White Christmas

Snowy River


(to start of project)

Fresh snow got home before we did on Christmas Day. After dinner with family in DC, we drove back south, headlong into waves of a big storm as it broke over the hills on the way north. The last hour of driving was spent tacking back and forth in the dark, looking for cleared roads. We’re getting used to this by now, and the novelty has definitely worn off.




Not so for Steve over at Log of Spartina. The bulk of the storm slid off to the east, dumping a record 14 inches on Virginia Beach – the most he’s ever seen – before dragging its thick, white wake all the way up the coast.

Close family had to change travel plans entirely. Emily and her boyfriend were heading to Maine for a week. When that didn’t seem even remotely possible, they did a quick jibe and set a new course to the south, trying for Ocracoke. With Norfolk shut down by mid-afternoon, they got as far as Williamsburg before throwing out an anchor, deciding that was far enough. Amanda stayed home an extra night, and put off a drive back east another day. No word yet from Andy and Janet with their kids, on the way to Nags Head.

Terri and I stayed home; she reading by the fire, me planing and sanding by the space heater.








The joints came out relatively tight and clean, considering the rough start. Takes a lot of careful work to get it right. I saved a highly figured piece for the face of the centerboard case, similar to the other boat, and hope that will still show when the varnish goes on and the wood darkens.















Now, if I can just keep enough moisture in the air for a few days, the hatch cover will straighten out, and I can work on that next. Last week it was curled up like a potato chip.


melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   



5 Replies to “White Christmas”

  1. Yes, that was quite a storm. I’m glad you are making the most of it by getting some work done on the melonseeds. Stay warm.

    Monday, December 27, 2010 – 03:34 PM

  2. I love seeing all the work you and Tony do on your boats, really fine finishing. Now,,,after all this how long would it take you to build the same hull? a week, two? After the fifth or sixth boat I could make the wooden part of a 16 ft strip hull in four days. I bet you two could also. Of course all the rest still takes forever, especially when you’re waiting for epoxy to harden. And fitting is much harder on these silly curved hulls. Roger Allen is leaving for Buffalo tomorrow and is excited about the new challenge. Already has orders for some big canal boats and a tug boat. Dave

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 – 09:43 PM

  3. You, too, Steve. Shirt sleeve weather by the weekend?

    Dave, the hull is the quick part, for sure. With molds and strongback already in place, I could do a shell in two weeks, easy. It’s amazing how long the rest takes, though. I’ve come across a half dozen predictions I made saying “I will surely be done by . . . ” The first one was 9 months ago. Really embarrassing. Granted, I’ve only been putting a few hours of work a week into it for months now, but still. Very different from my plywood skiff. That went from a stack of wood to painted and done in six weeks.

    – Barry
    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 – 01:03 PM

  4. I believe that is important, as well as the achievement of the goal, the charm of the trip, so I’d not be so much to calculate the time spent but rather to enjoy the moments past in the construction … surely you will have many opportunities to enjoy the boats into the sea!
    Happy New Year!

    Friday, December 31, 2010 – 09:04 AM

  5. Hi Barry ,Looking goood. Should paint mine on Sun , then only rubrails(already milled) and coaming quarter round Already milled and fitted. Do u know how to do an image transfer onto a painted surfacec ? I want to put my totem on the hatch cover. I have t5he image on a mylar(?) film.
    Thursday, January 6, 2011 – 07:44 PM

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