Thursday, October 27, 2016

Format Change?

Autarkia wets her belly next week.  I am thinking to video the proceedings, and perhaps change the format of the blog to be more video oriented.  Some of you who have been loyal followers may have bandwidth issues by virtue of your locations if I go that route so I am soliciting suggestions and advice in this regard.  Lot's of text and pics too?  Just video?  Will YouTube be ok for the video?  That sort of thing...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Thanks to the super effort of my neighbour Robert Sweeney who stepped up to the plate on Lorri's and my behalf, and to the kind support of 34 other neighbours who signed Robert's petition, the City Manager of Mission is tearing up the ticket issued to us by their zealous bylaw department on Monday, and is giving us another two weeks to finish the boat.
I have already arranged for the boat mover to launch her next Wednesday, which gives me plenty of time to finish up the rudder, paint the areas under the shoring, and jack her up to accept the hydraulic trailer.
I'm going to relax tonight!

Even Closer Still

Well, I have two coats of ant-fouling paint applied so far, except for under the shoring.  I'm off soon to boat mover Norm's place  later this afternoon to borrow some jack stands so I can paint those sections to complete.

The rudder support is lashed on - a time consuming job and finger skinning too!

I just have to make up the blade and install it, and temp mount the engine control as well as fix the motor steering in place.  Then she is pretty much ready to go per Norm's schedule and my getting some help in the harbour to bring her in.

I'll be very glad once this is over but if I need some extra time to make sure everything is well and good for launch I'm going to bloody well take it!

Monday, October 24, 2016



This isn't over.

Tender Idea Revisited

Just so nobody gets any ideas that I'm presently distracted from getting Autarkia out of the driveway real soon, I'll preface this post by saying that today is 'rudder install' day.  As soon as the sun comes up I'm getting right on that and will start by bedding and bolting the rudder post to the hull.  I should get an early delivery this morning of my lashing twine, and can then lash the rudder mount to the post.  I will then take my piece of plate aluminum I bought over to the hangar in Abbotsford at UFV and shape it on the power shear, come home and mount it.  Tomorrow, I start painting the bottom.  With everything going smoothly we should be out by the weekend.

This past weekend though, under doctor's orders to get some relax time in, Lorri and I went to Porteau Cove with some of the kids and grandkids.  They camped and we stayed in a cabin.  While there, I watched a few sailboats going by and pulling their tenders.  It got me to thinking about a tender for Autarkia and it confirmed our earlier decision to build a Gloucester Dory.  I got home though, and dug out a shirt carboard model I made about 20 years ago of a skiff based on the Vercheres style rowboats that were popular in Quebec when I was a kid.  My model is much deeper though.  I had planned (if memory serves me correctly) to make it from 5 sheets of 1/2 Inch ply, and though it would row acceptably I planned to put about a 20hp outboard on it, which would plane it out with a fair load.  I never built it, and likely never will, since Autarkia's tender will be strictly a rowboat.  But here are some pics of that model:

And here are some pics of Porteau Cove

Friday, October 21, 2016

Getting Closer

The hatch is done as far as I'm taking it for now.  My twine to lash the rudder on gets delivered on Monday so I'll be putting the rudder on then, though the blade will only be a piece of 1/4" plate aluminum for the time being just to maneuver her into the harbour.  Then I've got bottom paint and also jacking her aft end up to get the trailer in under.  I'm hoping we can get her out next week and get this stress over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Burning the Midnight Oil

I got a coat of John Deere on the rudder mount last night, and I'll shoot another after I finish this post.  As well, I got the main hatch cover started.  I would have liked to make a cambered hatch but there isn't time.  It will have to be flat, but I don't think that it will look too bad.  I picked up some SS piano hinge yesterday.  My plan is for the hatch to hinge on the starboard side, and it will get a gas spring later on to make it easy to open and close (yes, I will buy spares).

I will be able to mount the rudder post and lash on the rudder mount pretty soon.  So I've been thinking about the lashings.  I think that I will use TARRED thin nylon commercial fishing line.  By independently lashing each pair of holes with MULTIPLE passes of this very strong line, I will have some redundancy if one breaks; the whole thing won't unravel and lose the rudder.  Also, I won't have to worry about the lashings remaining aligned.  Now nylon is great stuff - very strong and with some give and stretch to it.  But it is not very UV resistant - unless it is coated.  The tarred stuff should do great!  They have it at Pacific Twine in Steveston but I'm not driving all the way there to get it.  I'll call later today and get them to courier a spool to me.  The remainder will be very handy on board.

Number 24 should do the trick!

I have a call in to Norm from Agonic Boat Movers.  He should be getting back today from holiday, and we can start setting up to move Autarkia.  Her bottom will have to be painted first though, and I'll have to jack her up a bit aft to fit his hydraulic trailer in under.  I'll need a couple of dry days for that.  The 5 day forecast isn't promising any but these rainy spells usually break for a while eventually.

In the meantime, the rain is not stopping me.  But today is the day they are expecting the boat to be gone so I'm not feeling so good.  Hopefully they have the grace to let this final SHORT stretch of time pass without interference.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Time Constraint Strategy

I have just epoxy coated the rudder support.  Once it cures I'll shoot it with spray paint (John Deere green enamel - because I have it) and then I can mount the rudder post and rudder support to the boat.  I may not make the blade, depending on what the city does.  If pressed I can use a rectangular piece of aluminum plate as a temporary blade.

So my next pressing job then is to build the main hatch.  I'll get going on that today.  Unless the weather changes which will move up painting the bottom.

However we look at it though we're getting close to launch.  She's surveyed, insured and ready to go otherwise.

Monday, October 17, 2016

And While Epoxy Cures

I belted sanded and router-rounded the edges on the rudder support this morning.  Also I mixed up some epoxy filler and applied it to the screw holes.  Once it sets up, I'll sand them off, and then I think I'll dispense with the fiberglass and just epoxy coat the paper faces on the MDO.  I'm not worried about the strength, the finish will be better, and I can save some time.

While I'm waiting for that to cure, I decided to model the rudder itself to check for clearances, and to make sure that if it hits anything submerged that it rolls without trying to leapfrog the stern of the boat and wreck things with the strain.  I'm glad I did this, because some changes were needed.  It looks good now.  I can get the material and proceed.  I think I'll use more MDO...

A Rudder Compromise For Now

Tad Roberts has provided me a drawing for a rudder.  If I build this rudder I will no doubt have a rudder that is aesthetically pleasing and perfectly functional.  It kicks up, it is hinged with lashings, and it is higher aspect with a foil shape.  A really nice rudder.

The problem for me, with the constraints imposed upon me at the moment, is I don't have time to build it.

Yet, I need a rudder to launch Autarkia; she'll not steer with the motor because I designed the well for the motor to be fixed and not steered.  It isn't wide enough.

I kicked around using something very temporary, such as fastening somehow a plate of aluminum, or a simple sheet of plywood to steer her with but I simply could not bring myself to insult Autarkia in such a manner on her debut.

So in the meantime, and maybe permantently if it works well, I will defer to Dave and Anke's rudder design that has worked for them for years on Slacktide, and will continue to do so with Wayward.  Dave has detailed this rudder design on his blog - HERE  - and I have lifted the picture from it to show you below:

And here is my SketchUp drawing detailing my adaptation for Autarkia:

Yesterday, after consulting with Dave, I began to build this rudder.  So far I have cut out three blanks for the upper section from 1/2 inch MDO I had on hand.  They are epoxied together and screwed for now.  When I finish this post I will remove those screws, clean up the edges with a belt sander, round off the hinged edge and fiberglass the whole thing with 10oz cloth and epoxy.  It should go quick.

The lower section that kicks up will be made the same way.  I've got to run to the yard for materials for that - probably later today.

A nice tiller can wait, for the time being, a piece of 2 by 4 C-clamped on will have to do...

The city emailed me and asked me to take the sign down.  I have.  Hopefully we are in detente until I can launch....

Friday, October 14, 2016

Working on the Rudder

I have enlisted the help of Tad Roberts to design my sailing rig, and the first drawing he has sent me per my urgent request was the rudder detail.  Tad is not familiar with the construction of Autarkia so details regarding attachment points and so on are flexible and up to me, with his input as required.  For example his drawing suggests a hardwood rudder post drilled with holes to accept a lashed-on rudder.  How that post is attached to the boat is really up to me.

Since I have various and sundry materials in the shop that I wish to use up, I have made my own rudder post that will fit to Autarkia perfectly, using Tad's details as a guideline only.

So the rudder post I made yesterday and will mount today, is made up with mahogany sandwiched between aluminium angle, all epoxied together.  The lashings will go through the aluminium as well, pretty much preventing the wood from ever splitting away.  I can drill off the flanges as I see fit, and through bolt them with SS on the transom, bedded with polyurethane.

Tad also prescribed Dyneema 1/4 inch rope to lash the rudder with.  Instead  I will use a very strong 1/4 inch braided rope that I already have.  I have not identified this rope, but it is left over from a retractable swimming pool cover (very high end and expensive).  This rope runs in tracks that are embedded in the concrete deck of a swimming pool, that wind the cover on and off the pool from/into a vault on the end of it.  The ropes are said to last 10 to 20 years for this use, and that is in a corrosive chlorine environment.  I think they'll hold a rudder on for a while...

Oh, and because my guts have not stopped churning because of the whole City Bylaw shit cauldron, I made this sign up and posted it this morning for the benefit of passers-by.  It is directed at only one though.

On the good side of things I did 10 minutes on a treadmill yesterday hooked up to an electro-cardiogram machine.  It came out fine.  I still have more tests but the doctor said the palpitations at rest are likely due to stress.  Go figure.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More Progress

I decided to cut my pre-launch hatch work in half by simply screwing plywood over the forward hatch coamings and slapping on some paint.  I can make the hatch proper once she's in the water.

Yesterday I got the grab rails and railings mounted, bolted and lag bolted with polyurethane caulking as a bedding.  They are quite solid.

So my two big jobs left are the main hatch, the rudder and bottom anti-fouling paint.  We are getting real fall weather now - very cool in the mornings and rain coming.  Most of my hatch work and the rudder can be done in the garage though.

I'm a bit concerned for having a dry warm day to do the bottom paint, and as soon as I get the chance I'll jump on that.  I'll do the areas in under the shoring blocks when she's on the boat moving trailer - it will just have to do.

In the meantime Lorri has been working on the inside getting some priming done.  With the primer on it is real obvious where I have to caulk the cracks and fill holes, blemishes, etc.  But that's all for later.  Priority is getting her in the water.

Today will be a bit of a write off since I go this morning to get hooked up to a 24 hour heart monitor, and then I've got running to do for my Mom who is in a care home.  And tomorrow it's a treadmill stress test at the hospital...

Well, if I go beyond the deadline I guess the city will do what the city will do.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Racing the Clock in the Pissing Rain

Since my last post I have managed to install deck cleats, have started the hatch coamings, and have almost finished painting the railings and cabin top grab rails.  That leaves finishing the hatches, installing the rails, painting the bottom and the biggie - building a rudder.  All before October 19th.  Oh and I'm still waiting for a quote from the insurance company.

I may have to build only the rudder attachment post on the boat per Tad Robert's drawing, and then cobble together a temporary rudder to maneuver the boat for the time being, as she must be moved according to this:

So as I was fretting away over this earlier this week, I began to experience discomfort in my chest.

If you have followed this blog for some time you may recall Lorri had a similar experience that we may or may not have gone to the hospital for.  Thankfully we did and it resulted in a quintuple bypass heart operation.  So given that experience we did not want to take a chance and went to emergency.

So next week, I have to turn my attentions away from the bullying I am getting from a neighbour, aided and abetted by a very conformist system that completely agrees with him - but won't admit their prejudice - and have what's called a Holter heart monitor installed for a 24 hour period, followed by a treadmill stress test.

As I write this, I am experiencing the same discomfort.  I am hoping it is only a physical reaction to my absolute anger and distress over the whole shitbag, and that these symptoms will go away when the pressure is off.

I did spend some money to talk to a lawyer who agreed that this was unfair and discriminatory.  But I would be putting at financial risk other family members so I have backed down.  While paying my bill to his office manager I expressed to her my opinion that we have rights to fair treatment under the law.

She summed it up quite succinctly.  "It depends on who you are."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Some Thanks as Launch Nears

Yesterday Autarkia passed a successful survey indicating her seaworthiness and suitability to launch at her present state of completion.  A big thanks to Capt. Don Rose of Rose Marine! That is a requirement to be in the harbour here, as well as needing insurance too.   Also a belated thanks to blog follower Jeff who came by the other day to help mount the motor.  And another thank-you to harbour manager Bick for finding a way to shoe-horn us in over the winter.  Nice to have so many friends helping out!

And I would never have had the motivation for such a project without the support and encouragement of the many people I have met online!  Thanks to you all!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Discriminatory and Selective Bylaw Enforcement

The bylaw that the District of Mission is citing against me is in the Mission Bylaws, Off Street Parking, Section 109 5(b)iii.  Here is the link to the Mission bylaws:  

Here is the exact wording of that bylaw:

5. In the Suburban designation area: a. Off Street Parking shall use no more than 15% of the Lot Area or 535 sq m (5,759 sq ft), whichever is less. b. Off Street Parking, or storage, of the following shall be completely enclosed within a Building: i. Vehicles exceeding 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs) gross vehicle weight (GVW). ii. Equipment exceeding 225 kg (496 lbs) in weight that is used or designed for use for construction or maintenance purposes. iii. Recreation vehicles, boat trailers or boats exceeding 7.5 m (24.6 ft) in length. iv. More than one unlicensed Vehicle. v. Dismantled or wrecked Vehicles.

So as I mentioned in my post of yesterday, we got the nasty letter.  The boat goes on or before October 15th or we get fined $200 per day, and/or taken to Provincial Court, and/or they 'tow' our boat.

I haven't the resources to fight this, nor do I want to involve or affect other family members who are on title to the property.  So the boat will go and we'll finish her off in the water.

Once that is done however, and we are enjoying Autarkia with our freed up time, I will be considering this case.  Here's the interesting part:  My neighbours and friends either side have RVs that are not in compliance with that law.  I am sandwiched between them; there are three of us who are in violation.  Yet, I am the one who is being singled out because I am the only one who generated a complaint.

The complainant obviously likes RVs and does not like large boats.  Which is fine, except he is able to exercise that quite questionable discrimination in taste by virtue of the municipal complaint process.  Our municipality allows him to discriminate in this manner, and assists him in his discrimination by citing me, and not my neighbours.

Now in Canada, we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that in Section 15, guarantees that all are treated equally by the law.  However, with bylaw enforcement this guarantee and right of a Canadian citizen appears to be neglected and held in contempt.  I believe that I have been wronged here, and I intend to make a legal challenge.

Class action.

Because this has affected many, many others.  So it should be easier, given these circumstances to find a law firm who wants to take this on without cost to me,  and sue EVERY municipality in Canada that has enforced bylaws by virtue of complaints, and not otherwise.

I can hear the coffers spilling already.  It's a glorious sound.  And some lucky individual who has practiced municipal buffoonery may have the case named after him.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Autarkia Has a Pacemaker

Well we finally got the official letter from the city.  All registered and chock full of nasty threats and promises including THEM removing our pride and joy from the premises, I assume that would be with the Mountie backup - a certain requirement I would think.

*$#@'em.  The boat will leave by October 15th.  I have moorage.  I have my surveyor lined up for the interim insurance.  A couple of hatches to build... some deck hardware... a rudder (drawings emailed last night from Tad Roberts), a slop coat of bottom paint and TODAY - the engine mounted!

It went quite well, but I miscalculated on the clearances a bit.  The power lift/trim will need to limited with a switch - easy to design and something that can wait for now - because the motor won't go all the way up without hitting the aft end of the well.  It does go up enough to eliminate any drag though.   It was a major accomplishment and I'm happy with the day's progress.

 Anyway, it's balls to the wall for the next two weeks to meet the deadline.  I have to turn down an electrical gig, and postpone a much needed getaway for Lorri and I (she hasn't had one break yet since her bypass surgery), but God forbid we continue to offend the sensibilities of some sad, pathetic soul who lacks any romanticism  in his sorry life and must interfere with the happiness of others, aided and abetted by a dying system that will meet its end with stunned surprise.

So this time next year I will be in Desolation Sound eating fresh crab for breakfast, or lying in the form of my scattered ashes floating on the Fraser River, as a result of a fatal tasering by the Horseman.  It wouldn't be the first time for them.  I think those things need some tweaking...

The Saga continues....