Follow Me on My Journey.

Ahoy Shipmates!

I know most if not all of you are aware of my YouTube Channel, SudzyBoatbuilder. Well now Sudzy has an Instagram account as well. I will be posting on there in almost real time as I continue my boat build on Instagram at SudzyBoatbuilder. I hope and look forward to seeing you all there!

A Knee, Questions and Still Stalled.

29-30 May 2017: Confused and overwhelming seem to be the words I can best use to describe my current course. Not that this is in any way a deterrence.

Flipping the boat over and seeing all that needs to be done inside the hull is simply overwhelming to take in, it is confusing to know where to start and what sequence to start. I plan on epoxy filleting damn near every joint on the boat to include those between the hull sheets of plywood. The stern of the boat near the transom will require copious amounts of epoxy until I am satisfied with it. Yet since I am still not able at this point to purchase more epoxy for the venture thus I cannot proceed on that front.

I am therefore now seeing what I can do without epoxy, and I am quickly arriving at the conclusion of not much.

However I was able to fix or reinforce my earlier fix of a much earlier mistake. If you recall, I made a booboo when emplacing the keel along the frames. I believed that Frame J was where the keel should stop and thus cut it off there. Realizing of course that the keel needed to extend all the way to the transom, and the cut keel now fully dried and attached to the frames; I was left with a dilemma. So I used some scrap 1×4 pine and MDO to extend the keel the requisite length to the transom. While it has been screwed and epoxied thoroughly; I nevertheless had reservations about the strength of it and the transom. I therefore decided to take a tip from Louis Sauzzedde from his YouTube Channel “Tips from a Shipwright”, and build a transom knee.

Using some scrap pieces of plywood, I got my dimensions from inside the hull along frame J to the transom. I than laminated the plywood together (3 toll) into a rough cut block. Now I know what your thinking, “you said you didn’t have enough epoxy to do anything else”. I am still correct; the epoxy I used to laminate was the older thick epoxy I had mistakenly used on the members earlier. I therefore mixed it up and smeared a bunch of the viscous goo between the plywood. After clamping the crap out of it and setting it to dry for the night, I figured I would come out the next day to shape and fit it into place.

Waking to a bright and early morning, I went to the shop to get started on the knee. Boy had that thick epoxy set good and hard, man she is tough. Now utilizing the dimensions from inside the stern, I cut the angles and notches so that the knee would fit into place. It sure was a lot of cut, plane, sand, fit, remove and repeat until the knee fit good and snug. Once I get the more flexible and not near as brittle thin epoxy and hardener in, I will go ahead and permanently emplace it.

Looking ahead and attempting to clear up more confusion is how the deck goes in. The deck is laminated along the sheer of 1×4 pine. Yet my frames come up the entire length of my sides and to the top of my sheer clamp. So I do not know if I need to cut my frames down, or do I emplace the deck in sections around the frames. Very curious as to how and go about doing this indeed!

The Beginning of Phase 2 on the Boat construction.

26-28 May 2017: Ahoy everyone! Well the boat is on ALL her chaulks and rideside up. Thus the inner boat work can begin.

I found during my inspection of the inner hull that voids and gaps were created where the plywood joins the chine, frames and sheer in certain areas. Thus I figured I would use some of my leftover epoxy from my fairing job to fill them. Over the course of about two days (being interrupted for one thing or another), I had the chine filled and reinforced with epoxy from the bow to slightly aft of midships. Unfortunately prior to my parents getting down here and while I was at drill, a lightning storm hit close to the house and fried almost all of our electronics (hence why it has been a bit before I could update you all). We are in the process of getting the insurance and stuff squared away while buying what we absolutely need in the interim. Needless to say money being a bit tight translates directly into no immediate epoxy refills for the boat. So in about a week or so I will be able to get more epoxy to continue the project.

I was however able to take on another bit of key tasks such as leveling the sheer. I used an 8’ 2×4 and a level to determine if both sheer clamps were level in relation to one another. I found that they were until about frame c where the bow juts up pretty drastically. The Starboard side was a bit high in relation to the port. It was therefore time to bust out the planes and the orbital sander. A bit of work and constant checking with the level board soon had both sheer clamps at the bow level to one another.

My buddy Tony came over today to help me get the strongback out of the yard and hung from the rafters. I plan on keeping it around for the next boat project as I am sure it will come in handy. Kinda interesting to see it hanging there since it was the first “lumber” I had bought and assembled for the boat; got real used to it simply being on the floor to hold the boat up.


22 May 2017: Ahoy ashore shipmates! Well the much anticipated day finally arrived. Mom and Dad came into town the previous night for the explicit purpose of having Dad help me flip the boat. I also had just returned from my three day Drill in Neosho and Joplin Missouri so everyone was tired and eagerly awaiting sleep and of course the next day’s events.

Early the next morning, Dad and I struck out to the shop to determine exactly how we were going to rig the hoisting equipment and line in order to accomplish the flip. Thankfully, my ingenious father told me he had been thinking about how to do this for a few months. Getting inspiration from my Grandfathers boat project, he stated that Papaw used a rope like a sling or bridal wrapped twice around the boat. The boat would flip inside the bridals, about its axis while it was suspended via the scaffolding and hoisting equipment. A series of Prussics (which are smaller ropes tied into a loop) wrapped about three times around the bridal as lifting points that could move once tension was released. This would allow us to lift on one set of these Prussics to the height we needed and secure and utilizing another relief line tie to it and take pressure of the hoists. Allowing us to reset on the unused Prussic on that side; taking up tension again and untying the relief line. The hoisting equipment consisted of two come-alongs and two 2-ton block and tackles.

The actual lifting was tough but not near as big a process as we believed it would be. Once the rigging was set, we started heaving too in order to center the strongback. The boat came up with the strongback very well, without the slightest bit of creaking or groaning of any structural members, either boat or shop. Since it seemed very stable in its suspended state, we decided might as well get started and chop the strongback off the boat. Utilizing my chainsaw Dad took to it, cutting the members clear of the boat. Once that was done, we drug the cut strongback out into the front yard of the shop to get it good and clear. Next, the process of lifting up to the requisite flip height had to be accomplished. What Dad and I soon discovered, was the boat itself even without the strongback attached was still pretty heavy. Thus it took both of us lifting on the block’s and tackle to lift one side of the boat. The other side with come-alongs was much easier to lift with but more cumbersome to reset. We reset everything and lowered one side while raising the other.

Unfortunately for me, I had to go into town for class. So Dad said he would do what he could to continue once I returned, to include sweeping the floor for the chaulks. When I got back, I was surprised to see not only that the shop was swept but the boat was even further along in the flip. She was almost to the point that the center of gravity would change from upside down to right side up. Being energized to help to get us complete, and to ensure Dad did not hurt himself by biting off more than he could chew, I put on my gloves and manned the lines. We were able to in short order get the boat top side up and keel down. Another quick reset and we began lowering the other side while raising the other in order to continue the flip and get her level. Yet again I had to leave to take my seven year old to softball practice. Dad swore he would only do what he thought was safe for both him and the boat without me. My return however proved that he estimated that he could safely continue the flip in my absence. I came inside the shop and asked “would it kill you to wait for me?”, to which he stated he just wanted to get it done and on the ground. The boat itself was about at a 45 degree angle and we still needed to come down on one side and up on the other to level it. Thus again I manned the lines and soon we had her just slightly off the ground and for the most part level.

Next came the task of inputting my chaulks, which turned out to be the biggest “issue” of the flip. The back chaulks were slightly off but the forward chaulks were way off. So I went ahead and had Dad lift up on the front of the boat with a floor jack while I made the modifications to the keel chaulks cutting and notching so they would fit and be level. The chaulks along the hull that I built to support the boat were way short. Unfortunately it was now getting late and we needed to eat and spend some time with Mom, Savannah and the kids. So We left the bow bridal on it and I determined that the next day I would either rebuild or modify the chaulks along the hull.

All things considered, and despite the setback of the chaulks. The flip was momentous and the milestone I had hoped it would be. Having a celebratory beer with Dad, we toasted our success and a job well done.

Building the chaulks to hold the upright hull.

6-7 May 2017: I had decided that the next step after the reinforcement scaffolding had been emplaced was to build the chaulks or framing that will hold the hull up once its flipped.

I started out by figuring out the exact height from the skeg to the hull that is required for the boat to sit at and be level (approximately 9”). The skeg is not the full length throughout the hull so I measured it at its biggest point and figured to make the chaulks all level at that height. However I assumed that the bevel of the hull was the same all the way to the bow from the stern. Thus I set out making larger 18” chaulks at that exact bevel and height. Wow was I wrong, the bevel simply was not the same throughout and I ended up creating more single posted supports throughout. I also made supports for the keel that forked or cupped the keel at the pre-described height of the large parts of the skeg.

The reason it took me two days to the do this was a combination of my massive mistake and my wife sending me on a trip go get free used pressure treated lumber. Yet once I had determined to get the bevels exactly from hull at those pre-determined intervals with my bevel set, and having the time to cut and build the members. It actually went rather quickly and I can say that I am relatively pleased with the outcome. Hopefully it will work as well as it looks.

Building the shop reinforcements to flip the boat.

May 5 2017: Yes today was the day that my beautiful wife and I decided to hang the 2×6’s from the rafters as well as emplace the cedar posts.

The day started off early with Savannah and I going out to hang the 2×6’s from the rafters. This entailed me climbing the ladder with her lifting via a rope attached to the 2×6 over a rafter the member into place so I can screw it in. Actually this worked rather well and with me cutting plates or 2×6 scraps that attach the 2×6 reinforcements together we soon had the rafters tied together in short order.

What was next consisted of cutting, hoisting and attaching the aforementioned cedar poles to the 2×6 reinforcements. Doing this required me to measure at the pre –determined increments the exact height from the floor to the 2×6’s, and cutting the poles with my chainsaw as well as my sawzall to length. Attaching them required lifting the poles with a rope over rafters much like the 2×6’s and hammering them plum. Affixing the poles to the reinforcements had me using a 5” lag screw passing through the 2×6 into the pole. Thankfully having this done in my shop allowed me to use my pneumatic impact driver to drive the lag screws.

This entire exercise took all day, yet at the end of the day, Savannah and I are quite confident that the entire structure will now be able to flip the boat as required.

Scheming and Logging…

May 2 2017:

Long and hard day of work, but I believe it will pay off.

As I stated in my last post; the next project is to be the creation of a scaffold in order to flip the boat. I had gathered several 2×6’s at 8 feet to reinforce the raters of my shop. In this sense I plan on using the 2×6’s to link the rafters together on either side of the boat. Afterwards I will run posts (about six per side) from these 2×6’s to the floor in order to spread the weight the boat to the shop floor. Once this is complete I plan on using come-a-longs and pulleys to wench up the boat off the strong back in order to flip it.

The 2×6’s I had already from a previous project but the posts were presenting me with a problem. Either buying 4×6 or 4×4 posts would be expensive; even if I spliced them together out of requisite 2x materials. Yet I live on property that has an abundance of trees, such as red cedars. A few red cedar poles I had already cut down for using on another project, so I figured I could cut down a few more for the posts I need to support the rafters.

Living in the wood, I already have a chainsaw so I gathered my truck and some rope and off to the woods I went. Conveniently I have an outcropping of cedars next to my shop. Thus I cut down, de limbed, and pulled the selected poles to the shop so I could further cut them down to size. Deciding to cut them to a length of 12 feet so I could cut them down to the correct length of 10’ 7 or so inches once in the shop and the 2×6’s were already hung. Once cut to 12 feet, I either carried or dragged them into the shop.

At the end of this exhausting venture, I figured it was time to call it a day. Next on the to do list, I plan on attaching the 2×6’s to the rafters in order to get the proper distance for the poles to the floor.