Not quite full time

Being a relatively productive Type A, I departed Epsilon with the game plan of hitting the boat shop full time. It’s been six weeks since the Jan 20 start, so that should be at least 6×40=240 hours, right? But the figures penciled on the calendar each shop session added up to 198 thru Feb. It’s been great to spend time reconnecting at home, cycling with friends, visiting with Allie and score keeping for the Analy Tigers. And it’s much easier to say Yes to good marine tasks like helping Stephen Marcoe ‘salvage’ the Formula 40 cat Tuki from her 2013 dismasting insurance settlement. We were quite a scene at the ramp pulling that big race cat without a real trailer or crane. Tuki is an amazing big boat in need of an adventurous new owner.

Build tasks are taking longer than my estimates. For ex, the hard dodger mockup was a guess of 25 hours, but there’s already 21 in just the windshield base. I figured the beams needed 50 hours for fairing, but it’s been 127 hours of learning to do fairing well, plus lots of details around the wing net lashing points, lifeline stanchion bases and a boarding ladder mount. Jeanne has the best perspective – she said this week it’s important to let the boat take the time it needs to get finished properly and not cause burn out. If there are trips in 2014 where we should charter a finished boat, so be it. That’s a healthy comment from Mrs Carter – but we’re still going to push like crazy to get launched this summer :)
We’ll post hours totals each month as these might be useful for other builders, and it will help with my amnesia in some lovely lagoon some day when another cruiser asks if it was any big deal to build vs buy… And we’ll smile with way more boat than could have been reasonably purchased.
All the pitching-in along the way is so fantastic. Dad took the numbing task of fairing out 75 or so openings in the net lashing tubes – a dusty operation for sure. But my favorite point in the day was realizing that after 3/4 of a century he hadn’t yet played with a big air compressor blow gun.

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(Yes, those are brand new harbor freight car engine hoists about to be dunked in salt water – a whole new definition for disposable tools!)

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