Advent, 26 foot Alerion, 2005
In the earliest--and coldest days of 2005--lofting of a 26' Alerion began. Designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff in 1912, this Alerion will be used as a family daysailer in Cape and Island waters. The keel, stem and framing will be angelique, locust and white oak, and the planking will be in wana and white cedar. Silver balli and wana will be used for the cabin trunk, cockpit coamings, hatches and trim. SEPTEMBER will have a single cylinder diesel engine of approximately 10 hp. Launch is scheduled for this spring.
A picture of an Alerion under sail can be seen on www.boat.com
With the lofting set down on the clean floor of the outer shed, Ross establishes the rabbet line for the Alerion (left). The lofting begins in temperatures well below freezing.
He next works to develop the transom shape in profile(middle). His lab Luke is never far away, though he wishes Ross would work closer to the pot belly stove.
Ryan McCann works on making the body plan (right).
Transom and Keel
Ryan moves on to cutting patterns for the transom while Robert Bennett makes the mold for it. Shortly they have glued and clamped the laminates to the mold.
Robert (right) next chops the rabbets in the keel. Inside the shop, Ryan cuts the keel timbers>
Making the keel plug
Robert Bennett spends the better part of the week shaping the plug for the keel. Working on a glued up block of wood he fashions an elegant plug which we send off-island, where it will be sunk into sand to create the mold into which lead is poured for the keel. Plug and keel will be returned to us.
Keel plug and hull mold
The keel plug finished, Robert moves on to lifting the hull stations off the floor in order to make the hull molds. Molds already made are stacked in the background. SEPTEMBER's hull shape appears as Ross and Bob Osleeb set the molds in place.
Off to the right is Ilona, the 29' Bass Boat that is nearly completion.
Rib bands & shaft log
The molds in place, the rib bands go up quickly, and SEPTEMBER'S future form is easy to see. Andrew Miller is drilling the shaft log, while the keel timber--with the stem attached--steams out on the dock, covered in yard shavings for insulation.
The planking is underway, with wana being used for the garboard and the sheerstrake and white cedar for the rest of the planks. Andrew Miller and Ryan McCann fit the garboard. The sheerstrake--steam bent and darkened by a coat of sealer--exhibits the characteristic Herreshoff "molded sheer," best seen in the view forward from the transom.
Planked and shuttered
With the garboard and sheer planks on, the rest of the planks go on relatively quickly, and in no time Andrew Miller is putting the shutter plank in place.
Caulked and primed
Ryan is knocking down bungs while Manny, joined by Andrew Miller, start on the caulking. Now faired, caulked, primed and with the water line marked, the Alerion is ready to be rolled over.
A sling has been rigged with block and tackle so the crew can right the boat, which is done in a matter of about 10 minutes. Now the interior work begins.
From ballast to deck frames
The keel ballast arrives on a gray day in mid-April, cast from the plug which Robert Bennett made earlier. A few weeks later, the deck frames are in place and the coaming is bent and clamped into place.
Painting in earnest
Painting and finishing begins in earnest under clear early summer skies, but it is completed under wraps. A week of rain slowed down varnish drying time, and the crew worked weekends and nights with blowers to speed the drying time of all the bright work.
He might be thought to be lying down on the job, but Mike Selwood does have a sanding block in his hand, doesn't he?
Finished for launch
A view into the cockpit. The small cabin has two berths, a covered head and a space created to hold a picnic cooler.
A view from the catwalk, and she is rolled out onto the railway.
Just before she was blessed and launched, the owner, Roger Hearn, was presented with a half-hull model, commissioned by his friend Alan Van Winkle, and made by a smiling G&B employee, too shy to be identified.
Young Margaret Hearn christened the boat "Advent," a change in name made midway through construction. Rather than smash the traditional bottle on the hull, Margaret anointed "Advent."
A final push on the railway, and "Advent" was in the water. Damp guests enjoyed a reception in the boat shed.
And, isn't owner Roger Hearn enjoying himself.