Sunday, 20 November 2011


Here we are just off the launch ramp, with our friendly Zodiac tug towing us out to the middle of the river. The wind is a bit gusty so we have tied in the first reef. On a catboat if you think you should reef then its too late if you don't.

The owner decided that he wanted an outboard, so the one he chose is a 2.5HP four stroke, so we wanted to make sure the motor worked, and it did!
We stayed alongside our tug until we got the sail up.

Now we don't have enough wind for our reefed sail, and we are trying to sort out our trim and our rig!

Now we are moving though we should have swung up the outboard! What a great day!

Ready to launch

We have finished the Marsh Cat!
Here she is loaded on the trailer ready to leave the shop, Her paint is complete, varnish is done, We just have to finish the rigging when she gets out of the doors, The sail has been picked up so we want to make sure it fits.

The mast is installed and the rigging fits, We are going to install the sail, then take the boat to be launched. Note that the boom crutch is also a idea taken from our friend's Danish Folkboat.
Next we will attach to the truck.....

As you can tell, we are doing this in late fall, but on this day its actually 15 degrees Celsius outside, so we are hopeful that our first sail will be ok.
Sailing pics will be on the next post.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Details Details on the Marsh Cat

 The devil is in the details when we get to this part of the project. The hull has had two coats of AWLGRIP topcoat and the deck has one coat. The varnish is getting built up, and we are starting to install fittings. The rudder and centrboard are being painted and the spars are complete. Floorboards are all installed and the boat is beginning to look good!
The fittings are cast bronze and include the bow chocks, the rudder pintles and gudgeons, the tiller fittings and the goose neck.
The sail, standing rigging and running rigging will arrive next week. The we will jack up the boat to finsh the antifouling and install the centrboard. We plan to get the boat onto its trailer and outside the shop to rig very soon. Its getting exciting!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Marsh Cat primed, coaming and floorboards installed

The hull and deck have been primed and now have two coats of AWLGRIP primer. The mahogany coaming was laminated and formed on a jig with a vacuum bag. The floorboards are mahogany and installation is complete except for the hatches.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Marsh Cat deck

 The deck has been installed. The interior has been top coated and the mahogany floorboards are cut out and in the process of being placed. The mahogany bowsprit which carries the forestay is installed.
The centreboard and rudder are built and ready to be painted. The deck is sheathed with 6 oz fibreglass cloth and epoxy resin and will be primed and topcoated with AWLGRIP and Griptex non-skid. Next will be the cockpit coaming and the toe rail.

The birds mouth mast has been glued and clamped, and the gaff and boom are in the varnish shop.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Painting has started on the inside and the hull is being faired, The deck has been cut out and the underside will be epoxy coated before installation

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Marsh Cat Interior

The interior of the boat now has buoyancy tanks, mast step, centreboard trunk, floors and deck beams. The boat will now be painted inside before the deck is installed. Work is starting on the spars which will be constructed from selected spruce and will be of birds mouth hollow construction

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hull of Marsh Cat begins to take shape

The sheer clamp has been laminated to the shape of the hull then installed, creating the sheer line. The first deck beam is installed, and the carlin for the coaming is in place, Some of the floors are glued and filleted in place.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Marsh Cat turned over

 The Marsh Cat was freed from its mold and turned over,
At this point in construction the hull weighs about 340 lbs

Work now starts to clean the hull on the inside and start putting in the floors.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Marsh Cat is primed

Its amazing what a coat of primer does for a new hull. Today we primed the hull and put a first coat of antifouling on the Marsh Cat hull. Tomorrow we will turn the hull over and start the interior.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

August Update

This is a completed Joel White designed Marsh Cat, the second one that we built, sailing on Cheasapeake Bay. This great little boat is cold molded by our shop. This summer we started #4. The picture on the right is the beginning of the mold construction. After the stations are complete, stringers are attached and the process of cold molding begins.
In the next picture, a layer of 10oz fibreglass cloth has been laid on the port side of the hull which will be saturated with epoxy resin. The starboard side will be done the next day and then the job of fairing the hull before it gets turned over begins.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

More rot on folkboat but repairs continue

Yesterday we discovered more rot on the starboard forward coach roof. We removed the mouldings and discovered that we could stick a screw driver through the coach roof and through the base of the coach roof mahogany side.
Today we cut out the rotten sections.A new section of coach top side will be cut from mahogany. The carlin will be scarfed and the oak coach top beams that fit into the carlin will be scarfed to replace their rotten ends.

This picture shows the exposed area, the carlin and rotten coach top side has been cut out. The rotten beam ends are still there waiting to be replaced. We have decided not to replace the mouldings. instead we will run fibreglass tape set in epoxy on the edge to seal the fibreglass coated coachroof edge.

The transom and aft deck as been repaired. A new piece of mahogany was put into the transom, a new starboard sternpost was constructed, and marine plywood was used to repace the rotten portion of deck. The deck repair was coated with fibreglass set in epoxy. The transom can now be sanded and painted. A transom teak rail cap will be installed and the fittings re-installed.
This picture shows the port aft coach top repair. This area is where the Halyard jam cleats were installed which caused the coach  roof the flex and allowed water to get between the fibreglass deck covering and the marine plywood. The rotten areas have been cut out, new marine plywood has been installed and a reinforcing pad to carry the jam cleats has been added. This repair will be coated with fibreglass cloth and epoxy resin.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Folkboat repairs

Photo of new wood spliced into base of mast

We removed the fittings and stripped the varnish off the mast and discovered that the top two feet of the mast was not sound as water had entered between the laminated sitka spruce and the mast head had broken. A crack was discovered approximately three ft down so new wood is being spliced in to repair. The base of the mast has some rot and deterioration around  the tabernacle pin so wood is being spliced in to repair this.

 Photo of mast head preparing to splice

Photo shows the inside of the hull under the cockpit
The cockpit was discovered to have some rot on the vertical walls of the cockpit well and in some of the framing. The entire cockpit has been removed and will be replaced. A better drainage system for the cockpit will be devised. This folkboat does not have a self draining cockpit, and water drains into the bilge. The existing cockpit seats will be re-used.
Photo shows the area of the aft deck and transom that has been removed.
The Mahogany transom had started to rot at the top due to water coming in from the deck joint. The starboard corner post has also started to rot. The corner post has to be removed and then new wood installed on transom and deck. The deck will then be sealed with epoxy resin and fibreglass cloth and the stern trim re-installed

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Restoration Project Arrives

This week saw the arrival of summer and a 1960ties Abbott Built Folkboat (KC21)
The folkboat is mahogany clinker, and while the hull seems to be in good condition there are areas of rot in the mast, the cockpit and the transom. There are problems starting with water ingress where the coach roof meets the deck and the entire boat is in need of paint and varnish.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Big Pond Boat Shop in Martins River

Hello world....
Big Pond Boat Shop is entering the blogging world to tell you what the shop is doing these days. We are in the process of updating our web site but it takes a while to decide what to put on there!
Keith and Pat arrived back in Nova Scotia  in the summer of 2010 after an eighteen month sabbatical from Boat Building. The Big Pond Boat Shop premises and our house in Cape Breton were sold, and we have bought a new house in Martins River, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. We spent the last 6 months constructing a new boat shop behind the house.

This month we started the first boat building project. Pictured is the beginnings of a plug for an eight foot rowing dinghy. This pretty dinghy will be production in summer of 2011.

Other planned projects are a Joel White designed 15 foot Marsh Cat(a gaff rigged sailing boat) and a Graham Byrne designed 20 foot Ocracoke (a centre console planning power boat).

Thinking of all the people displaced in Japan and wishing for improvements in their conditions

All for now