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Thread: A Beg-Meil for Boston

  1. #1
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    Default A Beg-Meil for Boston

    After looking at many designs, I finally committed to build a Beg-Meil. I bought the plans and have build the frame.

    The boat is by a French designer, Francois Vivier. The plans are well done and will provide an excellent opportunity to build using the metric system!




    On the advice of others, I decided to build the frame on casters so I can easily move it around my basement workshop.



    I also included leveling feet so I can have a stable platform if/when necessary.




    Both the casters and leveling feet come from Amazon.com. If you are going to build a boat, I suggest an Amazon Prime membership. Mine has already paid for itself.

    I ordered the CNC cut plywood kit from Hewes & Company in Blue Hill, Maine (www.hewesco.com). I expect to receive the kit in a couple of weeks. The kit is available as either a lapstrake or strip planked design. I have opted for a cold-molded variation. I will strip plank it with 1/4" cedar strips and cover that with strips of 1/8" plywood laid at +/-45 degrees to the length. I have some work in front of me before I get to that stage though. I would appreciate help, advice, etc. as I proceed with the build. I will try to post regularly.

    Dean
    Bolton, MA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    You are off to a good start by the looks.

    Good choice of design too.

    And welcome to WBF.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Looking forward to this Dean. youve chosen a method that im sorta thinking about for nexty. Big fan of FV
    Just a small suggestion...mark your floor where your strongback is at its most level so you can wheel it back to same spot. Most floors are a bit suss.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Thanks for the replies. Can you see the photos I posted? I struggled a bit to get the process down, and thought I had it, but when I looked at this thread from my work computer, the photos were not visible - only a small black box with an "x" in it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    The pictures show up on my screen.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Great design choice. What's not to love about Vivier's boats? The Beg-Meil and the Ilur are on my short list. Good Luck on your build.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    There are several Beg-Meil and Ilur boats on the Forum, either already built or in the process. Yours will be the first that I know of that will be cold molded. Enjoy!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Welcome, and congrats on a great design choice. I look forward to following your progress! I'm about 60% through a lapstrake version of a Beg-Meil, but have been taking a hiatus since November. I'll be back at it soon, and will check in on your thread regularly.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Images show up fine here. Keep 'em coming!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I'm buying some of the first lumber for my boat. The plywood is on the way from Blue Hill, Maine. I need some stock for carlins (cleats for attaching the floorboards to the frames). The plans call for Douglas fir, Mahogany, or Sapele. Is Douglas fir hard enough for this application? Any recommendations from those with some experience in this area would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Douglas fir is the go-to choice, especially for parts that will be painted, although it does varnish nicely. I'd guess its the most common choice for sawn stock for small boats. Smaller parts can be made inexpensively by picking through construction grade DF, and long clear stock is available for masts, keels, etc. Many parts where you will want vertical grain can be sawn from larger flat grained stock, saving quite a bit of money.

    That said, I used a lot of mahogany in my Fulmar, because I love the look. Good luck with your build and be sure to share some photos with us!

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike J; 02-14-2016 at 02:17 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I haven't yet received my plywood, but I purchased some local Douglas Fir and ripped it to size for the various cleats that will be used to tie structures to the frames. In the meantime, I also purchased a nail gun that drives composite nails. I hope to use both this and a pneumatic stapler (that I have not yet purchased) to hold parts in alignment while either epoxy or resorcinol cures. In theory, these composite nails and staples can be left in place and cut, sanded, planed, etc, without concern for the tools or corrosion.



    This is the Redhawk pneumatic staplebr />


    These are the composite nails. They come in lengths from 1/2" to 1-1/2"



    This is not a great photo, but it shows a couple of nails driven thru 3/4" of Baltic Birch and into a piece of red oak. These nails can split thin or stock. I need to experiment with this tool before I know where/how best to use it.

  13. #13
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    Default My CNC cut plywood arrived

    It's almost like cheating. All the plywood pieces are routed from sheets of marine ply and are left in the sheets connected by small tabs.





    I received 7 sheets of marine ply and 2 sheets of Advantech (OSB) for the temporary mold components.

    Now, I'm busy cutting out parts and preparing to laminate the stem and transom. More photos to follow....

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    DeanP,
    I'll be watching your build with great interest!
    I am in the early stages of building an Ilur - planning on the lug-sloop version.
    You've gotta love F. Vivier's design of the kits.
    The Beg-Meil looks like a fantastic boat!
    C.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I glued up the first piece! For the laminate (flat) glue-ups, I have elected to use resorcinol glue. I vacuum bagged this part and build a makeshift oven to get a reasonable cure temp.



    After applying glue to the faying surfaces, I put in a few composite nails to hold everything in place while I bagged it.



    Bagged and ready for the "oven". The vacuum gauge read -30 inches of Mercury. I doubt my pump could pull that hard. It was probably more like 12-13psi.



    A framework of cleat material and a small electric heater waiting for a blanket to complete the oven. With the blanket in place, I was able to maintain a 90F cure cycle.

    If all goes well, I will bond all the plywood lamination with Resorcinol and use epoxy for everything else.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I've started the centerboard case. Each side is two plies of laminated 8mm plywood bonded with resorcinol and vacuum bagged:



    After cleaning up the squeeze out:




    I have switched to MAS epoxy for all bonding not well suited to vacuum bagging. This is the first floorboard cleat I have installed:



    This cleat is Douglas fir glued and screwed from the backside using silicon bronze #10 wood screws.

    Soon, I will post more pics of the internal structure of the case....

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Very nice progress. Please keep documenting and sharing photos.

    I'm scarphing plywood sheets and will soon be tracing planks to cut them out.

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Your build is looking nice. I am always in awe of neat builds, as it is so different from my experience! Keep up the great work and pictures. I should probably update my Beg Meil build thread.......if only I had an update

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Finally, a bit more progress to report. I sheathed the interior of the Centerboard Case surfaces with Xynole fabric in lieu of the fiberglass recommended in the plans. The cloth is much easier to work with than fiberglass. It's not as strong, but supposed to be more abrasion resistant than glass. According to the designer, the glass is used only for wear protection, so I was comfortable with Xynole in this application. I am consider sheathing the hull exterior in with this fabric and want a little experience with it before I commit.



    I put peel ply in the areas to receive blocking, but with hindsight, it was not worth the effort.



    I am concerned about maintaining bond line thickness so I have been using 0.010 fiberglass scrim on the faying surfaces of highly loaded joints. This allows me to clamp and screw the blocking in place without squeezing out all the epoxy.



    More to follow shortly...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    The Beg-Meil design includes a tapered slot in the centerboard case for the centerboard pivot pin. I was concerned about the point loading of the pin on the plywood edge. To improve the bearing surface I make a bronze "bushing" to line the wear surface:



    The base of the groove is lined with a layer of PTFE coated fiberglass.

    I copied the idea of another poster and coated the interior surfaces of the case with graphite loaded resin.



    Finally, I closed it with thickened epoxy and silicon bronze wood screws.




    Now it's time to prep the frames before attaching to the strong back. At this point, I plan to give everything a couple of coats of epoxy resin as well as what will be the interior top coat. (Petit Easypoxy).

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Your CB trunk looks great! I love that bronze "bushing".

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Wow, I wish I had done that!! Looking great.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I'm busy preparing bulkheads. This is Bulkhead #7. I have installed cleats on the forward and aft faces for the locker floor and raised floor forward of the centerboard case.



    I just bought a new countersink set from W.L. Fuller and had to try out the bung cutter. These will never be seen, but I had never installed a bung before, so it was good practice. My lesson learned was to install the bung at the same time the screws are installed (before the epoxy cures). It was a pain to clean the cured epoxy from the counterbore in order to fit the bung.



    Across the top of the bulkhead, I bent the cleat and held it in place with a few screws and bunch of plastic nails. I was able to quickly drive the nails and then installed the screws at my leisure. After the epoxy cured, I sanded of the heads of the nails. You can see a couple in this photo:



    I test fit bulkhead #8 to the inner stem:




    The beauty of having these parts CNC cut is evident in the fit:



    I plan to do as much prep work as possible on these bulkheads including a couple of coats of neat resin and possibly paint on the surfaces that will be visible. More photos to follow....

  24. #24
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    Default Re: My CNC cut plywood arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanP View Post
    It's almost like cheating. All the plywood pieces are routed from sheets of marine ply and are left in the sheets connected by small tabs.





    I received 7 sheets of marine ply and 2 sheets of Advantech (OSB) for the temporary mold components.

    Now, I'm busy cutting out parts and preparing to laminate the stem and transom. More photos to follow....
    Don't feel bad about getting your patterns already drawn and pre cut. There's a lot of large yacht design firms that provide full scale patterns for frames etc. When I built DECATUR an Alden 42'Malabar II Gaff Schooner, the design people offered me full scale patterns for an extra $6000, but I declined due to the cost!

    Keep us informed of your progress…with pictures! We all love pictures!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanP View Post
    I test fit bulkhead #8 to the inner stem:




    The beauty of having these parts CNC cut is evident in the fit:


    Looking great! Very neat work....I look forward to following along.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Dean,

    The build looks great and as previously mentioned your work it impeccable. You can really see how the kit benefits the build. I am going to start on my strongback and use castors as well to make things easier and your set up looks good enough to follow! How have you found the composite nails?

    B

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Looks good Dean. 'Will be following your build.
    PeterW

  28. #28
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by billsan View Post
    Dean,

    The build looks great and as previously mentioned your work it impeccable. You can really see how the kit benefits the build. I am going to start on my strongback and use castors as well to make things easier and your set up looks good enough to follow! How have you found the composite nails?

    B
    The composite nails are great. At the start of the build I bought a box of ring nails and have yet to use the first one. I use the composite nails for fixturing and clamping. I don't really consider them as structural elements. The epoxy provides the strength and the nails hold everything in place while the glue cures. They can be cut, filed, or sanded without concern for either the tools or the surrounding wood. As soon as I am ready to start strip planking, I plan to buy a composite stapler, too.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I've finally finished fabricating the bulkheads, centerboard case, inner stem, etc. Now, I've started to mount the temporary bulkhead supports onto the strong back.



    These parts are ready to go with 2 coats of neat epoxy resin applied to all but the faying surfaces. I plan to sand them before installing, but probably won't paint until I right the hull, but keep going back and forth on when I should paint.



    I've installed a couple of frames. The white angle brackets turned out to be a bit light for this application. I will have to add something to stiffen them up.



    After leveling the strong back in pitch and roll, I used my hot-glue gun to fix the leveling feet to the floor. I'm hoping the yellow spray paint will make it obvious if I knock the fixture out of position. If all goes according to plan, I will not move the fixture until the hull has been fully laid.




    These bulkhead supports were CNC routed and were part of the plywood kit I purchased from Hewes and Company. Each part has a routed center line which facilitates centering on the strong back. I have a string line running down the center of the strong back. The plumb bob in the photo is used to center each frame on the center line.

    More to follow...

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    You're getting to an interesting part Dean, as much care as you can spare at this stage will pay off. Eyeball it from all angles and make sure it lines up. Well done

  31. #31
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I have erected all the temporary frames. The seemed to go in smoothly and true up nicely. I've started to install the bulkheads as well. This morning, I placed the centerboard well between bulkheads 3 and 6.



    This part is fun and rewarding, though sanding the epoxy coating on the bulkheads is dreary work. Most of the temporary frames I erected using scrap lumber.



    The smaller frames were mounted with angle brackets:



    The plans call for a 10mm cap on the forward and aft faces of the centerboard well. I postponed fabricating these until I fit the centerboard well so I could tune the thicknesses, if needed. I think this will finally be my excuse to buy a thickness planer.
    This photo shows the gap between the well and the bulkhead.



    I'll post again after I mounted a few more frames.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    I love this idea and wish I had done this on my build! bravo.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanP View Post
    The Beg-Meil design includes a tapered slot in the centerboard case for the centerboard pivot pin. I was concerned about the point loading of the pin on the plywood edge. To improve the bearing surface I make a bronze "bushing" to line the wear surface:



    The base of the groove is lined with a layer of PTFE coated fiberglass.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    A question about flotation compartments...

    I'm fabricating this longitudinal bulkhead that forms one side of a flotation compartment:


    The chamber will be filled with foam to look something like this:



    The plans don't explicitly state whether or not the chamber should be built to be watertight. Finally, my question: Should I build the chambers to be watertight, or would I be better off to add limber holes so moisture/water has some chance to drain out? With the chambers being filled with foam, I would not loose significant buoyancy were water to enter the space through the drain holes (in the event of a capsize).

    This question may be as philosophical as practical, but I am a bit concerned that if I attempt (and fail) to make the space watertight, I may be inviting rot in a space I will never inspect. On the other hand, if I add limber holes, I have guaranteed that some amount of water will enter the space...

    When I started the build, I had been planning to use pour-in-place expanding foam, but I was convinced otherwise by the many thoughtful posts I found on the forum. I would like to tap the collective wisdom of the group on this issue as well.

    Thanks in advance.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    One of Beg Meil's advantages of greater storage space over Ilur, should mean you can more afford to fill those side tanks with foam as per plan: one of the reasons the Ilur/ Beg Meil's are given a higher Cat C rating over the typical dinghy Cat D is that they have that foam making the structure unsinkable. With foam in them, these chambers don't have to be water tight at all. Water is expected to drain into then out through the limber into the bilge. The boards on the top will/can have gaps. It's a clever solution that makes building easier and avoids issues trying to make "watertight" hatches properly watertight after buoyancy testing.

    On the downside it might collect some detritus for sure, but Beg Meil's deck should make for a drier and cleaner boat than Ilur possibly. Its constructional advantage is that you can just lay your planks on fore and aft without having to run a support along the edge of the tank and seal it with another layer of ply.

    I'd just well coat the inside with at least two good layers of epoxy and a few fillets, before putting the closed cell foam in. Later unscrew the planks for refinishing every few years then clean out the tank space and make sure the foam surfaces aren't becoming compressed and absorptive.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 12-05-2016 at 12:00 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: A Beg-Meil for Boston

    Yes, what Edward describes is exactly the arrangment for the foam filled flotation chambers of the Ilur. Limber holes in the bulkheads, and water washes down and out. Works well. I did encapsulate the hull with 3 coats of neat epoxy before priming (2 coats), then 1 coat of 50:50 primer/paint, then 2 coats of paint. The ply is well protected from water.

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