Tonight I went to Menards -- and then Home Depot -- and picked up the first materials for my boat. It's a variant on the stitch and glue style of a simple dinghy. A portuguese dinghy, actually.
I couple years ago I stumbled across a web site of a guy from Finland. He makes boats. For fun. He makes charts, analyzes displacement, spends hours and days and weeks thinking about boats. Little boats. And he has all sorts of plans for them online. One of them struck me as particularly beautiful. The portuguese dinghy. So I decided I needed to make one. (Soon after someone got featured on Instructables.com for building the very same boats -- although I'm not grooving on his paint job)
Another idea I had revolves around walking across Lake Calhoun or Harriet. In the winter, of course. But every year I keep forgetting or postponing and never get around to doing it. (We did cross Bear Lake this year though, which was cool!)
But to convey myself across a lake in a boat of my own making? How cool is that? It both fulfills the "cross a whole lake" and involves buying things, noodling with tools, and dealing with dead trees. Perfect fit.
Ok, so for years (literally) co-workers and family and friends alike all got sick of hearing "this summer I'm going to build my boat" or "this winter would be a good time to do it and this time I totally will!" I asked for quarter inch marine-grade plywood for Christmas and my birthday. I hit Hannu's site so many times I'm probably a quarter of his traffic. For the longest time I held out for the $80 a sheet marine grade plywood, but talking to a friend on the TNR and reading up a bit more I decided screwing up a $15 sheet of plywood is better than screwing up an $80 sheet. Cost for two sheets and some screws and more titebond-3 and fiberglass fabric? $60. Woot!
Happily, tonight I'm on my way.
I'm naming it the "Tweedle-Dum" and the next one (oh yeah!) is the same style, shorter dimensions -- it's on the same plan as the 'dum, and it'll be the "Tweedle-Dee." Bonus points if you know where I got those names. No, it's not from Alice in Wonderland.