Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In preparation for exhibiting The Frog Prince at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, we folded the boat in the barn. This is the stern view, ready to put on the trailer. 

Loaded up and ready to go!

We got reservations for the 54' total load on the ferry to Port Townsend. 

We begin unloading the bow sections and prepare to lower the boat to the ground. It is a much more difficult process to lower the boat to the ground than it will be to put the boat into the water. 
The bow sections are put into place. Bronze hinges not yet installed will allow these bow sections to swing back against the hull for storage and transport. 
We set up the preliminary derrick framework to raise the stern. We used chain falls to move the stern into position. The actual system will use a more sophisticated framework with pulleys and an electric winch to accomplish this task. 
Partial stern section is lowered into place, and awaiting attachment of the final transom piece that will also double as the dingy for the yacht. 
The Owner and his boat, all 52' of it! Remember, it folds down to 18.5' for mooring, storage and shipping. 
We received many positive responses to the design and pass out over 100 flyers. It was considered the most innovative design at this year's show by several festival officials.  
After a great show, we start the process of folding the stern section. Two of us accomplish this task easily. 

Stern reaches full height, ready to be lowered over the cabin.

Another view of the stern folding.

The stern in final position. The derricks will be removed and stored inside the boat.
3,000 lbs of boat, fully folded and on the trailer. 

We caught the last ferry home to barn for two months of final assembly. Launching to be on Loon Lake, Whidbey Island between Freeland and Langley. Date and time to be announced. Watch this space!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It Fits! Folding the Stern

Master Boat Builder Brad Rice folds the aft section forward over the cabin section.

It fits perfectly! 

View from the stern looking forward toward the bow, with aft section partially folded down over the cabin.

In the process of folding. It's not fully closed yet.

Closing the last few feet, just clear of the forward hatch. The stern section weights approximately 600 lbs.

The stern section fully folded over the center section!

The deck of the stern section does not rest directly on the deck of the center section, to allow space for the mooring cleats.

Master Builder Brad gives scale to the folded center and stern sections. This is the size it will be when it goes into the shipping container.

When folded, the cabin can still be accessed through the opening (shown) in the two bulkheads, and then through the cabin door. .

Why a folding boat?

The boat was designed to cruise the canals of Europe. We needed to make a narrow boat (maximum width for passage in England is 6'10"). The requirement of shipping the boat lead to the folding concept which means the boat will fit into a 20' container. After cruising for the day, the 52' boat can be folded and berthed in a more economical 20' slip.

Why is the boat 52' long? Simply because it is elegant and beautiful.Check out her graceful lines, from bow and stern views.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Folding the Bow

Cabin sides and forward section in place, preparing to install the laminated plywood roof.

Initial test of the starboard bow section in its folded  storage position.

The long slender bow section fits exactly along the main hull as intended to form a rectangle. It will fit inside a 20' shipping container, or a 20' moorage slip.

Close up of the joint between the bow section and the center accommodation section.

There will eventually be two bronze hinges between the two sections. The black clamp at the top is temporary.

Close up of the the bow section folded against the main accommodations section, showing the excellent fit.

The accommodation section curves downward, and the bow section stays horizontal, as you can see in the distance of the photo.

Accommodation section to the left, and the folded-back bow section to the right. The clamps hold them in position as we research attachment options. This is the configuration it will have when stored.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Last Major Section: Installing the House Sides

The proud designer/owner in what will be the cabin space, standing next to the main door from the cockpit, before the installation of the cabin side panels.

Looking from the cockpit side, at the newly installed accommodation space side panels, before cutting in the windows. The door frame will also be raised and arched to match the top of the cabin. 

Master Boat Builder Brad Rice takes a break against the perfectly-pitched-for-a-backrest transom. A removable sun pad will make a comfortable lounging platform in this location. The sole surface is yet to be installed over the frames. 

This portion of the boat will detach to form a (very odd shaped) dingy. 

Elegant curve at the aft house-side. 

You can see the half-round hinge point along the combing that will take a bronze reinforcing plate and bolt and will allow the aft section to fold forward over the cabin.

Each section of the boat is water tight, which you can see here. The folding bow sections are separated to facilitate installation of the bronze hinges that will allow the bow sections to fold back without compromising the water-tight integrity of the boat sections.

Two water-tight bow sections which will contain hatches for anchor and fender storage. Each weights approximately 250 lbs. and will hinge and fold aft against the main cabin module, for storage or shipping. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Color Study

Custom paint job, inspired by the work of California artist Richard Diebenkorn. 

Word Gets Out

Friends stop by to check out the progress. 

Assembling the Parts - Center and Stern

We begin to skin the center section.

To keep the long thin shallow hull from sliding sideways, we installed a centerboard trunk under the forward double berth.

Skinning is underway on the starboard side.

 (An earlier shot of the stern section.)

The stern section of the hull folds forward over the cabin when the boat is loaded into the 20' shipping container. Unfolded, it acts as a back porch to the main cabin and offers plenty of room for lounging and storage.

The bulkhead is comprised of two matching parts, one that stays with the stern and one that stays with the center section. They are bolted together when the boat is fully unfolded.

The two 9.9 horsepower outboards are located just forward of the bulkhead.

Assembling the Parts - the Bow

The two sections of the bow are each quite narrow, and butt against each other along the midline of the boat. This shows the superstructure before skinning.

You can see the beginnings of the bulkheads for the cabin, aft.

We decided to build the boat right-side-up on a flat bottom, which had to be braced to the proper profile.

Completed starboard side bow section, with cabin bulkheads in the background, with main cabin door roughed-in.

A very elegant, sleek bow. The blue tape covers the seam where the two bow halves butt. 

At this point, the first thing people say when they walk into the barn is, "Wow!" 

Cutting Bottom Panels from the Lofting

3/4" thick, marine ply bottom panels are cut and laid out for the full length of the boat (port side only). To the left is half of the aft deck (the side deck that goes around the cabin.)

1/2" plywood bulkhead panels are cut and ready to go.

You can see lofting drawing for the cabin (on sheetrock),  showing to the left of the plywood bottom panels.


Brad glued 4x8 sheets of sheetrock to  the concrete floor of the barn to use as a lofting surface.

We finally get an idea of how big this boat will really be. It pretty much fills Brad's 60' barn.