1 March, '06

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A brand new grandson, Welcome to the world Hibiki. (Otherwise known as "Prince", I suspect that grandmum had a say in that! )

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Charlie is off home for about two weeks , its been 6 months since he arrived and during that time he’s achieved a great deal in terms of building his dreamboat. He’s also had a visit from his Wife Yukiko and showed her a little of New Zealand, and now has a brand new Grandson back at home so wants to go and hold the little fellow and get to know him a little.

The day before he left he put the last piece of kauri on the port side chine panel so “Resolution” now has the first of her two layer skin complete. Its made a big difference to the way the boat looks, both inside and outside. Her shape is now well evident, deep and wide, but with a fine entry and easy run back to the stern from her powerful midship sections. I try to visualise the shape in my mind when drawing, but its always a revelation to see the real thing, and this looks good .

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Planked up, the first layer complete. The shape is looking good, and she is almost ready for the second layer of kauri. Note that the skin will be close to 20mm ( inch) thick when complete, that's two layers of 8.5mm wood, and a layer of 10 oz fibreglass in epoxy over the outside, plus a Kevlar crashmat in between the glass and the wood in the forward sections where she might hit something sharp.

Inside the boat is now that lovely honey colour throughout, the light dim and golden from all the wood, and the cabin feels nice and roomy as you move around the building frame into the forward and aft sections of the accommodation.

When the builder comes back and picks up the tools again he has to fair off the outside of the inner layer, that is, to smooth it so the outer layer will be firmly in contact with the inner one, a job that will raise a sweat for several days. Some of it is already done so he knows what he is in for, but there is a lot more to do, its better than keep fit classes, he’ll have big shoulders by the time he has finished this boat.

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We want her to be tough, remember that this little boat is only 21 ft 4in on deck, and I know of a lot of boats twice that length with less strength. Its survival and comfort that's important here rather than making 15 knots on a screaming reach.

While Charlies away I’m busy working on the drawings for the cast bronze fittings, and am discussing with Chuck Leinweber of www.duckworksmagazine.com the possibility of his making these fittings available through his boatbuilders supply as unfettled castings so people building any of my mid range cruising yachts such as Sundowner, Swaggie, Nighean and all the other boats yet to come of about this size will not have to make patterns and find a foundry. Note that Chuck has been a patternmaker for the last many years so knows what its about.

Well, its awfully quiet out there, the cat thinks that he has been abandoned, the machinery is all idle, and I’d guess that I should get on with grinding and resetting the knives in the planer so the next layer goes on easily.

John Welsford