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

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Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project

January 5, 2001  This week's update tour will be led by Casey, WebBoat Dogteam Leader and Lunch Specialist. Casey would first like to stress that the weather has been so cold, a dog thinks twice about chasing a stick thrown on the icy creek. He's happy to report that the WebBoat facility is not only fully encased in plastic (complete with special dog doors), but now houses three heating units - two woodstoves and one oil burner fed by diesel fuel recycled from Cherokee. The plastic allows for warmth, yet does not muffle the sound of Leonard's lunch bell, a highlight of Casey's work day. This has been a very productive week, even in dog standards. Bryan ordered new port lights for the entire boat from New Found Metals of Port Townsend, Washington.

Too Cold for Man or Beast! The Doghouse
Casey's Friend Cedar Checking Out Ice, Warm Shed


The marine propulsion department has made headway with the drive train, now trying to interface these components from three different countries - Finland, Germany, and the USA. The FF Waterjets are made by Kamewa, a Finnish company owned by Rolls Royce. The Centa centrifugal clutches, manufactured in Germany (basically two big go-cart clutches), engage when the RPMs of the engine centrifugally throw counterweights out that depress the clutch plates (this is a little over Casey's head). Finally, the V892 diesels were built, aptly enough, in the Motor City - Detroit.

Engine Expert At Work
Bill Brown Checking Out the Flywheel


The Paint Removal Pit
Looking Down the Staircase to "Paint Stripper" Jeanette

John Stein, under constant dog supervision, continues work on the side deck, port aft. He is in the process of gluing in one of the two new layers of sheer clamp. Frame ends and some of the stairwell area will also be replaced.

John Framed by Casey
John Progressing Down the Side Deck

Jeff, Tom, Leonard, and Bill Davis have completed the bottom. These pictures show the completion of all three layers of plywood on the starboard side, and the fitting of the last layer on the port side. The bottom crew finished at precisely one half hour after knock-off time on Friday afternoon, and then couldn't tear themselves away from admiring their work and discussing the week to come. Was it dedication or quittin' time beer that kept them hanging around? Probably a healthy combination of both.

Rock Bottom Bottom Crew
Three Layers on Starboard Side, Casey Watching Crew Finish Bottom


Robbin, after her final vacuuming of the bilge in the forward stateroom, discovered several areas of loose epoxy applied in years past. She chipped these away so the wood could dry. She also discovered several loose frames which will be fastened from the outside. The moral to this story is every canine's motto: the more you dig, the more you find. Epoxying of interior hull should begin this week, weather permitting.

Digging for Gold I think you missed a spot, Robbin!
Robbin Preparing Interior Bottom


Cold Metal!
Kyle Gillikin, Mike Rhinehart, and Marshallberg Dog by George's Boat

In other boat news, J.M. Brown's son George has a new fishing boat underway in his Marshallberg yard. Work began in September and might be finished in July. It will be a 66 foot steel trawler, built with the help of marine welders Kyle Gillikin and Mike Rhinehart. George used to be a full time commercial fisherman, but decided to sell his boat and buy J.D. Piner's crane for a new and perhaps less risky line of work. So why is he investing money into the very livelihood he left behind? One reason might be that fishermen can never seem to completely shake an occupation "in the blood". Another, explained J.M., is good old fashioned optimism in the face of adversity - who says commercial fishing is a dying industry? "You might as well not be an American if you're not going to be optimistic," J.M. smiled. George, after spending a long hard Sunday grinding away in the cold, tempered his dad's good humor by adding, "let's just say we're taking it one day at a time." What's could the new boat be named? "Nervous Breakdown", sighed George, who feels a little behind schedule. I wonder if there are any other boat owners who can relate... Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
That's All, Folks!

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