I finally finished carving out the spars for my Joel White Pooduck Skiff. I set up a couple sawhorses outside under a backyard storage tent that has been holding my kayaks for the past one-and-a-half years, ever since I cleared out the garage to build my boat. The spars are made out of Sitka Spruce I ordered from Edensaw. This is great stuff -- totally clear, straight grained and easy to work with a plane. Its strength and light weight makes it the standard for spar material. I even have a 11 ft long rough 2x4 left over!
I feel like I'm limping toward the finish line. I spent all day carving out the mast and my back is sore and tools dull. Fortunately the boom has a square cross section. It's a real pain trying to make them round.
The time pressure to get this boat done by the holiday weekend has forced me to be resourceful in getting by with tools I have on hand. For instance, instead of taking the mast blank to Bates Boatbuilding where Ricardo could have helped me cut it out precisely with a bandsaw, I just roughed it out with my old circular saw. It worked suprisingly well. Tomorrow I'll do one final sanding and rub on an oil finish. No time for varnish.
THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH DATE is Saturday July 5th, 2008 sometime. Unfortunately it'll be low tide midday which will make for a long slog down to the water. I would have launched on the July 4th holiday but too many other things are going on, including the little cruise I booked on the Hawaiian Chieftain during the Tall Ships Festival. She'll be having a mock battle with the Lady Washington. Stay tuned for some cool pics of that!