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wlai
05-25-2016, 12:01 PM
H all:

I have my mind set on building a SCAMP this winter. As background, I'm a pretty decent woodworker but have never built anything water tight, and as a sailor it has been a while since I sailed and would call myself barely competent at that.

So in preparation to the SCAMP, I'm thinking about building a first boat this summer as a warm up, and at the same time have a simple boat to practice my sailing skills for a season or two.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on which design to build, with two criteria in mind: I want to keep the budget low, say $500 or so as I need to save funds for the SCAMP. And the build needs to be not too lengthy (a couple weekends?) but gives me a good intro to the skills needed for the SCAMP build. In particular, I have never worked with fiberglass and epoxy before, never built a mast, never made sail, and finishing is not something I'm particularly good at.

I've dived pretty deeply into PDR and its variants, and started looking at the Sharpie and the Summer Breeze based on previous recommendations on the board. Also looked into sitch and glue kits from CLC, etc, even their Stand Up Paddle boards as I could use a SUP anyway, but can't shake the feeling that it's cheating a little with a kit :-)

Would love to hear any other recommendation on designs that I should look into, as well as any opinion on which may be the most appropriate build based on the above criteria? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks much,


William

DeniseO30
05-25-2016, 12:30 PM
Welcome aboard! Consider learningt to sail first. Seriously, you don't have to be good at one to be good or learn the other. On the other hand I don't know what you could build for 500 or less that sails When you could probably buy a used Sailboat for that much. But even before all that why don't you rent or find someone to take you sailing And find out if indeed that is what you want to do learn and build

DeniseO30
05-25-2016, 12:33 PM
Oh, which Scamp Do you want to build Quick search brought up a number of them

Rob Hazard
05-25-2016, 01:01 PM
I would recommend that you skip the tryout boat and just go for the SCAMP. Order a kit, read up on the SCAMP forum over at Small Craft Advisor's website, and dive in. There's plenty of real woodworking in the various details, so you don't need to feel you've cheated, but there's nothing you can't handle if you've done other sorts of woodworking.

SCAMP is an easy and forgiving boat to sail. It's no speed demon, but it's quick enough to be satisfying, and it can occasionally embarrass a few much larger boats under the right conditions.

jpatrick
05-25-2016, 01:51 PM
There are lots of people who have been successful in building a good boat on their first go at it. I'm one of them and there are plenty more here on the forum. The important thing is to read a lot and listen to those who've "been there." There are enough special considerations that are particular to boats to make one be careful and cautious. But there's no need for paranoia.

I'd recommend you forget building a quick boat to sail now. Buy one (probably it'll be grp) to use now. Then sell it later. This is more or less what I did and I've no regrets.

Jeff

WI-Tom
05-25-2016, 02:05 PM
I'll offer the opposite perspective and say that you can easily get a heap of value and experience from a quick-build boat. Jim Michalak (http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jim/mayfly14/index.htm) comes to mind, especially his Mayfly designs (12', 14', 16') being dead simple cheap boats that will take you places on a small budget. They are the modern manifestation of the Bolger/Payson "instant" boats.

The trouble is, you might have so much fun that your "real" boat build keeps getting delayed...

Tom

Bill7254
05-25-2016, 02:18 PM
I agree with Rob. I built a Houdini which is comparable with a Scamp and I did not purchase a kit. My lack of boat building experience made for a slow build but I am very happy with the results. Epoxy is very forgiving. I have sailed my boat over 2000 miles without any serious problems. As for the sailing, it will come back pretty quickly and you do run the risk, if you go sailing before you have built your boat, that you will want to go sailing rather than go building.

rgthom
05-25-2016, 02:34 PM
I'll chime in on just building the SCAMP. Walkabout was my first boat, with almost zero woodworking experience to start. With Welsford designs you start easy and learn as you go. In a few weekends and for $500 this summer you could have all the bulkheads done and be well ahead for the winter build. If the budget is tight I don't think an experienced woodworker saves much time with a kit, laying out and cutting the parts is not so hard.

Matt young
05-25-2016, 06:13 PM
One option is you can build a model of the Scamp first, build the model large with the same steps and methods that John describes for the full size build. This will get your brain into the design and familiar with the steps for the full size build. Then you could move onto the mast, spars, centerboard, and rudder. You will learn a lot without spending too much money. I think building another boat first will take a bunch of time money, and it won't get you any closer to the great boat that Scamp is.

Sea Dreams
05-25-2016, 06:35 PM
I'll offer the opposite perspective and say that you can easily get a heap of value and experience from a quick-build boat. Jim Michalak (http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jim/mayfly14/index.htm) comes to mind, especially his Mayfly designs (12', 14', 16') being dead simple cheap boats that will take you places on a small budget. They are the modern manifestation of the Bolger/Payson "instant" boats.

The trouble is, you might have so much fun that your "real" boat build keeps getting delayed...

Tom

I've built all of my boats so far using cheap plywood and lots of Titebond II glue. I've had a lot of fun and learned a lot without spending much money. First a Summer Breeze, then a self-designed one sheet boat, and finally a fancy PDRacer microcruiser.

I think you could build a Scamp as a first build if you want but a quick and dirty build will let you make your "mistakes" on something less costly. One thing I learned (mostly from other build threads) is that most mistakes can be fixed.

Take this "advice" with a glass of salt water. I still haven't started on my "real" boat yet. These cheap, Q+D boats have kept me entertained for a few years now. It was worth it though. When I finally do build the "real" boat, whatever it ends up being, I know I will have the skills and the confidence to risk the more expensive materials building a more complex design.

Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

Woxbox
05-25-2016, 07:20 PM
I'm with the "just build it" crowd. If you start with a kit, it will save hours of work and help avoid measuring and cutting blunders that waste expensive wood. Building an instant boat won't really give as much direct experience as you might want. For preparation, you'd be better off just buying a sheet of plywood, make a box, hold it together with glass tape and epoxy fillets, and then cover it with fiberglass. That would give you a feel for working with glass and getting a decent finish on it, which I think you'll find to be the hardest part of completing the Scamp kit. And when done, you'll have a nice weather tight box to store boat stuff in.

Another possibility is to build a boat cradle. You could make a Scampish one, (then all you'll need is a baby to put in it!) I've done a couple of these in different boat building styles. But here again, if the cradle isn't put together the way the Scamp is put together, the work won't be as instructive as you may like.

Here's one from CLC (http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/rowboats/dinghies/baby-cradle-pram.html) Also plans available from Jordan Wood Boats (http://www.jordanwoodboats.com/builders-gallery/build.php?plan=baby-tender-ii).

swoody126
05-25-2016, 09:03 PM
along w/ WI-Tom's suggestion i might recommend Jim Michalak's book, BoatBuilding for Beginners & Beyond

http://www.duckworksbbs.com/media/books/michalak/index.htm

it would be $17 well invested

the plans for the Mayfly 14(among others) are included and there is a lot of really good instructional material in there too

having a boat to learn & develop your sailing skills would be a pleasant diversion while you build your dream boat

& while i'm on the subject of the Scamp, there are several of them out there that have been started in Scamp Camps and never finished. you might consider finishing one of them

GOOD LUCK W/ YOUR DREAM

sw

wlai
05-27-2016, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks. I did order the books recommended and think I might just build something simple if only to have the ability to practice sailing this summer. Given how I deal with projects the SCAMP may take much longer than usual :-)

Steve, I am looking at some of the half-built SCAMP in the Pacific Northwest. Though I would love to build mine top to bottom, I can always build another. This is the kind of hobby I can see becoming addicting :-)

Jamesh
05-28-2016, 04:04 PM
How about a smaller JW design.
Sherpa for instance?
Same design style but smaller.
Cheers James

stromborg
05-28-2016, 06:22 PM
Steve, I am looking at some of the half-built SCAMP in the Pacific Northwest.

Assuming that means you are in the greater PNW region, you might want to consider contacting the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend about their one-week SCAMP building clinics. I wandered past one and it looked like a great way to get started, especially if you don't have much background in boat building as it is supervised and there are a number of folks at the exact same build point at the same time. (No connection etc...)

Plyboy
05-31-2016, 03:02 PM
Just discovering SCAMP, think it would be a good idea for a "training wheels" cruiser for me. It's also a good idea for a winter build because I think it would be doable entirely in my single garage with the door closed, while still having room to use bench tools. (For anything bigger I'd have to separate materials, tooling, fabrication and assembly around the "campus", or summer build with it hanging out under a temporary shed/garage type thing.)

Seen estimates of the manhours for a SCAMP ranging from 110 to 160, trying to get a feel for whether that is "iron man" style or a few hours a week pace. Are the plans and instructions so complete that you don't need thinking time, or do you do a bit, and stand there scratching your chin trying to figure out how to do the next bit? That makes a huge difference IMO, since only doing a couple of hours a day, any forthcoming tricky bits get worked out in the back of your head until you next get to it, whereas try and put a 10 hour day in on a weekend or something and you do maybe 4 hours of actual hands on, and 6 hours of chin scratching. I ask the difference, because when I know what I'm doing 100%, I can work at a somewhat "manic" pace, when I've gotta (over) think it through too much, it's all stop start and I never get momentum. There's a couple of periods in winter where I could do a "9 day" week, Saturday morning, through to week next Sunday, long days.

wlai
06-02-2016, 10:30 PM
Assuming that means you are in the greater PNW region, you might want to consider contacting the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend about their one-week SCAMP building clinics. I wandered past one and it looked like a great way to get started, especially if you don't have much background in boat building as it is supervised and there are a number of folks at the exact same build point at the same time. (No connection etc...)

Steve: Yes, definitely looking into it. There is an August one coming up and am seriously considering it. Having Port Townsend so close by is definitely an advantage!

Plyboy: I've heard up to 200 hours for the build, depending on the particular configuration and options. For me, I may spring for the plans as I feel SCAMP hits the bullseye for me, and so the build is just a matter of time, pun intended!

BBSebens
06-02-2016, 10:55 PM
Steve: Yes, definitely looking into it. There is an August one coming up and am seriously considering it. Having Port Townsend so close by is definitely an advantage!

Plyboy: I've heard up to 200 hours for the build, depending on the particular configuration and options. For me, I may spring for the plans as I feel SCAMP hits the bullseye for me, and so the build is just a matter of time, pun intended!


My father in law is building Harry Bryans Fiddleback double paddle canoe. It would make a great practice build. Quick and easy, and easily handed off to a younger family member when you no longer have need.



You're coming to the PT Wooden Boat Festival right?

RIGHT?!

Plyboy
06-02-2016, 11:12 PM
Heh, with this one it's hard to go, "Build the dinghy first" :D