Welcome to the Sea Dreamer Project! This is the story of a complete boat building novice and his family with no previous nautical experience constructing a 41 foot Diesel Duck in the backyard of an Upstate New York home. This George Buehler designed trawler yacht is a blue water cruiser designed to cross oceans. Built mostly of home center lumber, epoxy and galvanized hardware, this boat is within the reach of an average person. It's the internet boat project for the rest of us!
Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.
The fourth of July week brought our family together at the family cottage for a few days of vacation. I like to relax, have a beer and do nothing as much as the next guy but only for so long. I haven't talked about it much here but I have another build going on in addition to this project. It's actually what started this obsession. I bought the plans for a 14.5 foot runabout from Glen-L called the Zip last summer and have been working on both projects as time allows.
I decided to free up some much needed space in the shop that the Zip takes up and move the little build to the cottage. It's the perfect project for the Lake as it doesn't take up much space and will give me something to putter around with when I'm at the lake.
Once the Zip was out of the shop I was free to return everything back to normal. I had to make quite a few changes to accommodate this build around my tools. I took the opportunity to make some improvements in machine location and dust collection.
I wanted to take advantage of the 6" main trunk lines that run off my dust collector for my planer. I picked up a few fittings and some PVC cement and made quick work of it.
Setting up a real dust collection system in the shop was one of the best things I ever did. Not having to move around machines or deal with dust collection hoses all over the floor makes working in the shop a real pleasure. I know they say you are not supposed to use PVC pipe for dust collection for fear of a static explosion. However, for the one man shop, those fears are unwarranted.
Once the shop was back in business I took the last few days of vacation to get back at frame building. It was a beautiful week to be outside. Around 80 degrees and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities. It was a little warm in the shop, but I've found if I get up early and open everything up and get the fan going, the temperatures remain manageable.
Boat shed temperature
Things went really well and I am now quite proficient at frame building. I didn't make any errors (that I know about) and things went smoothly. I was able to get 5 frames complete leaving us only 4 more to go!
While very repetitive I am enjoying the process more now that I am familiar with what is required. I have become a Jedi with my circular saw after having made so many miter cuts.
The process remains the same. Loft, blocking, measure for pieces, mill the parts, lay out and cut the miters and assemble. As you can see from the pictures below, the new batch of Larch is beautiful stuff. I was very pleased with this new mill. Vertical grain, no bark or sap wood and cut oversize for free. I'll definitely be going back for the planking.
The sub assemblies for the lower keel are ready for final gluing. I have found some warping in the sub assemblies which I expected from big box dimensional lumber. I'm not to concerned as I have left everything over sized for final fairing. However, I want to keep that to a minimum.
So I came up with an idea for some "super clamps" that I will use to attempt to straighten things out as much as I can. These clamps will attach to the building sled as well as the keel. Since I know the sled is dead flat and parallel, I'm hoping these clamps will force the sub assemblies as flat as possible. Additionally I wanted some more powerful clamps just to pull these 4.5 inch thick sub-assemblies together tight enough to allow the resorcinol to be effective.
Work continues, I hope to have the lower keel in clamps this weekend so work can begin on the upper keel and it's associated components. I want to make the most of the warm temperatures for these big glue jobs. Once Fall arrives temperatures will regularly be to cold for the adhesives to work in the boat shed. I'll be able to work the smaller components in the temperature controlled shop.
The framing table needs a final coat of white paint so I can loft out the remaining four stations along with the transom. Watching the pile of frames grow provides excellent motivation to get that job done.
Thanks for checking out our project and be sure to "like" us on Facebook and follow along on our YouTube channel.