Building the Eun Mara "Skerry"

Turning her over

Eun Mara main

Well, it finally happened on 11 June 2006, and we now have a right-way-up boat! Construction started in 2003, so it's been a slow process.

Read on for the full gory details...







The start of the preparation was to make the stands on which Skerry would sit. The top photo shows the stand that was shaped to fit at around station 7; the masking tape on the keel marks the spot. The bottom photo shows the other stand, which fits just forward of the ballast slot. I wanted the waterline to be roughly horizontal - hence the spacing block to lift the stem a few inches.


Here are both the stands in place.


As I need continue to store plywood underneath the boat, I fastened the stands to these little benches that provide a bit more clearance beneath the keel.


I agonised long and hard over how I was going to carry and turn the boat, which would need to be done outside my garage. Carrying out could be done by lifting under the sheer, but there would be no way of getting a purchase for carrying back in when the right way up.

I decided to bolt jarrah planks to the stem and stern posts (as shown here for the stern). After attaching these simple legs I was able to remove the building frame. (I did provide extra "safety" support by placing extendable workshop stands under the sheer midships either side, but they never took any weight.) The planks are the same width as the boat, the idea being that when turning it over (with the legs removed) the whole assembly would pivot on the lower end of the planks, taking the strain off the sheer. Also, I intended to use four people at each end to carry the boat, so the planks needed to be long enough to accomodate four people side by side.


Just before we started the move I replaced the bolts that held on the legs with clamps, so that they could be quickly removed when the carriers lifted the boat.


Carrying the boat like this worked well.


My measurements indicated that the driveway just in front of the roller doors was a few inches wider than the distance between the planks, therefore "no problem", I thought. However the problem came when the two teams of carriers needed to synchronise their efforts to lower the boat down in just the right position without walking into rose bushes etc..

We ended up diagonal for a while! (That's me supervising.)

It was no great problem, as the boat could be rested on the driveway while the plan was refined.


Grandson Douggie and his uncle Tim provided advice.


After a few minutes we had it in just the right position and rotated it on the ends of the planks as per the grand plan.


And over she went onto some scrap carpet.


And gently down onto the keel. Too easy, really!


So that's what she looks like inside.


Then it was shoulders to the carrying planks and back into the garage. I took the opportunity to turn her around so that the stem now faces the front roller door. The beamy stern will restrict access a bit to my work area at the rear of the garage, but I think that will be more than compensated for by simplifying getting the vessel onto its trailer on that distant day when she's completed.


And there she is in her new home for the next couple of years.


She's a beautiful design. Note that the waterline (which is black, and not clearly visible on the photo) is horizontal, so that high prow is how she will attack the waves.


It was a cold winter day here in Canberra (9 degrees Celsius maximum), with a strong wind blowing through the garage, so we had a couple of pots of hot soup for the workers and spectators, followed by a sausage sizzle and drinks. It was a very pleasant social gathering, with a few members of our local Traditional Boat Squadon, family, neighbours and other friends, some of whom we had not seen for some years. A boat turning is a great time to get together!

Now to fit her out...