Been spending lots of time getting puffin back in prime condition. This week it was the turn of the gunwhale rot which proved an easy fix. The rot was restricted to the area around the pin-hole which is covered by a mahogany plate. I kept cutting until the worst of the rot had been removed then epoxied the living hell out of it before inserting a piece of marine ply which was subsequently sanded flush. There were a couple of hairline gaps so I made up a quick filler using the marine ply sawdust and got it all looking sweet. Shame it’s going to get covered with a plate after all that! One more of these to do then the gunwhales can be oiled and varnished.
In a hilarous turn of events, Frazer and I both decided to do private projects that we kept secret from one another (fortunately they weren’t the same projects or there would have been trouble!). After our many lengthy discussions about using ash for the oars, Frazer decided that the best way to convince me was to build a prototype and I must say I’m impressed. Forgot to take a photo of it but his solution to the weight problem (ash is heavier than the douglas fir I was championing) was to drastically reduce the dimensions of the cross-section to take advantage of the strength of the timber. This has yielded an oar that weighs about the same as the NB oars but is much more slender. Photos to follow.
In the meantime I built a replacement rudder and tiller. The core is made of a high density plastic so we don’t have to worry as much if it gets knocked. The shape is a cobbling together of a number of designs that our club engineers have been toying around with which should hopefully give us an effective rudder that is half the weight of Puffin’s original one. See ‘arty’ video below. I actually changed the two top sections from plastic to ply to reduce the weight still further. The tiller (no pics yet) is made of laminated 18mm ply and looks like you could do someone a mischief with it!