Friday 22 February 2013

New Low-Buck Project: Doubling Down with Double SUPs

    "The waves are warm, the sun is out..."
                             -Miike Snow

   I'm just gonna lay this out there, so we're all clear:

   I'm fat.

   Not chunky.
   Or chubby.
   Or overweight.
   Nor  underheight.
   Or  large-boned.
   Or stout.
   Not husky.

   Just plain old fat.

   I know exactly why.  I'm a writer.  I am also a salesman.  Not to pat my own oversized back, but I am pretty good at both.

   In other words, I spin and sling bullshit for a living.

    In fact, I sling bullshit so well I began to believe my own.

   I manage to talk myself out of exercise and rationalize my extra size by viewing it as a function of advancing age, an inevitable side effect of my lifestyle, and simply a bad roll of the genetic dice.

  Which might actually have a grain of truth if this wasn't what I had been telling myself since I was thirteen years old.

   I realized four things:

   1. I love eating.
   2. I love drinking.
   3. I hate exercise.
   4. If  I want to continue points 1. and 2. I gotta do something about 3.

    Okay, I've got to find some form of calorie-burning activity that I will enjoy.  Okay, maybe not "enjoy," but at least tolerate enough to reduce the size of the toolshed built over my high performance tool.

   Jogging is out.  Too slow, too boring, and I have never seen a jogger smiling.  Ever.  If it ain't fun, I ain't doing it.

  Bicycling is out.  I keep a bike at the foot of the Dock for transportation.  I used it twice last season.

  Spinning is out.  Bicycling to nowhere indoors while being yelled at by a perky 20-something? No.

  Aerobics.  Yeah, no.

  Yoga is out.  Okay, I'm gonna go off on a rant here.  If you called an activity "stretching," it becomes simply a warm-up for other physical activity. Offer classes in "stretching" and you're gonna be sitting in an empty room.   But, if you give all of those stretches names, wrap it in Eastern mysticism, build a wardrobe around it anchored by $120 pants you now have "yoga", a multi-billion dollar industry.  I'm pretty sure "namaste" is Tibetan for "Western sucker."

  Rowing.  Yeah, I like rowing. I could row.  Chirp was built for rowing.  Quack is rowable.  But, rowing is tricky in a busy marina.  Flapping away while facing backwards is a good way to bounce off of, or get run over by, a big shiny boat. Getting closer, hmmm...

  I picked up a recent issue of WoodenBoat Magazine and leafing through the pages, SWMBO found my solution:

  I'm going to build a Stand Up Paddleboard!  I get the aerobic benefit of all of the lifting, cutting, drilling, sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding of building the 'board, and then I get the end benefit of using it.

Win/freakin' win!

  So I sat down at the drawing board and crawled the WWW, filling my head with as much info as I could get on SUP design.  I scrawled some ideas on paper, that I would repeatedly rethink, rework, revise, until I came up with an end product that seemed suitable and buildable.

  The nice thing about building a hull the size and shape of an SUP is that the plans can be drawn full scale, so there is minimal lofting required. I borrowed liberally from Chesapeake Light Craft's Kaholo SUP, with additional input from a variety of other designers and builders.  I discovered that board size, board weight, materials and dimensions and capacities were all over the map, so in the end I decided to hew pretty closely to the dimensions of the Kaholo 12-6.

  With the frames drawn, I took stock of the scrap that I had lying around the skunkworks and determined that I could cut the frames from material on hand.  The paddleboard/surfboard plans that I found online spec'd frame and hull material thickness ranging from 1/8" to 3/8".  I decided to build the hull panels and frames out of 1/4" ply for the sake of economy and availability.  Doing the math, and nesting the parts on paper,  I realized that I could build two SUPs with 3 sheets of ply, but building one would take most of 2 sheets.
  So I decided to build two.
  Or at least cut two.  It's good to have spare parts, and, by doubling up the panels, cutting two sets of panels takes the same time as one.  I'll build one SUP to completion and test drive it before assembling SUP Numero Dos.

  With patterns drawn, they now need to be transferred to wood.  Some builders like to use an awl to laboriously pick a dotted line along each line on the pattern.  Others like to go faster, using a sewing tracing wheel:
                                                                                                      - image courtesy

   I used my old standby, carbon paper.
   Lay the carbon paper on the wood, lay the pattern on top....

...trace the pattern , remove the paper and you have a easy to see cut lines:

   Which are then cut...

   ...and then repeat the process with the next piece.  Continue until you are either out of patterns or out of wood.

    Within an afternoon, I had a stack of frames.

   Next step is to notch the frames for stringers and then drill them all full of lightening holes.  Stay tuned.

"Talk the Dock!"

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