Friday, January 28, 2011


For months now, I've been working on the bulkheads, and just imagining what it will look like when it's finished. This past week, my parents came down to see us. My mother said, "I want to see your boat." I was a bit ashamed that it didn't resemble a boat at all. Instead, it was a bunch of pieces laying around. But, today, the sides went on and it looks like a boat instead of a bunch of pieces. It is very exciting!

I couldn't wait until I had help. Where there's a will, there's a way. And, I figured out that way. One side was clamped to our workmate and the other side clamped to a saw table. A line was wrapped around both sides at the bow to hold them in place. Another line was wrapped around both sides at the stern, and then #3 bulkhead was glued and nailed.

To help hold the bulkhead in place, I hot glued a couple of small blocks of wood to more easily position the bulkhead. After the nails are in, the block can be knocked off with a tap from the hammer. This can only be done if the plywood has been coated with epoxy. I tested bare plywood using hot glue. When I pulled the two pieces apart, some of the plywood was ripped off. Good to know.

Bending the sides to fit was not that hard, until I came to the stem. I used every clamp and tie-down we had, and still needed more. So, we made a trip to Harbor Freight, and added two 24" bar clamps to our collection. You can never have too many clamps.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The naming of ones boat is very important. The name can be meaningful or just silly. My father built a boat and named it after his youngest daughter. He called it Princess Dana. But, what will my paradox be called? When I came up with a possible name, I thought of how it would sound on the radio; "This is sailing vessel ______". That immediately eliminated most possibilities.

Last year, I discovered the television program Doctor Who. For those not familiar with this program, Doctor Who is a British science fiction television program produced by the BBC. The show originally ran from 1963 until 1989. It was relaunched in 2005.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious and eccentric Time Lord known as the Doctor who travels through time and space in his time machine, the TARDIS (an acronym for Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space), which normally appears from the exterior to be a blue 1950s British police box. With his companions, he explores time and space, faces a variety of foes and saves civilizations, helping people and righting wrongs.

The TARDIS is a really cool ship. The outside looks like a blue box, but when you step inside, it is huge. "Bigger on the inside than it is on the outside" is how you will hear it described on the program. This blue box travels to distant places and has wild adventures. One night, while watching the show, I suddenly realized... I should name the paradox TARDIS. And, so I did.
No, we won't be traveling through time or space, but I do have a few adventures planned. I believe they will be exciting, even if we don't save civilizations or right wrongs.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Many of our adventures aboard our paradox, will take us sailing after nightfall. So, of course, we will need running lights. She will also need an anchor light and an antenna. To accommodate the wiring, a 1/2 inch tube is secured inside the mast. I wanted a unit that held both the running and the anchor light. We did not find one, so we decided we could build one.

A couple of years ago, while sailing in Galveston Bay, we ran across a yellow object in the water. Since we had just talked about a "man overboard" procedure, we decided to rescue this object. It turned out to be a starboard light used on a barge. Obviously, the magnets had come loose, and the unit fell into the bay. This was perfect. The battery enclosure was removed, and the building began.

In order to have the wiring come out the top of the mast, the mast was not built according to the plans. The top seven inches were built up with scrap wood to give it more strength. Two circles were then cut from scrap plywood, one 4 1/2 inches and the other 4 inches in diameter. These were laminated together and a 1 inch hole drilled in the center. This was then laminated to the top of the mast. To attach the light to the mast, a PVC drain cap was painted black and bolted to the light. This fits perfectly over the upper circle and will be secured with screws.

The PVC cap sides are taller than the base it sits on, leaving an open space for the wiring and connecters. This will enable us to remove the light and store the mast inside the boat when not in use.

An antenna will be mounted on top of the light, but I haven't decided the best way to do that. I'm sure that epoxy will be involved. And, the internal workings of the light are not finished yet. I will post them when they are finished.

I am very happy with the masthead and light. Hopefully, it works as good as it looks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Paradox Build

The build is taking longer than I had hoped. But, yesterday, we did a dry fit. A couple of the bulkheads need more beveling, and #2 still needs a little work before it can go together. The mast, boom, yard, rudder and rudder stock are in different stages of completion. I would like to have it in the water this summer, we'll see.

This project has been a fun one. The running and anchor light was difficult to figure out, but we did and now are making that. The unit will be removed from the masthead for storage. It helps that Dale, my better-half, is an electrical engineer. He is in charge of the electrical stuff. We will post updates as they happen.

I have the plans and Don Elliot's build manual, but this novice builder still has many questions. I have posted them on the Paradox forum on Yahoo, and everyone has been very helpful. They are a great source of information, and always willing to help. They have been great!

The name of the boat has already been decided, but will wait until it is 3D to reveal. Hopefully, that will be within a couple of weeks.

Houston, TX