Coaming Cap and Rub Rail

With epoxy cured, I began shaping the coaming cap.DSC00035I cut it close, then filed until flush. DSC00037A block plane brought the oak down to the top of the plywood. DSC00038I then filed the top to remove plane marks and gouges. DSC00040DSC00042All edges were rounded with a 1/4″ round over bit and then filed for final shape. DSC00044I then screwed on my rub rail.  I choose Sapelle dimensioned to 3/8″ x 1 7/8″.  I decided to only screw this in place for easy repair or replacement.  I used 1 1/4″ SS screws placed 6″ apart.  I held the rub rail 1/8″ proud of the deck for my desired look.  DSC00043I wasn’t sure it was going to bend OK, but it went on just fine.  This is a really fun stage to be at here folks…really fun stage.


Things are starting to come together for Shackleton.  I’ll be away for a while, so expect delays in my blog posts and progress.  I’m very glad I began this project.  For me, it has been a great experience.  Should you build one?  That’s entirely up to you…but for me, it’s been an awesome experience.

Cockpit Coaming Cap

I looked around the shop for any noble scraps of wood to become the honorary coaming cap.  The red oak left over from the skegs kept calling to me from across the dusty shop floor.  After a proper interview to determine worthiness, the oak got the job.

DSC00036This is 2 pieces of 3/8″ x 1 1/8″ red oak.  I epoxied them one at a time for easy bending. I ran the oak long to provide the material for the gusset cap.  This should be enough extra to allow me a few shots at the compound cut needed for the gusset cap.

DSC00035I used small wooden blocks to prevent the clamps from denting the inside of the cockpit coaming.

DSC00037The aft end was cut short to transition into the coaming prior to the curve.  Hard to see, but I rounded the bottom inside edges of the oak for a smooth fit between the 2 boards.

DSC00047I then used the Shinto rasp and sandpaper to shape the aft end.

DSC00048The forward end was cut with a Japanese draw saw.  I left it a touch proud of the gusset.

DSC00040Then I fine tuned the cut with the Shinto rasp to achieve a flush surface with the gusset.

DSC00044I then took the left over glued up material and began cutting/shaping the compound angle needed to fit against the cabin sides.

DSC00051Clamped in place with a small fillet around the junction.  Once cured, I’ll work all the top edges flush and round over all exposed edges.


It’s impossible to get all the top edges exactly flush, so I ran both oak pieces a touch proud of the cockpit coaming on the top side.  Then, once all is cured, I’ll file/sand the top oak edges down to match the plywood edge for a nice flush top surface.

Installing Transom Cap Doubler

Before installing the transom cap doubler, I placed a fillet on the inside edge between the transom and transom cap.  This is much easier to reach before you install the doubler.DSC00036This is another step where you’ll need a bucket full of clamps.  It’s important to ensure the doubler is up tight against the cap.  I placed small wooden support pieces under each clamp to prevent denting the cap.  DSC00038 Originally, I planned to fill the gap between the doubler and the cap shown above, but after thinking it through, I decided to leave it open to prevent water from getting trapped behind this area.  DSC00039I rounded all the exposed edges with 1/8″ round over bit before installing.  I can’t stand a sharp edge.  DSC00041These backer pieces will be glued behind the hatch openings in BH3 for additional support.  I rolled them with the excess epoxy.  DSC00035Summary:

I’m happy with how this turned out.  I have enough room to drill the holes for the rear traveler line (through solid epoxy) and created a nice area for proper water drainage.

Installing Transom Cap

With the cockpit coamings installed, I turned my attention to the transom cap.DSC00035 The first step was to shape the transom and deck to better accept the cap. DSC00036I marked the dimensions of the cap on the deck so I knew where to stop filing.DSC00038Laying out the transom cap.  I rounded off all sharp edges with a router and marked/drilled screw hole locations.DSC00037I filed very little off the back side of the transom cap.  I wanted enough material behind the screws to keep them from pulling through the plywood as I sucked the cap down to the deck.  Don’t forget to erase all pencil markings prior to glue down.DSC00039 Transom cap with end fillet.   DSC00040 DSC00044The outboard edges will be filed flush with the gunwales once cure.  I plan to but the rub rail up against the end grain of the transom cap. DSC00046DSC00043I held the transom cap back 1/8″ aft of the transom.

Steps I took:

  1. Neatly marked off screw hole locations
  2. Rounded all exposed edges
  3. Filed the deck and transom for better fit
  4. Placed wet thickened epoxy fillet onto deck & shaped with stir stick
  5. Wet rolled all contact points with unthickened epoxy
  6. Screwed down cap using 1 1/4″ SS screws
  7. Cleaned up squeeze out
  8. Cleaned up all edges with my finger and wooden dowel dipped in alcohol while the fillet was green and moldable.


I’m now ready to fit the transom cap doubler to the underside forward edge of the transom cap.  I’ll then transition fillet the ends of the doubler into the existing fillet.  

Gusset Redo

Sometimes in an attempt to keep things moving, I move too fast.  

DSC00035This was my attempt at glassing the gusset to the cockpit coaming.  After I took this photograph and looked at it on my computer, I realized it was all wrong.  I instantly noticed 2 things:  1-the top edge is not flush and 2- the corner is too sharp for proper glass adhesion.  I should’ve fixed these two things before attempting to glass.  So, before it cured, I went out and pulled it off.

DSC00038This photo shows my attempt at correcting the problem.  The top line still needs additional work, but the corner is much smoother, allowing for good glass adhesion.  I also rounded the glass corners for a smoother finish.


Not perfect, but it now passes the ham n egger standard.


Cockpit Coamings Installed

Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually working on the last few pieces of this build.  For anyone reading wondering if they can build a Scamp, my advise is:  Yes, if you are persistent and not afraid to work through problems and willing to work everyday for just over a year.  Otherwise, go buy one.

I have truly enjoyed this experience.  But, I’m a ham n egger who loves a project.  If you are a white glove guy, maybe you should start with a kayak and see how you enjoy it.

Enough sappy talk, let’s get to those cockpit coamings.

DSC00035I first marked out where I wanted all the holes drilled.  After double checking all measurements, I drilled out both coamings for a uniform look.  I then used a counter sink on each coaming to insure the screw head was inset.  I also rounded all exposed edges with an 1/8″ round over bit.

DSC00039 DSC00037After proper glue up technique, I screwed the coamings into the gunwales.  I used 1″ ss screws placed about 6″ apart all the way along the coaming.

DSC00036I then laid a fillet into the outside edge of the coaming.  This required 2 fillets for proper shape and size.

DSC00040Now for the triangular pieces.  DSC00046 After shaping the triangular pieces, and angling the edges to better fit against the coaming and cabin side, I clamped them in place and filleted the inside seams.  I will fillet and glass the outside seams once the inside fillet has cured.  DSC00045Inside fillet.


I’ll clean up the edges of the glass after filling with epoxy.

Shackleton on Trailer, Mutineers Onboard

After turning the boat upside down, I discarded the building jig, knowing I would place the boat on the trailer for the remaining steps.  So, today (drum roll please) I placed Shackleton on the trailer.  DSC00075 I positioned the thick part of the skegs just forward of the rear rollers (similar to what others have done).  I also lowered the rollers to keep the boat low on the trailer.  DSC00076I attempted to move the 4 x 4 carpeted bunk to the rear 12″ but I couldn’t get the lags out of the bunk.  So, I decided to leave it where it is.  Not ideal, but close enough.  DSC00039Preston volunteered to crawl through the bulkhead and install my bow eye.  He is taller than me and reached the bow without even getting all the way inside.  DSC00060Future Idaho Sailors.  Delight mixed with mischief.  DSC00044   DSC00050I sense a mutinous plan in the works.  I know that look very well.  DSC00070I called my dad (first generation ham n egger) to help me bend the front bumpers slightly to better align with the pram bow.  Here’s a man with all the tools.  DSC00074With a little ‘friendly persuasion’ the bow bumpers now fits perfectly.


The tongue on this trailer appears to be much longer than necessary.  Has anyone else felt this way?  I would say it’s 2′-3′ longer than it needs to be.  After I build a way to carry my mast, I’m going to hook up the trailer and see how much length can be removed. This is just too long for me, but still a very impressive trailer.

CB Line Modification

When I attempted to tie my uphaul line to the center board, I clearly didn’t have enough room for the knot.  

DSC00055DSC00056I decided to drill out a larger hole to accommodate the knot and prevent it from rubbing against the CB case.  I used the plywood as a guide, clamping it against the CB to hold the forsner bit in place.

DSC00057I drilled into the CB approximately 1/2″.

DSC00061The line fits with ease.DSC00062Uphaul line knot (figure 8) with tail tucked in.  Now I began to wonder if I removed too much material…is it strong enough?  DSC00063Hole with 1/8″ round over bit applied to top edge.  DSC00069Then it hit me…why not epoxy the line in place? 

DSC00035While the epoxy was still green, I cleaned up the edges and took a little off the top for a flush fit.


  1. I didn’t want the knot rubbing against the CB case, so something had to be done.
  2. I had concerns about water intrusion into the CB where the lead line came into the knot area.
  3. I had concerns about the weight and leverage of the CB on the drilled out knot area.
  4. I’ve learned if  anything strange can happen to me, it will.
  5. I didn’t want the uphaul line to have any chance of coming loose.
  6. I feel like this solution minimizes all of these concerns.
  7. I plan to build a trailer support for the CB to rest on while traveling (I believe towing Scamp with the CB up is the culprit for CB line wear), so I really don’t plan on needing to replace this line very often, if ever.

But wait, how will I replace the line?  Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.  Give me 3 minutes with a forsner bit and I’ll have the line and epoxy entirely removed, ready for a new one.

I feel good about the security of the line and the water integrity of the holes drilled.  Sometimes what looks to be a mistake can turn out better than before.  This baby is not coming loose.

Brightwork Down Under

While the boat is upside down, I finished the underside of the cabin top and the aft side of BH#3.DSC00036The first step was to sand all areas to be varnished.  I also taped off the area where I will be mounting backer plates.  I contemplated over mounting the backer plates before varnishing, but felt I needed to mock it up properly (from the top side) to determine the proper size and placement of the backer blocks.  So, I’ll finish these areas later. DSC00037I like the look of a satin finish.  I am using System Three Marine Spar Varnish in satin for all my bright work. DSC00035Beautiful stuff…well worth the cost.

Ready to flip the boat right side up and place on trailer.

Finishing the Hull

I settled on Brightside Hatters White for my upper hull color.  I think it will blend well with the bright finish I’ll be applying to the rub rails (yet to be installed).  After multiple coats and a few mishaps (articulated below) here’s what I got.  DSC00037Excuse the dust on the black paint.DSC00044 DSC00043 DSC00042 DSC00039 DSC00038Summary:

  1. After applying 4 coats of graphite epoxy to the lower hull section, I applied 3 coats of epoxy on all remaining hull pieces.
  2. I then filled any low spots with micro balloons.
  3. I then sanded multiple times until I was satisfied.
  4. I then applied 3 coats of Hatteras White to all lower sections.
  5. Then disaster struck.

At this point, I thought all was well and that I was almost done with this arduous process.  But, after looking closely, I notice spiderweb like wrinkles in the finish.  They were present in 3 or 4 locations, some of which were quite large…say basketball size.  I have no idea what caused them.  I ran it over and over in my mind never reaching a logical cause and effect.  After a discouraging night of sleeping on it, I knew they had to be sanded out.  So, I strapped on a new filter mask and sanded the entire hull (problem areas more thoroughly than others).  I then applied another complete layer of paint.  Looking closely this time for the spiderweb wrinkles, they were not to be found.  I breathed a sigh of relief and applied one more coat and called it good.

This is not a perfect job.  Those of you who are really gifted at finish work will readily notice flaws in my finish.  But I achieved the ‘ham n egger’ standard.  That’s all I can ask for in this build.  As my dad would say, “we’re not building a piano”.