- Jul 31, 2019
- Gastonia, North Carolina USA
I am prepping for a new build of the Billing Boats Esmeralda. Now in the instructions they recommend you use their Build Slip #397. Now I just so happened to have one tucked away, still in the box. Have had the thing for some time. Any how, into the closet digging to find what I know I have, but is it? I know I am not the only one! So after pulling everything under the sun out, there it was just where I last saw it. I remember opening the box when I ordered and after a brief look, closed the box up and stashed. So again the box is opened and as I set there looking at the directions, I think too myself...simple....yea right. The slip is 36 3/4's long and 6" wide. Looks deceivably simple in construction, yea right again! You get 2 large MDF base parts that you glue together with two small ply pieces, what in the cabinet business refers to as doughnuts. So, this is to build your prized next project that you want everything straight, level and plumb. So, to insure I would get a absolute flat build board from 2 pieces, was assembled on a piece of 1/4" thick plate glass. Googled for best glue f/MDF....good ole Titebond. Then onto the assembly of the components. Again everything sanded and assembled w/squares and weights. Now we are into the second day of building. One thing to note here, you add a center spine in 2 pieces that absolutely has to be dead center. Then on the top of this a wood channel is added, again 2 pieces. So let me go back and eat those famous words deceivably simple....not. The instructions have you assemble the main board and then add the spine. Here is a tip. Before you do this, assemble the moveable head keel support 1st and add the spine off of this. If you get the spine off by a 1/8th, you can not attach the side parts that slide the upper keel keeper up and down the board. Err slight modification on my part. I have built several keel keepers/slips. I have one I have used for the last few years, but this one was the toughest to build so far. But once done, impressive in the design and function of the slip. We will see how good it works soon enough.