And a few steps back

Perhaps my enthralled readership has a more retentive memory than mine, 1 nonetheless I will adopt the practice of the Television producer and tell you what happened in previous episodes. So, if you can remember, skip the rest of this paragraph and move on. Still with me – I’m glad I’ve got company. I had been happily stitching the first couple of pairs planks together, leaving the cable ties loose to enable manipulation at a later date. I’d even got as far as fitting the top plank 2 to the port side of the boat when I discovered that I had managed to stitch a twist into the prow. Now read on.

No amount of pushing, shoving, twisting or other manipulation had any effect – so much for leaving the stitches loose. Here’s where work to a step or two backwards as the top and middle planks were taken off.  I wondered if I had problem of alignment with the trailer – this is being used as the build base for the boat, so I spent several fruitless hours using 17th Century methods 3 to level the trailer fore and aft and from side to side and checked the vertical alignment too (just in case gravity was misbehaving in the shed, under the influence of B time). In the end I gave up and spent fifty quid on a simple laser level isn’t click and collect a great invention. What did we do without Screwfix and Toolstation (to name but a few)?4

The following morning, after lighting the fire, I started to play with my new toy. It took me some time to work out how to get it to “self level” but once I had done so, I was away I made a “surveyors pole” and leapt around the place trying to find out how level the trailer was. Little progress was made until I started noting the readings at the various points (note 1 applies). Then I was off and the trailer and pair of planks were at the correct attitude.

The trailer was levelled from side to side and then fore and aft. Gravity seemed to be pointing downwards.

I thought we’d made progress.

But we still had a twisted prow.

I inspected the port and starboard examples of plank 1. 5 In theory, they should have been perfectly aligned one to the other, because I had matched and clamped them back to back before drilling the stitch holes. Practice had not read the theory, because I noticed that the two halves of this plank did not quite align fore and aft – the starboard plank was about an eighth of an inch forward of that on the port side. I convinced myself that this could induce the twist and, with a few light blows of a heavy hammer, moved them relative to each other and

 (drum roll)

the twist was fixed…..Full steam ahead tomorrow. But it was Christmas so that ended work for a couple of days.


I knew I had a reader! I’ve had a comment to the blog. Saxisgood wants to know where the coffee maker is in the main workshop. Baldly, there isn’t one. It’s not a matter of power supply capacity (although the lights do dim when I power up the angle grinder). Nor is it a matter of the builder not liking coffee. The delicate fact of the matter is the absence of any facility to dispose of the used coffee…..


  1. My Latin master (a long time ago) accused me of having a memory worse than a sieve – ‘at least the sieve retains something’ he said. I agreed and went on to fail Latin 0 level more times than I cared to count. This condemned me to study engineering at the “Godless institution in Gower Street” rather than reading “Natural Sciences” at some Oxbridge college.
  2. I understand from the designer that my terminology is incorrect. The bottom plank (which to me forms the bottom of the boat and therefore should be so named) should be called plank 1, with the subsequent planks numbered accordingly. So the top plank should be called plank 3. Given the problem referred to in note 1 (see above) I suspect that the nomenclature will become pretty confused throughout this blog.
  3. Or probably much earlier methods
  4. Please note, I make no claim to be an influencer. This blog does not monetise its click rate.
  5. I warned you about nomenclature.

One thought on “And a few steps back”

  1. I am sure it was hugely frustrating at the time but the levelling video is very entertaining just needs some Benny Hill music. Great blog as usual keep it up ……not sure how you manage it without coffee ☕️ though all it needs is a percolator and camping stove ……the grouts are environmentally friendly 👍


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