Photos of the Stem

Here we see nine layers of Fir planks gluing for the stem.

Photos of the Stem

Here are two photos showing the Stem being glued and held with clamps.

Time Lapse Update

Here is a timelapse video that had GREAT potential, but I ran out of batteries!  It starts out with me taking the clamps off of the hardened sheer clamps, then sanding and routing the edges.  Brendan is on the right getting the mold ready for bending on the stem.  When the angel changes, you will see Drew enter the project, we lay down plastic to catch the epoxy run off, and set up the stem mold on the ground out of the way.  Notice all the clamps in the lower left hand corner.  At the very end, you will see us starting to roll on epoxy to both sides of everyboard....thats when my camera died.  But i'll throw up a picture of the final product.

Photos of the Horn Timber and Keelson

Here is the horn timber being glued.

Brendan is making the mold for bending the fir to make the stem.

Here you can see how nice the scarph looks in the keelson.  The scarphs are staggered for added strength.

Tracing out the keelson from Alfie's drawings onto carbon paper.  Then rough edges are cut out with a Jigsaw and faired with a belt sander and low angle block plane.

Pease Boat Yard as seen from their own dock.

-WEEK 2 Write Up - Making Stringers and Keelson

A lot has been done this week, although there is not much imagery to show for it.  Although we havent added much to the overall molds that we have set up now, we spent the week preparing to attach the stringers, sheer clamp, and now we are beginning to set up the keelson, stem, and horn timber.

At the beginning of the week, a new mold had to be added to the strongback, which I traced out onto plywood from Alfie's drawings and cut out with a jigsaw.  When this was added, more bracing was attached to the strongback and everything was re-leveled, plumed, and aligned.  

The rest of the week mainly consisted of working with fir.  Brendan and I went from 2x12x20 boards of rough sawn fir to 1x3x20.  Then, very careful scarphs were cut into them at a 10x1 ratio (in this case that would be a 10 inch scarph) but at the pointy end a 16th of an inch was left as a nub so that we could chisel in at the fat end  a 16th and fit them together to create a beautiful straight glue line when put together.  A lot of work needed to be done before gluing, however.  We ripped and planed them over and over again to get the perfect dimensions and smoothness.  Then, we were able to glue up 5 at a time, per day.  With ten to make, it took two days.  Now, we have ten, twenty foot fir stringers ready to be attached.  

Today was my final day of finish sanding the fir stringers.  Meanwhile, Brendan was tracing and cutting the molds for the keelson.  In the afternoon, we connected the scarphs and clamped them together.  This is made out of Sapelli plywood, the highest quality.  Two 3/4 inch thick molds were glued ontop of each other and are being held down overnight with around 40 clamps.  

Tomorrow, Aflie arrives with an additional camera, so I will be able to upload images of all these things I am explaining, but not showing.  Check back Wednesday for images of the Fir stringers and the Keelson!

Alfie's Drawings

Original plans for the Magic Class 30 as drawn by Alfie Sanford (

The Workshop

The upstairs workshop.  

Before The Project

The "Main" workshop area where the Magic Class 30 is to be built.  Notice the molds at the middle left.

MAGIC 30 Time Lapse Project

The Magic Class 30 Time Lapse Video Project. Check back for updates!

updated 7/26/09


Hello and welcome!  This blog will be following the building of a very special boat.  It is a custom designed sailing yawl by Alfie Sanford and is being built by Pease Boatworks and Marine Railway in Chatham, MA starting this fall 2008.  I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on such a project with my limited knowledge in boat building.  

The first week is over and it has proven how much you can get done in a short period of time.  Although we haven't actually starting building the boat, there are many steps required before in order to get things ready.  I will be working very closely with the master carpenter Brendan and Drew who work at the yard, then my friend Oliver will be joining us in December.  A small crew allows an intimate and consistent construction process.

Before I arrived in Chatham on Sunday night, the guys at the yard had already been busy cutting, planing, scarphing, and gluing the cedar planks for the boat.  They range from 26-44 feet.  On day one, Brendan and I went to the local marine store and shopped for lumber.  We bought 16  1x12x16's, 30 2x4x16s, and a sheet of plywood.  Our goal was to create a 40' by 9' box, perfectly accurate, square and level on all sides, that will support the building of the boat.  It should be noted that the boat will be built upside-down, and then flipped as we go along.  I cut 9' spacer boards that will go inside the box at intervals of 3 feet to add rigidity, strength, and form to the box.  The floor of the shop is neat in that it is poured concrete with timbers set in at floor level about every 4 feet.  When building the box, we would start at one end and go along the edge screwing it into the floor as we got it straightened.  Very cool!  In a couple hours it was finished and taking up most of the main shop.  Later we cut and installed the uprights that are of varying height to support the laser cut molds.    These were screwed onto the spacers.  Let me note here that in this stage, and all stages of boat building, it has become apparent to me that measurement accuracy, leveling, and pluming, is VERY important.  Once the uprights were installed, a tripod with a rotating laser head mount was brought into the box.  One of our starting points with the molds is to line them up to the actual waterline of the boat.  we set the laser to the waterline length and leveled it.  As the laser spun around, it hit every upright in the boat and all Brendan had to do was go around with a pen and mark them all.  The molds (which were cut by a laser and sent to the yard in puzzle pieces) were attached to the uprights.  Everyday we check the molds for level and plum accuracy.  If we are off by one tenth of a digital degree, then we will go so far as taking it apart and putting it back together to get it SPOT ON.  Lots of bracing is added to the uprights after the molds went up to add more rigidity to the overall structure...once we start building the boat ontop of the molds, there should be no movement.  
While we wait for the #2 mold to arrive (we never received it, so they are making it up for us), we scarph more cedar planks until we are out of cedar.    I had to put 4 pieces together to make one plank as we get into the "scraps" or smaller pieces of cedar.  Its always good to have extra.  

Since being here for just one week, I have realized a few things.  This is exactly what I want to be doing at this point in my life.  The guys at Pease are in it with there hearts and are true professionals.  At the end of this process, I will be glowing.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.  I should be updating at the end of every week with more write ups and pictures.  I also set up a small digital camera in one of the rafters of the shop with a time-lapse movie setting, taking a picture an hour every day to show the progress.  I will put up small clips here to see how cool it is.  Expect a 3-5 minute video putting our entire 10 month project at super speed.