Monday, April 21, 2014

Cooking leather grease

Trying to cook up some leather grease. The recepie I have specify badger tallow but there is not enought badgers around so I use sheeps tallow instead.
Quite simple actually, 4 parts tallow (by weight), 2 parts bees wax and 1part pine tar. Melt it in a water bath and pour into jars.



Pine tar

Cooling down

Worked fine and smells heavenly......

Warm Easter

We have had extremely nice weather over Easter, warm and sunny with very little wind. So I had time to do some outfitting I did not have time for last year.
Fitted fairleads to the deck, forward and aft, and a brass stem band o protect the boat when I sail her onto the beach.


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny, no wind and about +15C, so we decided that spring has come and unwrapped Xiao Feng.

Unpacked the gear, everything survived winter. Oiled the oar leathers and enjoyed the sunshine, while the kids turned Xiao Feng into a pirate ship.

(I do not know why the pictures come out so small..... Blogger iPad app...?)

Friday, March 14, 2014


I have been starting to think about building a galley box that will fit between the side benches up forward. The first step is to gather up all the stuff that need to fit in the box...

The day before yesterday I recieved my stove, a Trangia 27-8 Duossal. Trangia is a very common camping stove in Sweden, the only thing I do not like about them is that the pots and pans are aluminum that food tend to stick to. There is a non-stick version, but as with all non-stick it wears of with time. So I was very happy when I found some new-old stock of the Duossal version (it was discontinued in 2008 and mine was made in 2001) in an online shop, duossal is a combination material aluminum and stainless steel where the stainless is on the inside so that the food does not stick too much.

The kit contains a frying pan, two pots (one small and one smaller), coffee pot, burner, windshield and a handle for the pots and pan.

Had to take it for a test spin, it boiled one liter of water in about 10 min and fried me an egg...

Boiling water, the whole kit is in the picture.

All packed up

The whole package takes up very little space, the diameter is 18.5cm (8.3 inch) and the height 10cm (3.9 inch) (sorry I do not do 1/8 etc).

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oarlock leather

Needed to do something with the boat despite it is still under cover so I decided to leather the oar locks. My oar locks are galvanized steel so they wear quite a lot on the oar leathers, so now I will have leather rubbing on leather instead.

Making patterns 

Marking on my trusty cow hide

Nailing the holes for the stitches 

All done, now all I need to do is let them dry and grease them a little.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Birch ply

My boat is built out of birch ply, this is quite common in Scandinavia, I have seen boats being both 10 and 20 years (and maybe even 30) old built out of birch ply. Some of them in great shape and some of them in horrible condition. An example from Finland here (
Most people nowadays would never build out of birch since it is rot prone, but in my opinion if you find good quality ply and do a proper surface treatment there should be very little problems. My boat is glassed on the bottom and garboard, the rest of the outside is coated with three layers of laminating epoxy (more flexible than glueing epoxy) and painted with two part polyurethane paint, the inside is also painted with the same paint. 
Last week I found a few pieces of ply in my yard, they have been there for about a year and a half, through sunshine, rain, sleet, snow and ice..... They have turned grey but I see no problems with the wood, tried to pull the ply's apart with my hands but was not able to....

Good enough for me!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Another mockup

It seems there are more people thinking about tents this winter, Osbert in Scotland has some great ideas on his blog ( He also started a thread ( on the WoodenBoat forum where I found some inspiration from Yeadon (post #33). So I decided to do another mock-up.

Battens/poles sewn into their pockets.

Laid out on the ridge line and pulled down to the gunwale

Not decided yet which version I like best so I will need to think a little more while I am on the lookout for tent poles or acrylic tubing....