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P.O. Box 91    Gloucester, North Carolina     (252) 729-8021   blake@blakeboatworks.com

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Which way did they go?

Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project

December 20, 2002   A Christmas tree seems to have sprouted on the hardtop, and already new cookware and galleyware is piled underneath. Several overgrown children like to eat lunch up there in glow of the lights.

I think I need a mow
I'm Dreaming of a Huckins Christmas...

Leonard, earning "best dressed craftsman of the week" award and trying to impress Santy Claus, is touching up a little spot to get it just right. (Santa's watching you, Leonard.) Pictured to the right is the upper attachment block for the aluminum column that will support the hard top at the rear of the pilot house. The orange string is used to pull wiring through all of this support structure after it is in place.

It's tough to be a lawyer carpenter... In case of emergency pull string
Zoot Suit Recruit, Pilot House Corner


Welder Kevin Dumont is fitting his weldments in the pilot house (below left). The aluminum columns are made of two-inch polished anodized pipe. These columns will provide most of the support for the hard top roof, plus allow the many pairs of control cables and radar antennas to pass from above to the helm below. Below right, the first two columns of the fly bridge stairway are shown here with Steve Gilpin in the background making up more cables for the engine room.

Weldment Wonderments Bryan has to stick fireman poles everywhere...
Cherokee Begins to Gleam

Camera! Duck!
Topsy and Turvy Working the Engine Room

Above, Steve and Leonard still try to fill every nook and cranny of the engine room with stuff. Battery chargers, vanner equalizers, d-deck controllers, banks of batteries and backup banks of batteries, battery switches, data cable, and hydraulic lines are just a few of the things required to make everything work. Below, Chris customizes duct work in the guest room, V-berth, laundry room, and the two heads forward. Divinycell left over from the hard top construction was used to build register boots and manifolds for the air distribution system.

Disco Duct
Chris Installing HVAC Duct


Recently, the five rooms and hallway forward have received the majority of the sanding and painting effort. Jeanette is shown here climbing out from below the rope locker. She, Kerry, Bill, and Chris have been cleaning, masking off, and sanding the many grooves and beads in the ceiling.

The Vortex got me! This is so tongue and groovy
Jeanette and Kerry Prepping and Painting

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shed,
Not a creature was stirring epoxy, I said;
Dust masks were hung by the woodstove with care,
In hopes that the launch day soon would be near;
The owner was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of Cherokee danced in his head;
Casey in his collar, after downing a snack,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,
He sprang from the floor in hopes of food to get fatter,
When, what to his sad hangdog eyes should come true,
But a miniature boatbuilder, and eight tiny crew,
"Now, Norman! Now, Thomas! Now, Jeanette and Chris!
On, Leonard, you're doing a good job with this!
On William, On Kerry, and Steve Gilpin too,
Now sand away! Paint away! Work till you're through!
The builder was frisky, a right crazy old elf,
Who could get the job done, in spite of himself;
Casey heard him exclaim as the Huckens he climbed,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, I AM OUT OF MY MIND!"
Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake

That's All, Folks!

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