Plank #2 & Rudder Head Assembly

Installing plank #2 is straight forward and easily accomplished.  The only issue is being careful to keep the plank the correct height.  It helps to have something you can rest the plank on while aligning.  I used two adjustable table stands for support.

I stated “straight forward and easily accomplished”.  Yet, after installing the very last copper wire for the port side of plank, I stood back to enjoy the majesty of the boat and suddenly noticed a problem.  As I looked closer, it became crystal clear.  I had just installed the starboard plank on the port side of the boat (placing the epoxy side outward).  After a moment of complete drunken stupor, I went in for breakfast to think things over.  After downing a green smoothie and a piece of wheat bread, I took the wire cutters and cut the whole thing off.  It seems no matter how hard one tries to prevent making mistakes, they always happen.  The secret is to stay calm and simply make the correction.  Before bed that night, both planks were correctly installed.

DSC00025Next, I’ll epoxy plank #2 to the garboard plank.DSC00002I began working on the rudder head in my spare time.  I decided to glass several of the parts to pick up a little extra width to better accommodate my rudder width.DSC00008Routing the rudder uphaul/downhaul line.  After seeing what others have done, I settled on a simple, ‘ham n egger’ solution.  DSC00009I cut a large radius corner for the lines to follow.  Later I’ll build up this corner with epoxy and paint to provide a low friction surface.  This low tech solution also allows the lines to angle slightly outboard, running along both sides of the tiller handle.   DSC00010After cutting the large curve on my band saw, the radius looked pretty rough.  The groove in the center is where an dowel alignment hole was located.DSC00013Shaping this radius was enjoyable on my Ridgid sander.  DSC000141/8″ dowels kept all the panels in proper alignment.  DSC00015Now , that’s a curve of which I can be proud.  DSC00018  Glueing these parts separately from the rudder checks, allows better access for painting the interior surfaces.  DSC00017This photo shows the routing for the rudder uphaul line.  The tiller handle will be installed above the line.  I widened this area to make room for both lines.


Nothing beats a half day in the shop.  Time to think, enjoy the process and see your progression.  If more people built sailboats, the world would, by necessity, become a better place.  You can give your money to the phycologist or buy a Scamp kit and do something with your hands.  This my friend, is a no brainer.

Up next:  Epoxying Plank #2 and finessing motor mount placement (yes, I decided on a motor).

Installing Plank #1

I was a little nervous about this next step.  Though I understood the proper steps, the front of the boat had me a little concerned.  It takes a lot of pressure to bring the plank into proper shape and conformity where it meets BH1.  Many have devised elaborate clamping methods to aid in this process and help hold things straight.  After staring at this dilemma for over an hour, I settled on a different approach.  My thought, given my situation, was to bring both panels together at the same time, thus equalizing the pull from both sides.DSC00007I stitched both #1 panels up to the front, without attaching either panel to BH1.  I then wired both panels to BH1 at the same time, while checking with my level.  Not perfect, but very close.  It passed the “ham n egger” standard.  DSC00004I had forgotten to bevel the edges of BH1.  After marking the offsets, I used my hand plane to create the bevel.DSC00009All stitched up and ready for epoxy.DSC00011I pushed the copper wiring in, to help conceal it within the fillet.  DSC00013DSC00014The fillet will glide right over this and conceal the wiring.  DSC00020I used 3″ fiberglass to lay over the panel/hull joint.  The tape line provided a nice visual to help keep the glass straight.  Per instructions, I did not glass the plank/bulkhead joints. DSC00002A formidable front view of this awesome little boat.  It looks like it wants to run over whatever’s in it’s path. DSC00003DSC00001

 I love the look of this little boat.  It just keeps getting prettier and prettier with each step.


These are the steps that I followed

  1. Wire on the panel, stitching along the panel/hull joint every 6″ – 8″.  Additionally, I placed one stitch in each bulkhead.
  2. Measure and cut all the fiberglass strips to length.  Set these strips aside, clearly marked for location.
  3. Wet all joint areas with unthickened epoxy.
  4. Fillet all joints, both plank/hull and plank/BH with thickened epoxy.
  5. Work the fillets to your satisfaction, cleaning up all “jet streams” (my term for the spill out).
  6. Roll unthickened epoxy into 3″ fiberglass strips.
  7. Place fiberglass strips onto wet fillet and work carefully into the fillet.
  8. Wait 6 – 8 hours, then brush additional epoxy into fiberglass weave.
  9. Wait at least 24 hours, then scrape/sand all joint areas.
  10. Tape off location for next fillet joint.
  11. Paint the panel (this takes time, but means you won’t need to contort your body into a trapeze artist to paint the inside of your boat).
  12. Install next panel.

 Panel #2 coming next

Painting Storage Areas

After reading how others have proceeded at this point in the construction process, I decided to paint the storage areas before installing the planking.  It makes a lot of sense to paint now, while the access is good and requires no kneeling.  At this point, you can stand between the bulkheads and reach the storage areas with few contortions.  DSC00005I taped off all the exposed area (until I ran out of tape).  I didn’t trust myself with a paint brush without the tape to keep me straight.  DSC00007Along the hull/garboard plank joint, I taped off a wider margin to accommodate the fiberglass tape which will be placed there.  DSC00008It took 3 coats of Rust-Oleum paint (Gloss Almond #7770) to properly cover the panels.  DSC00004All these joints areas need to be filleted to the planking.  I will then paint over these areas.  DSC00003DSC00023Don’t leave mineral spirits in plastic cups.  Somehow, I missed this in high school shop class.

The taping and painting process took some time, but I’m very happy with the results.  I’m now ready to move towards installing the planking.  I’m a little nervous about this next step.  Any and all suggestions from you who have completed this next step are encouraged.