View Full Version : Victor Slocum Question

John A. Campbell
01-23-2007, 05:56 PM
After a few delays due to other projects, I have the 12 mm Baltic birch molds set up on a nice heavy strongback, ribbands installed (notched all molds), and am ready to install mahogany chine logs on the electric Victor Slocum. The plan is to use glued lap construction per Tom Hill's method with 9 mm Okoume for planks and 18 mm Okoume for the bottom and transom. I really like the looks of white cedar finished bright and was toying with the idea of bonding (with West epoxy) a 3/16" W.C. veneer over the planks and a 5/16" W.C. veneer over the bottom and transom, overlapping all plywood edges. Also I would install #6 brass FHWS along the laps to add a little decoration and would not plug them. I know it's time consuming but that is of no concern. I think it would make for a really good looking small boat and would give me the benefit of glued lap construction which I think is important here in Texas with the extremes of humidity and ambient temperature we have but would add at least an appearance of traditional construction. Comments please.

01-23-2007, 09:53 PM
I would think you would down a size in the plywood if you are going to add a veneer. It almost seems like you would have to add 2 layers with one grain orientated on the bias and the surface longitudal to keep in schedule with the plywood along with the odd #'s of plies and the characteristics of flex etc. Seems like alot of work at any rate. If you put anything in the laps,it seems rivets would be the way to go or atleast copper nails with roves or clench nails.

John A. Campbell
01-24-2007, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback......I'm going to think about this some more before adding the white cedar to the side planks but really want to do the bottom and transom. It would seem to me that white cedar, being of fairly low density, would not impart enough stress to the 18 mm Okoume to affect it in any way but it might. Also, I think I'll forget about those screws.....might be another place for moisture to get to the okoume? Have often wondered why screws are not used in traditional lapstrake construction instead of rivets & roves....they are more expensive but can be used without a second person's help.....that advantage would seem to offset the cost difference.......but maybe they're prone to allow moisture in if not plugged? I recall seeing a photo of a big Hacker runabout that was screw fastened with batten & seam construction and those hundreds of brass screws really looked great but maybe they became a problem later......anyway, Thanks!

Keith Wilson
01-24-2007, 06:07 PM
Have often wondered why screws are not used in traditional lapstrake construction instead of rivets & roves....they are more expensive but can be used without a second person's help.....that advantage would seem to offset the cost difference....... The planking isn't usually thick enough to allow enough thread engagement with the soft wood normally used. Rivets don't have this problem. There were a lot of production lapstrake motorboats built using bolts with nuts inside, which works fine.

01-24-2007, 10:10 PM
Hi John, sounds like the project is gathering steam.

If you are looking for something prettier than the okoume why not use Sapele plywood - looks like a million bucks compared to the okoume and probably not that much more expensive.

IIRC, Tom Hill's lapstrake method is to back up each lap with a batten sprung around the molds. You can fuss with the battens to get the laps lined off eye sweet then clamp the laps together for gluing by driving screws through the lap into the batten. Battens, molds, screws are temporary.

If this isn't Tom Hill's method it ought to be as it works great.

As per Keith's comment, Chris Craft built lots of lapstrake boats with copper clench nails and thiokol seam compound. Often repairers substitute bronze bolts, nuts, washers.

With epoxy you don't need no stinkin' metal fasteners.

John A. Campbell
01-25-2007, 06:54 PM
Denny, I already had the Okoume on hand so decided to use it......have had good luck with it on other boats. I'm thinking now, after discussing with the West Systems people, that I will glass over the 18 mm bottom instead of adding the cedar layer but will add Atlantic white cedar over the transom and use cedar for seats and floorboards.....all cedar finished bright. I'll probably wind up painting the side planks ( perhaps Kirby's "Bottle Green") and finish the transom bright with Honduran mahogany inwales, outwales, breasthook, and quarter knees.....the latter two laminated. For batteries, I'm planning on four 6-volt Lifeline GPL-4C's (for 492 minutes at 25 amps) plus room for 2 more if it turns out that I need them. The motor will probably be EV America's A00-4009 using their controller, mount, etc. Have used Tom Hill's construction method on 4 boats and really like working with it.......I like to notch the molds so the ribbands lie nice and flat although you still have to bevel the notch bottoms as well as the mold edges to follow hull curvature.....just got to be real sure you use Johnson's Paste Wax real carefully on the jig.......never have had one stick and sure don't want it now. Now preparing a letter to Prestige Trailer in Atlanta, Texas asking for a quote for a custom trailer.....sending them the full size mold patterns and a copy of Atkins' drawings to make sure they get it right......but first must calculate the boat's weight as close as I can 'cause I want her to ride soft.

01-26-2007, 09:22 AM
Sounds like a nice mix of paint and brightwork.

I'm using the same batteries. Turned out for me the best place to buy them was the local Batteries Plus retail store. $203 each plus sales tax - no freight. No screwing around with a freight company either, they put all eight of them in my car. Wish I could have hooked them up, I'd have had the fastest Prius on the road that day!

John A. Campbell
01-27-2007, 08:17 PM
Hmmmmmm..that's 8 X 66 lbs. each.....528 lbs......quite a load for what I understand is a small car.

I forgot to say that I'm also installing a separate piece of 18 mm Okoume inside the hull bonded to the 18 mm bottom and glassed and extending about 24" forward and aft of the batteries and full width of the hull bottom at that location. So basically there will be 36 mm of Okoume glassed on both sides (12 ounce cloth) under the batteries. Have been spending some time trying to calculate the weight of the boat without batteries and it looks like about 486 lbs. completely finished.

By the way, Batteries Plus in Round Rock, TX a few miles from here quoted the GPL-4C's at $171 each about 4 months ago.....plus tax, of course, and I assumed freight was included but I failed to ask them that so I may wind up paying $203 also.

John A. Campbell
01-27-2007, 08:27 PM
By the way, Denny, regarding Tom Hill's construction method, I don't drive screws throuigh the planking to the mold ribbands.......I spring a 3/4" X 3/4" waxed ash batten around the hull at the lap location and C-Clamp the ribband, plank, and ash batten about every 12"......I've got a LOT of C-Clamps......not as many as Jorgensen but a LOT. By doing it this way, there are no screw holes to fill and the planking just looks smoother.