Steps in Building a SCAMP sailboat
Links to all my scamp building pages.
Closing in the Cabin
Now that the side and front decks are glued down I can start closing in the cubby / cabin. There are 2 sides and a roof. It's not really a cabin because it's open at the back.
Checking that the pieces actually fit on.
For the most part the sides fit quite well. I will need to trim them slightly at the top but I'll wait till they are glued on before trimming. I had decided where the portholes were to be located. I tried a few spots and cut the opening using the circle cutter. Here is a link to the porthole construction.
After some tweaking I put several coats of epoxy on the sides.
The front curvey bit gets a drain hole, a notch to allow for the thickness of the front deck, and a doubler. Once I had glued on the doubler and made the notch I was able to check the fit and sand the front end of the cabin side.
After cutting the mast case hole I was able to put the roof on but it was too stiff to bend easily. That is a bit of a problem because it does not have any epoxy on yet.
While I think about how to fit the roof on, I bent it on the bench using clamps. A few days in this position helped a lot but it was still quite stiff.
When I went to the farm supply store to get some bird seed I saw that they had a ratchet set with heavy duty strap on sale for 12 dollars. I grabbed one and it worked very well to bend the roof on enough that I could measure and cut the side support pieces. I had kept a piece of ash for this. I split it down the centre at an angle. This will reduce the amount of planing I will have to do to accommodate the angle of the roof.
Gluing the sides on
I spent some time figuring out exactly how the side rail, cubby and doublers all join in and fit together. It is not complicated but I had a senior's moment reading the manual and looking at the flat pieces.
I also spent some time sanding the inside faces of the side pieces and the front with its doubler. I had to figure out how to clamp the sides on before gluing them on. It does not need a lot of clamping but there is a slight curve.
The sides are glued on and clamped. In the end I used mostly rope through the windows to tighten the pieces together.
I did not worry about getting a perfect glue line. I can reach all the edges and will be doing fillets and smoothing out the glue lines later. Since some of the edges are quite visible they need to be nicely done.
Fitting the side support pieces took a bit of time because I checked the roof curve and made sure that there was a straight line between the second and 4th bulkheads. As it turned out the 3 rd bulkhead was just a bit lower. Well within the capability of epoxy to fill. If it had been higher I would have had to trim it. I used straight pieces of wood to check that the front to back lines were ok and curvy battens to check the curve across the boat. When I was satisfied that the fit was as good as I would get, I marked the glue line and glued on the support beam.
I love using the planes when they are sharp and the wood knot free. It took no time at all to cut the angle of the wood to match the roof angle.
I went on to work on other parts and eventually got back to the cuddy.
I had not glued in the mast ramp onto the mast partner. This is there to help guide the mast in when it is being stepped. Some folks, thanks Simeon, suggested that building up the fitting that sticks out of the roof helps keep rain out of the mast area. It allows for a boot to be fitted to the raised lip of the mast opening. I will likely do this after I've glued the roof on.
I glued a couple of doubler along the top edge of the second bulkhead to give me a wider gluing surface.
I had had to get another strap because I could not get an even pressure across the length. Luckily for me Canadian Tire was having a sale and had them at half price. I'll use them later to attach the boat to the trailer.
With the ramp in place I could finalize the roof opening. I could also see if the roof would fit and could be clamped while it set.
It's a good thing I did another fitting because I found that the roof sort of bulged where the opening is located. I tried putting a couple of 2x4 to push the roof down while tightening the straps but it did not work very well.
When I posted the photo of the mast location opening, Simeon Baldwin suggested that the sides could be raised by about 3/4 of an inch to allow a sleeve to be installed around the mast and fastened to this extension. This would reduce the amount of rainwater coming in through the mast opening.
After some fiddling I decided to screw the top section down temporarily with a stick to even out the pressure. This worked perfectly.
I had prepared 2 stiff sticks to support the outer edge while the straps pulled the roof down. Once I was happy this would work I took it apart again and got ready to actually glue the roof down.
I was quite worried but everything went as planned. I coated the underside of the roof with a heavy coat of epoxy which soaked in quite a lot. Then I put a line of glue on all the top surfaces, side supports, bulkhead tops around the mast opening and the support beams. It was easy to lower the roof and the mast partner aligned the roof.
After screwing the (oiled) screws in I positioned the 3 straps and the 2 pieces of wood for the edge and gradually tightened the set up. I had to reposition the side pieces of wood but otherwise everything went down well.
After adding a couple of clamps where the strap had not pulled quite enough at the edges, I went around and removed extra squeezed out epoxy. I found a few gaps and added some epoxy in there. Got my hair completely gummed up in the process.
I did not make any fillets. I will go around when everything is set and nicely cleaned up and fillet the seams.
The roof gets a doubler just behind the third bulkhead which is the opening of the cuddy.
When I checked the fit of the doubler I realized that the roof would not be long enough for the doubler overhang. I prepared and glued a small extension to the roof and glued it in at the same time as the doubler. It's only short about a quarter inch.
The doubler is the right size and aligns perfectly with the side panels so I'm not changing these dimensions
It took a bit of fitting but went on without much of an argument. I added lots of clamps to get proper connection with the roof.
Even though the roof is only 6mm plywood it's turning out to be quite strong and rigid. I had planned several reinforcements but other than a couple of backing boards for cleats and such I will not add more stiffening and will avoid adding weight. I will put a layer of glass on the roof I think.
I took the clamps and straps off and checked the roof. Everything seems to be solid and where it should be.
The curve of the roof piece turned out to be greater than the curve of the side piece (the one with the porthole). This means that the roof overhangs on the side more in some places than others. It also means that the roof piece does not quite fit. There is about 3/16 missing at the very front of the roof. I don't think that's a problem since I'll be trimming the roof to the dimensions of the support piece of wood along the edge. I can also fill the shortage.
The front extension piece went in well and the extra glue needs to be sanded / scraped flush.
I used my new carbide scraper to even out the top of the roof where there was glue squeeze out where I made the small addition. This scraper is a revelation to me and I keep finding ways of using it.
I used my sander with 40 grit paper to trim the doubler/roof line. It worked really well and now I have to decide how to trim the piece of wood that lines the side of the cabin and supports the roof along the edge. it overhangs front and back.
Using 40 grit paper is not entirely easy, or rather it's entirely way too easy to grind too much. If you try this go with a light hand.
Both front and back of the cuddy roof support needed trimming. The hardest was deciding exactly what angle I wanted the trim to follow. I just extended the roof line.
I used the Japanese saw on both the front and the back.
The roof is trimmed and I've filled various spots that had slight gap around the edge of the roof. When I trimmed the support beam I used a flexible batten to show me the curve of the roof, that means that there was a slight curve on the beam. When I glued on the roof the plywood did not curve as much as the batten and this created a slight gap on the very edge. Not a large gap but noticeable.
After the epoxy set I sanded the filling and the edge of cuts.
I used my sander with coarse grit to round the edge. The darker part is where I filled the back of the roof with epoxy.
I was hard visually to see if I was rounding evenly so I made a sanding block cut in the curve I wanted. Funny photo taken from the edge of the block with sandpaper.
The block allowed me to even out the edge and smooth it. I also rounded the curve at the end of the support beam.
I now need to sand and get the mast opening cleaned up.
Simeon Baldwin suggested to me that a higher lip on the edge would allow a boot to be fitted which would prevent rain from coming in. I though this would be a good idea so I prepared extensions to glue on. These are about 3/4 of an inch. Enough for snap fastening to be fitted.
Before gluing I took photos and when I looked at the photos I realized I did not like the look of the extension. This is one of the first times when I decided not to do something that is actually a good idea.
If I decide it's a modification that I would like, it's not difficult to reach the area in the future. Since this boat will be primarily a day sailor, I am not so worried about rain coming in. Besides a camping tent could have a small extension that would cover the back of the cuddy up to the mast and waterproof that opening.
I sanded and cleaned up the edges. I also went around with thickened epoxy to fill any screw hole I had left. There was a small gap around the edge of the mast opening and I filled that.
I still need to even out the front overhang of the roof and round the front and back edges.
A quick sand of the area and I'm ready to glass the roof.
I dug up the fiberglass and cut a suitable piece. I had to think about how to handle the mast opening and decided to cut around it. The mast case is already glassed and the only piece I still need to do is the little ramp. I'll not worry about it in this session.
I taped the loose edge to that the glass would go around the edge nicely but I think that's overkill.
The roof is glassed and the corners are tidy. I had a bit of a worry. My epoxy is starting to crystallize because of the cold shop. While I was rolling it out I noticed some small lumps. That likely means that there is slightly more hardener than necessary. I took whatever lumps I could off the weave and I'm hoping for the best.
The epoxy has hardened normally with just a few little bumps. These will sand out fine. The glass is trimmed and still too soft to sand.
That's the roof done. A need a bit of glass on the mast box but otherwise that's pretty much done too.
I think I'll start getting the boat ready to turn over. I need some sturdy workhorses to support it. The ones I have are just a bit on the short side.
If you decide to build a boat be careful. These tools can be dangerous. If you don't know how to safely handle something find out. There are lots of forums out there.
This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view. I don't claim to be an expert in anything, just some little old lady muddling along.