I have made progress on the project as a whole. I took down the wall on our side yard in anticpation of a driveway access to the future boat shop location. I've acquired tools and am more familiar with using them. I have also continued planning the project out and researching information about my Dad's band and reason the F/V Escape Hatch is named that way. So while I may not have done as much as I would have liked. Or worked on what I would have liked. Progress is being made. However, this project is about actually BUILDING a boat and I have yet to start. I'm very close, especially now that I have a bandsaw, but I do have a few things to do and get before I'm ready to begin construction.
My next step is getting my space setup with an assembly/layout table. I'm planning on building a torsion box assembly table out of MDF that will work with my table saw and band saw as outfeed tables as well. It will be roughly 7' X 10' with plenty of storage for tools and eventually will have an integrated dust collection system that will run off my shop vac and Dust Deputy Cyclone system I already have. I'm still in the design stage of this but estimate it will cost less than $250 when all said and done. However, I can get it up and going for around $100.
After the table is setup I can finally begin building the boat. I will first start with frames 1-4, as they seem to be the most straight-forward and don't require a 10" wide board to cut from. There are a number of items I will need to purchase in order to complete them.
I will need some of the 1-1/4" #8 bronze screws that are called for in fastening the frames together with the gussets and floor timbers. I think since I'm so close to Glen-L it will be fine to order the screws from them and have them shipped. I can get 100 for around $25, which is good enough to begin.
I will also need to purchase some epoxy, epoxy supplies, and a respirator. I'm planning on using Poxy-Shield for gluing up and encapsulating the wood. I can get a 1.2gal supply from Glen-L for $125. I should probably get a little bit of the Silica Filler as well, and I can get a pound for less than $20. The respirator will set me back about $40. Initial total for epoxy and supplies are almost $200
The final step is purchasing some lumber and a sheet or two of 1/2" Marine Plywood. I can get enough to start for less than $200. Then it's time to begin making sawdust and playing with epoxy!
All in all, I will need about $500 to really get this build started. If I were able to get 50 people to each donate $10 I would be able to start. In fact, I already have $50 from my GoFundMe campaign already set aside! That means I only need 45 more people. Even $5 will help. Skip you're extra coffee for the day (I could never ask you to go without, that would be cruel!) and help a disabled veteran pursue his dream!
So please share my FV-Escape-Hatch GoFundMe Campaign site with everyone you can think of and if you can please visit it yourself and donate today!
Thank you so much for your support!
A few months ago, March, was Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness month. I had planned on releasing a blog post documenting many of the struggles that I face in dealing with my TBI. It was supposed to be a way to show the drive I have to move beyond being disabled and never giving up.
No. You didn't miss it. I ended up deleting the entire document. While my intentions for the piece were good, the actual product failed to inspire the emotions I was hoping. In fact, it helped usher me into a deep funk that had me step back while I evaluated my situation.
The blog post itself wasn't enough to drop me into a depression. Don't get me wrong, being reminded of all the hardships I've faced since I began this TBI journey 14+ years ago is hard. But on it's own it wouldn't have brought me into the funk I found myself in. It just added to the stress of family fallout over the boat, financial stress of living on a pretty fixed income, and having an ever growing list of tasks that I found myself unable to accomplish. However, the real clincher was not seeing a path for me to complete my dream project, F/V Escape Hatch.
My plan relied on social networks to help me get the word out in order to help raise funds. I knew that I couldn't just write up a plan and send a request for likes, shares, and money and that's it, though I had high hopes that I would be further along than I currently am. So my vehicle was to document sailing and fishing adventures, woodworking and other house projects, and learning the craft of blacksmithing. I would post these adventures through YouTube videos, Instagram and my blog.
It sounded like a good enough plan. But real life showed the flaws.
1. Sailing Plan - Other than gas, some beverages and maybe a few snacks, sailing on someone else's boat is free.
Sailing Reality - It's a little more complicated for me due to my TBI. Namely, traveling to and from and the cost of the support items that would make it all manageable.
2. Fishing Plan - I had a few offers from people to take me fishing. Some for free, others for just my share of gas, ice, and bait. Sounded reasonable.
Fishing Reality - But again, my TBI made things much more complicated. Namely the difficulty I have in being able to go fishing with just one or two days notice. Usually what happens is I get 1 or 2 invites and than they ghost me. The last guy was "nice" enough to tell me that I'm just not reliable enough for him and he will no longer be calling. So needless to say, this is appearing to be a dead end.
3. Woodworking Plan - Fine woodworking seemed like a viable craft to learn.
Woodworking Reality - But the unpredictable nature of my TBI may mean that I have unplanned delays in a project. Of course during that time the wood moved enough that the joints no longer line up. Which can mean I have to redesign on the fly or scrap a costly piece and redo it. All the projects I had lined up were dependent on very fine joints and I had little ability to make them.
4. House Projects Reality. The basic maintenance isn't good content and the better content stuff is too expensive at the moment.
So I was at the point where no content may mean no fundraising and that means no project. That was just unacceptable. I refused to give up. After so long I found something I want and need to accomplish, taking other veterans out for a fun learning experience on the water.
I am now focused on beginning to blacksmith at home and will soon be creating more content. I will elaborate more on this in the next blog post.
For now, I'm in a better place and moving forward towards my goal. For ways you can help me, please check out this blog post.
How does my building a boat and taking other's out for a day on the water help?
1. It’ll inspire others
Being disabled, there are a great many things that we are unable to do. That can leave us feeling useless. With so many limitations it's hard to imagine being able to complete huge projects. By any measure, the build I'm about to embark on is a huge project. I will prove that it can be done and hopefully inspire others that have a disability to not shy away from large plans and to follow their dreams.
2. Recreation for the disabled
Being unable to do things due to our health is a given, but those of us that are disabled also have a difficult challenge in making time and money available for recreation activities. The worst thing about that is recreation is incredibly important for keeping spirits up and dealing with the issues our maladies inflict on us. Being able to take others out, free of charge to them, is a goal worthy of being undertaken.
3. Comradery through Independence
Along with feelings of uselessness, we tend to also feel too dependent on others for our basic needs. Being able pass on the skills to catch and prepare our own food, maintain and handle a boat, and all the while doing that with other disabled veterans that share a common bond is a great thing.
4. Thank the Deserving
It's difficult to be so dependent on others and not always have a way to give back. I hope to not only take disabled veterans out on the water, but give them a chance to invite at least one person who has been instrumental in their rehabilitation. That will give them a chance to share a great time on the water and hopefully for a little bit, forget all about the trials and tribulations of being disabled.
This project is a long term project. The building of the boat alone could take 6-8 years. It seems incredibly daunting when you look at everything at once. However, when you take it a step at a time, it begins to become more manageable. There are a vast amount of smaller goals to shoot for that will make the build seem as though progress is always being made.
I wish I could do this all on my own. But I need help in many forms.