Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This shot was taken a couple of days ago just across the bay in Little Harbour. Visitors from the Arctic that come our way every year around this time. This year there seems to be a bumper crop of them. The picture don't do it justice. The Berg is about a kilometer behind the point where the house lies. There are dozens viewable from the shoreline and thousands more just off the coast.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The plans have arrived a couple of days ago. I'm now in the process of laying the patterns out using a CAD program. (it's not necessary really but a good check of dimensions before cutting) I'll then print patterns and cut them on either a mdf board as templates or directly on the plywood. I should get a nice nesting of the frame members. But i am keeping in mind the direction of the grain in some areas. Not much to show for pictures right now. The shop is not cleaned up and Summer is nearly upon me. Finishing house renovation is first on list so not cutting until thats done.
I do need to get a new jigsaw though. I have a small "Skill" jigsaw that i've had for many years and struggles on thicker wood, so it is near the end of its life. I have eyed a 5.5 amp Dewalt jigsaw that i'll pick up soon and get used to. Other than that i have no major plans for tool purchases. I Put together a router table for my dad last week That unit looked nice, but not necessary for me at this point. I should really show a picture of the workshop in it's current state for a "before" shot. it's just big enough for the boat build. Going to be tight, very tight quarters indeed.

I have a heated greenhouse that right now needs a bit of attention. Tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and all manor of other veggies and fruit are in the ground and slowly growing. But i digress.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


No not the final frontier. The kind you need in order to build a sailboat. I've been looking at the time when a boat shed will be required for assembly, and the more I think about it the less I want to have one. The ability to control humidity in a plastic covered boat shed will be a concern. As well at temperature control. And I really don't want to be held up on account of weather. Newfoundland has among the worlds foggiest and wettest weather short of a rain forest. See "Guinness book of records" on Foggiest place. My workshop is big enough to build a boat. However. My workshop door is a mere 32" wide and my main basement door is 36" wide. I'll get some measurements scaled off the drawing to see it's deepest point of the boat. I have no issue in removing the doors and door boxes in order to accommodate the removal of a 17ft sailboat.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The coastline

Flat Rock NL. Only a short drive from my house. This picture was taken in the spring 2005, after a winter storm basically moved thousands of tons of rock breakwater from the right side of the wharf to the left side, as well as moving the concrete wharf. The power of nature.

The local bay with the exception of the marina cove itself, is long and completly unprotected from the North Atlantic Ocean. The shores as well, are a series of jagged rocks and cliffs. One does not want to be stranded too close to these. Not to mention sail too close too. the cliffs are high enough to alter the wind direction completly. From an offshore to an onshore breeze in moments. And on a calm day, no wind at all near these cliffs. A challenge for sailer's no doubt.
outside this bay is open ocean, next stop, England. The shore line outside this bay is little better, but there are some rare small coves that lend it's self to careful beaching and mooring. Other than that, its community wharves and breakwaters who lend shelter to boaters.
The Pathfinder will cruise the local bay on nice days, and be trailered to nicer pastures when it suits me. Newfoundland is a big place, and sparsely populated, so there are many beautiful bays and coves to explore. I have seen much of it and theres plenty of places to safely cruise, camp and fish.

Marina Blues

I had it confirmed a few days ago. The local marina only a stones throw from my house has effectively doubled the Club fee's this year. the "NEW" $500 maintenance fee on top of the $375+ (not including lift,storage etc.) berth fee has enraged many loyal club boat owners, many who are retired and with all things increasing in price this is the last straw. I'm not currently a part of the club (no boat now that i've sold my other sailboat) but I am pretty upset over the whole issue as well. Many say it's their last year at this marina. Some have put their boats up for sale due to ever rising marina costs. It's a pity really. It was a good club. A lot of nice people there who didn't turn up their noses at smaller or older boats.
It makes my decision to build the Pathfinder a little easier. Not having to be concerned about the marina fees and the current upheaval within the club.

First batch of Epoxy

Well the first batch of epoxy is on order. Luckily I am able to get it fairly locally and it's fresh. Many fishermen are using it on their boats so the stock has to be replenished regularly. This first batch with filler and glue additive will get me well into the bulkhead construction.
Speaking of construction...
My basement workshop a.k.a. "junk room" will need a serious cleaning up after my house renovations are complete. I have a truck load of trim, crown molding and closet doors to install and paint. First things first.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Ever since my childhood when me and my dad built my first plywood pram, I have been wanting to build a sailboat of my own. That Pram had traveled the local lake many times on my small adventures. fishing, camping and just exploring. Two sets of oars and many repaired holes later I out grew the little boat and moved on to larger ones. But that one was my favorite. The boat was well known enough that it was even mentioned at my high school graduation by the MC. Oddly I don't think a picture exists of that particular boat. Pity. I've had several other sailboats since then, but since I never built them, I held no attachment to them. No soul or personality. Fiberglass tubs. Yes I'm sure many scoff at that statement and in a sense their right, fiberglass is many of the wonderful things that they say about it. But nobody can deny the charm and warmth of wood.
So now i try to embark upon this little journey of building a 17ft cruising sailboat designed by a well known NewZealand native John Welsford. A fine craft i must say. You may have noticed I said "try". It's a large project for me. unlike my many renovation projects it's unique in scale and when you think of such a project for so many years, you can't help but be overly cautious and excited at the same time. I don't want to be the Dreamer who never finished his dream. Buying endless sets of plans and wondering. That time is now over. It's soon time to build.
So Why am i building a sailboat? In a nutshell, because i've always wanted to, and because I can.
As a side note, it's not my "Dream Boat" but it is the one best suiting my current needs. That one will have to wait a couple more years.

The start of all things

I have started this little blog at the request of a friend who can't see this project first hand.
The plans have been ordered, and maybe, just maybe, I might just start building this boat called Pathfinder.