Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 50

Thread: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Good day to all the wooden boat fans of this great forum.

    I started an Argie 15 build about a month ago. I want to share progress, lessons learnt and likely many questions. It will obviously be a build diary for myself as well.

    Before I start, and before you use my build as a future guide, please first consult these wonderful threads. I have found them interesting, useful and entertaining:


    • Capefox's "Argie 15 construction journal". This is probably the most comprehensive thread, with lots of discussions on all sorts of options. Capefox wasn't afraid to ask questions, try new things and report on them in great detail. It is just a great pity that all the pictures in the thread died!
    • Roy Morford probably built the most attractive Argie 15. He is clearly a gifted craftsmen who have built many boats. Enjoy the pictures in his thread "Argie 15 with balanced lug build in Vancouver, BC"
    • Peterb58 built his A15 in the Philippines with limited access to materials and his tools. I can relate! (I am not sure if he ever finished the build, because the thread stopped with the hull just about finished. Hopefully he finished it off and had too much fun sailing to spend time at the computer!)
    • Fudzwollop's thread is an entertaning read. He did not waste time and didn't sweat the small stuff. I like.
    • Fredostli appears to be an experienced boat builder, or carpenter at least. Another pretty boat with some alternatives in terms of the side seats and rigging.


    So, before you copy what I tried, refer to these guys first. I will be very happy if I can produce a little boat comparable to these.

    Next post: Background and build philosophy.

    Edit: Here is an index to the thread:

    2. Background
    7. Drawing use
    11. Marine plywood
    14. Panel butt jointing
    18. Stitching
    33. Filleting lessons learnt
    36. Sheathing
    Last edited by JanB; 07-19-2021 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    The background, then:
    I did not grow up with sailing, or any boats for that matter, but I was always interested and planned to investigate the sport/activity "one day". After moving back to the coast a few years ago I got an old Halcat catamaran (similar to a Hobie 16). Unfortunately a new career and young family kept me from getting too serious about it and the poor boat spent many months at a time at the club getting beaten by the sun, rather than by wind and water. Over the last few years I tried to get the kids and wife more interested, but with limited success. Travelling and holidays are a completely separate matter compared to plodding around lake shores and at the end of last year we agreed that a flotilla sailing holiday in Greece would be the ultimate family holiday. I completed my skipper's license and everything was booked for June this year.
    Then Covid-19 struck.
    As things stand now, there is a probably a 1% chance that the trip will go ahead (I am being optimistic here!) To console myself, I decided to start building a new sailing dinghy.

    Why an Argie 15?
    Over the last year I have been reading and watching lots of material on sailing. I realised that the only way to get sailing more would be to involve the whole family. That will require a more family friendly boat that can fit five+ people and that we can transport to different lakes and rivers over weekends. The Argie made sense for the following reasons:
    • It is large enough for the whole family, without being too heavy and cumbersome to put on a trailer for a weekend trip.
    • The design and stitch&glue construction is manageable for a beginner (at least I sincerely hope so!)
    • Materials are reasonably available and affordable.
    • It is a pretty boat
    • Despite its family-friendly credentials, it can apparently be an exciting sail and I would like to take it to the Sunday club races as well.
    • Designer Dudley Dix moved to the US 15 odd years ago, but the Argie 15 is very much South African-born. A dollop of patriotism was definitely involved.


    On then to the "build philosophy":
    I am reasonably handy with a saw, drill and hammer and have always dabbled in woodwork. Boat building was certainly never part of the long term planning, until 2020 happened. Despite it being "something to do" during our lockdown, my intention is not to build a monument to my woodworking skills. I am not that skilled anyway. The boat must get done and on the water so that we can get to the sailing. If you therefore want to see how to do it properly, have a look at one of the threads in my first post. This one follows the more pragmatic approach.
    I also chose to mostly follow the original design. For example, I plan to fit an aluminium mast and sloop rig.

    Next post: First actual details on the build and some pictures.
    Last edited by JanB; 05-04-2020 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Grammar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    970

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Looking forward to following your progress.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Quality control official and first marking out:

    DSC_0757_gesiggie03.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Following!

    Let me give you some inspiration:


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Thanks Fred,
    Definitely even more inspired now! Dudley Dix can use your video's as marketing material.
    You asked a question about oar lengths on Facebook a few weeks back. Did you already make them?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Some notes on drawings:
    I initially engaged with Roy McBride of CKD Boats in Cape Town to get the plans and various other materials. I also considered buying a pre-cut kit from him (more on this later.) After updating his exchange rates, Roy's plans were about the same as getting them directly from Dudley, so I just bought the PDFs from the latter. While still considering whether I should have the full set printed to A1, I printed out a few details on A4. This made me realise that I don't need anything more than the A4s. In post #4 above you can see one of the printouts. Measure twice (and twice more) before cutting, and Bob's your uncle.

    One piece of criticism of the drawings: The Imperial dimensions inserted by hand next to the original 20th century units (sorry, I had to get this jab in!) really clutters up the neat drafting.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Yes I have made some oars. They are not really tested yet. (the vind was good) Might shorten them a tiny bit, they are a bit longer than recomended. I will customize them to my liking, and that is the good thing by making it yourself! :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    I will eventually get to oars when the boat is all done and would like to make them myself.
    I am not too keen on an engine. It is just another piece of complex equipment to maintain and take care of.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,740

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Fred,

    how have I missed subscribing to your Youtube videos before now? Great clip--thanks for posting it.

    Jan, good luck with your build--looks like a great boat, much in the same spirit as one of my all-time favorite small boats, Ross Lillistone's 15' 1" (I think) Phoenix III.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    A bit about materials.
    When I started to consider the build seriously, I did not have much time. Our schools were closed a few days earlier than planned in March and the government announced a very strict lockdown with four days' notice.
    My choice was basically to order the best materials I could get from someone like CKD Boats. This included Okoume ply, the right epoxies to go with it and maybe even have the panels pre-cut. This is basically CKD's business. This would not have been possible within four days and I would have had to postpone until whenever.
    The alternative was to get whatever I could locally. I am fortunate to live in an area with a reasonable forestry and wood/furniture manufacturing industry, although commercial boat building is limited to GRP cats. One of the wood suppliers stock marine ply sourced from Malaysia. They call it "Redwood". To me it appears to be a Meranti core with some or other lighter veneer on the outside. The picture below shows the stamp on the sheets.
    I have no previous experience with marine plies, but it seems to be reasonable quality. The surfaces show no signs of voids or bubbles below. I used and electrical jig saw to cut out the panels and density felt the same throughout. Being the first time I worked with this kind of material, it cut fairly wide off the markings and then shaved it back with a small plane.
    I found the shaving/planing activity quite pleasant - almost therapeutical to take the rough cut down to a smooth, even edge.
    (For future reference to other SA builders, the supplier was Davidson's Discount Boards. They have a number of branches across the country. R450/sheet)

    DSC_0713_red.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    ...
    Jan, good luck with your build--looks like a great boat, ...
    Thanks Tom!

    (Why doesn't this forum have like buttons?)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Here is a picture of the front end of the bottom panel. There is some brittle breakage of the Meranti core, but that tip is really fine, so I think it is acceptable.

    DSC_0717_BottomPanel.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Next step: Panel joining. I used simple butt joints, as per the design. They seem plenty strong. Not pretty, but functional.

    DSC_0719_PanelsJoined.jpg

    (The observant reader will notice that I found a way to recycle an old UPS.)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Great work! Will it be epoxy-glass sheated?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Thank you Fred!
    I am not sure yet about how much to glass. I must balance the weight and durability. At the moment my thinking is to at least glass the bottom and chines, but then how much weight will it really add to do the sheers as well?
    Definitely the bottom on the inside to give a more durable floor.
    What is your opinion?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Mine is sheated both outside and inside,,, still a light boat, but if you use good marine ply (I did not) it might not be needed. Epoxy is expensive and messy, so I would`nt use it more than necessary :-)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Let the stitching commence:
    DSC_0716_Stitch01.jpg

    Bring in the troops:
    IMG-20200418-WA0012_Assistente.jpg
    Captain Pugwash inside the hull and his good friend Isaac Newton were tasked to stabilise things.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredostli View Post
    Mine is sheated both outside and inside,,, still a light boat, but if you use good marine ply (I did not) it might not be needed. Epoxy is expensive and messy, so I would`nt use it more than necessary :-)
    Inexperienced builder that I am, I am still not sure about the quality of my ply. Maybe I should boil a piece.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Good thing involving the kids! My first build was a Glen-L squirt as a father-son project :-) Plastic strips,,, good choice!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Looks somewhat like a boat, I think:

    DSC_0714_Hull.jpg

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valnesfjord, Norway
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Wow you are working fast! That said. stiching panels is 3% of the build

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Not working that fast really. It is a month's worth of work that I am only uploading now.
    I thought I was going to have a lot more time during lockdown, but my work is carrying on like normal and we have things like home schooling to deal with now as well.
    80% done 90% to go?

    Sent from my E6853 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    970

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Just remember that when you're 90% done you only have 50% left to finish, maybe more!!!!!!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gauteng, South Africa
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Hi daar Jan

    Goed om 'n landgenoot raak te loop wat konstruktief besig is tydens Corona

    Keep up the good work. I am building a Sam Devlin Winter Wren up in Gauteng for an embarrassingly long time now. Like you, my day job continues, and sadly I am out of most supplies, which of course is off-limits currently.

    Where do you plan to sail when the boat is done? I am around the Sedgefield / Wilderniss area every now and again when travel is permitted, perhaps we can compare notes over a beer sometime in the future.

    Groete!
    Last edited by devout; 04-28-2020 at 01:40 PM.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Zbigit
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Ive read through a couple of these Argie 15 build threads and I have to say, it's a handsome boat.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by devout View Post
    Hi daar Jan

    .....

    Where do you plan to sail when the boat is done? I am around the Sedgefield / Wilderniss area every now and again when travel is permitted, perhaps we can compare notes over a beer sometime in the future.

    Groete!
    Aangename kennis, devout! Laat weet as jy hier rond is.

    I am a member of George Lakes Yacht Club, so I usually sail at Island Lake in Wilderness. One of the main reasons I am building this monohull is to transport it easier. I really want to explore all the other lakes, especially Swartvlei.

    Sent from my E6853 using Tapatalk

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    landlocked in Mt. Solon, VA
    Posts
    1,221

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Lookin' good, Jan! And, your old DeWalt radial arm saw is way cool.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by UCanoe_2 View Post
    Lookin' good, Jan! And, your old DeWalt radial arm saw is way cool.
    Thanks!
    I actually bought the RAS with a whole lot of other tools less than a year ago. I planned to keep only half of them and sell the rest (RAS included) off again as individual pieces. Eventually decided to keep the RAS as well. It works fine, but needs some TLC to do accurate work again.
    Last edited by JanB; 04-29-2020 at 02:58 AM.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Somerset West, South Africa
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Hi Jan

    I sail an Argie on the Gourits River estuary (mostly). I would not bother with sheathing the boat with glass. As long as you saturate the ply (inside and out) with penetrating epoxy and then use decent paint (Glatex 8 is still my favourite two pack paint - it's really scratch resistant once cured, but nowadays only come in clear or white) you should be OK. I fitted floorboards inside to protect the bottom and that's fine. Let us know when you launch, maybe we can put together a flotilla!

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    Thanks Danny,
    I saw some of your video's on Youtube, I think. Through the Argie 15 Facebook group I also learnt about a fellow builder here in George. He is busy with finishing touches I think, so hopefully by December we can get three Argies together for a sail.
    Thanks for the advice on the sheathing/painting. Local knowledge about available products is very useful.
    Do you have a picture of the floor boards you installed? I assume it feels more pleasant under foot than non-slip paints, even if it is a bit heavier?

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    OK, 11 months later. Sigh and sigh again!

    I am at least glad to report that the project is not dead. There are always excuses why hobby projects go slower than planned. In my case I have to at least admit that I am very fortunate to have been extremely busy with new work projects while many people all across the globe were losing their income. I am only now trying to get some level of work-hobby balance.

    Below is a picture of the current state of the boat. My next post will be about the lessons learnt when figuring out filleting and taping for the first time, whilst all hardware stores and suppliers are in lockdown. The post after that will have questions to the experienced forumites....

    DSC_0116_red.jpg

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    OK, as promised more than four months ago: A hard lesson learned. I share it so that others don't have to go through the same grief.

    I got the bulk of the materials I needed just in time for a hard lockdown at the end of March 2020. What I did not purchase in time was appropriate fillers for filleting. At the time I also did not have a big sander or any machines that generated significant volumes of wood flour. What I did have was saw dust and the shavings from planing the panels to the correct dimensions. I did a quick test to see if I can thicken epoxy with the shavings and it seemed OK. I filleted all the main panel joints with this mix. Only once I started taping over the fillets did I realise that there were lots of voids in the fillets. It also used a lot of epoxy.

    I decided that the only way to get a smooth taping surface would be to sand down the very rough fillets. Flap disk sander in the drill and dust. Lots of dust. Everywhere.
    Unfortunately the sanded fillets were still not tight enough and showed voids everywhere. I started experimenting with options to make finer dust and had the most success with the electric coffee grinder. (Wife drew the line when I eyed the Nutribullet!) The grinded sawdust was a lot more effective, but still needed a once-over with the flap disk.

    (This all occurred during May 2020)

    DSC_0721_Red.jpg
    First joints filleted with rough mix

    DSC_0723_Red.jpg
    Close-up

    DSC_0727_Red.jpg
    Tape over the double-filleted joints.

    DSC_0731_Red.jpg
    A Ryobi with flap disk sander earning its keep.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    More recent events (March 2021 - busy day job work delays!)

    Here I am trying to fix the structures for the side benches. Lots of clamping, bending, stretching and clingwrap.

    DSC_0086_Sidebenches_Red.jpg
    Last edited by JanB; 07-19-2021 at 04:22 PM.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    George, South Africa
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: A new Argie 15 in a time of Covid-19

    OK, another lesson learnt: I installed the length-wise support to the port side bench first and then had an interruption for a week or two. The pressure from this 30x30 meranti piece was enough to twist the hull. I tried to twist it the other way with a tie-down ratchet strap, but with little success. What worked in the end was to turn the hull over with the quarters on two trestles of the same height. I then weight the hull down with sand bags before installing the starboard side bench supports. This seems to have worked... I hope.

    IMG_20210509_094845_HullBending_Red.jpg
    First hull-straightening effort. (Daggerboard case being sheathed in the background)
    Last edited by JanB; 07-19-2021 at 04:23 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •