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Acorn to Arabella: Fitting Hatches and House Tops

Steve and some helpful friends with sailing experience are in the Acorn to Arabella boathouse this week to help determine the best placement for some important parts of Arabella. With the sealed and varnished deck beams in place, they can layout a few options for placement of the house top, the mizzenmast, and for the … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Sealing & Varnishing Wood

  Finally, it’s time to begin preparing wood for the installation of Arabella’s knees and the clamp. Steve reached out to inquire about the best finish for the interior wood down below on Arabella, and we know satin finishes are pretty standard for use below decks.  We also heard that Steve could use some varnish … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Removing the Molds

It was a tense, but exciting moment for backyard boatbuilder, Steve Denette and his crew. In today’s episode, they get to the long-anticipated step of removing the molds from Arabella. This step was celebratory when the hull stood taught without her molds installed. Now the team can install knees and finish planking with a clear … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Picking Up the Pace

Today we find Steve and a collection of skilled friends working on planking and preparing for the sawmill’s arrival. The crew of Acorn to Arabella have been able to motor along with the oak planking, even with Alex away. With three people in the shop, two could work on Arabella while the third picked timber and made … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Cedar Planks & A TotalBoat Care Package

In today’s *riveting* video from the Acorn to Arabella crew, we get a boatload of love from our friends who are working feverishly to keep pace on their 2-10 year boat building project, their Atkins Ketch, Arabella. They aren’t letting a little quarantine slow them down, and we were certain to make sure they had … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Planking Problems and a Pandemic

Just when Alix and Steve had a plan for planking that would launch their progress to the other side of this massive task, life changed.  Their planking party would have to wait for the pandemic we are all enduring to pass, because, for this task, they need more than just two sets of hands.  With … Read More


Shipwright Talk: Lou Sauzedde Pays a Visit Acorn to Arabella

Shipwrights like Louis Sauzedde have massive amounts of experience that has taken years to amass. It’s a pleasure to see how that knowledge is shared with newer shipwrights who don’t have the benefit of trial and error. Steve and Alix are well-read, self-taught shipwrights with no prior experience, so a visit from Lou during the … Read More


Progress and Productivity with Acorn to Arabella

These strange days, you never know where opportunity or amusement may find you. For the Acorn to Arabella duo of Steve and Alix, it was just outside their back door at their Massachusetts home where they found inspiration for the mother of all projects: building a 35-foot wooden sailboat, Arabella. The project would not be … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Getting an Antique Thicknesser

As the Acorn to Arabella team works through their stash of boards for planking their Atkins ketch, they are finding more pieces with defects that require attention in order to be useful. It just means more work bunging and flattening the boards which will be bent around Arabella’s frames and forced into her curvy lines. … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Harvesting Oak Root Stock for Knees

Winter won’t stop Alix and Steve from Acorn to Arabella from making headway on their Atkins Ketch build. Even though they are beginning to make good progress planking Arabella, they can’t help but look forward to the future of the project.  They know they will need some nicely curved pieces for knees inside the boat, … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Planking with a Twist

Plank on! Plank off! Such is the story of this week’s video with Steve and Alix from Acorn to Arabella.  Now that the team is planking their Atkins ketch, Arabella, they are yet again in unknown territory as they learn the intricacies of this important step. It took one snapped oak plank to realize that … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Setting Homemade Rivets

When Steve and Alix couldn’t find rivets that met their high standards for constructing their Atkins ketch, Arabella, they did what any sensible backyard boatbuilder does – they made them! It’s probably not surprising that the young pair, who have harvested their family grown trees for planking and smelted their own lead keel from scrap, … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Testing Epoxies

When we got the call from the Acorn to Arabella boatbuilders about their Resorcinol problems, we wanted to help out. We’ve been supporting the boatbuilding duo since they started by offering supplies and support, so we were, of course, happy to oblige them by shipping them a variety of epoxies to test out.  We know … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Glue Failure Problems

Alix and Steve of Acorn to Arabella are attempting to glue together the longer boards for their next step of planking Arabella. But, an unforeseen hiccup has stopped their progress and made them question their processes up to now. With a project like this, there are always going to be ups and downs. The key … Read More


Acorn to Arabella: Sawn Frames and the Stern

In the Acorn to Arabella backyard boat shop, Alix and Steve are working diligently on their Atkins ketch, Arabella, in advance of the cooler weather that is rolling in soon.  While Alix is working on the sawn frames in the stern of Arabella, Steve and another handy visitor Ahmed, put up the cedar rack so … Read More