Watch this magic trick…

So the day finally came to cut the boat in half. Here’s some catching up:

I glued the gunwales to the boat. It was a challenging process, but I am pretty happy with the results.

Here’s a photo of the clamping process. I did not use every clamp I owned, but that was just because I couldn’t find a few!


Next, I did some work smoothing the gunwales:


You can see all the shavings in the boat. It was quite enjoyable to get some hard work out of my handtools.

After that , I started putting fiberglass and epoxy on all the joints. I don’t have any photos of this unenjoyable process. Mostly because I did a crappy job. I am not a patient man and I rushed the process. This means the sanding will be that much tougher when the time comes.

So yesterday was the day to cut the boat in half. All the interior and exterior joints were glued and taped. Here are the obligatory “cutting the boat in half” photos:





It fits!

What’s next you ask? Good question. I need to tape the joints where I just cut the boat. Then I need to cut and install the rear seats, dagger board trunk and the mast step, etc. After all that is done, I must face my demons and start sanding all the fiberglass and epoxy… then I can paint her and see if she floats.

Scarfing the gunwales

Well, the boat is 3D, the breasthook and knees are installed, so it is time for the gunwales. This evening, I ripped my walnut into 1/4″ thick strips 1 1/4″ inch wide. I ended up with a pile of sawdust:




Unfortunately, I need the strips to be 12′ long, and I didn’t have lumber that long, so I need to scarf together two pieces to get one longer than 12′.

Here’s the first step, clamp three pieces to the bench staggered by 1.5″ (about an 8:1 scarf).

The next step is to plane the pieces down at an angle from the top line to the bottom left corner of the bottom piece. Here it is about halfway done:

Once the angles are cut, you are done:

You may notice that the wood is different, it was the next set of pieces.

Then the short pieces were flipped over and mated to the long pieces. I then glued them up with thickened epoxy and clamped them to my bench for the night. They should be ready to go tomorrow at lunch. With any luck, I’ll be able to dry fit them tommorow.



My boat is 3D

Well, I got the boat wired up last night and couldn’t resist the urge to unfold it.

Here it is in it’s new found glory:

It was quite easy to unfold. It started like this:

Once I had all the wires in, I just opened it up like a book. Of course, after opening it, I realized I only have two hands, so I hollered for my daughter, and she came and helped out by holding the sides of the boat while I scrambled to attach the transom. Here’s a side view:

And lastly, here is a shot from behind/above:

In this shot, you can see the forward bulkhead and the nesting bulkhead in their positions, but there is still a lot of wiring to get done before I can start epoxying and fiberglassing.

Background Information

Luckily, I live quite close to work and I am able to get home during lunch time to spend some time on the boat. I have finished shaping the sides and bottoms so that they match perfectly. The next step there is to epoxy a piece of fiberglass that will connect the front bottom and side together for the first seven inches. This is called the butterfly. Once I do that, I will be ready to “stich” up the boat and it will look like a boat. Before I can do that though, I need to have the forward bulkhead and nesting bulkheads ready to go since they form the shape of the boat.

While I’m waiting to do that, here is some background on the boat. It is a Spindrift 11 foot nesting dinghy. The plans were purchased from B&B Yachts:¬†. The boat will be 11 feet long, and should be able to hold me, the wife and our two kids. It is designed to do three things, Sail, Motor with an outboard, and row. I will build it to do all three and start with rowing, then¬†motor and then sail. It is a nesting boat. This means that it is made up of two halves that bolt together in the middle. Once you un-bolt them, the front turns around and is fitted in the rear. This means I should be able to fit it in my truck bed and shed with no problems. We’ll see!

One of the reasons I chose this boat, is that there is a great forum http:\\ where boat builders post their questions and photos.

Sides are done

Here is a photo of the sides:


You can see the spot where the two pieces are joined with epoxy and fiberglass.

Here is a photo of the bottom panels being glued up:


You can see my sophisticated clamping rig!

So far it is going well. I also got the transom cut today but didn’t take a photo. Right now I estimate I am around 5 hours into the build.

Expense Log

Here is the breakdown. I’ll edit the post to add new expenses.

Plans: $70 including shipping
Plywood: $525 incl shipping (5 sheets of 6mm Okume)
Epoxy: $300 incl shipping
Misc: $30 from the big box store.

I plan to use hardwood that I already have, so that won’t be listed.

A boat is born!

My plywood arrived on Tuesday, 9 October 2012. I started lofting the plywood the next day. Here is a photo:


This process involves transfering measurements from the plans to the plywood and then drawing the curves using a batten. The boat is 11 feet long, so it takes one and a half sheets to build. The two parts will be scarfed(joined) after they are cut out.

Here is a photo of the first cut after drawing the shapes:


And here is a self portrait with my trusty jigsaw. It is probably the cheapest tool I have, but it has done fine with a brand new blade.


It was a little nerve racking cutting into the expensive plywood, but the “okume” plywood is top notch and cuts like a dream.

Next I’ll make a post that documents the expenses.