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
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].
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
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. So
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.
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 inch
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.