Stitching. If At First You Don’t Succeed, Take Everything Apart.

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Mishaps, Stitching, Tools

I spent most of the morning drilling and finishing up some steps I had passed over. Knowing that stitching was next, I just had to keep working.  I cut 3″ pieces of copper wire and got started at the port bow.  I fed stitches from the interior and twisted on the exterior.  About 25% through, I wished I had cut the stitches a little bit longer.  I also wish I knew where my pliers were!  Twisting thin copper wire over and over again with bare fingers was no fun.  I ended up using vice grips when my fingers began to ache.

It was nice to have Kelly helping me today because she was able to hold the #1 panels erect while I stitched them into place.  We got the #1 panels attached to the bottom panel and began working on the frames when something caught my eye… Why are my gains on the INSIDE of the boat?  We were devastated, Kelly especially.  She had been super excited to work on the boat and now we were reversing nearly everything she had helped with.  We had wasted 2 hours and were now spending 30 minutes to remove all our beautiful stitching!

So what went wrong?  I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but one of the following could be contributing factors:

  • When I clamped my #1 panels together and cut the gains, I neglected to look at the labels attached to the panels.  They were labeled right and left, but I cut them opposite.  This isn’t a big deal because the panels are identical.  I didn’t see the labels when cutting the gains because they faced each other between the clamped panels.  Unfortunately, I did see and relied on them when I began stitching.  I should have been looking at the gains!
  • The picture of all the panels and gains in the manual may have led me astray as well.  The diagram has all panels laid out and it appears that the gains are on the interior.  As a builder you know they aren’t, but I may have quickly laid them out as diagrammed without reading the disclaimer on the right.  See the attached scan.

With the stitches removed, I swapped the panels and started over again.  Thank God I had drilled both sides of the bottom panel and the #1s identical!  As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to be a little more precise than “every 4″ or so.”

During this stitching session I used a longer bits of wire.  It was much faster and more comfortable.  I also used ratcheting tie-downs to pull the hull together because Kelly was taking a break.  When it came time to install the frames, I got my helper back.

Today was my first major setback, but at least nothing had been damaged.  I only wasted some time.

Time Spent: 4.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 15.0 Hours

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