Monday, June 15, 2009

Plein Air Boat progress





This is where my 'Plein Air Boat' is in it's life. Since I took these on Saturday, I've added another coat of resin, rounded off the bow gusset and have begun to sand. It is a drop away from being in the water. That drop contains hours and hours of sanding, priming and painting. People who do these sort of things will tell you that at this stage of a project like this, when you're 90% done, it's the last 10% that will take 90% of the total time. Finishing is always tougher than the initial construction. But it's the most satisfying part too.

My plan for this boat had it's genesis back in 2005. It's a 12' flat bottom rowing skiff with a reinforced stern for the use of either a small (1-2hp) outboard or a trolling motor. I purchased plans, epoxy, and assorted supplies including some very beautiful Meranti ( a mahogany ) marine grade plywood, and began work on it. Within a couple of days the basic boat was cut out and assembled. Then I moved and very little work has been done. Now I'm on course to launch this summer.

The idea was to use it to access shallow swampy areas in the backwaters of the Mississippi River near where I used to live. Canoes are too unstable to paint out of. Now I live in an area with hundreds of little lakes and ponds and the St. Croix River. With a small boat like this I'll be able to access views and locations that even a small fishing boat won't be able to go. Besides, it's fun to build. This would be good to paint out of, or to just get to small spits of land or sandbars to stand and paint on. I'm also looking forward to just taking it out for some exercise in the mornings on the river.

21 comments:

nancy elstad said...

Hey it's beautiful. It will be so fun to paint from.

Jeremy Elder said...

Very cool, I would expect that you could get some great vantage points that you couldn't get otherwise. Are you going to christen it by breaking a bottle of OMS on its bow? ;)

René PleinAir. said...

Oh my Marc, ...

And I painted a boat today, but in other circumstances.

> "Sunken fisherman's friend" < :-D

Hope your's will be a huge success!

Pennpaint said...

Nice boat. If you paint from it, how will you keep it still long enough? Will you throw a line and fish at the same time? Do you have a name for it yet?

Eugene said...

Is there anything you cant do?!...

Mick Carney said...

Remember all the lovely watercolours Sargent produced from boats, particularly in Venice. It will be good to see your 'boat' portfolio develop.

Robin Roberts said...

Very cool. I have often thought about getting an open top kayak to try the same thing. But then, I don't get a lot of time to go paint from land. I look forward to seeing the kinds of things that you paint from the boat. i can envision another month long series coming out of this, "Views from a boat."

RR

LSaeta said...

Glad to see that you are focused on boats ... copy cat!

Karen Hargett said...

I think you need to name it "Plein Air" ;-)

Jesse said...

I think you should make it like Monet's boat and give it a nice roof.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Nancy... it is pretty isn't it? Nothing like good old wood. If I had done this before, and maybe on the next one, I would have been more careful during the construction so that it could be left finished as it is in parts, maybe at least the rub rail and interior. I had planned on painting from the start so I didn't plan on having the wood show because I didn't know how beautiful this mahogany plywood is.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hey Jeremy... I'm thinking about floating to a little island on a hot August night to watch the end of the day, maybe paint it, then christen the boat and myself with a good bottle of sparkling wine!!!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Rene'... I love your painting of the boat. That is NICE!!! After having built one of these things... almost... I can't imagine letting one get to that stage. Someone put their sweat and love into it at one time.
But, I'm glad that you resurrected it's 'life' in paint. Great, great work there friend.
PS... have you heard of 'SKIKES'? I'm trying to get a pair here and they're nearly impossible to find. Only one retailer in the US that I can locate. Just curious.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Patty... Most likely I'll use it to get to a sand bar or island. But in ponds I will paint out of it and the 'swaying' on the anchor line is a problem. But hey... we're talking plein air painting where almost 'everything' is a problem of one sort or another to deal with.
I like the idea of fishing and painting at the same time. I had better be careful though... I might grab a bass instead of a bristle!!!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Eugene the list is too long for publication!!! ;-)

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Mick. Another great 'boat painter' was Sweden's Bruno Liljefors! He painted out of a punt early and late in the day in the marshes around Sweden and caught the most extraordinary light. I'm looking forward to it.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hey Robin... you may have given me a project to do that could possibly be the "last straw" before I plunge over the edge into eternal darkness!!! ;-)
Can you tell I'm not ready for more projects... yet?

Marc R. Hanson said...

Leslie you can paint my boat! I'm only going to be floating in it... I hope!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Karen the name thing is complicated. There is the superstition that you can't launch one unnamed. However, I had a nice 26' sailboat once that never ended up with a name. It had one when we bought it, "Bad Boy, Dirty Girl"! I didn't ask and didn't want to know anymore about that. Fortunately that name was only on the life system preserver and was easily replaced. But we could never settle on a new name.

I'm hoping that task will be easier as long as it's only 'me' involved with it now! ;-)

I'm thinking "Full Palette!", you know, one of those macho big power names like you see on so many boats (Full Throttle). And of course a splash of color across the back on the stern where the name will be. I might paint the oars to look like very large #800 Bristle Flats too.
I just hope it floats.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Jesse... I really wanted to adapt it to sail. But a number of people told me that gives you none of the best of the two types of small craft. The sail version should be a V bottom, the shallow water skiff needs the flat bottom. So I decided that this one, notice I said "this one"?, should be the flat bottom, row only version.
But yes, a canopy of some sort, a small Bimini top is a good idea.

Solvay said...

"I might paint the oars to look like very large #800 Bristle Flats too."
ha ha ha - but, EXCELLENT idea!!!
"...christen it with a good bottle of sparkling wine..." - another excellent idea.

It's a beaut!

Thanks for sharing!