Boat shed reconfiguration

Part of my moving preparations is to reconfigure the boat shed. The new owners will use it for storage, for which it is too big and not in the right place at the moment, so I need to dismantle it partially and reconstitute it nearby. This will also remove it from some neighbour’s property so that it won’t have to move again in the future (my intention had always been that it would be temporary, until Luna was completed).

The reconfiguration will be to cut the shed down to half-length (from 36’ to 18’), and lower it by removing the knee wall and placing the bows on sills right on the ground. This will make it smaller and lower, which will reduce worries of it’s integrity during winter storms – although it has to be said that it’s done just fine to date, it’ll be nice to be even more secure.

So – to reconfigure I first needed to get the cover off, and to that end my Dad and a neighbour, Wayne, and I started removing the battens that hold it to the gable ends.

With the ends detached we cut along the base on one side, and hoped that 1500 sq. ft. of sail area would catch enough of the very slight breeze to lift itself off over the top of the shed – but surprisingly it didn’t. Granted the wind’s angle wasn’t ideal (blowing more or less onto the back gable end), but it was still surprising that that huge piece of plastic couldn’t catch enough wind to lift its own weight. Shows why spinnakers are made of such light cloth, I guess!

We finally carted it up and over the top manually, and it fell down in a heap on the far side.

Here’s a couple more photos to show the lovely structure before it gets altered.

The next step was to remove the front gable end intact, attached to a bow, since we’ll reconstitute with it and cut down the doors to fit the new lower shape. Once that’s off I’ll cut the ridgepole at the halfway-point, and remove the front half of the shed entirely, leaving the back half attached to the back gable. With enough people we should be able to move that back half intact (detached from the knee walls, which it is bolted to) and set it aside while moving gravel and putting the sleepers/sills in place in the new location. Then more people-power to move the shed into it’s new location, replace the front gable, and the job’s done. Simple! (optimism, ain’t it grand?)

Taking off the front gable end was a vivid demonstration of why the knee wall idea wasn’t a great one for this shed structure – as soon as it was detached the shed essentially collapsed!

I’ve now got it tied together with a rope and a mainsheet tackle to pull it in, and have put some buttresses out from the knee wall to support it while the rest of the dissassembly takes place. My plan for the new boat shed at the new house is to make the bows longer – 22’ instead of 18’ – and have them rest on sleepers/sills on the ground. That’ll be much sturdier, and won’t require the bracing that I had to put in place with this shed. Live ‘n learn.

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