finished with the sculpting I jacked it up no problem. The funny thing was I didn’t plan on the weight preventing me from actually MOVING it. Ultimately, once I cleared the crap from the floor around it I could slowwwwly get it rolling. Have you ever thought about moving something around that weighs 6500 lbs… basically three cars? I had to flip it alot to work on the various sides, patching voids, routing edges, etc. Ended up using my jack from the truck to slowly tip it each time.

I am SO happy to get back to woodworking (once I spend a week cleaning the black dust and lead particles from every surface and item in the shop).

A rough cut

Almost done

Finished Keel

13 01 2011
Karl Bischoff

Sorry for the posting delay… holidays etc. In the meantime, dear readers, I have completed the moulds for all stations, and am about to complete templates for all backbone pieces. The sails are on order from Nat Wilson in Maine… he sailed on the original SUSAN with the architect/owner, Murray Peterson. He will be using Oceanus cloth… it looks and feels like cotton, but is actually hitech synthetic. Murray Peterson’s son, Bill, has designed a topmast rig for me as Nat and I thought it would look great and sail well. I am currently searching for a SABB 2h… an 18 hp diesel engine. They stopped making them (Norway) in 1985. I love the idea of a crank start, along with an electric start. If the batteries bottom out, I can still power up.

Moulds
The moulds for all stations are now complete

Template creation
Using drywall nails to transfer lines from lofting to plywood template stock

templates
Templates for the various pieces of the backbone/stem

24 01 2011
Karl Bischoff

Last week Edensaw delivered my wood keel. A piece of purpleheart: 22 ft. long, 6″x12″, 800 lbs of South American hardness. This stuff is like stone. It “pings” if you hit it with metal. Using my shop hoist (bought to move the diesel around when I get one) I put it on blocks.

purpleheart

Then: how to make it 4.5″ instead of 6″ thick? I found a Beam Saw on Craigslist. I found out that many people need a beam saw for one particular project, then want to get rid of it. So I bought it cheap, will do all the big timber stuff, then sell it for what I paid. Something to remember for future limited projects.

beam saw

So first lining it off, then one pass with a 7 1/4″ circular saw, then a followup pass with the 16″ beam saw. That puppy is HEAVY. One pass down the 22′ length produced about 5 gallons of very fine purple dust. Then flip it over and repeating the process to complete the 12″ deep cut. All this done 1/4″ shy of the final line. Then cross cuts to make final cut depth and planing down to that line.

Next will be cutting it out to shape to mate with the lead ballast keel.

24 01 2011
Karl Bischoff

graffiti

And for a lovely distraction, one whole day cleaning off graffiti from the shop exterior. Some poor soul really needed to let it be known they exist. At first I was pissed, then I realized that at least no one got hurt, nothing was broken or stolen, and the only loss was my time. Pretty pathetic that someone sinks so low in their self-esteem that they make such a futile attempt at recognition. Well, at least they didn’t go shoot up a post office or school.

5 02 2011
Karl Bischoff

Needed to find wood for all the pieces of the backbone. Tough to find old-growth timbers that are big enough. Nothing available in white oak, and purpleheart is so hard to work and is pricey. Found a huge savage yard in South Tacoma that sells beams from old torndown buildings. They have THOUSANDS of em. Got some 6×12 and 8×12 18 footers (doug fir). Interesting getting them off the truck and in the shop by myself. Me and my trusty shop hoist, with my favorite tool… the 4×8 metal welding table on wheels.

backbone wood

Also finished drilling the keel bolt holes in the lead keel. 7/8″ thru 12″ of lead… eight of em. Very slow going. Other people have mentioned how easy it is to drill these holes in lead… and how easy the lead is to plane. I think the difference is that most people don’t mix in a hardener when they do the pour, so the lead is soft. I used hardener, which seemed like the right thing to do in case of groundings, but makes it much tougher to work.

9 02 2011
Karl Bischoff

Keel is now roughed out to shape and keel bolt holes drilled. I can almost lift one end by myself now. Have started cutting backbone pieces out of beams. Moving big stuff through the planer and bandsaw is… interesting.

Keel shaped

18 02 2011
Karl Bischoff

Time to plan for an engine. Chatting with Roy Jackson about his build, he highly recommended putting in the engine before planking (being short-handed). So I finally found what I wanted… a SABB (not Saab) diesel, made in Norway, discontinued in 1985. It’s a two cylinder, 18 hp, hand-crank start. 500 lbs.

Found everything from a totally rebuilt one in Seattle for $10k to a clunker needing a rebuild for $500 in Port Townsend. Settled on a 1979 SABB 2h from Craigslist in Vancouver, BC. Never been used… installed in a boat never launched. So hopped in the truck and headed up to Horseshoe Bay to board a ferry to Bowen Island.

On Ferry

Beautiful crossing, even tho it was snowing, hailing, ice-storm, etc.

on ferry

Pulled in to Snug Cove and found the house. The diesel worked great. We hoisted it up in a tree and lowered it down into the truck bed.

SABB

Missed the 12:30 ferry but caught the 3pm. Going thru customs was a breeze (didn’t even have to show the reams of paper I had to prove it was ok for me to import it). Terrible traffic around Vancouver, so didn’t get to the shop till 8pm.

Anyway… back to the wood!

8 05 2011
Karl Bischoff

Finally making a bit of headway. The last few weeks were spent cutting out and finishing the pieces that will become the backbone. Also a lot of time spent sourcing stuff to assemble it. 1/2″ silicon bronze rod to make up dozens of bolts, lead sheet to make lead washers for attaching the ballast keel to the wood keel, drill bits that can drill a 4′ long hole. I also finally found the Port Orford Cedar I wanted from a small family mill in Gold Beach, Oregon. It is being milled now and will show up in about a month. Still needs some air-drying, but at my current rate of progress that should be no problem.

Assembly of backbone

Assembly of backbone

Rudder Template

Rudder template

Transom template

Transom template

11 06 2011
Karl Bischoff

A little more progress. I now have the stem attached and am now drilling for all the bolts and drifts for the aft section of the backbone. All will be 1/2″ silicon bronze and threaded (in the case of bolts) and straight for the drifts. Most of the floors will be 2″ white oak through-bolted to the keel with 3/8″ SB bolts.

backbone

Also, I received the delivery of 1400 board feet of Douglas Fir milled by Brett at Bainbridge Custom Woodworks on Bainbridge Island. My nephew Korum (and Sara, Calder and Garner) donated 2 doug fir trees to the cause as they are prepping their land on Bainbridge Island for their new house. Thank you so much, guys! This wood needs to dry for a bit, but we got it stacked and stickered. A lot of it will be milled for use as ribbands, and some will be used in the interior, samson posts, etc.

doug fir

Next weekend the Metcalfs of Gold Beach, Oregon, will be delivering a whole bunch of Port Orford Cedar that will be air dried and used for planking. POC is the gold standard of boat planking and I feel so lucky to find this small family-owned and operated mill. They are even driving it up themselves for me! Now I just have to figure out where the hell I’m gonna stack it!

20 06 2011
Karl Bischoff

So the Port Orford Cedar arrived! I could smell it coming as they drove up my street. It is all milled 5/4 with a live edge. Some of it is 24″ wide. Quite rare to find wood like this any more. Mark Metcalf bought the log from South Coast Lumber Company in Brookings, OR. It had over 1,500 bf log scale. 36″ at 27′. It was five feet in diameter on the butt and over 225 years old.

log

His machine could not begin to lift it! He rolled it off and ripped it with a big chainsaw.

lifting

He will have a booth at this years’ Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. I’ll sure there will be a great deal of interest in what he can provide.

Anyway, Mark brought some family along to help unload. The stack is about 4′ x 4′ x 21′. As soon as the backbone is up, rabbet cut, moulds and floors in place, I will restack it a little more out of the way (if that’s possible!).

poc stack

20 06 2011
Kurt

Man, I bet that shop smells good!

26 08 2011
Karl Bischoff

Bit of a delay due to cycling from Seattle to Vancouver (and training for same), a few weeks in Sun Valley to attend concerts and events for Sun Valley Summer Symphony (our client), and various summer stuff. Anyway, back at it now. My friend (and sister-in-law) Nancy complained I haven’t posted any new pics, so here we go. Spent a few days bolting up the backbone and fairing all the pieces. Each piece needed to be coated with red lead paint (made by mixing turpentine, boiled linseed oil, Japan drier, and lead tetraoxide) on the faying edges to seal and poison from bugs. Then coated with peanut butter (Dolphinite) and 1/2 silicon-bronze bolts made up to size from 1/2″ stock and bolted together. Some connections use 1/2″ SB drifts instead of bolts. Then a couple days of sweating over various power and hand planes to shape the final contraption. So I’ve now shaped one side and marked the rabbet line. Next I need to cut the rabbet, and attach the transom knee that will hold the transom frame. Then I turn the whole thing over (somehow… it’s now almost a ton) and start again (shaping, cutting rabbet). It felt good to sweep up and vacuum so I could take these pictures. I filled up 80 gallons of sawdust and shavings.

My friend Roy Jackson was right… I should have started when I was a LOT younger.

A couple of the bolts are temporary till I bolt on the lead ballast keel. It can’t be bolted on till I attack the floors to the wood keel. I have attached the first four floors (white oak) as they needed attaching prior to the deadwood being attached. They will be shaped once the moulds are in place to obtain the correct bevel. After the lead ballast keel is attached, the worm shoe (purpleheart) will be attached to the deadwood. This is meant to be replaceable if it gets banged up on rocks or gets eaten by worms (which is why the bottom of the deadwood still shows read lead paint and exposed bolt/drift holes.

22 09 2011
Karl Bischoff

Spent a little time with the SABB 2h. Put up a Raccor fuel filter, hooked up a wet exhaust and water intake, all fuel lines, and… bango… she started up on the 3rd try. No battery, just a hand crank. Pretty amazing little diesel. Now I have to repair the transmission controls for the variable pitch prop (does not have a reverse gear), and wirebrush it for some touch up paint (well… a lot of touch up paint). WordPress wants $60 for uploading videos, so I posted on YouTube. I love the sound of a two-banger… so mellow and quiet compared to my Perkins 4-108 on Eglantine (80hp vs 18hp).

19 12 2011
Karl Bischoff

Gee. A lot of time has gone by since an update. A complete house redo took away from this project, but I am back at it. Since the last update, I have stood the backbone up, attached some blank oak pieces that will become floors, attached the lead ballast keel (have you ever tried to maneuver a 4500 lb. chunk of lead around accurately?), started to design and build the transom frame, and put on most of the moulds.

Things are lining up pretty well. I next have to align all the moulds in all dimensions and stabilize them. I need to bevel all the moulds as well as the transom frame. Then finish cutting the rabbet now that I am assisted by the moulds showing me the angles… and cutting the frame sockets. Then I finally get to use some of Korum’s doug fir to mill all the ribbands to line off the hull to prepare for planking. Timing should be good as it takes one year per inch for the Port Orford Cedar to air dry… the planks are 5/4 so they will be ready late summer. At my current rate that should be about right.

I’ll be ordering the clear green white-oak for the frames from Eden Saw in Port Townsend so it will bend easily out of the steam box (oh yeah… I have to build an extension onto my steam box for the longer planks and frames on this boat).

moulds

mould 2

19 12 2011
sara

Karl, I just got caught up on your blog. You are doing such amazing work–I’m totally impressed with you and this project! I never knew if you ended up being able to mill the trees from our property, and think it is so cool that our trees will live on in the Bish! I’m looking forward to more updates.

19 12 2011
Karl Bischoff

Hi Sara. I haven’t been able to use much of your tree wood yet as it has another 2 years to air-dry properly. However… the ribbands need to bend quite a bit and be the length of the boat, so the fact that it is still green, and long, is perfect. Thanks again.

20 12 2011
Wayne

Bro, All I can say is WOW! Moving along a lot faster than I ever imagined….keep the pics and updates coming.

20 12 2011
mhk

Yo Captn
Nice to see thar ribs-yar be float’n her be open’n day! Light the fire in yer steamer!! Looking very seaworthy KB!

23 12 2011
leslie phinney

this is quite impressive karl….not many people can make something that will live on through so many generations after they are gone, your dad would be proud for sure .

31 01 2012
Karl Bischoff

Gone quite a long time due to holidays and skiing in Idaho. Now about to head to NYC for a week to see Jherek (nephew) perform his orchestral pieces with David Byrne. But I have managed to finally get the transom frame built and mounted. It took quite a while… first a lot of head scratching, then some mulling, then pondering, then laminating, then routing, lots of planing. I needed to use my hoist and some scaffolding to lift it up high enough to attach. At least I can start with my ribbands now… and shaping some floors.

Transom frame

Transom frame

17 02 2012
thegumbos

friggin’ beautiful!!

15 03 2012
Karl Bischoff

Have now finished the rabbett for the entire length. Now comes another long job of cutting 68 frame sockets for the butt of each frame to sit in as I steam bend all the 1.5 x 1.5 inch green oak frames into place. Luckily my bro has volunteered to help with the bending. He helped with the same project on the last boat. I don’t know how I would do that job alone. I also need to finish milling and attaching all the remaining ribbands prior to bending in the frames.

rabbett

rabbett

22 03 2012
Scott Sadil

I love this build.

Show us more.

Scott

22 03 2012
Karl Bischoff

Thanks for looking, Scott. The progress has been so slow (2 years now) that it gets embarrassing showing it. But now that each step actually shows progress, I hope to post more often.

14 05 2012
Karl Bischoff

Slight setback this weekend. Someone decided to cut a hole in the back of the shop, load up a bunch of tools and a thousand 14×2 square-drive silicon-bronze screws (about $5,000 total) and run out the front door. Someone is enjoying my Festool sander/vac, but is in for a shocker since I just used it on a boat haulout smoothing out some bottom paint. Hopefully they get a noseful of toxic dust and die. Just sayin.

hole in the wall

18 06 2012
Karl Bischoff

Due to needing to be back at work at the office, not much has happened lately. I’ve finally got the burglary stuff resolved (added a big monitored alarm system, outside motion-sensing lights, insurance claims resolved). BTW: Safeco was totally AWESOME. They were nice to work with and very prompt. It seems like everytime I go there I notice more things missing. You don’t notice a lot till you reach out for that tool and it’s gone. I’ve now replaced most of my planes, bronze hardware, my 2-ton hoist, Festool vac and sander, etc.

Anyway… I’ve now got the ribbands on and am currently marking them up for frame placement. All the frame sockets are cut and Adam at Edensaw is trying to locate some green bending white oak for me. I will be steam-bending in 66 1.5×1.5 inch 8 foot pieces. Hopefully can finish it in 3 days (yeah, right). I’ll be enlisting family and friends to help out. Each piece gets steamed for 1.5 hours and we have 30 seconds to get it into the boat, hammered into the socket, bent against the ribbands, and attached (temporarily). Later the planking will be screwed to the frames.

ribbands

18 06 2012
Wayne

Glad to hear insurance resolved and place secure. Now as I said in my email, get your ass back to work….the shop is way too clean!

23 08 2012
Karl Bischoff

Finally… my bending oak got delivered. Freshly cut white oak from Tennessee, via EdenSaw (Adam) in Port Townsend. I’ve been getting ready for the frames. The green oak came as 9/4 x 16″ x 12′. I first had to joint an edge of each timber, then run them thru the band saw to get them 1 5/8 x 9/4. Those timbers were HEAVY. I’m guessing at least 150 lbs each. Next I will run them all thru the surface planer many times to dimension them to 1.5 x 1.5 x 12′. That will take at least another day. Then each piece will be squared off on one end, the end soaked in cuprenol, and coated overall with boiled linseed oil (to retain the heat long enough to do the bending). Then I need to gather as many troops as I can muster for the bending process. We have 66 frames to be steamed and bent into place. Two long days should do it.

5 09 2012
OscarK

Please show details of the steam bending including pics of the help positioning the frame. I suppose 30 sec is not a long time to worry about pics. Hopefully a more delicate member of the family can take care of that. Perhaps a video could be taken? Thanks for the posts.

24 09 2012
Brian George

Found your blog via Wood News Online. Want to stay tuned in. So very interesting. If I was in Seattle, I would be more than happy to help out but, live in Wisconsin.

24 09 2012
Karl Bischoff

Thanks for the note Brian. If you pass thru Seattle let me know and I’ll give you the 5 minute tour.

8 10 2012
Karl Bischoff

Had a great weekend of steam bending. With the help of my brother Kurt, the two Steves and a Marty, we got 66 green white-oak frames bent into the ribbands. Lots of cleanup to do making sure everything will run true for the planks. Then it’s time to build, attach and final shape the floors. They are 8/4 oak and will have three bronze bolts on each side to attach to the frames (plus thru-bolts and drifts in to the purpleheart keel).

8 10 2012
Brandon Walker

Awesome guys, it’s really starting to come along! Keep up the good work!

12 11 2012
Karl Bischoff

Had to spend a few days doing some housekeeping with the newly bent in oak frames. I decided to put in a screw in place of the keeper wires for some of the frame/ribband joints. Then I needed to fair some of the aft frames that had a tough time making the severe bend into the frame socket. Not too bad with the help of an adz.

I re-installed the floors that had bolts running thru the wood keel, drilled bolt holes thru them into the adjacent frames, marked for final fairing, used a band saw to rough to marks and then planes and draw knife for final fitting. Then cut the remaining floors, fit, bolted, etc. 23 floors total, 8/4 white oak, between 6 and 12 inches tall. I am now giving them 2 coats of red lead, will shoot the bolts holes with cuprinol, red lead the frames and keel where they all meet, bed with Dolphinite, and bolt away. Most frames are attached to keel with 1/2″ SB bolts. Due to interference with other bolts, some will be attached with 3/8″ SB drifts.

3 12 2012
Karl Bischoff

The floors are all in now! They are 8/4 white oak and are bolted to the wood keel and frames… all silicon bronze. I’ll still have to do some trimming when I fit the planks, but I expected to have to do that. Next up: lining out for the planks. I have to study up a bit for that. The Port Orford Cedar should just about be ready. It is 5/4 and been air drying for 1.5 years now. It’ll be great to move most of that lumber from the shop floor to the sides of the boat. I’ll once again have a bigger shop!

floor in

floors in

4 12 2012
Brian George

Just a pure joy to watch it come to life. I’ll take you up on your invitation to have the 5 minute tour when I come out in the Spring to visit a son and his family living in Port Angeles.

25 12 2012
Gerard>

Just found you via the Wooden Boat Forum. Great work, methodically done. How you find time to do it is remarkable. Gerard in Everett.

25 12 2012
Karl Bischoff

Thanks Gerard. Time is the big enemy of this type of long term project. Luckily, my philosophy is that boatbuilding, like sailing, is all about the journey, not the arrival. And that’s a good thing, since I’m over 60 and a long way till completion. Hopefully my nephews will finish it up when I’m too old and feeble to do it 🙂

22 01 2013
Karl Bischoff

Oh yeah, now I remember why you don’t build a boat in a big city. Just spent another half day wiping off a 25′ x 7′ tag from my shop wall. I now have by custom anti-graffiti kit: Acetone, kerosene, paint thinner, denatured alcohol. The tag on the front door was Denatured Alcohol, the side mural was kerosene.

graffiti

27 09 2015
Dustin Hadley

A surprisingly effective means of limiting it in Minneapolis is having a genuine mural on the walls of your shop. Most of the graffiti artists leave murals alone. The Latin Kings definitely leave Christian murals alone.

23 01 2013
wayne

It’s artwork. Leave it up next time…..you may discover a new Picasso.

6 02 2013
Karl Bischoff

Yes… hard to believe but the garboards are bent into place. They are shaped out of Port Orford cedar, starting as 5/4 x 8″ x 17′ blanks. They are finished off to 1″ planks, but I needed the extra 1/4″ for hollowing out parts and rounding off others to match the bend in the frames as they approach the rabbet. My bud Mr. Keenan was gracious enough to help steam bend the planks with me. Now for some long hours shaping them to fit snug in the rabbet and against the frames in a bristol fashion. Thanks for the words of encouragement from my new friend Bernadette in Oz… best sage advise: remember, it’s wood, you can always redo/fix it. Don’t overthink it. Do the best you can, take your time, get it right.

3 03 2013
billy Lintzenich

to karl bischoff, Do you have anymore pics and posts of your “Bish” build? I have wanted to build me a boat since the mid 90’s I think, but never have. Iam jealous…keep up the awesome work.

6 03 2013
Karl Bischoff

Hi Billy. All the pics I have are here on this site. I don’t take many as it can be embarrassing how long things are taking. Maybe once I get going on the planking I can show more 🙂

8 03 2013
billy lintzenich

karl you mention about how long things are taking you. Eventhough Ivce never built anything I know it would take time lots of time to do a build, so dont worry about how much time its taking as long as you feel that everytime your nearing completion that its all being done right. You got to feel good from that Karl.

24 07 2013
Karl Bischoff

Things are coming along… S… L… O… W…L…Y. I have four steelers yet to line out, cut, shape, bend and install. Steelers are smaller planks used near the garboard that allow me to make some pretty serious bends and twists in the cedar. So that will bring me up to the tuck plank, which runs the full length of the boat without any twists.

Meanwhile I am starting the planking from the sheer down. Currently on the third strake and starting the aft portion of each. Got the major bend to the transom in on the sheer strake.

Onward.

21 08 2013
Ken McAuliffe

When I was younger (and single) I re-planked my 56 ft sloop, I thought that was a big job; what you’re doing is sooo much more ambitious and incredible! Since my wife is in the ad business I’ve know a lot of guys who built furniture or models to relax but I think you should be eligible for a Clio award for most ambitious way to unwind from work. I’ll keep checking in to see how it’s going.

Ken McAuliffe

26 08 2013
Karl Bischoff

Hi Ken. My Clio should be for acting like I know what I am doing. I guess the goal is to make 2 things right for each 1 mistake you make 🙂

23 08 2013
Simon Brace

This is AWESOME. I am so excited about this project that I was pestering my wife last night at 1am showing her the work. My wife then told me of a friend of hers who built a boat in South Africa. Does she not understand the importance of me knowing about these matters???? For this failure to let me know about such important matters she will simply have to buy me another Lie Nielson tool as compensation for the distress that this has caused me. It is one thing to build a coffee table, quite another to build something you are prepared to float in. AWESOME work Karl.

26 08 2013
Karl Bischoff

Hi Simon. I’ll have to try that theory with my wife. I could always use a new Lie Nielson tool. I am still in the rough stages of the build, the “coffee table” quality part comes when I start smoothing things out… the hard part.

12 11 2013
Simon Brace

Karl, Excellent to see the progress. If you were around the corner I would have to pop over and give you a hand with the work. I know that it helps to have an extra pair of hands around. I have to use to all sorts of ingenious methods to coerce my wife in helping out and before she knows it she has the belt sander in her hands.

13 11 2013
Karl Bischoff

I’m afraid the belt sander would be used on ME. I think it wisest to continue on alone 🙂

13 11 2013
Simon Brace

Yes…would not want your conversations with your wife to become too abrasive 😉

25 08 2013
Jerry

Karl,
Your project is amazing, I’m both inspired and envious. I started to build a 28′ sailboat years back put ran out of funds real fast. Keep up the fantastic work I’m also in my 60’s (would love to start one now but no way could I handle it) it’s good to see someone in our age working on such a project. God bless and keep going.

26 08 2013
Karl Bischoff

Hey Jerry. The secret to not running out of funds is to drag it out over decades. One less latte a day for ten years is almost $15,000. Not that I buy lattes, but if I did……

11 11 2013
Karl Bischoff

Sorry for lack of updates. I’ve been getting the stern tube (bronze pipe that prop shaft goes thru to get from inside boat to outside) machined, components for the prop and stuffing box, and mounting hardware speced and ordered.

Meanwhile, doing a lot of shaping of the transom. Got the Honduras Mahogany steam bent over a form, I installed a Western Red Cedar spline in full length groves in order to prevent alignment shifts of the mahogany planks.
No picture of that yet.

I needed to take a day off and build something I could FINISH. I read about these planking benches somewhere and decided to make a couple of them. Much sturdier than my old sawhorses. They are called Manning Bench and Anvils. They are sturdy 2 foot high, 6 feet long, 8 inch wide benches that you can add a boxed anvil (1 ft. x 1 ft. x 6 ft.) that is dovetailed together. You can use just the benches, or clamp the anvils on for the extra working height.
I cut some planks on it using the Skil 77 and it works great! And it doesn’t even have to float 🙂

13 11 2013
Ken McAuliffe

None of the images displayed today; to bad….
I wanted to see these benches!!

13 11 2013
Ken McAuliffe

So I posted this note and all the images showed up; go work that out!!
The benches look like what we called in the carpentry business a “Saw Buck”, similar to a saw horse but wider to hold material steady durring rip cutting.
What is the Metal item behind them? Steam cabinet??

13 11 2013
Karl Bischoff

Yes, that’s the bottom of my steam box. It is used outside, connected via a radiator hose to a 5 gallon gas can (water tank) sitting on a crab cooker platform connected to a propane tank. The box it made of 2x2s and rigid insulation foam panels (foil backed).

16 12 2013
Karl Bischoff

Stern Tube is now installed. It is a threaded bronze pipe that runs through the deadwood and connects the prop fitting with the stuffing box inside the boat. Then the prop shaft runs though it to get to the engine.

I’m now back planking. Just put on numbers 4,5 and 6 forward on both sides. Now I have to put on the aft parts of each. This takes a lot longer (well… everything does with a broken finger) as each needs to be spiled separately and the transom shaped to accept it. It’s fun doing the planking as it really starts to bring out the shape of the hull. So I am pushing to get the planking done, caulked, sanded and painted in case the apocalypse comes. That way I can just float out of the building 🙂

16 12 2013
Ken McAuliffe

It does look like a boat now but I think you have plenty of time to finish the hull, dek, house, mast, boom, galley, etc, etc, as the apocalypse always disapoints. Remember, if you wanted a boat you would have bought one, this is heritage. Something a granchild will own one day…

I have a friend who has a 38 foot wood hull cutter, it seems like too much work thats never done until people gather around the dock to see what a wood sail boat looks like; that never happens near my some what less than polished fiberglass hull.

Good luck and push on!

“If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.”

-E.B. White

17 12 2013
Simon Brace

Looks great. Any chance you could take a few pics of the stern tube stuff you have done and post these? And sorry to be so nosy, but how did the finger get broken? These stories are rarely boring. I recently put one of my gloriously sharp chisels into the back of my thumb knuckle. Take care.

21 04 2014
Evangeline

I am genuinely happy to glance at this website posts which
contains lots of valuable facts, thanks for providing these information.

21 04 2014
ken

Karl, where are you…

21 04 2014
Karl Bischoff

Georgetown area of Seattle

1 05 2014
Bob Albers

Hi Karl….This is Bob Albers, builder of the cold molded version…….
Nice website!…..I am getting close to launch, sometime this summer…..Looks like I might be in Seattle this weekend and most of next week for business….I would love to stop by and see your boat and “chew the fat” with ya about it…..

1 05 2014
Karl Bischoff

Love to visit with you. What does your schedule look like? I can meet you at the shop this weekend or Tuesday or Friday next week. Lemme know.

1 05 2014
Bob Albers

I will know my travel schedule later today….will let you know, but I should be available this weekend or Tuesday….my email is bob.albers@att.net

12 05 2014
Karl Bischoff

Had a couple great visits here at the Boatworks. First, Bob Albers stopped by from the great state of Texas. He is just finishing up on his Susan build. It is quite different than mine as it is strip-planked… very modern techniques and much lighter. BISH is very traditional plank-on-frame. I’m really looking forward to visiting him this fall to sail and check out the rig, as it will be similar to mine. I hope to also talk him into a bike ride while there since he seems to be of similar skill-set as me.

The second visitor was Chris Collins, a friend from the UK. He is a photography enthusiast and brought his digital Hassy with him. Below is the shot he took of the current state of BISH.

I am also planning on the installation of the rudder tube (being built by Port Townsend Foundry) and the engine. To place the engine in the boat, I am building a gantry out of an I beam and some wood supports. A chain hoist and beam trolley will lift, move, and lower the engine repeatedly as I fit it to the beds. Thanks to Bob Albers for the idea.

25 08 2014
Karl Bischoff

So still waiting for the rudder tube from Port Townsend Foundry. But getting done what I can till that arrives. I’ve been manufacturing and installing about 3000 cedar plugs to seal up the holes from the bronze screws in the planks. I have a few planks to go in the stern after the rudder tube goes in, and the shutter plank up forward. This last plank will go in hopefully in October. I will have a whiskey plank party at that time. Tradition calls for a shot of whiskey when the last plank is attached. I will put the plank on during the party and the whiskey will flow. I have a WEE BIT of clean up to do in the shop before the non-boatbuilding crowd arrives. I will also have all the plugs sheared off level by then.

25 08 2014
Simon Brace

Brilliant stuff. It has been so much fun following the progress of this work.

25 08 2014
ken McAuliffe

Karl, nice work, enjoy the party, then it’s on to the deck and house!!

28 08 2014
Paul Dutra

Karl, may I ask a question? How are the frames fastened where they meet the keel? It appears they are set into slots cut into the keel but are they fastened and in what method?

28 08 2014
Karl Bischoff

Pockets were cut into the purpleheart keel for the frame butts. Each frame butt was soaked in wood preservative, hammered into the pocket while bending the steamed frame into place. Then a 14×2.5 silicon bronze screw was driven thru the frame into the keel… just to keep it from moving around. Then the frames are thru-bolted to the oak floors.

29 08 2014
Paul Dutra

Thank you Karl. Pretty much as I expected, although I was very curious
whether the butt end was also screwed into the keel prior to installing the garboard plank. Much appreciated. Looking forward to more photos and info.

29 10 2014
Karl Bischoff

So now all the planks are in except the final shutter plank. Whiskey Plank Toast soon. I still need to plug all the final screws holes. The rudder tube is fitted and in. The cleanup of the shop is more extensive than I anticipated. Really haven’t done a thorough cleaning since starting the planking 2.5 years ago. I gathered all the scraps from cutting out the planks. Two trips to the dump, total of 2,000 lbs of clean wood scraps. I felt bad throwing so much beautiful Port Orford Cedar away, but the scraps mostly had a lot of knots so not useable anyway.

28 11 2014
Rex Bradley

Brilliant work and fabulous explanations. Thanks for the pleasure.

18 12 2014
Karl Bischoff

So OK! The whiskey plank is in! At least she is looking like a boat now. Had a quick Whiskey Plank Toast at the boatworks… yum. Now comes the LONG process of fairing up the hull. If built by true professionals, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but since it has been built by a boathack (me) it’s going to take a lot longer. The upside is my arms will gain a few inches of circumference from all the planing. Six days so far on the starboard side. After all the planing, comes the scraping (with a scraper build from an old hand saw cut down)… then the caulking… then the seam priming… then the seam puttying… then the LONG sanding process… then the priming… then the puttying and sanding… then the priming again… then the puttying and sanding again… then the PAINTING!

Fairing

18 12 2014
Simon Brace

So awesome to follow this progress. Pitty you are so far away. I could have taken all of those scraps from you. Heat my house with wood and only need small pieces to make serving trays. Do take care and have an excellent Christmas.

18 12 2014
Karl Bischoff

Ya. At a certain point you are just overcome by scraps. My brother said the same thing as you when he saw my photos, but even he would only be able to take 1/50th of what I had to get rid of. I’m a bit of a hoarder, so it was tough.

14 02 2015
Karl Bischoff

Good news today. I just received my Edson Worm Gear steerer. I looked into having Edson build one for me, but I couldn’t afford it. My friend Bob in Texas told me to keep checking eBay and Craigslist and one would turn up eventually. I kept at it for 6 months, and one turned up! In the Bay Area Craigslist and for 1/12 the price of a new one. It needs to be cleaned up but otherwise in great shape… even included a wheel.

Also, I’ve finished planing the planking, then scraping the planks to remove plane marks, and am now cleaning up the caulk seams with a dumb iron to make them all 3/32″ wide and about 5/8″ deep. I think my knuckles will be dragging on the floor if I need to do too much more rubbing on this hull. Just a couple months more.

14 02 2015
Bob

Hey Karl!…Awesome!! I’m so glad you were able to find the worm gear! And I must say, that wheel looks incredible!
The great thing about a build like this is the process of finding great hardware such as this….
I love to just walk around the boat, look at something, and have a memory and story to tell about how it came to be……truly good times!
Bob (in texas)

15 02 2015
Karl Bischoff

Yes. I do love to tell the story of how I got my Sabb engine into the USA

26 03 2015
Karl Bischoff

Finally started chalking the hull. This is the process: first prime the seam with oil-based paint. This lubes the seam to accept the cotton as well as preserves the cotton… adding 15 years to it’s life. Then pound in loops of cotton as appropriate for the width and depth of the seam. Then follow up with a making iron that pushes it in more. Then paint the seam and cotton with more paint to seal in the cotton. Then put in seam compound to smooth it out. Then sand the entire hull. Then prime the hull. So… still lots to do. I get about 6-7 seams done a day… with a total of 44 seams to do.

One interesting note about this process: on the East Coast they talk about “caulking” the seams. Here on the West Coast we talk about “corking” the seams. My guess is that East Coast has the American Yankee influence, whereas we in the Pacific NW have a British influence (near British Columbia) and “caulking” with a British accent sounds like “corking”. But I may be wrong 🙂

corking

15 06 2015
Karl Bischoff

Another long delay in postings. Alot happens, but it doesn’t look much different so I wait until something shows. After the corking was finished, I started putting in the seam compound, both above and below DWL (designed waterline). It shrank quick a bit (is not supposed to) so had to add another layer. Then I spent a few days sanding. The bulk of the work was done with an 8″ soft pad with 80 grit. Then a pass with a sanding board (2 ft) with 80 grit. Then another pass with the 8″ soft pad and 120 grit. The biggest job was cleaning the entire shop of 1/2″ of saw dust. whew!

Then it was on to establishing the waterline. I got the measurements from my lofting plus 6″ for the extra height of my blocks. Then I added 3″ at the stem and 2″ at the stern since I am not putting in a bootstripe. Then stretched a string along both sides and used a 3ft. level to extend that string line to the planking.

I tacked a 1/2″x1/2″ batten to the line and used a file to dig a 1/8″ deep line that will be used as the demarcation between topside paint and bottom paint.

Then I thought it was time to put on a coat of primer to see where I was at. The topsides have one coat of PreCoat, which will be sanded down till almost clear after I have used fairing putty on any newly exposed dents/dings and faired the seams for a smooth surface. The bottom will get puttied as well then recoated with bottom primer.

17 06 2015
Ken

Looks great, nice lines. Deck next?

17 06 2015
Ken

Be sure to show us where and how the Edson Worm Gear is installed

17 06 2015
Karl Bischoff

That’s a year or two away 😦

17 06 2015
Karl Bischoff

Still lots to do on the hull. I’ve decided to make the topsides smooth (not having the seams show) which means more putty and fairing. Another coat or two of primer, both above and below waterline. THEN… set up the boat stands and pull out the molds, install sheer clamp and start building deck beams. I think it prudent to put in the engine before installing deck beams… which means repairing the transmission linkage and building the gantry to raise and lower the engine repeatedly.

11 07 2015
Dustin Hadley

I’ve not checked in for over a year after seeing your blog on Highland Woodworking. You’ve made great progress and it looks fantastic! I wish you luck and will check in again another time.

26 07 2015
Karl Bischoff

Just finished putting some initial coats on for the topsides and bulwark. Got three coats of primer on for the bottom. Next I need to set up the boat stands, remove the molds, saw off the frame overages, vacuum out and paint the interior. I have built the upright supports (12 ft. tall) and the have the I beam for building my gantry. I will use this to raise and lower my SABB engine repeatedly to get the alignment just right.

8 09 2015
Karl Bischoff

Put a couple coats of topsides paint (Marshall’s) to seal things up for now. Finally getting to move to the deck and interior. Removed the molds and gave the entire interior a coat of bilge paint to seal in freshness. I am currently putting in the bilge stringers (2 per side) and then will put in the sheer clamps. They are too thick to bend in, so will have to 1) steam bend into place, 2) laminate in place, or 3) slit horizontally so they are slim enough to bend, and then bolt back together. I have already located and attached backing blocks for the thru-hulls. I have finished building the gantry so will install engine after putting in all the ceilings (inside planking).

27 09 2015
leslie phinney

i have not checked your progress in awhile…….looks amazing

20 10 2015
Financial Planner Indeed

I’m not ѕure exactly why but this bloɡ is loading extremely slow for me.
Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem
on my end? I’ll check back lzter on and see if thee problem still exists.

31 10 2015
Karl Bischoff

Lotsa images I guess. But it loads pretty quick for me.

5 12 2015
Karl Bischoff

A wee bit o progress. I now have the sheer clamps installed. I will have to install 7/8″ wood plugs over where the bolts entered thru the planking. Quite the scene bending in the clamps. So now I am starting the deck beams. Most are 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 with a center rise of 5″ over 10′. I am using 4 7/16 pieces and one 5/8 piece. Close counts. Each is laminated with first clear West System epoxy and followed by thickened West System. Then sandwiched together and clamped up. There are 9 2.5″ beams, a couple 2″ beams, and a few 1.5″ beams. I can only set up two at a time so it will take awhile. Also time consuming is millings all the strips used in the lamination. I have been air-drying a bunch of Doug Fir I got for free, but a lot of it turned out to be unusable due to big knots. Hopefully I have enough for the deck beams.

28 01 2016
Ken McAuliffe

I know you said you’d have it in the water on opening day 2040 but I think you may beat that date! Hull looks great!

28 01 2016
Karl Bischoff

It’s a bit of a race: Which is done first, the boat or me. Luckily my mother is 100 years old, so I’m counting on the same longevity.

29 02 2016
Karl Bischoff

Working on the inside now YAY. I put in the forward three deck beams and the aft three deck beams to add a skoch of stability. I am now putting in the ceilings. Got the stuff put in down to the bilge stringer on both sides and just finished the port lower half (bilge stringer down to floors). The ceilings are 7/16″ thick, 3″ wide, Doug Fir, beveled to look like beading and to allow for bending the edges. They have to be edge-set to the preceding ceiling and have two holes drilled at each frame and then 1″ #10 SB frerson oval head screws set in. The openings are for where they meet a thru-hull backing pad. The knot holes will be filled with wood plugs. All the ceilings were primed on the back sides with red lead paint. They will be primed and painted white on the interior faces.

I am also prepping the SABB 2h for installation. I haven’t cranked her up for a while so I have to clean things up a bit to get things working again. Just prior to adding the engine, I will be “waxing” the keel. In other words, pouring a mixture of melted pure bees wax and pine tar in the gap between the planking and the wood keel, thus sealing things up and eliminating small pockets for water to settle. This wax will be primed with red lead and have a couple coats of epoxy bilge paint to finish. THEN the engine.

ceilings

13 06 2016
Karl Bischoff

Yet another long lapse between postings. Sorry. After the ceilings were completed, I melted about a ton of organic beeswax, added some pine tar for the hell of it, and poured it in the small spaces between the purpleheart keel and the planking. This keeps little stuff and water from collecting there. Then it was primed with red-lead and then coated with bilge paint.

So, the Mighty Sabb 2h is now in the boat. The gantry worked great, lifting the engine up and over to the center of the boat, and lowering into place. It had to go up and down a couple dozen times till things were right and multiple coats of bilge paint added. The prop shaft was machined to fit, adding a keyway and dimples in the stainless steel to mate up with the flexible shaft coupling. Put the prop on and all seems to miraculously fit.

Next up, the rest of the main deck beams were installed, The deck framing for the main cabin, cockpit and cuddy cabin. Blocking for between the beams and support for various deck structures came next, including the breasthook and transom blocking.

29 06 2016
Karl Bischoff

More progress. I think all the deck beams and blocking are now in. Today I finished putting in some oak blocking between all deck beam ends. I just ordered my stainless steel diesel tank that will be mounted under the cockpit sole and behind the engine. The two water tanks will be plastic (to save large amounts of $). Coming up, installing the cabin sole and bulkheads. The sole will probably be mahogany. The bulkheads will be mahogany tongue and groove back by marine ply.

29 07 2016
Ron

Can’t wait for this months installment seeing as you have been avoiding SV and the face to face progress reports.

29 07 2016
Karl Bischoff

I hope to post more photos soon as I have to update my project book. I always show my progress via the book at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend in September when I exhibit my other boat, the Leslie Jean.

29 07 2016
Karl Bischoff

I guess I can update a bit without new photos for now. As of today, I am finishing hanging the cockpit sole. I built the eight 20″ bronze bolts and will install them next week. I built the samson post and need to build the platform in the bilge for it to sit on.

I just completed building the 7 bend laminated coach house roof beams from Doug Fir strips. They still need to be finished (sanding off the excess epoxy) and varnished prior to installation.

Next up: starting the bulkheads.

9 08 2016
Karl Bischoff

Now the samson post is built and fitted. The post and all the keel stepping pieces are now being painted before installation. The ceiling beams for the coach roof are now sanded and ready for varnish. The cockpit is now framed and 8 12″ bronze bolts are installed to hang it from the deck beams. The stainless steel fuel tank is in. It has rubber weatherstripping wherever it touches wood to avoid corrosion. I will install the Raccor fuel filter and the raw water strainer once the cocklpit it more complete, which will give me move places to attach them. Now I need to install the mast steps. THEN I will start with the bulkheads, which as of the moment will be plywood for stability.

9 08 2016
Ron

Your progress is amazing. Can’t wait to get to Seattle to visit. WOW

15 02 2017
Blaise

Something new or winter brake? Work progress ? We are looking forward to !

15 02 2017
Karl Bischoff

No official break. But with holidays, spouses foot surgery, colds, etc. it has been slow going. I will be taking some pics this week and will post them shortly thereafter. Sorry for the delay.

24 02 2017
Karl Bischoff

A bit more progress. The bulkhead for the chain locker is in and painted. The frame and door built and painted. Also the bulkhead for the clothes/sail locker just aft of the chain locker. Installed and painted. Doors built and installed. It needs two doors as it opens around the foremast. The ceilings are now sanded, primed, and two coats of enamel (thank you Marshalls Cove). I made a pattern for the cabin sole… much of which is under furniture. It will be 1″ Honduran Mahogany. I’ve started installing the fixed pieces. Then I will make patterns for the sections that open for bilge access. They will be biscuited together with reinforcing cleats along the bottoms.

8 04 2017
Karl Bischoff

Yet another long delay. I had my 65th birthday party at the shop, and shortly thereafter found out there was a tumor in my spine. So… they needed to do surgery to either remove it if benign, or biopsy if it appeared malignant. Very luckily, it was completely benign. So now no lifting, bending or twisting for 6 weeks. I’m 3 weeks into that now, and have somehow managed to build the mahogany access panels for the sole (4″ strips biscuited together. Still need to epoxy paint the bottoms, fit the recessed lifting rings, final fitting onto sole, and finishing with Daly’s SeaFin) and machine the grubs. Grubs are the pieces attached to the deck beams that accept the cabin sides. The architect called for teak or oak, but…. I still had some Doug Fir left over and my cheap side won out. They are 1 3/4 x 3 1/4 machined to accept 3/4 ply with a bevel for draining down to deck and a flat and caulking bevel to butt up to the teak decking (if I ever figure out how to afford it).

Next up is to install the grubs for both the main cabin and the aft cabin, which I call the cuddy cabin (hey, it’s MY boat and I’ll call it anything I damn well please). I still have to machine the corner posts which will accept the ends of the cabin sides and merge with the grubs. I already made the laminated coach roof beams so they will go in after the sides are on.

22 04 2017
Karl Bischoff

I’ve been busy building and installing the upright corner posts for both cabins and fitting the grubs connecting their bottom edges. The cabin sides will be fitted into their slots.
Also: today I went to the Wooden Boat Foundation swap meet in Port Townsend and came home with a few treasures: an old Stanley square that is very solidly built… not like my crappy Chinese pot-metal one from Home Depot…, a shop-built serving mallet with reel for twine, and a 35# CQR anchor for a REALLY cheap price. All the above for $110.
This week I will be preparing for installation of 9 brass ring pulls for opening floorboards (using a new trim router, pattern bit, and reusable template) as well as continuing cabin sides.

18 05 2017
Karl Bischoff

Just finishing framing the two cabins. I made templates of all 8 sides and then cut out the marine ply to match. All installed with Dolphinite and bronze screws. Now have to save up for buying the opening port lights. Also plugged the screws in the permanent sole portions and painted the bottoms of the removable portions. Next up, putting all sole pieces in and sanding for uniformity and surface. Then pull out removable pieces and morticing in the brass flush pulls. Then the whole thing is reinstalled and given a few coats of Daly’s SeaFin Teak Oil (even tho the entire sole is made of Honduran Mahogany). I’ll cover the finished sole with cardboard to protect it during furniture construction.

31 05 2017
Leslie Phinney

So proud of all you’ve accomplished…it’s amazing really!! Bish is already looking beautiful.

31 05 2017
woodyandscout

So proud of all you’ve accomplished! Bish is already quite beautiful!!!

10 07 2017
Curt Bailey

Incredible Karl. Looking great. I’m very jealous.

22 07 2017
Karl Bischoff

Some progress, although slow. Too many interruptions… like a laminectomy (removing a tumor from my spine). But back at it now. Since the last photos, I have installed the cabin roof beams, bought the NewFoundMetals port lights (5 round ones and four rectangles), cut their openings in both cabins, and started building the interior. So far added berth fronts in main saloon, all three bulkheads for the head and a couple to frame the galley. Now that these bulkheads are in I am really feeling how small this boat is. It’s going to be interesting fitting in the toilet and still having enough room not to have to bend over while seated. Definitely not a tall person boat. But I am determined to build this boat with traditional methods and materials, and following the plans per the architect … although yesterday I extended the aft berths a few inches to accommodate my feet. Even though it’s such a small boat, it will comfortably sleep 4 people… although it will help if you really like each other and no one has any intestinal issues.

Pictured below is the current status. The port lights need a backing plate (teak) as they are designed for thicker cabin sides. I decided to varnish them prior to installation to avoid lots of taping off. I will install after construction is done and cabin sides are faired and painted. On this boat, the only varnished wood will be on the interior (it took 65 years for me to figure out that spending 3 weeks every year on varnish is not the best use of my limited time on this mortal coil).

After all bulkheads are in, I will fair and paint/varnish the overhead beams of decks and cabins. Then the tongue & groove overhead goes on main cabin, followed by plywood, canvas and paint. Kiwi at Edensaw in Port Townsend has been helping me with figuring out the deck lumber. Teak is now on order. I decided to bite the bullet on the deck material and go the expensive route as I know teak and how it responds, so one less variable. The Alaskan Spruce for the spars has been at Edensaw for a couple years. It will be delivered with the teak… now where to put it?

15 08 2017
Marty and Len

Leonard Deitz and I checked in on your progress. Len gives the thumbs up – missed not coming down this summer… Marty

7 11 2017
Brandon Walker

I’ve been following this blog since you started laying out the frame patterns on the floor. It’s amazing how much one person with some good tools and a whole lot of determination can accomplish. This is really quite an achievement. Keep plugging away, it’s really turning out great!

8 11 2017
Karl Bischoff

Thanks Brandon. Sometimes it feels like a race to finish while I’m young enough to sail her. Oh well, if not, at least I can hope one of my nephews will pick up the torch and do the final bits and sail her proudly. People keep saying that it looks like I’m almost finished. I think that’s because all the big stuff (other than deck and rigging) are done, so it looks like a boat now. But even the galley framing out has taken me a few weeks (2 days/week) to accomplish. So everything seems to matter more now and take a lot longer. Still learning, still dreaming.

24 11 2017
Allan Horton

Just an unbelievable boatbuilding odyssey – no other term describes adequately your project – far more ambitious and properly performed than anything my experience can contemplate. My hat (constantly worn due to rampant skin cancer), is off to you!

I am about to have a 16-ft fishing skiff built for me because (1) I doubt I could, and (2) at 80, I have too little time to undertake its build. My sole experience is building an 8-ft pram at 14, and a 16 ft Peterborough-model stripper canoe in the mid-70s which my wife and I still enjoy. Needless to say, your project is well beyond my talents and/or endurance.

Looking forward with great interest to launch day and the subsequent test sail knowing in advance both will be appropriately celebrated and (I hope) recorded for posterity (and us online spectators) with a video available for purchase.

Allan Horton, Sarasota, Fl.

27 11 2017
Karl Bischoff

Nice to hear from you Allan. Yes, my melanoma certainly dampens the act of sun-worship as well. People keep saying that she looks close to finished, but… everytime I look at the list of projects yet to happen, it keeps growing fast than my completion rate. But, as I am all too fond of saying, it’s about the journey and not the arrival… just like sailing. I remember reading 40 years ago in a Pardey’s book, “Go small, go now”. So I am going small, but the “now” part is still eluding me 😉

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