Last weekend at class, I felt a little bit like I was being torn in several directions. Because of the fact that I have two different boat designs being built in the same class and that due to absences, not all of the students are at the same point in the build, I found myself giving small snippets of instruction on an "as-needed" basis. I usually like to keep the group together and to tell them about both the current step and what impact that step may have on future steps. I don't like to only talk about the current step as it can be an opportunity for mistakes in future.
Some of the snippets included instructions to two students about how to cut the stems to mate with the inwales. Another was to help one student cut stock for thwarts, rub rails and scupper blocks and to help set up the fixture we're using to cut nice curves into the ends of the scupper blocks. In between this, I directed one student to my tool bag to find some artificial sinew.
This student had begun lashing the floors to his frames last weekend, but hadn't completed the task. He needed to finish and had to have the sinew to do this. What I'd forgotten was the fact that I had two different colors of sinew in my bag:
The color on the right is the one that he'd lashed the floors in with last weekend. He'd gotten one and a half floor slats lashed in with the sinew on the right. It stuck out like a sore thumb. As this student didn't find the lashing to be an easy task, when I suggested that he should cut out the odd-colored lashings, he didn't want to remove them. He considered it a small issue.
I decided to use this as a teaching opportunity to show another student how to lash the floors to the frame. With the three of us lashing the floors in place, we not only replaced the odd-colored lashings, but we completed the whole floor in no time at all.
People often wonder why I push them to fix what they consider small issues. The reason is simple - they're things that I think people will notice and that the builder will regret at a later date.
I'll repeat - there really aren't any shortcuts and if you can fix a mistake, do it!