It’s been a while since I’ve shown any progress with the Scamp sailboat that my husband is building. Today is an example of why the progress has been slow and the updates infrequent. You see, my husband has wanted to build his own boat for a long, long time. And he has definite ideas about what he wants. The tiller, above, is an example.
You see, first he wanted to put the motor in an inboard well, a custom location. It’s usually off the stern. That created a barrier to using a simple, typical tiller. So DH created a custom version, which he’s modeling above.
You may have noticed that the tiller is curved. First he designed and fabricated a mock-up that suited the conditions. The final tiller wasn’t a single cut from one piece of lumber. It is the result of laminating together 11 strips of 1/8″ thick mahogany. And he didn’t just glue them together. The process required bending the wood into the shape he wanted. If this isn’t labor intensive I don’t know what is.
Here’s a closer view. The final result in the top shot still needs more sanding and a few finish coats. Labor of love? I’ll say!
By the way, the boat has a new name: “Pumpkin.”
After my husband began building his Scamp sailboat last spring at the Northwest Maritime Center last March, I promised occasional updates on its progress. Although he’s put in plenty of time and effort, there hasn’t been much to show. But after some recent interior seal coats, I thought the project deserved an update.
Most of what you see above is the result of hours of work performed by one man standing folded over and working upside down. All of the interior joints have been filleted (filled with an epoxy mixture), taped, and then sanded. Then there was an interior seal of three coats of epoxy with color added. A little sanding on the exterior of the stern. Interior fittings have also gotten seal coated. And three rows of reef nettles have gone on the sail. While waiting for the epoxy to cure (akin to the speed of molasses in January) he’s also been working on the mast and rigging.
My husband has gone through epoxy almost like a large family drinks milk: by the gallon. There’s a gallon jug of epoxy resin under our Christmas tree. Santa understands.
Last month my husband had an opportunity sail in a Scamp sailboat on Port Townsend Bay. As a bonus he got to sail with its New Zealand designer John Welsford who was in town to assist with Scamp Camp build #4 at the Northwest Maritime Center. Welsford is shown above in the yellow life jacket. The other sailor is not my husband. My timing was off.
For those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while, the Scamp that my husband is building is moving ahead slowly but surely. She has gotten numerous coats of epoxy, many sandings, and lots of other unglamorous processes that are making her into a boat. Nothing cool or dramatic to show you beyond growing piles of empty resin cans and stuff like that.
First it was a viewing of the Scamp at the Wooden Boat Festival in 2011. Then it was a year’s worth of dreaming, comparing, and more dreaming. Next it was a set of plans and a class scheduled on the calendar. A few weeks ago it was a pile of lumber. Last Saturday, this is what came home from an intensive two-week class: our very own Scamp, the work of my frankly awesome husband.
Our new Scamp, now living in the shop, still has a way to go before she’s ready to launch. She will be named “Perigee” and will have a dark green hull with black and yellow boot top. The topside will be buff and she will have a tanbark sail. These are classic yachting colors – my husband is a traditionalist when it comes to boats. Think he looks happy?
It takes a village to build a boat. Last Friday they discovered a hitch with a piece of the precut lumber and there was some focused problem-solving on the shop floor. Once solved, each builder was walked through the work-around and everyone moved forward.
The shop is a beehive of activity. Here’s a view of the goings on from the second floor which has a glassed in view of the large, bright shop. There are six new boats being built here. A seventh is substantially completed but still undergoing the perennial tinkering that’s a passion of some boaters.
Here is what my husband has produced after one week of intensive boat-building. What doesn’t show are “dry” fittings and re-fittings of parts and pieces before each piece is permanently glued in place. And until the planking goes on the outside it can be hard to see the boat taking shape. The bow is on the left of this shot.
This is what our boat will look like when it’s all grown up. Different colors, but the same hull. It is estimated to be only 30-40% complete by the end of this week when the class ends. My husband is at the higher end of this range because he’s built the mast, some of the fittings, and has prefinished some of the wood. He will still have to paint it and fit out the interior decks and veranda. But at least it won’t entail a daily commute to Port Townsend.
Today is the first day of my husband’s two week Scamp Camp at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend. In the back of the car above are some of the pieces of the Scamp sailboat that my husband has prefinished as part of the build. This was the second of two trips he made to the Maritime Center to deliver parts and assist with setting up the shop for the class. More parts will go with him this morning as he arrives for the class.
Above is a puzzle joint on one of the pieces of the boat-to-be. It’s how NC (numerically controlled) routed plywood panels are joined together.
If you’re remotely interested in this boat-building class, click here to go to a webcam that’s set up above the workshop classroom. If you get a darkened room remember we’re on Pacific Standard time. There is a partially built Scamp in the foreground of the camera’s field. This is what the other piles of lumber are attempting to become. I’ll visit the class late this week and post some shots of where the boats are at the halfway mark.