Turning the Hull

Go Gators. This could end up a reasonable season after all. Four SEC teams in the top 6; not too shabby.

We had an interesting day today. Mark is building a new catamaran, this time a motor boat. He started the first hull last March from plans he codeveloped with an Australian marine architect and has completed the first phase -building one hull. The next step is to rotate the hull and finish the inside with 2 layers of extra strong fiberglass. The hull, weighing about 1000 pounds, is roughly 34′ long, 4′ wide, and perhaps 5′ top to bottom so rotating it 180 degrees is no simple job. Mark built a special saddle to facilitate the rotation which I guess is the standard way to do the job. I didn’t count heads but suspect there were 50 people who volunteered to help. Most were strangers (to us), a few of Mark and Joey’s friends that we’ve met before, and our family, well represented by us, Tom, and Brian’s family. I’ve put together a few photo’s to give you a feel for the process. From start to finish it took about a half hour and went off without a hitch – no broken bones or broken boat parts. If all goes according to plan, the second hull should be ready for the same treatment next spring.

Ready to start
Ready to start
Shift left
Shift left
Rotate 90 degrees
Rotate 90 degrees
Inside the hull
Inside the hull
Done
Done

After the hull turning, Tom invited Nancy and I to lunch at Dixie Crossing, a seafood based, long time favorite restaurant in the area. As usual it was excellent and Tom ordered alligator ribs for an appetizer. I’ve seen them on menus before but never actually saw or tasted any. I had a mental image of something that would take two hands to deal with – like a brontosaurus rib. In fact, these ribs were delicately flavored, very tender, and the bones were on the order of 3” long and 1/4” wide. I asked the waitress if gators just have micro ribs or were these baby gators; the latter. They get them from a gator farm in Louisiana. If you really have a hankering for ribs, stay with pork or beef but don’t be afraid to give the gator ribs a shot.

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