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Thread: Building a Peregrine 18

  1. #1
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    Default Building a Peregrine 18

    After months of waterfowl alignment, I'm finally moving forward on my build. The boat is John Brooks' Peregrine 18, described as a fast rowboat. Although I've built a number of small, simple boats over the years, this is my first go at glued lapstrake construction. I chose the Peregrine as I wanted a bit more length for tandem rowing. For now, it will be set up for fixed-seat rowing, and for us, it will be more of a picnic boat rather than trying to set any speed records. I'd even consider casting a fly from time to time, in addition to cruising around and exploring shallow backwaters away from jetskis and the like.

    I built the strongback first- it's massive! I made the molds out of leftover pine paneling I had, as I'm relatively poor, and building materials are stupid expensive right now. The room I'm building her in is a great room in our barn, chosen because it has the necessary floor space, and heat and air conditioning. Some of the work is being done in my very messy, cluttered shop, which does NOT have HVAC. I'm planking her with 6mm BS1088 meranti, and most of the solid wood is either cherry or cypress. The plans call for 4mm ply, which is harder to find, and I wanted a ruggeder, more burdensome boat. As seasoned citizens, I feel a bit more mass is preferable to ultimate performance.

    In this first post, I'll include a few pictures of the set up, and the transom. I added a motor board to the transom so I can hang a small gas or electric outboard for when I'm too lazy (or old) to go rowing. Long-term plans are to build a power rudder out of a cannibalized trolling motor.IMGP4839.jpgIMGP4833.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Very nice, and looks like you can sleep there too!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    This looks like a fun project. I love the looks of the Peregrine!

    In your photos I see a window at either end of the room. Have you measured to make sure you can get the finished boat out?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Really nice place to work in.
    I'm on board to watch this come together.
    Keep us posted.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Good to see a Peregrine build here. I bought the plans quite a few years ago but have not built the boat. That, however, has not diminished my admiration for the design. It will be interesting to see one come together.

    Best to you!

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    I'll be watching. I've built five glued lap boats and love the method.
    You end up with a very stiff hull.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    There's a door at one end, so yes, the boat will come out. That's the first thing my wife asked me! I'll have to turn her on her side (the boat, not the wife), of course.

    I'm going to take time now to talk about tools, techniques, and materials for my build. I've read Brooks' book cover-to-cover several times, and it's great, but I tend to do things my own way. What works for one builder may not be as good for another.

    Tools: I use a hand power plane a lot. I have an ancient Craftsman planer that still works well. The keelson is 7/8" cherry, and probably half of it winds up as chips by the time you finish beveling it. That's a LOT of planing! I'm not that skilled, my eyes aren't what they used to be, and pushing a plane all day long is no longer as much fun as it used to be. On my scarf joints, I rough them in close with the power planer, give them a few licks with a hand plane, and a touch with a random orbit sander. Since each plank has two scarf joints, speed and ease are the rule of the day. I have an ancient Parks thickness planer which I use for dressing the solid woods to the design thickness. I have a table saw, which gets used a lot. I've also used a Bridgeport milling machine to make parts. Yes, a mill! I cut the gains with it, on a fixture I rigged up. Fast and consistent, and little skill required. I don't have a rabbet plane anyway.

    Materials: As I said, the planking is 6mm BS1088 meranti. The keelson, rails, and various bits and pieces are cherry. The plans call for a lot of oak, then warn that oak doesn't always glue well with epoxy. Good clean white oak is hard to find around here. The transom is cypress, and I'm going to use it thwarts as well. I was going to use it for gunwales, but it seems splintery and just not as nice as it looks. Cut into thinner pieces, it loses its fairness and is rather weak. I'm making a few design changes. I added a motor board for the transom. I'm going with plank thwarts/seats as opposed to the much more complicated ones in the plans. I'm going to change the skeg, too. The leading edge might be too vertical to reliably shed eel grass, and the plans call for an end plate, or 'winglet' on the bottom of it. That definitely will accumulate eel grass and the like. I'll probably just go with a more traditional skeg shape. I've changed some of my techniques because lots of books and plans talk about spiling things with clear, straight battens. I don't know where this magical wood comes from, but everything I've tried that's available in the boat building desert that is upstate South Carolina comes out terribly. I bought a really straight, clean piece of radiata pine that went absolutely nuts when I tried to cut it into thinner battens. Same for the nice clear, straight cypress that I bought. It's really hard to spile with a wavy batten. The cherry seems very stable, but $$$. I'm trying to keep it cheap on everything that isn't an actual boat part. The 7/8" design thickness of the keelson proved to be problematic. There are a number of small local sawmills that cut cherry, but they rough cut it to 13/16" for 1" nominal stock. It will just barely finish at 3/4". But if you buy 5/4 stock, that is a full 1-1/4" thick! I turned a lot of precious cherry into planer chips, as my cheap old bandsaw won't resaw stock that wide.

    Techniques: Several sources claim that a hand plane is just as fast and easy as a power plane. Ummm, no. The power plane is quick and easy, but of course, it takes less time to consign a part to the scrap bin, too. My hand plane skills just aren't that good. The plans call for using 5 sheets of plywood, scarfed into 20' long panels. Instead, I'm making my planks of three separate pieces, then scarfed and assembled right on the hull. That way I don't have to handle 20' long pieces, and it's saving me a considerable amount of plywood. My method is as follows: I'm using spiling trusses to determine the plank shape. I had two perfect thin battens left over from milling my rails. I clamp them in place on the forms, then glue diagonal thin sticks on them with a hot glue gun. Take the thing off, and there's your plank shape. I lay it over the plywood, and mark my pieces, remembering to add enough for the scarf joints. I tried cutting them out with a circular saw, but it was too splintery, even with a fresh blade. Instead, I knock it down to a manageable size, and then finish cutting them on my old Craftsman band saw. With a fresh blade, I can stay very close to the line with the bandsaw. I then finish sand them to the line with a vertical belt sander. Lastly, I use a flexible sanding board to dress the last little dips and valleys to get a fair looking plank. As I said, I assemble and install them all at once.

    Planing the laps- again, my skills aren't that great. There's not enough material to bother with the power planer here. I picked up a cheap little Stanley block plane used, and added a rod to it. I attach a 1/2" thick batten where the plank top will be, and offset the rod the same 1/2", so that as you plane with the guide rod on the batten, it will follow the rolling bevel precisely. It goes very quickly. When I first fit the planks to where they will go, I go under the boat and scribe a line where it overlaps. That way, I know where to cut my gains, and I have a line to paint to when priming with epoxy.

    I just scarf two plank pieces at a time. Line them up, clamp them down, and go to work. They only take a few minutes a set. For installing the planks, I'm following Brooks' advice on using a batten and small blocks to hold the joint shut while the epoxy cures. It bugs me to drill all of those extra holes in the hull, but filling them shouldn't be that big a deal.

    These pictures show some of my techniques. I had to cut a 6mm X 25mm rabbet in my rails, as I want them to cover the top edge of the plywood. I used a piece of wood to hold the strip against the saw fence, and another piece to hold the piece down as I cut the rabbet with my table saw. You have to get creative trying to mill a thin piece of wood 20' long single-handed. There's also pics of my spiling battens, and my modified block plane for lap bevels.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Your gain setup on the Bridgeport looks dandy. I was going to ask if you had made up a John Brooks "Gain-o-matic" router jig for the gains, but you seem to have that detail under control.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    I was going to make a Gain-O-matic, and then I turned and saw the Bridgeport just sitting there...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    It's not everyone who has a Bridgeport "just sitting there"!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Moving forward with the planking. It worked out very well cutting each piece separately, scarfing them, and assembling them on the boat. I just had to be VERY careful to mark everything. Each pair of planks equals six funny-shaped pieces of wood. You have to be careful to label where they go. Marking the gains and the scarfs is critical, too, as it would be all too easy to scarf the wrong side. The plans call for five sheets of plywood; I used well less than four. There's a picture of the scraps left over. A bucket of slivers, and a couple pieces big enough to be worth hanging on to.

    After hanging the last set of planks, I had the obligatory adult beverage to celebrate. Called the 'Whiskey Plank', I don't have any whiskey, nor do I like the stuff, so I used locally made moonshine instead (100 proof!). I think that 'Moonshine Plank' has a certain hillbilly panache, apropos of building a boat in the Carolina hills.

    Brooks' method of using a batten to clamp the laps worked well. For those not familiar, a long batten is laid over the freshly glued joint, holes are drill through every 8" or so, and a screw is run through into a block to pull the joint shut. I'm not a fan of drilling hundreds of holes in a boat, but I'm told that they are easy to fill with epoxy putty. Time will tell. Otherwise, I'd have to have made or bought about 50 deep clamps. I think that the batten method helps keep the planks fair, especially where scarfed together.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Very cool--thanks for posting!

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Here's a picture of yours truly with the traditional beverage.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Really nice boat, another on of my favorite Brooks Boat designs.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Off of the strongback, and rightside-up! I consider it a minor victory that it came right off, with no errant epoxy spoiling the moment. Before flippimg it, I got the rails on, the outer stem, the keel, and trimmed the top of the transom. I'm on to fitting the breasthook, quarter knees, half frames, and framing for the seats/thwarts. I have a feeling that it's going to take a long time to clean up the epoxy and making it presentable for paint.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    As predicted, cleaning up the inside is slow and tedious. Glued lapstrake is great, but no matter how much you clean up the laps, there's gonna be a blob at every mold station. The instructions say that it just pops off with a chisel. It does; along with a chunk of plywood. I'm slowly filing the chunks away instead. I ground a 10 degree angle on the end of the file, so I can also scrap with it, and it doesn't dig in like a chisel. I also have a metric sh!t-ton of holes to fill. In the book, it says there are 'dozens' of holes to fill. Let's see; 14 laps, holes every 8" comes out to 378 holes. That's hundreds of holes. If I ever build another glued lapstrake hull (unlikely), I'll make wedge clamps instead.

    At any rate, in the interest of launching within the next ten years, 'good enough' is gonna have to do. People gunning for Concours de Elegance at boat shows will have nothing to worry about. Most of the boat, inside and out will be painted, with a minimum of bright work. Putty and paint makes a boatbuilder what he ain't.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Putty and paint makes a boatbuilder what he ain't.

    That's funny......I can sure relate to that!

    Great looking boat!
    2016 kayak Mill Creek 13

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    If I ever build another glued lapstrake hull (unlikely), I'll make wedge clamps instead.
    Yup, I learned that lesson also.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    I've built two glued lap boats now and am working on the third. I've found that Brooks' screw/batten method gives great results and the hole filling doesn't bother me one bit. It really doesn't take all that long to install nor clean up. A major advantage to using screws it that they positively locate the plank in position. No sliding around with epoxy oozing from the laps while hunting for that dropped clamp. To each his own, I suppose.

    Jeff

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    I moved the boat from the barn to the shop so my wife can plan her Fall entertaining schedule. I used a couple cheap block and tackle rigs to haul it up to the ceiling. It might be hanging there a while, as there's a lot of stuff to do around the farm to get ready for winter. I did start messing around making oarlock sockets for the boat. I'll need three pairs, and since I had brass laying around, I decided to try making them instead. I inlaid them flush into the cherry blocks that will hold them.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Boat looks very pretty as do your oarlock sockets. I had seriously considered building a Peregrine 18 but the Caledonia Yawl just had more appeal for me. Enjoy the process and the product!
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Those oar locks and your fitment of them are superb.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    I did start messing around making oarlock sockets for the boat.
    If that's you messin about - what does it look like when you get serious!?
    Beautiful work.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building a Peregrine 18

    I'm a retired tool maker, so making things is second nature. I spent 45 years working to insane tolerances, so building a boat is a bit of a vacation. Of course, I obsess over tiny discrepancies, so it takes me a long time to finish projects. It took me three years to build our house, working on it full time.

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