Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pirates on the Santa Maria - Spring 2010

We had our pirate event on the Santa Maria. It was a major success. The weather was nearly perfect. Everyone seemed to have fun. The ship sold a lot of tickets - this may be the biggest weekend of the year.

There are several things I like about this weekend. It gives pirates a chance to do something on a real ship. The pirates themselves are all fun to be around.

For the battle, we had enough people to man three boats on Saturday and two on Sunday.

I finally got the Black Sheep in the water. It performed perfectly. I think that at one point we had seven people on board. It worked fairly well with four - two rowing/shooting, one at the swivel gun, and one at the tiller. There was room for a fifth. We had no trouble standing up. In the future, I will need a small bench for the person at the swivel gun. I was manning it and there was no place for me to sit. The next bench back was taken by someone rowing.

Firefly had a few problems on Friday. With the Black Sheep blocking my driveway, I had not been able to soak Firefly properly so the seams were still open when we launched it. They closed up by Saturday but it meant a lot of pumping in the meantime.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Painting the Batteau

With Micky's help, I got the Black Sheep painted. I like how it turned out. It freshened the boat up a lot and it looks a lot more 18th century to my eye.
Armed and ready

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fixing the rot

The weather finally cleared up long enough for the rotted wood to dry. I put a few coats of Minwax Wood Hardener on it to stabilize the remaining rot. According to reviews, this isn't the best wood hardener on the market but I've dug out most of the rot so it doesn't have to sink in very deep.

Once the hardener set I used epoxy putty and a piece of 2x4 to fill in the gap. The original piece had been glassed over. For my replacement I used a tube of epoxy gel to seal the wood. That should get it ready for painting later this weekend.

Here's what the repair looks like. The black part is the epoxy putty. The replacement wood is below that.

I've said before that it is a good thing I fixed it when I did. It the rot continued another inch further up then I would have had to fix one of the mounts for the rudder. That would have complicated a simple repair.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oars and Rot

The oars are coming along. I Need to do some sanding on the handles but otherwise they are about ready for painting.

I used a couple of chisels on the rot in the stern stem. The good news is that the stem is made from two pieces glued together and the rot was limited to only one piece. The bad news is that there was a lot more rot than I was hoping. At one point the wood I was scooping out was the texture of wood putty. I ended up taking around six or seven inches off the end of the stem.

I'm going to let the wood dry then apply some wood hardener in case I missed any rot then fill in with putty and wood.

Here's a picture showing the rot.