Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You remeber this boat...........

The 38' Northern Bay, the most important boat in the shop. And now the number one priority. Greg is back in Rhode Island with his 36' Calvin and after a couple of days of fishing hasn't found any major problems. The Northern Bay will now become my primary focus and if possible I won't be working on any other boat until it is out the door. Today I cut in the 3 aft deck hatches (not pictured). I was only going to cut in the aft starboard hatch so I could install the house batteries but once I was set up to cut hatches I made an executive decision to cut in all three. The hatches ended up being 28" square. Making all the hatches the same size will make it easier for John to make the aluminum frames that will act as the "guts" of the hatches. The aluminum frames will have a built in gutter and some type of way to lock the hatch down. All the gutters will be hosed to a larger hose that will drain overboard. Six deck hatches in total will make for a lot of hoses and gutters but it will all be worth it when under the deck is dry at all times. The decks are made out of 1" nidacore so they had to be decored, after the top layer of fiberglass had been cut out the plastic "honeycomb" material was knocked out with a hammer and chisel.

Between cutting hatches and hammering plastic, I made a custom battery box to fit under the deck on the starboard side of the boat. I was going to use the Blue Sea plastic battery boxes but two of them couldn't fit in the space provided because of the engine exhaust that runs through the area. The battery box was made out of plywood and will house 2 8d batteries. The box will be fiberglassed and screwed down to small stringers to hold it in place. By tomorrow there should be some pictures of the heavy duty battery cables run under the deck. The second picture is of the flybridge seats, guttered flip-top and a removable panel at the front to make for an area long enough for a full sized human to lay down. In other Northern Bay news the smaller Lewmar hatches arrived (finally) and they can be cut in tomorrow (one over the galley and one in the shower).


Dan Jr. gelcoated the hull of the small repair job captain's blue today, 4 coats of gel and it looks awesome (not pictured). Jeff ran 4/0 battery cable on Fish Tales and tracked down a couple of leaky fittings, then started on the bilge pump installation on another repair job. Clay finished off the deck replacement yesterday and moved onto repairing the hauling side of Lee's boat (not pictured). Otto remains sick with bronchitis. Dan returned from his quick vacation to the NASCAR race at Martinsville. John made a sick bait/lobster box (pictured), a steel flat bar cage, and half of a steel round rod cage. The weather is warming and three of the boats in the yard are getting launched tomorrow. Gotta catch those lobsters before the price drops.

Good post, Bad pictures. Except for the aluminum box nothing we did is in any of these photos. I'll take some better pics on Wednesday. This post is now officially long enough. Was it worth checking back in? We are up to 15 yes votes on the poll, however no one has sent me a deposit check yet. You are probably waiting for your tax return checks to arrive.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This might have to be taken down.

Am I infringing on any copyright laws? If I had an apple computer I could make my own background music with Garageband.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here are some pics.

Unsold 12' skiff

Sick wiring job.

Gannett, 42' Wesmac

Forever Young, 36' Calvin Beal

In case you didn't notice the addition to the blog, there is a poll where you can tell me if you are ever going to buy a new boat. After one day there are 4 "yes" responses. We accept down payments at any time. Send me 200 a week for a couple years if that is all you can spare. Get your orders in now because when the economy storms back I think we are going to be very busy. The 36' Calvin with the new deck launches tomorrow, look for final pics and satisfied customer comments by midnight Wednesday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another reason to select CIBW.

In these tough economic times everyone is trying to think of a gimmick to generate more business. At Clark Island Boat Works we try to let the work speak for itself but in an effort to create a buzz on the street............FREE CUP HOLDER WITH EVERY PROJECT. That's right folks bring your busted up boat to CIBW and get a FREE CUP HOLDER, buy a new boat get a FREE CUP HOLDER, have our welder make you a metal work of art get a FREE CUP HOLDER. Limit 1 (ONE) per customer. Due to the excitement that this deal will be generating I'm going to have to draw the line at the first 100 customers. The cup holder has no cash value and is a non-transferable gift to be given to the client once they have spent the shop minimum of 2000 dollars. So act fast, if you don't need any work done at this time a deposit will hold your FREE CUP HOLDER (min deposit 75 dollars). Actual cup holder not pictured and no drink will be included. Cup holder will not be installed unless requested. Thanks again for your ongoing support and "Your welcome" in advance for your FREE CUP HOLDER.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


People of the world you can now rejoice. Your favorite boat builder has returned to the blogging scene. Thousands of emails, postcards, and phone calls can't be ignored forever. My keyboard is covered in dust and this first post back has added pressure on it to be great so lets get cracking. The picture to the left is a couple of days old but as you can see the 36' Calvin is nearing completion. All the fiberglassing is completed, the exhaust is finished and the below deck lobster tanks are plumbed and ready to go. Not pictured is the aluminum culling tray that John built and the aluminum trap slide that is being built (the two most impressive things will be in tomorrows post so check back in 24 hours). Rebuilding a deck can be a discouraging proposition because if you do a good job the boat looks exactly the same as it did when we started. Rip out all the bad and replace it with the good. This project has created more work, another boat showed up today to get the deck replaced. It will be nice to just tell the crew "do what you just did" while its fresh in their minds. This boat is 128% better than it was when it arrived at the shop and I think that the owner is going to be extremely happy with it. In case you haven't read all the old posts, this boat has.....
  1. new fuel tanks (that don't leak)
  2. new lobster tanks (with a sick water management system)
  3. new exhaust (wrapped with high temp blankets)
  4. new deck (raised, repitched, and rugged)
  5. lifting rails (boat will gain 2.2 knots)
  6. rope locker drain (locker had 13-18 gallons of water in it when it arrived)
  7. repaired outside shaft box and rudder step (just all around better)
The best part about all this is that the job was generated by the web site, dude in RI sees the site, makes the call, and we get the work. Exactly why the internet was created. The blog was leading to more interest in the company and I should have recognized that it was becoming an important part of my job (even though I don't get paid for it). Anyway this boat is gone next week and we have a new deck to build. The posts won't be focused on that project (since it would be a repeat of the previous 20 posts) and I will be focusing on the 38' Northern Bay that will become the number one priority. Met with a fisherman from NH on Friday, possible new lobster boat but it still in the early phase and I don't want to get too excited.

How am I going to get back all the fans that I lost during my hiatus?

An interesting bit of information for people with older diesel motors in their boats......

The federal government has put up 300 million dollars into a clean diesel program, they pay for half of the motor and half of the installation if you apply and qualify for the program. I guess they are trying to eliminate as many of the tier 1 motor that they can. Every state has a different set of procedures to apply for this money and the dead line for application (in Maine) is March 27th. Today I wrote up an estimate for a local lobsterman that was in the process of applying for some of the free cash. If you have any questions that I can help you with leave a comment or send me an email though www.clarkislandboatworks.com. It will be interesting to see how many people get approved and how many hoops they have to jump through to get the checks. If you are thinking about repowering I would strongly suggest looking into it.... fill out a piece of paper and maybe get 50 grand from the greatest country on earth. The repower doesn't need to be completed until September of 2010, so send in your applications and call Clark Island Boat Works when you want to schedule the project. Then we can get some of that free money.

Shirts, Hats, and Coffee Cups are on the way (they should be here in time for the holiday season). If I'm going to start adding new content to the site then you guys have to start getting me new viewers (if everyone tells two friends then we should be over 100 views a day). Your welcome Internet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't get excited.

Last Thursday I guessed that the deck would be down by Tuesday. Good guess.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The daily posts are finished.

After today I am done showing off, no more working Sundays. I won't have to work at all now that you won't be getting status reports. When I got to work Dan and I spent 10 minutes staring at the boat and decided that the best move would be to make all the hatch frames. The lobster tanks could have been worked on but it will be easier to finish the inboard edge of the tank if the hatch frame is completed first. Two of the frames needed to hold 15" X 24" hatches and the middle frame needed to house a 24" X 24" hatch. The aft frame also needed accommodations for a smaller square hatch to access the propeller clean out tube. After getting all the tools and fasteners that I was going to need, I assembled the frames on the work bench. That is glossing over a project to the highest degree. The actual measuring, cutting, clamping, drilling, and screwing are kind of a brainless task. I'll just skip to the end. Four final cuts and the frames fit in the boat. None of them are fastened down, just set in place for the sake of this photo. By getting these frames done the crew should be able to crank the work out on Monday.

38' South Shore
35' Mitchell Cove

Some final web stats: 877 visits to the blog in 26 days, Average time on site 4min54sec

Cities with the most visits
  1. Portland ME (I think most people in Maine have their internet routed to Portland)
  2. New York NY (one mention on www.noreast.com)
  3. Beverly MA (who's blog are you going to read now??)
  4. Portsmouth RI (the owner of the 36' Calvin or his family)
  5. Lynnwood WA (see #3)
  6. Tiverton RI (see #4)
Let the content fermentation commence!! I'll throw something up when the 36' Calvin is done, and if I think of it maybe a picture or two when the 38' Northern Bay is launched. Thanks for checking in and/or following along (whichever applies). Remember Clark Island Boat Works is a full service boat shop...... we build new boats, fix old boats, and build anything metal. We are open 7 days a week and can be reached at 1-207-594-4112.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cheap Lobster Tank Hatches

Lots of people checking for new posts today so I guess I should write one. On the 36' Calvin the owner originally wanted to get two 24" x 36" Anchor hatches. Dan ordered the hatches and we continued to work on the deck, then yesterday afternoon Dan returns from Rockland with a 26" X 40" Anchor hatch that he found at a local marine supply store. The store had 2 of these hatches that must have been special order items because the box had a UPS tag on it from 2002. Dan brought one back to the shop to make sure that they were going to work before buying them both but as you can see it fits fine and the other hatch will be picked up on Monday. The best part of this find was that we were able to buy the hatches for about 150 dollars less than the smaller hatches that the owner had speced out for the job. I'm confident that the owner will find somewhere on the boat to spend his extra 300 bucks. It occurs to me that if I left out those last two sentences that could have been my 300 bucks. Oh well, today we had to fiberglass inside the lobster tanks (pictured). The tanks are going to hold hundreds of pounds of lobsters, I now know that they can hold a 175lb boat builder. I got into the tank with the bucket of resin and Dan Jr. passed me the pieces of glass as I needed them. Three layers of 1.5 oz fiberglass matt around the top edge of the tank made the tank watertight, it also killed a couple million of my brain cells. Do brain cells grow back? On the second tank Dan Jr was in the tank and I was passing him the materials. Tomorrow I should be able to finish up the tanks, depending on my motivation.

The outside edge of the deck is installed and most of the stringers are in place. Next we will have to frame up the three center hatches, screw down some more plywood and this deck will be done. Another project might have been added to this boat, the owner sent me a bunch of pictures of an aluminum trap slide. It would fit on the port side and have the ability to be hinged on the inside edge. John was busy all day so I didn't bother him with it, I'll show him the pics on Monday. Once we estimate a price on the trap tray that will probably make the decision of "go" or "no go". Looking at this boat I should probably clean up tomorrow so we can start with a clean slate next week.

38' Northern Bay
Aluminum Radar Stand
New boat in the yard

This could be referred to as Blogger Burnout. So much going on at the shop and no desire to write about it. A running video feed of the shop would be much easier. Friday's post on Saturday, typical Maine boat builder, always running behind. Sorry if you've been checking in all day, now at 11:19pm you won't even read this until Sunday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Deck is 63% Completed.

Don't doubt my numbers, I'm a professional. Everything under the deck has been glassed, sanded, and gel coated. Stringers are installed and the plywood (not pictured) for the outside 2 feet of deck has been fit. The boat is looking good, check out the post from February 23rd. I'm going to say all the plywood decking is screwed down by Tuesday at 2:30pm. Possibly optimistic but its good to have goals. Dan Jr. and Jeff are responsible for most of the work on the 36' Calvin this week. Jeff's woodworking skills mixed with Dan Jr.'s fiberglassing skills, the perfect team. The exhaust parts left for Lewiston (Infab) today and the exhaust wrap should be done next week. Once the exhaust parts return the muffler can be installed and the boat can be finished. The reconditioned propeller returned from H & H, just like new at a fraction of the price.

The center console, as promised, completed. I was able to glass and sand it very quickly because the fiberglass was kicked in about 9 minutes. With an outside temperature of 33 degrees it was near 80 degrees at the top of the shop. I started messing around with instrument placement, no cool spot for anything. There will be a series of compromises until a functional arrangement can be made. Still waiting on the fiberglass angle that we ordered last week to arrive so the fly bridge hatches can be completed. Getting the console finished was a good step to take, I should be able to putty and finish sand it tomorrow. The steering cylinder arrived today, it is enormous, and in the words of the salesman "bulletproof". If I can get the owner to make some decisions on the captain's chairs the building on this boat can be completed and the finishing stage can begin.


Moved some boats around...... "Mirage" outside "Deduction" inside building A.

John made another stainless steel cage. Otto sanded the hull of "Miss Hannah"

Clay was across the driveway again, and I already told you about the two boats in the main shop.

A small boat arrived for repairs, Dan talked to the owners, I'm not sure what needs to be done.

How many more of these do I need to write? Am I still one behind? Would you order Clark Island Boat Works merchandise if it was available? Are any of you interested in buying a boat? Will ending a post with 6 questions lead to more comments?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Turning Paper into Progress.

On Tuesday I was talking with the owner of the 38' Northern Bay, I was trying to get a final explanation on what to build for the center console. He had sent various pictures of other consoles all slightly different so I had an idea of what to make just not a real clear idea. I tried to stress that the center console was the last thing to build on the fly bridge and that the lack of information was holding up the project. The owner promised me that he would work on his idea and finalize it by today. As you can see by the sketch to the left, he was true to his word. Again I have to thank the internet for the swift delivery of ideas and information. With the plans in hand I decided to mock up a console out of 1/4" plywood. Its a lot easier to take 30 min to make a crude model than finish building something and have to make huge changes. Plus it gives me the ability to make some changes that I think are necessary for aesthetics or functionality.

I made the quick console with a couple of changes (taller forward section and adding a drop section at the back) and sent a photo (5 actually) to Georgia. After seeing his drawing full scale on the boat we decided to bring the wheel back a little further and to angle the sides of the box in (maybe you can see the black line on the right side of the plywood). The owner also made a good point that the part of the console that hangs over the back needed to be big enough to accept the control handle that would be a shift/throttle two-in-one. Back to the internet for the size of the control handle confirmed his suspicions that the area need to be larger if it was going to work. Other than that he was very happy with the look of the box and I started to make the actual console (final product not pictured). Tons of parentheses tonight. Not sure why. The console WILL be built and glassed by the end of the day Thursday, unless I can think of a reason why this console won't work.


36' Calvin = The owner made the trip from RI yesterday. He was pleased with progress, we went over details for the rest of the project and started to think about completion dates. Today the aft stringers were installed and the bottoms of the lobster tanks were fit and fiberglassed. The holes in the stern deck were filled and fiberglassed and the outside box was removed.

38' Northern Bay = Fly bridge console and little else.

Clay = We sent him across the driveway to help on a repair job, I think its a grinding and glassing job.

Welding shop = Finished cage number 1 and installed it on the "across the driveway" project. Aluminum Plate to make the bait box arrived today with stainless steel flat bar that needs to be drilled. John is getting very busy, I'll have to get him organized in the morning (order of job importance the layout of the tray for the 36' Calvin)

Suggestions for the final posts are rolling in, most are good ideas but they all require more work than I'm willing to put in. I have nothing special planned, although it would be awesome to announce a boat sale in the final post. Keep your fingers crossed. Fisherman's forum in Rockland this weekend so I expect to get a lot of visitors at the shop in the next couple of days. I almost forgot to mention the best part of my day.....someone called the shop to tell me how great the blog is. I know its great, thanks for the support Missouri.

More First Light

42' Wesmac.
On the hook

Clark Island Tank.
At the dock.

Thanks for the pictures Chad, I'll mail them back or drop them off next time I'm in Hull.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to install a hatch.

This post was started yesterday but was never finished. Only 4 posts left, I haven't ever been this excited. Today we installed a recessed Bomar hatch in the deck of the 36' Calvin. If you would like to know how to install your own hatch please continue to read. Links to product sites are highlighted in blue.

First you want to select a hatch that you like Freeman and Bomar are the most popular. Both will leak if not properly adjusted when installed but Freeman has a better locking system in my opinion. Alright now you have your hatch and location selected, cut a hole big enough to accept the hatch so the outside flange sits flat on the deck. Take a wide tipped marker and trace the hatch, an find a router with a sharp plunge style bit. Measure the thickness of the flange and add 1/16" to set your router (example: if the flange is 3/8" set the router at 7/16") Use the router to chase your marker line on the deck, make sure to remove all the marker, this extra space will be needed for the fiberglass. If the hatch falls into the hole without any more griding you should feel proud, if not grind the tight areas until the hatch fits easily into the hole. Once the routed flange area is completed round the top edge of the deck so the fiberglass can wrap over the edge. After the hole in the deck is completed wax the bottom side of the hatch ring and get prepared to fiberglass. Two or three layers of 1.5 oz Matt around the cutout should be enough depending on the level of finish. Next drop the waxed hatch ring into the wet fiberglass and use c-clamps to tighten the ring into place. After the fiberglass is completely dried pop the ring out and smooth all of the raw areas. If the hatch now can drop in and out without forcing it, get a tube of 5200 and install the hatch using 2" stainless steel screws. Nice job, glad I could help.


Snowed all day on Monday. Everyone was at work except Dan Jr. We glassed some of the deck down and the tanks into place on the 36' Calvin. I sanded most of the day on the 38' Northern Bay. John welded up half a cage (pictured) the other half will be done tomorrow, then he has to make two more cages. The next repair job arrived on Saturday and is sitting outside, we will try to move boats around if the weather ever improves. Its going to hover around 20 degrees all week so the boat might not get inside until next week. Awesome looking cage, anyone that needs one please contact the shop before the cage prices increase.

The old photos have been a huge hit on the web. I should have started using them as post fodder 15 posts ago, there would have been a lot less typing (and less pressure). Boat historians are working on the complete list of Clark Island vessels, and my crew of followers are sending in photos. The entire collection of boats will be online for public viewing in early 2015. These "how to" posts are easy. If have suggestions for another task you need to be guided through, leave it in the comment box.

5 more blog visits to 700, call your neighbors and get them involved.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This isn't the post, just more pics

Thanks for the pic finn.
Future home of the new shop.
Tour Boat for Captain Nick
Frank drilling pvc rail in the old shop.
Dan and I working outside
Frank and I on launch day.
46' Novi, first boat in new building
Company car.
I'll get a post up tonight of what we did today, this does not count toward the 30 in 30.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Scanning Project.

I like how the scanner makes the photos look grainy like they were taken 50 years ago. The truth is that the photos were in a shopping bag full of pics and most of them where covered with dust. The next couple of weeks I'm going to try to add as many of our old boats to the site. This photo has to be from 1993 (?), I'm the kid in the gray sweatshirt on the right. Looking through the pics and scanning them in took long enough. The effort in this post was in getting the photos onto the computer. Post over. Do you feel cheated? Enjoy the pics if you have any questions or comments send them along.

No Boss, No Problem.

Back home, three stops along the way turned a 4 hour drive into a 6.75 hour drive. Spitting snow the entire drive, saw an SUV spin out two cars in front of us, no accident but it was very exciting. Ran out the the shop with my camera as soon as we got home, progress was made, I was impressed. Most of the time when Dan and I are out of town nothing happens. The floor on the 36' Calvin is starting to go back down. The pitch of the deck is being changed slightly so all the remaining deck stringers need to be raised slightly. One inch higher at the main bulkhead up to 2.5" higher at the stern. All the hatches that were sitting on the platform are going to be recessed into the deck and the extra plastic deck plates are going to be eliminated. When I left on Friday I said to get the front section of floor installed and the boys came through. The owner was planning a trip north on Monday so I wanted the boat to show good progress (the trip north will probably be cancelled due to the 15" of snow we might be getting.).

In the morning someone will be able to start fiberglassing the forward section of floor while someone else starts on the tops to the lobster tanks. 24" X 40" Anchor hatches will be installed in the tops of the tanks and the port tank will have a fiberglass pipe to toss the lobsters into. Two windows in the back port corner of the wheelhouse have been removed and the holes where the windows were has been filled. The exhaust parts in the welding shop appear to be finished, they will have to be sent to Infab (a company that makes high temp exhaust blankets) and a box will have to be made to house the muffler. Serious work over the next 4-5 days and this project should be getting close to the finish line. Well maybe not "close to the finish line" but I should have a better idea of how much longer we are going to be. Thanks to the crew for their efforts, I'll try to help out this week. These photos are horrible because I didn't turn on the lights in the boat shop.

Only 6 posts left. Once the 30 in 30 is completed I will probably just recycle the posts and run the same 30 over and over. That way new visitors will have the same experience that the rest of you had (they shouldn't be cheated). Then after a couple years of no new content my online guilt will kick in and I'll start blogging about the state of the boating industry, if there still is a boating industry in 2011. We made a little progress in getting every state to check out the blog (thanks Oregon and Nevada), but we are still waiting on lots of states. My new goal (more realistic) is to be recognized on the street and maybe have to sign an autograph.

"hey aren't you that guy?" ................awkward pause................"yes, i am."