Sand it round

*something something New Zealand*

It may be the middle of August, but Spring is definitely in the air. Clear skies and warmer weather give a gentle reminder that sailing weather is not far away and boats don’t build themselves!

Chains are not optional

But, good weather can’t be wasted staying indoors playing with plywood! Instead we ventured out to Mt Cheeseman, approximately 2 hours drive away and smack in the centre of the Alps which run spine-like on a north-south axis down the South Island.

View from the top is spectacular, our skiing getting back down not so much 🙂

Mt Cheeseman is a smaller club field, the facilities a little more rustic and there are no chair lifts, just T-bars which pull you up the mountain. But, being a club field it had relatively few people. Even on a clear, weekend day most of the crowds go to the larger Mt Hutt field and we rarely waited more than a few minutes for the T-bar and the runs were blessedly clear of rogue skiers and defeated boarders.

It is still winter, but I feel we can risk some early plantings this year

The garden has also started to get some attention. In addition to the garlic planted last week, there are now beans and cabbage in the ground plus onion seedlings growing out indoors. I also sowed lettuce, zucchini (only four plants this time!), pumpkins, snow peas, nasturtiums, and controversially this early in the season, cherry tomatoes! The tomatoes will be planted along the north facing brick wall which will hopefully protect them from any frosts which might still happen.

Attaching the centre skegs required some thinking, and ultimately assistance. Unlike the outer two, the inners need to be fastened from inside the boat. But how to tell where the skeg is when you are underneath (inside) the boat? I ended up aligning the skegs along a marked line, pre-drilling from the top and then fastening underneath whilst an assistant held them from the top. This worked well, although the low quality pine did struggle making the curve in a few places. To remedy this I just cut them. The skegs are not structural and after some filling, sanding and fibreglass the gaps will not be noticeable.

Note the extra screws required on the left hand inner skeg. It couldn’t do the curve as well for some reason (additional knots in the wood maybe?)

The next stage was to camber the edges for a more pleasing appearance. I used a hand plane to edge them and the orbital sander to sand it round. A pleasing result for a few minutes work. The fibreglass stage should be easier with rounded edges as well. Grand plans were announced indicating I may do boat building at night after work to ensure they are ready for launch in the warmer weather (say mid-October?). Lets see!




  1. Hi Damo,

    Is that a triffid seed sign I spy on the very left tray? You’ll be singing a whole different tune when one of those monsters pops out of the ground. Anyway it will make the garden more interesting, that’s for sure! 🙂 Very funny. The mountain scenery is epic! But I’m a little bit worried about the steep declines and have no head for heights and no skills for skiing. The boat is looking good. Are you intending to put a mast on the boat, or is it purely oars or motor driven?



    • Hi Chris,

      Beware the triffids is sound advice. No prizes for guessing what seeds they actually are! The boat is starting to look almost boat like now. I intend to put a mast and sail on both of them, although at least one will be a very non-traditional windsurf sail. I have visions of hand-making the mast for the second boat. We shall see!



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