Tuesday, February 11, 2020

_________________ INVOKING BILBOS WALKING SONG __________________

The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Bilbo Baggins of Bag End wrote this walking song about, well, walking. Being a distant cousin of Bilbo I have decided to use my family connections and borrow the song for a nautical use. It may be a stretch for some, but for me I like to see the walking song also as a metaphor for (among other endeavours) boat building and restoration. If you've ever laboured (and suffered) over a much loved project you will indeed understand.

Bow detail - Mahogany scarfed into Alaskan Red Cedar

I have always thought myself to be a bumbling and hopeless painter. Today I had a brain wave. Instead of launching forth into the beginning of 6 coats of varnish I read for the first time the Aus/NZ edition of International Paints 'Boat Paint Guide with Colour Card and How-to Guide'. What a useful eye opener! The golden sentence were words to the effect that 'Two thin coats of varnish are better than one thick coat that runs everywhere'. I brushed on one thin coat - no runs - Hallelujah.

 I have made the mast collar with a rebated slot to take the mast boot bungy cord - keeps the water out.

I also varnished the poplar dagger-board case. The holes at the forward base are hiking strap attachment points.

 Rather than butt the cockpit trim at right angles I have fitted rounded corners - much easier on the eye.
I am pleased with the way the grain in the Gaboon plywood deck has been picked up by the varnish.

The weather is balmy and warm at the moment so the next 5 days are booked for the last coats of varnish (6 in total). I then begin the painting of the hull - the road goes ever on.