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Thread: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

  1. #1
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    Default Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    I've started building my hybrid fiberglass-wood schooner. I don't have the time or experience yet to build a wooden hull, but I have a Kenner Privateer 26 hull that I am making into a gaff schooner. The sparred length will be about 35 feet. I married the drawing for the hull with a sailplan from the pinky schooner "Dove", that I copied online.



    I have cut off the fiberglass deck and am building a wooden deck. I bolted and glued fir clamps and cut and installed yellow pine deck beams and fir mast partners. I'm in southern Illinois, so I'm using lumberyard wood. I have cedar 5/4 planks for the deck. Today, I sawed out 8 pieces of douglas fir 1 1/2" by 5 1/2"by 25 feet long, to laminate for the masts. I'll use the rest of the fir for booms and gaffs.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...n/photostream/

    This won't be a costly project. I'm building to workboat specs, and using galvanized wire and fittings. I want to end up with a boat that looks like a schooner, and on which I can learn the "ropes" for a larger schooner some day. I have the hull on a trailer, so it will be easy to move and launch.

    Hopefully, I'll add pictures and have her in the water this year.

    Chuck
    Last edited by okawbow; 05-21-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: add picture

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Interesting project, I look forward to seeing how it develops. Doubtless you'll encounter some skeptical questions from those knowledgeable about things like rigs and sail plans and hulls, but it looks like you are well into it and know what you want. At least you haven't jumped off the deep end like another notable member of the forum and are starting with a small, manageable boat.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazer View Post
    Interesting project, I look forward to seeing how it develops. Doubtless you'll encounter some skeptical questions from those knowledgeable about things like rigs and sail plans and hulls, but it looks like you are well into it and know what you want. At least you haven't jumped off the deep end like another notable member of the forum and are starting with a small, manageable boat.
    I made a best guess on the position of the masts, based on scaling down the Dove to fit the waterline of the Privateer. I think it will be close enough to balance well, but I can always adjust the bow sprit length or change the main sail area. The sail area of the schooner comes out just a few feet more than the sloop plan originally on the Privateer.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Ignore any naysayers that come along. You're having fun and they probably aren't. As long as you see this as an experiment and a learning project, it will be worth it. I would guess myself that, with the shorter sticks and all those sails to adjust, you'll have the stability and you'll be able to get her to balance well enough.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Ignore any naysayers that come along. You're having fun and they probably aren't. As long as you see this as an experiment and a learning project, it will be worth it. I would guess myself that, with the shorter sticks and all those sails to adjust, you'll have the stability and you'll be able to get her to balance well enough.
    I'm looking forward to being the only schooner on Carlyle Lake. I'm wanting to get familiar enough with the gaff rig to charter a 50 ft schooner for a family vacation in the future. I've read all the gaff rig books I can find, along with Buehlers Backyard Boatbuilding for inspiration.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    That wouldn't be Carlyle Lake Illinois by any chance? My family and I sailed our Y-Flyer there in the late sixties.
    Chuck Hancock

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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Looks like you are having a blast !

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Rock View Post
    That wouldn't be Carlyle Lake Illinois by any chance? My family and I sailed our Y-Flyer there in the late sixties.
    Carlyle Illinois. Still some Y Flyers at the CSA harbour. It's a good sailing lake. There are probably 400 sailboats at the 4 marinas in the summer. It's also not far from the Mississippi and a couple hours from Kentucky Lake. I took our Cheoy Lee 31 ketch down the Tombiggbee from Kentucky Lake to Mobile, AL last year. From there, my wife joined me, and we sailed to Key West, and then up the Atlantic coast to Maine. We cruised all of July in Maine, and I fell in love with the schooners. I can't afford a real one, so I decided to make my own.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Building your own sounds like a darn good plan. I haven't been back to St. Louis in over forty years. I bet you're going to have the only schooner in the area though. Good luck with the project.
    Chuck Hancock

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Some progress this weekend. Laid over 1/2 of the deck planks. Will caulk the seams with cotton and fill with black .....caulk. Any suggestions on what kind?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...in/photostream
    Last edited by okawbow; 02-19-2012 at 06:56 PM. Reason: forgot picture

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Looks like your doing a lot of good things. Appears your using yellow pine for deck beams/timbers which seems heavy on such a small narrow boat. Just the ticket for one of our local work/shrimp boats. What are you figuring about changes in weight and a possible increase in ballast if deck and spar weight has increased?
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    looks cool. If you are trying to do it cheap but functional, have you considered roof pitch for the seams? I know that marine glue is similar... maybe there is something you could add to the pitch to make it a bit softer. I don't know.... Just a thought.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ray View Post
    Looks like your doing a lot of good things. Appears your using yellow pine for deck beams/timbers which seems heavy on such a small narrow boat. Just the ticket for one of our local work/shrimp boats. What are you figuring about changes in weight and a possible increase in ballast if deck and spar weight has increased?
    Thanks, yes, I used yellow pine for the deck beams. It was the only clear wood I could get locally. I picked out the lightest boards, and cut them to the minimun width I thought would still make a solid deck. I think the new deck may be about the same weight overall as the old fiberglass and plywood deck. I had to cut the old deck into 8 pieces just to handle the weight. The cross section was 3/4" ply with a 1/4" of fiberglass on each side. I am also making a flush deck except for the small rear deckhouse. I won't build the forward house as in the drawing.

    The Privateer has 3250 pounds of lead ballast at the bottom of the keel. I can also remove some sand inside the keel and replace with lead if needed.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Van Gilder View Post
    looks cool. If you are trying to do it cheap but functional, have you considered roof pitch for the seams? I know that marine glue is similar... maybe there is something you could add to the pitch to make it a bit softer. I don't know.... Just a thought.

    I thought about something like driveway crack filler in a tube, but it might be messy when it gets hot. The deck boards are fitting together very well so far, with no light showing between them. I planed a bevel 1/2 way down the side of each plank for caulking. With a good, tight fit; what kind of cotton should I use? Would soft cotton cord be ok?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Oh no, you want caulking cotton. Its pretty cheap and you can get it from places like Jamestown distributers.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    If you are trying to do it cheap but functional, have you considered roof pitch for the seams? I know that marine glue is similar... maybe there is something you could add to the pitch to make it a bit softer. I don't know.... Just a thought.
    That could work but it would be messy. You can toss vaseline in the pot to soften it up. But still, messy and labor intensive. (You don't want to spend hours pushing a holystone over your decks.)

    For a cheap and easy solution, I'd see what comes in a caulking tube that's black and remains flexible but doesn't get tacky in the sun. Tape off the joints, pump it in, level it off and then pull the tape. Experiments would be in order, but one of those many caulking-type products in your local big box store should serve.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Got to work a couple hours this evening on the deck. Sanded all the screw hole plugs, and cut out the hatch opening and mast holes. Ready to start caulking when my cotton comes from Jamestown Dist.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...n/photostream/

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    progress this weekend.....Caulked all the deck seams with cotton. I made the caulking tools from osage orange. Worked perfectly! Painted over the cotton with oil based paint.

    Made a solid douglas fir bowsprit. Does it look right?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...in/photostream

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Good you did it!
    If you had to do it again, It would be good to do it with wood half the width of those you installed.... Less wide are the strip less they will shrink when sun hitting it during summer, so the caulking can do it's job when it start raining.

    Hope you had fun doing it! Wooden mast next?
    Last edited by JoshuaIII; 02-26-2012 at 07:24 PM.
    http://www.peacefuljourney.ca/
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    I start gluing up the mast boards next week. I'll use 4, 1 1/2" thick x 5 1/2" wide douglas fir boards 25' long, glued with plastic resin glue. The main mast will be about 5 1/4" diameter at the deck, the foremast will be 5 1/2". I have some old sitka spruce for the top mast.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    The 'sprit looks Yarr!!!

    good job!
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    That's gonna be a sweet little boat. By the looks of the sail plan, the schooner rig could work better than a ketch rig. I doesn't even look like the interior will suffer badly from mast placement. Schooner rigs don't usually work on a boat that small; you seem to have an exception

    I delivered a Privateer 35 ketch down the Cali coast a couple of years back. Mother Nature threw some pretty good crap in my face during that trip. I was really impressed with her sailing. My only real complaint was that the placement of the mizzen was a real PITA.

    Was the schooner sailplan drawn by Mr. Gillmer?
    Schooner sailors love to get blown offshore!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    That's gonna be a sweet little boat. By the looks of the sail plan, the schooner rig could work better than a ketch rig. I doesn't even look like the interior will suffer badly from mast placement. Schooner rigs don't usually work on a boat that small; you seem to have an exception

    I delivered a Privateer 35 ketch down the Cali coast a couple of years back. Mother Nature threw some pretty good crap in my face during that trip. I was really impressed with her sailing. My only real complaint was that the placement of the mizzen was a real PITA.

    Was the schooner sailplan drawn by Mr. Gillmer?
    I'm not sure who drew the sail plan in the drawing. It is basicly the same as the Pinky schooner "Dove". I made a few minor changes to fit the Privateer hull better.

    This morning, I found time to plane the boards and glue up the foremast. used Weldwood plastic resin glue. Went pretty smoothly. But then, I glue up hundreds of laminated archery bows a year, so I keep in practice.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...in/photostream

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    How much sail area? I don't imagine you'll set the fisherman much, so how much in the lower sails?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    How much sail area? I don't imagine you'll set the fisherman much, so how much in the lower sails?

    There will be 379 sq ft in the 4 lower sails. The tops'l and fisherman are another 105 sq ft. The 4 lower sails will be very close to the designed sail area of the sloop. The tops'l and fisherman will help in light air.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    That sounds okay. Schooners seem to need more sail than sloops, yawls or ketches, because the sails interfere with each other going to windward, the main being interfered with the most. On the other hand, they become more efficient on a reach and you've still got all that sail up.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    The two masts are glued up and ready to shape. I've ordered sails made to my sailplan drawings and based on mast placement and bowsprit length. I will rig the spars to fit the sails. This way I won't have to wait on the sails after everything else is ready.

    I built the deckhouse frame and planked the top. It's very solid, and attached to the remnants of the fiberglass bulkhead. I'll build a sliding hatch and drop boards. I plan to cover any visible fiberglass left in the cockpit area with 3/8" cedar.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...in/photostream

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Bam!! Cracking!!!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    More progress after a week out of town. I have the masts glued and shaped to size. The main boom is glued. Today was warm, so I filled the deck seams with Sealbest, elastomeric blacktop rubberized, crackfiller. It was easy to use, but a little messy. It did a good job of filling the seams, and smoothed well with a rubber gloved finger. It took 12 tubes to fill about 250 lineal feet of 1/4"(at the top) V grooves. I removed the tape after an hour or so, and the sealant was semiset. Looks really "salty" and seems to adhere very well.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2052484...n/photostream/

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    After working the past few weeks on the masts, booms, and iron fittings; I got around to coating the cedar decking with "Flood" brand clear deck treatment. The hatches are varnished also. The deck treatment looks good and is not slick at all.

    I'm almost ready to install the electric motor system. The interior is gutted, but can wait till after launching. The sails are done and look like they will fit great. Hope to be in the water by fall.



  31. #31
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Great!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Varnishing the masts now. They dry really fast in the 100+ degree heat. Laminated from 4 pieces of Douglas fir.

    I'm also half finished painting the hull.


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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Building a Privateer 26 schooner

    Looking forward to pictures when you get it in the water already.

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