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Buyboat F D Crockett

August, 2021

The Deltaville Museum has asked me to build a model of their buyboat, F.D.Crockett, that will be auctioned or raffled off at a special 20th anniversary event next year. Here's a picture of the real boat,.

F. D. Crockett

Built in 1924, the 62-foot, 4-inch F.D. Crockett is one of only two log-bottom buyboats built exclusively for power, and represents the apex of log boat building on the Chesapeake.  Alex Gaines of Dare, Virginia, used the same techniques that were used to build the early sailing "canoes", when he designed and built her 9 log hull to accept a gasoline engine.  After Gaines completed the hull, she was taken across the creek to Smith Marine Railway, where John Franklin finished the boat.  For 70 years, the F. D. Crockett was used as a working vessel.  In 1994, she was converted to a pleasure craft.  In 2005 Ron Turner, a descendant of the Smiths, donated the boat and she was towed up the bay from Poquoson arriving in Deltaville on September 5th.  You can read more about the restoration of the boat here - https://www.deltavillemuseum.com/f-d-crockett

August 22, 2021

I'm using plans by Ray V. Rodgers, III that are available from his website. The plans are drawn at a scale of 3/8"=1', which is the scale at which I am building the model. It will be a little over 23" long. As of today, I have the false keel and bulkheads cut out. None are glued on yet.

Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads

August 30, 2021

I haven't worked on the boat much over the past week. Mostly due to the fact that I'm just not excited to be working on the thing and don't feel much like being in the boatyard in any case. However, I've managed to get all the bulkheads glued on to the false keel and have started fairing the hull. Fairing is a tedious job that I confess I don't enjoy at all. It has to be done and done right though. I figure another couple of days before I'll be done with that and can start to figure out how to plank the thing. Since it is a log hull, it was never designed for planking, so it's going to be a challenge.

Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads

September 3, 2021

I am now on Plan B. I decided it was just going to be too difficult to plank this hull, so I ripped off all the bulkheads and made new ones out of 3/`6" basswood that go right to the outside of what would be the planking. I was able to reuse the false keel. My plan is to fill the spaces inbetween with sheet basswood and blocks of basswood. You can see how the sheets will go in in the two pics below. Toward the bow and stern, I'll need to use blocks or maybe thicker sheets because of the shape of the hull. This should make it easier to shape the hull properly.

Blocking
Blocking
Blocking
Blocking

September 9, 2021

I finally finished getting all the blocking in between the bulkheads. I know it is horribly ugly at this point, but once it's sanded and some filler added in the gaps, I think it will look OK and should have the proper shape. I'll start sanding tomorrow.

Blocking
Blocking
Blocking
Blocking

September 13, 2021

As it turns out, I didn't work on the boat much over the past few days. Last Saturday I got the hull rough-sanded using 60 grit. Today, I filled the various cracks and holes and got it sanded down the rest of the way. Still looks ugly but better. I haven't quite decided how to treat the hull just yet. It will get painted ultimately, but I think I'm going to need to fill the grain somehow to make it look smooth. Just not sure yet how I'll go about that. Next step will be to add the keel and stem, then I'll start working on the decking.

Blocking
Blocking
Blocking
Blocking

October 2, 2021

Although it has been a while since my last post, I have, in fact, been working on the boat. It has been a pretty horrendous experience. Cracks developed between the bulkheads and the blocking between them. Filling them and getting them to not return has been a nightmare that may not be over yet. I wound up having to entirely replace the stern, which was quite the chore. Just today, I finished planking the deck. Hard to tell in the picture, but it's planked with 1/8" wide strips that follow the outer curve of the hull. VERY time consuming! It will get painted, so much of that work will become invisible anyway.

Next step is the rub rails and the bulwarks. Not looking forward to either of those.

New Stern
New Stern
Deck
Deck

October 19, 2021

Still working on the boat but not steadily. I often don't feel like doing anything in the boatyard. I have the hull pretty well finished now. Rubrails and bulwarks are on. Final painting will come later as will the rudder, prop, and rails. I don't want to damage those while I continue work on the deck structures. As of today, I have the two hatches and hatch covers made. I plan to start work on the forepeak cabinnext.

Hull
Hull
Hatches & Covers
Hatches & Covers

October 26, 2021

The forepeak cabin is constructed. The doors and trim are not glued on - I need to paint first. I started on the pilothouse a couple of days ago. It's slow going. It's VERY complex and is taking a lot of thought and careful measurement. That little box at the front provides light to the engine room. There are 6 portholes in it. The pilothouse and cabin behind it have a total of 5 doors and 9 windows. The semi-circular brown wood will be the pilothouse floor. None of the parts are glued on yet.

Forepeak Cabin
Forepeak Cabin
Pilothouse
Pilothouse

November 8, 2021

Still working on the pilothouse/cabin and will be for some time yet. The side walls are glued on but the fore and aft cabin walls are not yet. Neither is the floor of the cabin. There are some details yet to be added inside both areas that I think will be more easily done before I glue those walls in place. Nest step will be to work on the rounded front of the pilothouse.

Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Cabin
Cabin

November 14, 2021

Well, it's on to attempt number three. I decided there were just too many problems with the hull on the last model. Cracks kept developing and I was not sure they would ever get fully repaired. It would be terrible if the model went to the eventual winner of the raffle and it got new cracks. As well, there were some other things I just wasn't happy with, including the scale, so I have decided to start all over again at 1/2" scale and I will plank this hull. I have the false keel and all the bulkheads cut out. By the end of the day, I had all the bulkheads glued on.

False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads
False Keel & Bulkheads

November 30, 2021

Finished planking the hull today - 16 days after the previous post. Break out the whiskey!!
It is one of the ugliest planking jobs ever but it's covered. Note that through my clever use of photography (i.e. a very small image) you are unable to see just how bad it is. I have coated the inside of the hull with yellow glue for additional strength. When it is dry tomorrow, I will start the filling and sanding process. I want to get a coat of primer on it as soon as I can so no one will ever see this ugly planking!

Finished Planking
Finished Planking

 

December 11, 2021

Since the last post, I've been planking the deck. The covering boards and rub rails are on as well. The whiskey plank went on the deck at 2:33 this afternoon! Happy to have that behind me. I have two of the bulwark planks in the bending jig. I used that same jig for bending the deck planks so it should work OK although the bulwark planks are nearly twice as thick as the deck planks. There should be four planks in the jig, but when I made those two this morning, I somehow spaced out that I needed four. So two more are in the water soaking as I write this. There's no great rush to get them on in any case. Next, I'll start working on the two hatches and the forepeak cabin. I don't anticipate that taking too awfully long. Couple of days maybe.

Deck Planking
Deck Planking
Bending Jig
Bending Jig

December 18, 2021

The forepeak cabin and hatches are done now but won't get glued on until later. I have started on the bulwarks as well. The bulwarks are made of two 5/32" square pieces. I just have the lower one on at this point. I've drilled holes in the upper one for the stanchions. There's a third piece that goes on at the bow and I just now got them and some rail stock into the bending jig, While they're drying, I'll get started on the pilothouse/cabin structure. That will be a long project - I anticipate about 6 weeks to fully finish it.

Overall View
Overall View
Forepeak Cabin
Forepeak Cabin

December 29, 2021

I've been making slow progress on the pilothouse/cabin. 11 days just to get this far, but I knew it would take a long time. None of the walls are glued in place - just sitting there so I could take some pics. I just made the half-round struture today. I needs to get sanded then planked. I have most of the window and door frames in. Of course, I'll still have to do those on the half-round part. And I'll eventually have to make lots of windows and doors. There is, as well, still one more wall to make - the aft wall of the pilothouse.

Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin

January 5, 2022

Turned out, I somehow mis-measured the half-round section and it was too narrow by 1/8". I already had it planked and painted when I discovered the problem, so I had to re-do the whole thing. That was a full day wasted. Somewhere along the way, I also made the aft wall of the pilothouse. On Monday of this week (Jan. 3rd), we had a big snow storm - 6-9 inches depending on where you measured. My power went out at 10:30 Monday morning and didn't come back on until around 2:00 pm on Tuesday. So nearly 2 more days lost. But, today I was able to frame out the windows in the pilothouse and got the walls glued up. The half-round section isn't glued on yet - there's still work to do inside and it will be easier to do if I can take that section off.

Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin

March 5, 2022

Two months have flown by since my last post. As can be seen in the pictures below, I"ve made some progress. Still lots of things left to do, but I think maybe I'll finish it sometime in April.

Overall View
Overall View
Pilothouse/Cabin
Pilothouse/Cabin
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging

March 26, 2022

Finished rigging the boat.

Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging
Rigging

March 30, 2022

Done! Finished up the final details last nite. This wll be going down to the museum on Friday. This was quite a slog at times so I'm glad to have it behind me. The raffle winner will be announced in September.

Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished