Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!
I did have some concerns. It is a simple thing to fix at this point. Thanks.
Your SCAMP is looking so good, Christine! I just love these boats!
Keep up the good work.
"near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."
I got the third strake installed. It went on eventually. It's a bit high at the bow and one bulkhead is proud while a couple of others are just below the edge. Since it's symmetrical on both sides I'm not going to fret too much. I'll trim and adjust when I see how the side and front decks fit.
It took a bit of time to get all the seams taped and the bulkheads filleted. I still have a couple of fillets to do, I just ran out of mixed epoxy and was too lazy to do another batch. I also got a few runs. Not serious but annoying because sanding a run takes 10 times longer than catching it while it's soft.
I also taped the transom and the front panel.
The front compartment is almost finished. I'm afraid I'm not going to spend a lot of time getting a perfect surface. Since it is not seen and barely accessible I'm not too worried. I still need a coat of resin on the inside.
I don't know if there is any advantage to painting this section. Any suggestions pro or con.
Paint might make it a bit brighter for when I use it as storage space. Paint makes any repair more difficult though.
I started working on various details.
I trimmed the transom and the bow. The strakes protruded on both ends. I tried using my Japanese saw but I kept tearing out even after fitting a new blade. I switched to the sander with a 60 grit paper and it made quick work of the trimming.
I tried the top of the benches on for size and found that I would need to adjust them just a bit. Some of the slots that fin on the bulkheads were just a bit off so I needed to cut a milimetre here and there. I also beveled the last couple feet and it fits well now. Did the same to the port bench.
After making a pattern I cut out a doubler-support for the deck. This lives in front of the second bulkhead and supports the front deck. I'll do a dry fit before gluing it on.
I also cut a support for the inside of the front panel.
I had a panic attack and decided to add some glass around the centreboard case. Maybe this is just extra weight for nothing.
Lots of details these days.
Before I close any compartment I need to decide what hardware will be installed so that I can install the necessary backing plates.
I also have not made up my mind if I'm planning to put lights in. It's easy at this time to allow for wiring and fixtures and a real pain after everything is in place. If I don't use the lights etc. it's just more stuff to buy and maintain. Any suggestions? comments?
Before I can commit on the front and side deck and trim or fill the couple of uneven bulkheads I need to know how to position the side deck. I have to get the deck supports ready.
I had cut some nice douglas fir boards but they were not quite long enough. I scarfed them to the proper length.
Measured 9:1 scarf joints and cut them with the plane. Took a bit of time but it worked really well.
After gluing I tried to put them on the boat but they are a bit too stiff to bend in place easily. 2 choices. Either I cut them down and laminate them in place bending as I go. Or I try and bend them.
If I try to cut them I will have to move my table saw and a whole bunch of junk out of the way to get the 12 feet on either side. I will also loose the blade thickness of wood So I'll take the lazy way and see if I can't bend them gradually.
I wet the 2 boards and started bending them. If that does not work I can use the bandsaw to cut them down and laminate them. It's a very thin blade so I would not have to worry about loosing too much thickness. The table saw would be tricky with the now bent wood. The bandsaw is also easier to move.
Hi, Christine --
You asked for suggestions: My Tender Behind dinghy has enclosed chambers both fore and aft, each with a pair of 7" circular hatches for access. I painted the interior of each white (the whole dinghy will be white or bright) to aid in seeing what's inside. Assuming one can get one's eye to that level. I have pics on my thread which show the before paint and after in the forward chamber. I think it makes a difference. Kind of.
Thanks Bill, did you use any particular type of paint?
Hi, Christine --
I wanted my dinghy to look Nice. But I'm stopping short of Very Nice, so I am using Interlux one-part polyurethane paint. I was quite surprised at how well the paint white matched the plastic white of the hatches.
With LED lights lasting as long as they do, I'd much rather not mess with wiring (and the inevitable maintenance) myself. I see permanent electrical installations as more headache than benefit in small boats, and then of course you need batteries of some kind, and things tend to get complicated.
Your boat looks great!
You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.
Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.
This suggestion may be a bit late, but I noticed your comment about sanding runs being terrible, which it is.
A heat gun and scraper makes short (30 seconds) work of a run or drip or blob of epoxy. It was a game-changer for me. Not that I shouldn't be neat and clean with the goo.
"near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."
I decided I did not like the look of the bar and that the advice to use stronger backing washers was good. I got some Stainless Steel plate 3.5mm thick and cut 2 front washers and 2 back plates. I still have to polish the front washers but it looks much better and they will never bend or fail.
Outside and inside views. Nothing has been tightened since I still need to glass the front panel outside but I'm much happier.
It took me several hours just to make 2 washers and 2 back plates. I'm not a very fast worker I'm afraid. Metal is very different from wood.
It seems like I've been working and have nothing to show for it. Still there is progress.
I sanded, rounded the edges and glassed the front panel. I want to install the front eye before closing the front compartment up.
After rounding the edges I put a tape boundary on the side. I cut the glass and stretched it in position. I did this because the corner is quite sharp and the glass would have come off the side otherwise because it is a bit stiff. I rounded it but not a huge amount. After supper the epoxy had hardened enough to trim the excess at the tape boundary. It lies very nicely.
It's been very grey and I've had trouble motivating myself. I get in the shop but just sort of kick around. There always seems to be a spot in a construction project where energy lags.
I managed to bend one side of the deck supports but the second one has broken twice now. When I took a close look I realized that the grain was not running straight and after replacing the broken piece by a quarter sawn piece It bent just fine.
Instead of just wetting it like the first one, I used hot water over wrapped cloth and used an iron to steam everything.
The steam really works well to bend the wood.
After much wrangling, shoving and pulling, I managed to get the support in place for a dry run.
After looking at it from every angle it does not sit very fairly. I had expected that this might happen since a couple of the front bulkheads were just a bit proud of the top strake. I had left them until I could check the alignment.
It seemed a shame to remove the support after all that trouble but I needed to trim and do more epoxy work.
I trimmed down between an eight and 2/16 of an inch and this fixed the sort of bump in the curve.
After some sanding while listening to Cesaria Evoria, I put another coat of epoxy on the sides and went around filling any voids in the space between the planks.
It's hard to show on a photo that a gap has been filled but it has...
I went on to the fit of the seats and tweaked it. There were a few spots that had larger gaps than I liked to see. Putting a larger bevel on the back underside of the seat fit it better against the second plank. A couple more rounding of corners and the seat sits nicely on the bulkheads and extends by less than a milimetre at the edge. That will sand out easily after gluing the seat down.
I took the seats off and started getting the hatches fitted. I have bought a few plastic ones. I had thought I might make them, but I would have to order in more lumber and with delivery and materials there is no financial advantage and it takes quite a lot of time to rout and shape the parts.
I ordered some rectangular from Port Colborne Marine. Great folks there. The hatches were warped so I returned them. Shure Seal certainly did not seal.
The circle cutter came in handy to cut the seat and the doubler opening.
Last year I had made a small scratch gauge and it worked really well to give me an even mark around the hole.
After cutting out the outside, a quick sand and the bottom edge rounded.
These are 3 small inspection ports for the filling hole in the water ballast tank, and for 2 openings in the small rearmost water tight compartments. The plans suggested closing the opening to make them separate compartments and I had done this. The Port side one also gives access to the motor mount bolts.
I had checked the fit before cutting out the outside and found that I had cut the opening too small. Good thing I checked.
I spent a few minutes sanding the seat top and bottom.
Doubler is ready to be glued in on the bottom of the seat.
Tomorrow I will spend some time getting the rectangular hatch fitted and the doubler cut.
I've been conservative and I'm still having 10 hatches on this boat. It's only a 12 foot dinghy!!!
I spent a huge amount of time sanding the inside of the compartments. They are not by any means smooth. Soon they will be good enough though.
I needed some wood for the gunwales and I got referred to McQueen Custom Cuts Quality Lumber Co. They run a small mill and sell various local wood. I got the grand tour and had lots of fun.
I was despairing of finding any suitable lumber locally. I had a list of potential wood and they did not carry any of my list. They did have lots of nice ash so that's what I got. We are having an ash tree plague right now. The wood cannot be exported but this is kiln dried so nothing is alive in it. Besides I live 20 minutes away and we have the emerald ash borers already.
Ash is a fine wood for gunwales, they use it around here for canoe gunwales. It bends well and is quite hard.
I posted a few photos of their mill along with the kiln if anyone wants to see.
I live near Niagara Falls in Canada.
I noticed a small problem in one of my strakes as I was sanding it. The join was not good and the bend of the plank was uneven. I added another layer of glass and clamped it in a better curve and this worked. I had joined my pieces using Dynamite Payson's method with a butt joint and fiberglass patch on both faces of the pieces.
I hit a bit of a wall.
I'd been trying to get the carlings installed. They support the side decks. I had 3 breaks in so many days so I finally gave up with the douglas fir and started again. I had been able to bend them using heat but the next day when I went to install them I had yet another break.
I pulled out the ash lumber I had bought for the gunwales and started milling them.
There was a bit of a high point on the side and it had to be squared as well. Not too difficult but it took me a while. Nice music. Planing wood is pleasant when it goes well.
Once it was square it was a simple job of putting it through the thickness planer and sawing it to width. Luckily I had enough wood for the gunwales and the carlings.
I had just bought this little roller thingie with an adjustable height so that was very useful. I got it at the Hamilton Wood Show for 20 dollars. DEAL!
Ash is much bendier than the douglas fir.
It went on without too much argument and I glued the port side.
On the starboard side, it is only a dry run.
I did not scarf the 2 pieces together before installing them. Instead I did this after clamping the boards in place. This made it much simpler to install.
If I had had an extra set of hands it would have been much easier.
My next problem was how to check that the starboard side was the same as the port side. There is not much to measure or compare.
I checked the level and I checked the angle of each side at the same bulkhead.
Luckily for me once the side angles had been slightly adjusted by raising the carling slightly in one spot, it came in almost perfectly level all the way to the front. I had checked the level of the sheer strake after installing it and found it was pretty good, so I had a mostly reliable reference point. I had to think about that for a while.
Both port and starboard carlings are installed and glued.
Last edited by Christine DeMerchant; 03-08-2017 at 07:49 PM.
Im glad for you that came out ok Christine. I'm approaching that stage soon and guess what timber Im using? Yep DF. May have to get something else.
Against all expectations, when I tried the deck pieces on, it actually fit quite smoothly without any gap or apparent problem. I must be missing something.
I still have to scarf the various sections of the deck together before I install but they are fitting!
While I was on a roll, I tried the side of the cabin and it is also going to fit without too much trouble. Nothing that a bit of thickened epoxy, or a couple of swipes with the block plane, can't fix.
Before I install decks though I want to close up the benches/side lockers/waterproof compartments. I spent some time touching up the inside of the port compartment. I had a couple of rough spots where the fuzz from the fiberglass tape was sticking up. I plan to sand till it's smooth enough that gear or hands wont get snagged but not much more.
I have a small claw anchor that might do very well on this boat. It fits well in the locker and goes through the opening without any trouble. That might just be the spot for it.
I'm installing 2 rectangular hatches. Each has a doubler. I used a jig saw to make a rough cut and cleaned it up with files and sandpaper. I'm going to use the router with a flush cut bit to cut the other 3 holes so this one needs to be accurate.
I rough cut the opening on the doublers and was able to cut the openings very easily. The little bearing on the flush cut bit is at the end of the bit so the rough piece needs to be at the top and the pattern is on the bottom. I screwed the wood on so it would not move and finished the hinge cut outs with a file because the bit could not go in the corner.
I glued the liners and did a bit of sanding but otherwise the holes are ready. The seat can now be installed over the lockers as soon as I've painted. The epoxy requires a few days to be completely set so I'll wait. A bit of sanding will prep the top and inside of the locker. I'm using Tremclad white paint for the inside of the lockers. Not particularly fancy paint but I've used it on the Puddle Duck and it has held up well so it will do fine for the inside of lockers.
I also glued the round liner so both hatches are ready.
I'm planning to use 3M 4200 as the sealant. Any opinions? The hatch instructions are to use silicone sealant but I despise it. It always seems to get on things and cause no end of trouble on paint finishes.
Lovely straight grain, native to Aus, and waaaay stronger than DF. I used it for the stringers, carlins and rub rails on my Pathfinder.
Christine, fantastic job on the backers and washers for the bow eye! Working with stainless is a real cow, you have to be pretty happy with that result.
Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!
I finished installing the carlings and had no further problem with the wood not bending.
I had cut the gunwales when I recut the carlings. When I tried to install them I found that the ash completely refused to bend to the hull. I had cut 2 boards and this piece was much stiffer.
I put together a makeshift steaming box and got the Gunwales shaped.
I used a couple of coffee cans and the metal handle of a old broom to build a kettle.
Made the steam chamber out of some leftover aluminium dryer vent. I also had some leftover metallic tape from a furnace project. I used that to seal the joints.
Cut a plug for one end, with a hole to fit the pipe.
At first I tried to heat the water using the wood stove but it was not enough heat so I borrowed the kitchen hotplate. It's an induction heater. Only the bottom of the pot gets hot and unless the water boils dry then does not get any warmer than boiling water. (I let it boil dry and burned a towel I had around it to insulate)
After wrapping the pipe in towels to keep the heat in, I filled the can with water and the whole set up worked very well. I took more photos of the set up and posted them on the website if you are interested: http://www.christinedemerchant.com/steam-box.html
Installing the first layer of gunwales was very simple with the pieces already half bent. They had sprung back quite a lot but there was enough bend to coax them in position. I left a few clamps just for added strength while the epoxy does it's secondary curing. It takes about a week according to the company.
Positioning is no problem because I measured everything from the edge of the top strake.
Glued on the second layer of the gunwales. No particular difficulty. I wish I had one more hand though. It's tricky pushing the board in position and positioning a clamp and tightening it all at once.
It took pretty much every clamp I owned to get an even clamping. I had just some squeeze out to show I had enough glue. This is a life time of clamp collecting. It needed more clamps than I expected.
One annoying thing is that I had measured both layers of gunwales quite closely and forgot that the outside board should be just a bit longer. I ended up about a half inch short at the transom with the second layer. I'll have to patch the end. I had left enough extra but found a flaw in the wood so was just a bit short.
I had prepared extra epoxy in case I needed to mix up more glue in a hurry. I put it in a can of snow, we had a big snowstorm last week, and that kept it from kicking off. I used it to put a coat of resin on the top and bottom of the decks.
I used the leftover glue to stick the deck support at the front of bulkhead 2.
I have a question about the Gunwale. Is there an advantage in screwing the gunwales as well as gluing? I have not used any screws and am inclined not to if they are not all that useful. The wood fails before the epoxy.
I did not need screws for positioning but I can add them if they are necessary for strength.
In my Skerry build, the only spots that showed damage after several years are spots where I had used screws on the gunwales.
I did not use any screws on the tender pram gunwales I built which had more curve than the Scamp and there were no problems.
The gunwales still have to get a fillet on the bottom edge and get glued to the deck so I don't imagine they are going anywhere. What have other people done with gunwales?
Hi, Christine --
On my Tender Behind dinghy the plans call for the gunwales to be epoxied and screwed. I suspect the Scamp plans also call for this treatment, or you wouldn't be asking. Since my dinghy build is almost purely an educational build, I followed JW's instructions. I used white maple for my gunwales, so resetting them after steaming was quite frustrating: hold clamp in position, place wood pad between clamp and gunwale, bend gunwale back into position, all with one hand while cranking on the clamp with the other -- I don't think I'll use maple again.
Your question about screws: I think you've answered your own question. My friend who helped me bend the gunwales in the first place asked me about the screwing. He's in a similar line of work from which I retired, only more knowledgeable about plywood. He questioned my screwing the gunwales in place, saying that by drilling holes through the skin the ply is weakened. I suspect he's right. I can justify having done it for the educational experience. I have no other experience to offer, other than yours and my friend's. I'll let you know how quickly my boat fails when it happens.
At "scamp camp", we used screws with big flat washers to "clamp" the gunwhales in place (two pieces at once, very slippery and slimy), then, once the epoxy set, removed the screws and filled the holes with epoxy. This photo was taken the next day, installing the carlins, but you can see the screw holes in the gunwhales:
IMG_0952 by Dale Simonson, on Flickr
The only screws I've used in fastening gunwales on my sail and oar boats have been right at the ends of the outboard gunwales where it was difficult to clamp the end of the piece properly. The rest was just clamped, so the screws were acting primarily as clamps and not adding much strength, in my view.
Not had any problems.
"A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman
Last edited by Christine DeMerchant; 03-20-2017 at 09:02 PM.
I had posted the question on the John Welsford facebook as well and got an answer from both John and from Michael Storer. They suggested that a few screws at the very end would help strengthen the gunwales in case of an overly energetic encounter with a dock. A couple screws would help prevent damage from the gunwales splitting off. So that is what I will do.
Before going on, I had to fix a small problem. The second layer of my gunwale was just short of the front. I'd had to cut off a flaw and did not take into consideration that the second layer of gunwales was just slightly longer than the bottom one because of the curve. I could not remove the board in time, the epoxy was about to kick off. OOPS!
Sanded a scarf and glued on a patch.
Glued as best as I could. There is still another layer to cap the gunwale and the edge of the front and side decks so I think I'm all right. I will be adding a couple of screws to secure the front and back of the gunnels in case of a sharp bump.
There will be a fillet along the gunwale bottom.
Some people have also put a gunwale along the front panel top. I think I might do that as well. I'll decide later.
There is an inspection hatch that allows you to look at the centreboard. It is cut out of the starboard seat. I used the Dremel to plunge/cut the hatch. I used a long aluminium bar I bought for the skegs runners as a fence.
I have not used this saw for ages but I dug it up to cut the corner.
After a bit of sanding the hatch was cut and I could position and cut in the access hatch for the lockers/flotation spaces. One rectangular and one small round.
I used the previously cut doubler as a pattern and used the router with a flush bit to cut out the openings. Very fast and accurate.
They seem like nice hatches. We'll see if they keep water out.
The round hatch is glued on. I had to scramble to get little clamps. I had a pile ready to go but they were too big.
The port seat gets a coat of paint. It makes it brighter in the otherwise very dark lockers.
Spent an afternoon sanding the inside of the locker and put a coat of paint. I'm using oil based Tremclad. I used it when I built a Puddle Duck Racer and it worked quite well. I'll use better paint for the outside.
It took 3 coats of paint to get a reasonable surface. I'd forgotten how long it takes for oil paint to dry. The taped areas are glue surfaces.
Seats are now ready to be installed.
I went over the whole glue line and sanded the epoxy. I was just putting off the gluing.
The seat went down without too much trouble and I put in a few screws just to act as temporary clamps. There was a satisfying amount of glue squeezing out along the seat edge. It's the critical seam. All the other spots get a fillet so there is no trouble with the seal. This edge is the only one that I can't fix if it's not waterproof.
I cleaned up the extra glue and made sure the seat was well down.
I had a few weights waiting. For some reason it's a huge relief to have this done. In a way it's the first finished bit I have. I can't really work on the inside of the lockers any more. I'll take my time and make nice fillets tomorrow.
I used the flush trim bit to trim the seat to the upright. It's a nice finish. Router can't reach the edges and I used the files for that. Now onto the starboard side.
Centreboard pivot cover screwed in place. I did not use epoxy but there is a generous coat of 4200 3M sealant/adhesive. It is marginally removable. I don't imagine I will ever have to open this end of the pivot. I can remove it from the other side if I need to drop the centreboard.
After a serious session of sanding I was able to paint the starboard lockers.
Eventually put 3 coats on. It's still not perfectly white but white enough for the inside of a locker. I'm not going for the perfect finish here. I'll try harder where I can see it.
The starboard seat is finally on. Screws and glue. I added my weight collection just to make sure.
This is very satisfying.
There is a small cap that covers the centreboard area but I want to put the centreboard in to see how much space there is before I put a fastener and install the cap.
I have not done the fillets on the port side yet so I'll do both together when this has had a chance to set.