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Thread: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    12

    Default Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    This will be my attempt to thoroughly document my girlfriend and I's build of Scott Gifford's Macomber 15', a traditionally built skiff modeled after the Westport River Skiff. I have built the Devlin Polliwog and the CLC Northeaster Dory, both stitch and glue. As a cabinet maker and finish carpenter, I'm excited to pick up a hand plane and put down the resins and give a go at a traditional craft.

    I'm going to share up to date costs and labor time as a resource both to myself and anyone who may be looking to build a similar skiff. I can't be the only one who wonders "but how much will it cost!" when eyeing potential designs.

    The transom will be 5/4 mahogany, side and bottom planking to be eastern white pine, and structural framing to be white oak. We're hoping we can complete the build for just over 2k not including the outboard.

    On Saturday, we cut the station molds from 3/4 exterior ply and ordered our fasteners. Using the cabinet shop and the makita tracksaw made this quick and easy. We have a detached single car garage at our house that we were thinking of building in, but came to the conclusion it is probably too small (~18' x ~12') and cold (uninsulated). Luckily I have a friend with a shop/warehouse space far too big for his current operation he is letting us build in.



    This week we aim to complete the building jig and glue up and cut our transom.

    Fasteners: $550
    Molds: $60 - 3 hrs

    Total TD: $610
    Total Labor TD: 3 hrs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Valnesfjord, Norway
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Subscibing!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Looks like a great project. I'll be following along.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    spicewood, texas, usa
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    286

    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    sounds like fun!

    jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    End of week 1 - we got the transom glued up and the stem cut out, ready to build the jig for week 2.

    We used 5/4 Sapele for the transom and glued it up in three pieces. The lumber was bought rough cut to about 1 1/4" thickness, so we planed it down to 1 1/16". We used Jamestowns Total Boat epoxy for the glue up and used festool dominoes to align the joints and provide extra structure. The plans call for a spline or biscuits, but we figured dominoes would be a superior joint.

    The stem was laminated 4/4 (rough cut) white oak then sent through the table saw to get our stem angles.

    We used paint scrapers to scrape the excess epoxy once it had cured. Thanks to Lou at total boat for this tip. We're VERY happy we didn't need to use an orbital sander to get it all off. The transom turned out fantastic. Flat!



    - leaving Parkerville Wood Products with our Sapele and White Oak. We rough cut at the yard so we didn't need to travel with 16' lengths on the truck rack. This lumberyard was about an hour away, located around Hartford, CT. Great supply though and some awesome exotic woods!



    - ripping a straight edge onto the transom planks using plywood as the fence



    - did someone say "dust collection"??



    - transom edged and planed



    - dominoes every ~10"



    - epoxying the joints



    Hours:

    Fasteners: $550
    Molds: $60 - 3 hrs
    Lumber: $137.62

    Total TD: $747.62
    Total Build time TD: 13 hrs

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build




    - glue up, wax paper everywhere so we didn't make a mess of our clamps



    - wogodenboat forum meet Dana, Dana meet woodenboat forum.



    - did someone say epoxy dust?



    - the transom scraped and sanded. We rubbed a little paint thinner on it to see how the grain would pop once varnished

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build



    - ripping the stem angle



    - the finished stem

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Northern Europe
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Is there much in the way of framework support for the transom? What you call dominoes, we call biscuits. Thats going to look great!

  9. #9
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    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Is there much in the way of framework support for the transom? What you call dominoes, we call biscuits. Thats going to look great!
    The transom will have an outboard plate with the grain running vertical, along with a transom knee and quarter knees. Thanks!

    This will certainly be a learning curve, any tips are greatly appreciated!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Is there an inside frame on the transom or does your planking fix direct onto the transom only? It can be done both ways, not familiar with that design, the transom looks thick enough for direct fastening.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Is there an inside frame on the transom or does your planking fix direct onto the transom only? It can be done both ways, not familiar with that design, the transom looks thick enough for direct fastening.
    There will be white oak corner posts at the transom. I believe the planking will be screwed to the transom and the corner posts, but Iíll have to check the plans to be sure!

  12. #12
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    Feb 2016
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    What’s the best way to go about bailing the boat if left at a dock? We plan on keeping the skiff in the water, but I’d rather not have to go bail the boat out with a bucket every time it rains. Any thoughts?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Lake Champlain, Vermont
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodenboatsarebetter View Post
    What’s the best way to go about bailing the boat if left at a dock? We plan on keeping the skiff in the water, but I’d rather not have to go bail the boat out with a bucket every time it rains. Any thoughts?
    I keep my dinghy, a Cape Dory 10, at the dock all summer. To take care of rainwater I have a 12v motor cycle battery in a bracket under the center thwart to power an automatic bilge pump. The battery is good for about three months before needing to be recharged. I keep the pump in the lowest part of the hull which fortunately happens to be right under the center thwart so it is all pretty much out of the way. This might not work as well for you with a flat bottomed boat, but definitely better than nothing.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Thanks for the tip Oldad, I think I came across one of your previous posts explaining this.

    So we currently have most of the jig built, almost ready for the molds, transom, and stem to go on. How do I make sure everything is centered while attaching the molds? I was thinking about stringing a line since the molds have center lines, or setting up a laser. Maybe setting a laser 6' high or so near the stem of the boat and using the plumb line to center everything from the transom up? Sorry, I'm thinking out loud here.

    Our No. 5 jack plane and Stanley rebate plane came in today so I've been sharpening them tonight.

    Heres some photos of the action.




  15. #15
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    Feb 2016
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    Madison, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Also, the plans call for boatlife caulking, but I’ve seen mixed reviews about the stuff. Does anyone have other recommendations? This is for caulking planking to planking, planking to chines, chines to stem and stern etc

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    101

    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Is there much in the way of framework support for the transom? What you call dominoes, we call biscuits. Thats going to look great!
    "Dominos" are not really the same as "biscuits" I think. Festool's dominoes are much more substantial than the typical "biscuit joiner" biscuits; they more resemble a mortise and tenon join with what is often called "floating tenons" or "loose tenons."
    regards
    pvg

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    northeast Ohio
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    Default Re: Macomber 15' Traditional Skiff Build

    Boatlife is good stuff.
    Takes a while to dry before you can paint over ---- is the only shortcoming I have experienced.
    Plan for that and you should not have any troubles.

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