Cutting the hole for the Sampson Post.

11 June 2017: Ahoy all! Well with not much to do in the way of continuing the deck lamination or installation; I decided to turn my attention towards the breasthook. Since the Sampson post will run through it, I figured now would be a good time to cut the hole for it to pass through.

The Sampson post is a solid piece of 3”x3” Douglas Fir that will be used as a tie off point for mooring or towing. It attached to the keel and frame A before passing up through the breasthook.

I utilized my tape measure and a ruler to determine where the post will go and to get the dimensions for the cut. Once the center of the breasthook had been established with the tape measure, I determined how far from the edge of the breast hook Frame A went. It goes a full 1 and 1/8th inch into the breasthook, so I marked it there along my centerline mark and used my ruler. Using the ruler I set it on the centerline mark at 1 and ½” and marked the beginning of the ruler and at the 3” mark. I measured up from these marks along the centerline again and made another mark at 3”. I repeated the top 3” mark as I did on the bottom to obtain a square of 3×3 inches.

After the hole was marked I went over to my drill press and drilled four holes on each corner. Once the holes were drilled, I went ahead and used my vice and jig saw to cut out the hole. I decided to use my tripod with my video camera so as to get some good footage of me cutting the hole. This is a bit of an experiment so we shall see how it goes. With the hole being roughly cut out I used a rasp and file to true up the edges and get a good square hole. With all of this being done, I replaced the breasthook in the bow to see how well it would work out. It seems to work out beautifully as the offset from the edge of the breasthook for the hole lines up perfectly flush with Frame A on the inside.

Up next I hope to either have the material to laminate the deck or I will likely be doing more inner hull epoxying.

Further Epoxying to add strength and waterproofing.

5-10 June 2017: We have had a bit of bad luck lately with funding for the boat so no wood for the deck as of yet. I have every confidence that will change soon. On a better note me and Samantha (when she can or wants too) have been able to work inside the hull epoxying seams.

One of the first areas I epoxied after the chines were was the forward hull area between frame B and the stem. Since the angle is much greater there, I figured it would be a good idea to run a thickened epoxy seam fillet all the way from the Stem to around Frame B. This will do much to improve the strength of the bow as well help further waterproof it.

The rest of it has been somewhat ho hum when it comes to keeping you guys abreast here via pictures and posts. It has been a lot of mixing epoxy and filleting or creating seams along areas that need to be filled or strengthened. However I was able to get the Knee epoxied into place and screwed as well, which sure did a lot to beef up the transom.

Unless something changes and I can purchase the lumber for the deck; the next item will be the final fitting of the breasthook. This will include cutting the hole for the Sampson post to come through.

A hot summers day Planing with Samantha.

4 June 2017: Ahoy everyone! So we recently got my older daughters from Nebraska down to the farm for the summer. Pretty excited about that.

So work began a bit later today as everyone had a bit of a late night as the girls arrived. Yet Samantha and I decided to strike out early to the shop in order to get something done on the boat. In this case it was the sheer clamp and planing it level to the boat. In other wards the bevel went from being at an angle to completely lateral.

However boy was it hot out there, it was humid and 90 degrees even with the fans going. An ominous foretelling of things to come as it pertains to summer construction. Sam and I were drenched right after we got to work with the block and number 5 plane. We took turns using one plane or the other to get the sheer to a level bevel.

I must say once I explained to Sam how best to use the plane, she really took to it and seemed to do rather well. We still need probably a good bit of sanding and leveling to be done between the two sheer clamps again, but I am pleased with her and our progress.

Next on the list is to level the sheers again and cut the notches to receive the deck beams. Somewhere between that bit of work, I have another Lowes run to pick up more pine for laminating.

On a more interesting note, today was the first day Sam got to do a YouTube video with me.

Building a Breasthook.

1-2 June 2017: Greetings everyone! As you guys may be aware of, I have been working on the interior of the hull and prepping it for the deck. Since the deck runs from the bow all the way to the stern, I had to figure on how I was going to accomplish this. I spoke with Bruce as to my dilemma concerning the frames coming up the entire width of the sheer clamp. He revealed to me his discussion with the designer Mark as to how to go about installing the deck with this issue. Evidently the frames are cut down just enough to accept the 2” wide laminated deck members, and that they lay across the tops of the frames.  So that answered that question, yet I was curious as to how to tie all the deck members in at the bow. The bow being pointed would mean that I would either have to cut the deck beams at an angle to precisely fit while leaving no doubt gaping hole in the middle. I am sure this could be overcome with a hodgepodge of lumber and members cut and fit into place. I still have the Sampson post and anchor support to consider, thus adding to the potential for a jigsaw puzzle at the bow.

I therefore decided the best way to overcome this was once again an Idea I had gotten from Louis Sauzzedde and hisYouTube Channel “Tips from a Shipwright”. I would install a breasthook or a single piece of timber to go across the area from Frame A to the back of the stem. This member would of course need to be cut and shaped to fit in the void. It would also be a much simpler matter to cut the hole for the Sampson post and mount the anchor support onto of it. The deck beams would simply end at Frame A and the Breasthook.

The next issue aside from getting the exact dimensions and figuring how it would likely need to be installed was determining what material to make it out of. My choices thankfully for the most part were limited to either yellow pine or marine plywood. I toyed with the idea of laminating yellow pine, but I thought it would prove to be overly complicated, both time and resource consuming. Thus I decided to use some of my scrap marine plywood. I cut out top to the exact length so that the Breasthook would overlap the top of Frame A. The second layer would be slightly smaller so that it would end right in front of the Frame creating a notch.

After cutting everything to the rough dimensions I set out with my thick epoxy resin and 2-1 hardener (the stuff I used on the knee), and laminated it together. The work however was not entirely done because I had to prep the area between the stem and the frame in order to receive the Breasthook. So with sonic crafter, chisel’s, mallet and orbital sander I took to it. Leveling the top of the frame and faring the interior of the frame and sheer clamps.

The next day I found that my Breasthook had dried beautifully and it was now time to remove the clamps and get about to faring it out. Thus it was a bunch of using the plane, chisel, and sander then repeat until it was for the most part uniform along the laminations. What came next easily took the most time. That is attempting to dry fit it; emplacing it over the void and trimming either the Breasthook or boat members to fit it well. Yet after a somewhat exhaustive amount of time taking it in and taking it out, it was soon dry fit well. Now all I need to do is wait for my thin epoxy resin to get here so I can install it permanently. Before I install it permanently, I may go ahead and cut out the hole so the Sampson post can pass through it.

Next on the docket, I plan on prepping the frames and sheer clamp in order to receive the deck. I also have a trip to Lowes in my future for more pine.

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.

FLIP DAY!

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.