Bow Rub Rail & Trim Piece

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.   DSC00027

Solid stock to Arch:

  1. Planed down to 1″ (originally 1, 1/8″)
  2. Held up to bow to trace proper angle of the arch
  3. Cut arch on bandsaw
  4. Used Shinto rasp and wood file to smooth cut lines
  5. Bench sanded to smooth cut lines
  6. Applied 1/8″ round-over bit to all edges
  7. Epoxied all edges and all mating surfaces
  8. Screwed into backer plates installed under deck

DSC00028  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.  DSC00030The 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:

  1. It looks ship-like to me.
  2. It is locally available.
  3. 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.  

Deck Installation

There comes a time in every mans life when he needs to rise up off the couch and install a deck.  Today was my day.DSC00007But first, I installed cleat blocks between the gunwales and carlins for the 4 deck cleats which will be installed later.  The blocks were made from (3) 3/8″ plywood scraps glued together and then cut to fit.  DSC00002I used a round over bit on the bottom edges of the block to create a smooth transition between blocks and gunwales/carlins.DSC00004DSC00001DSC00002I own 68 clamps.  I thought surely this would be enough.  Yet, just to be sure, earlier in the week, I purchase another 10.  Well, after clamping on the deck, I realized I was still a little short.  So, I sent my teenaged daughter and son to go buy 10 more clamps while I stayed and continued working on the deck.  $53.00 later, they returned with another 10.  Surly 88 clamps would be enough.   No, I could easily have used another 10 but I made it work.  I promise that no matter how many clamps you have, you will still want another 10.  DSC00003After securing the deck, I completed a few fillets to finish things off.  This is the deck/transom fillet.  DSC00002This is the BK2/front deck fillet.

Steps I followed:

  1. Applied the second coat of epoxy to the underside of the deck within 10 hours of the initial coat (to save sanding).
  2. With this second coat still wet, I had my kids help me position the deck onto the boat.
  3. Before doing so, I wet all carlins/gunwales and other mating surfaces with un-thickened epoxy (I used a roller to ensure complete coverage.  Roll it several times to work the epoxy into the wood fibers.  They are very thirsty.)
  4. Placed a thick bead of thickened epoxy onto all gunwale/carlin tops.
  5. Used a stir stick to smooth the thickened epoxy out flat over all the mating surfaces.
  6. Called for the kids to help position the wet deck in place.
  7. Clamped it down using 88 clamps (100 clamps would have been even better).
  8. Cleaned up the squeeze out and admired my work.

What I learned:

  1. You can never have too many clamps.
  2. Spread the thickened epoxy completely over the entire gunwale and carlins.  This will make for a very wide strong bonding surface.
  3. Take your time and preplan all the steps.  This went remarkably smooth (other than frantically running to the store to buy 10 more clamps).
  4. I didn’t use any screws in this installation.  The epoxy is plenty strong to hold everything down and you save the work of filling all the screw holes.

Have you touched your Scamp today?

Deck Preparations

With the carlins installed, I am ready to focus my efforts on the deck.  Before I can install it however, there is some prep work to do.DSC00006The carlins need to be shaved or files to match the angle of the gunwales for good deck contact.  This isn’t perfectly flat, but I’ll probably stop here.  A little thickened epoxy will finish the job.DSC00009I filed down the bow blocks installed between the gunwales and the carlins.  This block will provide good backing for the bow anchor chocks to be installed later.  DSC00012I am glueing up plywood scraps which will be trimmed and used as backer plates for the 4 deck cleats.  DSC00013To finish things off, I glued up the deck.  The weights I’m using here are Shackleton’s ballast plates.  They have come in very handy.

Hoping to have the deck installed by next weekend.