Category: Boat Building (Page 1 of 7)

Holey and windy and blah

The weather today is probably my least favourite flavour. It’s howling with wind, but there is no rain to justify all the angst, it’s just blowing a gale. It’s not even that cold. Over at the ShedSpot at about 8am this morning, it was quite sheltered. M and I continued from yesterday, measuring and spading out 600x600mm squares that are right now being attacked by a post hole digger. Poor M. He’d already dug all these huge holes for the shed supports about two weeks ago, using nothing but a spade, a shovel, a maddock and his own grunt – but on Wednesday the site was levelled out with a whole lot of dirt, and all his holes got filled back up. Soul destroying. What’s more, the new dirt is almost all clay, and fairly undiggable – thus, the post hole digger has been hired.
Where the shed will be

I just checked the Bureau site and there is a strong wind warning for this area. I really have to start work scraping all the paint off the Sunliner, but it conflicts with my scenario of being outside with my radio, esky and armed with a scraper in the warming winter sunlight.

So here I go, experimenting with YouTube (I’ve been having lots of fun watching old Cocteau Twins video clips…)

(…if you have eyesight trouble, just click on the tiny arrow in the bottom left hand corner – I had to make it small to fit my new page design. Sigh.)

Visual Shed Progress – Part 1

An uber-cold and sporadically rainy day. I moved my work days around to spend two days helping M with the shed. It was definitely a two-person job! He had spent quite a while cutting all the side supports and roof trusses in half and welding in extra bits to increase the height and width respectively.

My day as a shed labourer

He then had to re-dig all the holes (remember the saga?), pour concrete in them all and mount bolty things in the concrete. (Here’s where I come in…) We had to bolt all the side supports into position in preparation for the roof trusses to be hoisted up on a crane and in turn be bolted to the side supports. Getting the side supports on to the bolty thing was one thing – getting the side supports level was another. Big thanks to our friend Spirit Level and to the little stainless steel washers we used as chocks to get them level.

Where it’s at

M and I have been living a life of shed-building. For all the socialising we have done since the time we have moved into the trailer, we almost may as well have been in Hervey Bay. Some people get it, and some don’t.
“What have you guys been up to? We haven’t seen you for ages.”
“Shed. We’re building a shed.”
I can see their eyes glaze over, and I can tell that they really don’t understand the scale of what I’m talking about. I think they assume we’re building something the size of a double garage. But the truth is, we’re building something that’s more like a small aircraft hangar and we have spent a bomb on a catamaran kit that is sitting under tarpaulins as we (mostly M) hurry to build the shed around it.

So here’s a re-cap

When we bought it, the shed was 15 metreslong, seven metres wide, and three metres high. It was in Point Cook and it looked like this:

The shed stands

We attacked it over about four or five days until it looked like this:

Where it used to be

And then we hired a truck, loaded it up, put the trimaran trailer behind it and loaded it up too, and drove it across Melbourne to Cannons Creek.

Shed on truck and trailer

M spent several weeks cutting posts and trusses in half, then welding inserts to make the whole structure wider and higher. Two metres wider and one metre higher. A lot of welding. Another factor was that the shed site wasn’t great, and needed a truckload or two or fill to build it up to a decent level. This all took A. Very. Long. Time. and a Lot. Of. Work.

Where a shed will be...

And then there was the hole drama.

Post hole digger

The holes needed filling with concrete, and bolts were positioned in the concrete (pointing up) and we (after a bit of mucking around) slotted the side supports over the bolts and spent a lot of time getting the absolutely level. Which made the job much easier when it came to getting the crane to put on the roof trusses:

The excellent crane

While I was working in town for four days last week M somehow managed to get the roof on. I have no idea how he did it on his own…

Some of the roof is up.

Over the weekend that’s just been, we’ve put on the majority of both side walls. The shed is now 15 metres long, nine metres wide and four metres high – which gives us a metre and a half each side of the boat and two metres in front and behind in which to work.


So that’s where it’s at, and where we’ve been.

Shed life and a drop in

Back working on the shed – it’s close, it’s very close! Today I handed large sheets of tin up to M who was perched at the top of the ladder. He would then secure it with one tech screw, while I checked it and tweaked it with the spirit level. When I wasn’t doing that I was going around the shed and putting in tech screws where we’d missed them in our hurry to get the walls on. It took quite a while.

Saturday afternoon

Just as I was walking past the car I heard my phone ringing – it was Christian! He and Meegs and little Fynn dropped by (dropped by? nobody’s done that while we’ve been on shed duty – freaky) and we showed them around. It was great to show them the little trimaran moored in the creek, because the trimaran lived the first three years of its ‘being built’ life in their front garden! When we arrived back at the trailer, Fynn took one look at Jake the ostrich and insisted on getting out on the other side of the car – he was wary. Scones, beer, fish and chips and a fire – a lovely unexpected end to the day…

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