Shipyard Memories #18: Finished, Launched and Sailing

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 02-26-2011 03:36 AM 4019 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Keel Bolts Part 18 of Shipyard Memories series Part 19: Something Really Cool Just Happened to Me on LJ's »

Time to wind up the Cold Molded Construction edition of this little trip through my old shipyard, my old photos and my old memories. The following are about all the finished shots I have of these boats. Apparently I was more interested in the building than the product. ... Interesting.

On with the show. The first one is of the cockpit of Olfara. It’s all teak and was all made up in the shop, even the wheel. The little bronze plate on the steering pedestal was my builder’s plaque.

Midships looking aft, starboard side, Olfara. (Strangely I have no inside photos of Stevador) Nav station on the left, galley on the right and the aft stateroom door right center. The interior is oak and teak.

Looking forward from the galley toward the starboard side. Notice the chainplate doublers on the cabinside. This allowed very close sheeting of the genoa.

Forward port side looking aft. The engine was amidships in the box under the table. That left a huge space in the stern under the cockpit for storage.

From the bottom of the companionway looking forward. This one shows the teak and white epoxy sole, galley cabinetry, overhead hatch and the serious roof camber.

This is what “custom building” means. If the customer wants a bath tub on his sailboat, he gets one. This one is made of plywood, epoxy, ‘glass cloth and linear polyurethane paint. It was quite large too. We called it the sail locker. It’s under a forward berth.

Olfara gets launched. Notice the fin keel with skeg hung rudder. The owners always got to ride the boats into the water.

Stevador gets launched. She had the longer keel with the rudder on the aft end. That’s the owner in the blue shirt. The other in the red is J.P., one of my crew.

I have no good shots inside Stevador but you can imagine the great aft cabin inside this stern. We set her up so that almost all sail could be handled from a hatch in the wheelhouse roof. One point of interest in this photo is that you can see the chock castings from Olfara’s toerails (see last entry) doing double duty here as fairleads for jib sheets leading from tracks on the afterdeck up to the control station on the house top. Sorry about all the terms but the sailors will understand.

Here we have the trial run for the innovative control position. We were a bit concerned that it wouldn’t work as well as we hoped but it was for nothing. It worked very well indeed. In the last photo you could see the chocks / fairleads. In this one you can see how they worked. J. P. is sheeting the genoa here with a big self tailing winch in easy reach of the hatch position.

I only got one chance to photograph Olfara sailing and it was snowing! You may also notice there was no wind…. Oh Well.

My shipyard was in Coal Harbour on the north end of Vancouver Island and our outlet to the Pacific was on the west coast. That made the maiden voyage for my boats (the ones that weren’t trailered anyway) a trip around the notorious Cape Scott, the northern tip of the island. We called this model the “Cape Scott 36”and this is a photo I took from a friend’s Cessna of Stevador on her way around. It was a good shakedown. It got quite a bit rougher down there than it looks in this photo.

Well, that’s a wrap on this one.

Thanks for enduring my reminiscences and posting your kind words. I’ve enjoyed doing the blogs and hope that you’ve enjoyed reading them. There’s one more style I haven’t touched on yet and I may do one on it if there’s enough interest. It’s stitch and glue plywood construction and I’ve built a total of sixteen small ferries in the style for three different companies, one of them my own. In fact I’d bet that more than a few lumberjocks have actually ridden on one of them.

Questions, comments and whatever … always welcome.


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

13 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 02-26-2011 03:57 AM

Yes, I’d love to see your stitch and glue boats too. The interiors of your boats are beautiful.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Schwieb's profile


1894 posts in 4001 days

#2 posted 02-26-2011 04:06 AM

What great memories and fabulous maritime woodworking experience you’ve had. Great work and thanks for taking the time to gather and share this story Well done Sailor.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4665 days

#3 posted 02-26-2011 06:49 AM

Wow. I click through and read your entries when I see ‘em. I know a few folks with wooden boats, occasionally I’ll see one in the wild, but mostly I hear the stories of how much work they are. Through your pictures I also see why people love them so. Gorgeous.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3428 days

#4 posted 02-26-2011 09:55 AM

Stitch and glue! Stitch and glue!

I imagine from the looks of your work that your maker’s plaque will be standing proud against storm long after all here are dust. The pride that fact must give you, most of us can but imagine.

Although not a sailor, my father had a great love of the Pacific and his chosen retiement home in Campbell River, Vancouver Island. I never got past Hardy in my own explorations of that lovely island, but fell in love with it every bit as much as dad did.

He used to say “God made Heaven for practice, then He made Vancouver Island!”

I think he was right…

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3610 days

#5 posted 02-26-2011 04:06 PM

A bathtub Paul?? Now that’s what I call gracious living. Love the interior shots these boats are finished beautifully thanks for the trip shipmate, looking forward to signing on again

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4422 days

#6 posted 02-26-2011 04:15 PM

Go for it Paul. I just love these postings. I just hope there is some of this building still going on, somewhere.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4617 days

#7 posted 02-26-2011 06:48 PM

very nice! Love it…or them…great boats…

So how many people did you work with in your crew? was there a stable work force or did it change from job to job?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View sras's profile


5241 posts in 3669 days

#8 posted 02-26-2011 07:38 PM

Another great story Paul. I really enjoy seeing how these came to life. I’ll also cast a vote for continuing the series!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View shipwright's profile


8399 posts in 3338 days

#9 posted 02-26-2011 08:40 PM

I usually had one or two “helpers”. They learned as they worked and yes, they came and went.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3480 days

#10 posted 02-26-2011 10:54 PM

Thanks for sharing Paul! It brings back many memories. I never had the opportunity to build carvel (fixed quite a few though) but I built some cold molded boats. Many stitch & glue as well. Please show those as well!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3655 days

#11 posted 02-27-2011 12:39 AM

thank´s for sharing with us :-)
and I wuold allso like to see one about stitchand glue
since I know the only way I can afford a small boat
to fish from is making it myself and it seems to me stitch and glue
is the easyest , cheapest and fastest way to do it

take care

View shipwright's profile


8399 posts in 3338 days

#12 posted 02-27-2011 06:37 AM

Thanks for the comments. I will do a blog on the stitch and glue method but it’ll have to wait until I return to B.C. as that’s where the photos are. I’m in Arizona until sometime in April.

Thanks again

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View rodneyh's profile


147 posts in 3204 days

#13 posted 03-04-2011 11:17 AM

I’m new to LJ and just stumbled across this. What a find. I’m the proud current owner of Olfara (my apologies, but we nameded her Terrapin). We’ve had her for about 8 or 9 years now. What an amazing vessel. We’re in the Salem, OR area, she’s taken us to Mexico and Hawaii, an she’s currently moored in Newport, OR. Chomping at the bit to head south again, probably in about a year. Falling asleep now, but I’ll get ahold of you in the next couple days. Wow, this is sooo cool!!!

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