Ruston’s IGO and Wee Rob

Playing catch-up a bit here! Stuff has happened, as stuff does, but I haven’t got around to typing the blog – still I don’t suppose anyone reads it!!!

Rushton’s first of all: I had a second session at Pugney’s which in many ways was very successful. I managed a double circumnavigation of the lake, at somewhat less than Kay’s walking pace. It was all very pleasant – but just very uncomfortable. It becomes clear that if I’m to make use of the IGO (and that’s a genuine “if”) I need to come to terms with paddling in a kneeling position. I’ve investigated a “kneeling saddle” which sounds promising and seems to be well reviewed by those who use one. Not dreadfully expensive, and maybe worth a try. Overall I’m feeling that the boat is a structural success and I’m pleased and proud to have built it – but it may just not be for me!

Here’s a couple of pics:


So then – segue to Wee Rob, thats been sitting patiently on the patio waiting for the Spring which has finally, somewhat grudgingly, arrived in Leeds. This of course means getting back to a style of boatbuilding that I understand a little bit about and I felt genuinely pleased to be back under way. The decks went on without too much drama, and once trimmed to size both around the edges and in the cockpit well, they transformed the appearance of the boat. The cockpit coaming meant rigging up the steam box again and doing the bending trick with some ash. There was a measure of busking it here, but in fact it came together reasonably well and looks about right.

How to finish it? At this point I turned her upside down on the building frame and painted her hull white – brilliant white gloss no less. Two undercoats and a top coat, and a very satisfactory result. I bought and fitted brass keel band, deciding along the way that metalwork is definitely not my thing! It’s OK though and I decided to bring the ends of the band on the keel itself right up to deck level on each stem, just in case I need to ram anything.

Finishing the decks proved more problematic. I’ve used Deks Olje to good effect in the past, but what I have on the bench is boiled linseed oil, which in truth worked very well on a couple of paddles, but not so well on the decks. Maybe I tried to put too much on – obviously it only goes into the top lamination of the plywood – but in the end it was drying very reluctantly and distinctly lumpily. “Long story short” I seriously assaulted the finish with a number of variations on the wet and dry theme and found my sense of frustration (why didn’t I just paint it?!) being replaced by pleasure at the emergence of quite a nice flat finish. I decided (encouraged by research on the web) to top it off with yacht varnish. As I write the second coat is drying off in the workshop and, whisper it, it doesn’t look at all bad.

So – I have high and reasonable hope of a launch, back at Pugney’s, next week – I’ll keep you posted. Here are a few more pics ……

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