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Ernie Fasse - Building in Arizona

Ernie Fasse is building a Caledonia Yawl in Tucson, Arizona. He and his wife Kieran plan to sail on lakes in Arizona and surrounding states; and on the ocean in California, Texas, and maybe Mexico. To that end they wanted a boat that was lightweight and trailerable, sailable by one or two people but able to carry six occasionally for short distances, and have a sophisticated rig that was exciting but not exhausting to sail. They also wanted a pretty boat. So they decided to build a Caledonia Yawl.
Building frame, hull moulds and backbone.Ernie originally planned to build an open boat, but Kieran insisted that the boat have an auxiliary outboard. Ernie has had several unpleasant experiences in narrow, serpentine channels with strong currents or headwinds and lots of powerboat traffic, so he was happy to acquiesce.
Never having built a boat before, they have tried to set realistic goals. The project began in September, 2001. The building frame, hull moulds and backbone were essentially finished by the end of 2001. Those structures and the partially finished outer stems are shown [above/below - click on photo to enlarge].
The partially finished outer stemsThe current goal is to plank the hull by sometime in April. The outer hull structures, outer hull finish, building cradle, and outer gunwale are to be finished by the end of the summer. The inner hull is to be finished by the end of the following summer. The rigging and other odds and ends are to be completed in a third, final year. Ernie knows that sounds like a snail's pace to an experienced builder. He says that if things go faster, that will be great, but they're not counting on it.
The stems and keelson are made of ash. Probably the rest of the outer hull structures will be made of white oak. The strakes are to be made of oukume plywood. Currently the plan is to make the gunwales, thwarts, seats, floors and parts of other structures out of black walnut. Otherwise there will lots of ash with oak in critical areas like the mast step. There will be deck structures with lockers fore and aft. The interior will be brightfinished. Ernie thinks it would be nice to brightfinish the exterior hull, but given that the boat is to be trailered a lot thinks that may not work very well. The spars will be made of some suitable soft wood.
The boat will be rigged with the gaff main and sprit mizzen, as per Oughtred's design. Ernie toys with the idea of adding a spinnaker and a pair of running backstays, but concedes that would seriously complicate the rig and stowage would be problematic. Ernie FasseSo he say' it's probably not going to happen.

Update from Ernie Fasse - June 2002

Well I'm making progress. I was going to wait till the excess epoxy was cleaned up and the the warts hidden before taking the pictures but wanted to share my progess too.
Ernie Fasse with CY  with 2 planksIt's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but the lines of the third and fourth strakes came out very well. I'm not so happy with the line between the second strake and the garboard but it will be underwater. That was due to several reasons, one of which was an inferior process for transferring the fair line of the previously installed strake to the new pattern. The right way to do it is to transfer the fair outer edge of the previously installed strake to the pattern, and then measure the desired distance of the lap joint from that (e.g., 7/8 CY with 4 planksinch for a 3/4lap joint).
The hull is actually further along than in the pictures. All of the woodworking on the outer keel is done except for the outer lamination of the port gunwhale. I should finish that shortly. After that I need to fill holes, fair a hollow on the area between the skeg and the aft stem, and then clean up all that excess epoxy and start sanding. I'm probably going to put some fiberglass cloth on the first and second strakes, but I'm having second (or third or fourth) thoughts about that.
Ernie
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