While waiting for more epoxy to arrive, I set my sights on the skegs. It’s funny how some steps in this build seem to weigh more heavily on my mind than others. The skegs have always been a bit bothersome to me.
Let me count the ways:
- The bottom skeg curve needs to match the boat hull (on each side…they are different)
- The top skeg curve needs to match the opposite skeg (for equal resistance and proper stance)
- The skegs need to be glued on exactly parallel to each other (or my boat will be doing the snow plow through the water)
- The skegs need to be glued on 90 degrees off the hull (or my boat will want to roll off center)
But, I had no epoxy…so the only thing to do was move forward with the skegs. I started by clamping a pattern piece (1 x 10 x 8 pine) against the jig. This seemed like an effective ‘ham n egger’ way to trace the proper bottom curve of the skeg.I then began to fine tune this pattern piece to fit the hull. I notice right away, that both sides of the hull are a little different…so one pattern did not fit both sides. I chose to build the starboard skeg first, then reshaped the pattern a bit to fit the port side. I then traced this pattern onto a red oak plank (8″ x 1,1/2″ x 8′).After some work (correction, after a fair amount of work) the bottom curve snuggled closely to the hull. I chose not to cut the top curve until I had the hull curve correct. This left me with plenty of wood to work with for proper height of the skeg.
This is one of those things that you look at several times before deciding it is good enough. Then, you look at it some more and continue working on it. After several iterations of this loop, you finally decide you’re done.After transposing the offsets from the plans to the skeg plank, I used my jig saw to cut the shapely side of the skeg. This piece was entirely too big for me to handle on my band saw, so the jig saw was commandeered into service. Well, as you know, a jig saw will not cut a 90 degree angle from the board face. Instead it gets pushed around a bit, especially when cutting 6/4 hardwood. I turned to the Shinto rasp to file the cut surface flat and smooth out the wows. I then ran a 1/4″ rounder bit on all edges. The front edge will be epoxied and faired after installation to the hull. I did create a much more gradual ramp than shown in the plans for easier trailer loading. I’m very satisfied with the results. I can now breath a sigh of relief and wait for the epoxy to arrive.
After glassing the hull, I’m now ready to glass the planks. I chose to glass the hull in one piece, followed by plank 1 & 2. The plans only call for plank 1 to be glassed, but I had the glass and just felt better about also wrapping plank 2.
With the hull epoxy still green, I laid the plank fiberglass into position (the overlap onto the green hull held things in place). It was just tacky enough to stay put with a light touch.
This was harder than I expected. The plank joints were difficult to get right. Fix the top joint…pull the lower joint…Fix the lower joint…pull the top joint. I finally got a system that worked fairly well, but the joints are not perfect. Some small air bubbles exist. The radius is just too sharp for proper glass adhesion. I plan to sand through these areas to remove any potential future problems with water being trapped behind the glass. The hull chine has 2 layers of glass on all edges. The bow has 4 wraps of glass over the plank 1 joint. I wrapped the glass 1″ over the the plank 2/3 joint.
What I learned:
- The glass takes more epoxy than expected to properly fill the weave (I almost ran out…this would have been disastrous).
- The sides took more time than the hull, due to the lap joint.
- The lap joint didn’t want to lay down properly (there are a few air spots that refused to conform)
- A squeegee is a must to work the lap joint.
I feel a little uncertain as to the proper steps in fairing the hull, Any and all suggestions are welcome.
I really wanted to have the boat turned over for my birthday. Well, tomorrow is my birthday and would you look at Shackleton. Flipped and ready…waiting for proper care and feeding.I didn’t install the back rest or transom cap, feeling it would be easier to turn the boat over before completing these steps. So, after turning Shackleton back over, I will add these pieces.Who engineered these straps? They ought to loosen incrementally (as they do when tightening). Would this be too much to ask? This would give one perfect control. Oh well, I had several buddies come over and help me set the boat down onto sawhorses.
I started cleaning up the edges (couldn’t resist). I think this will go faster than I anticipated. In this photo, you can see my first mistake with this build. Notice the notch outs in the hull? These were suppose to face upward. This was an easy fix. If you build any wooden boat, you will make mistakes. Remember, the secret is to work through the mistakes and not get discouraged. You can fix anything with wood and epoxy. Though you might need a file and block plane. I screwed 2/4’s onto the top of wooden sawhorses so that they would span across the deck (from gunwale to gunwale). I also placed stone blocks with a wooden shim under the mast box. This prevents the boat from rocking forward (which it wants to do). Now it feels secure for confidently working on the hull.
Next step: Fillet the planks, smooth the fillets, epoxy and glass the bottom.
I’ve been wondering how to trim the front of Shackleton to get just the right look. With the gunwales and rub rails coming up both sides, I felt I needed something running across the bow, tying these pieces together for a finished look. I wanted it to look tough…like the Scamp is meant to look. I decided on a thicker slab of wood arching its way from starboard to port. The look needed to be uncluttered, not fancy…think utilitarian and tough. Nothing scrolling it’s way across the arch…just clean and simple.
Solid stock to Arch:
- Planed down to 1″ (originally 1, 1/8″)
- Held up to bow to trace proper angle of the arch
- Cut arch on bandsaw
- Used Shinto rasp and wood file to smooth cut lines
- Bench sanded to smooth cut lines
- Applied 1/8″ round-over bit to all edges
- Epoxied all edges and all mating surfaces
- Screwed into backer plates installed under deck
This piece is meant to take all the abuse, so I decided to leave it 1/8″ proud of the deck. I’ll match this offset when installing the rub rails. The ends will be cut after I install the rub rails (which will but into the back side of the arch).
Sapelle fit the bill for three reasons:
- It looks ship-like to me.
- It is locally available.
- It comes in 16′ long boards (which means I can use the off-cut from the rub rails to fabricate this arch).
Shackleton is starting to take on a look of it’s own. Isn’t this why we build boats? So we can add our personal touch to an already excellent design.