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Steps in Building a SCAMP sailboat

Links to all my scamp building pages.

Building a Scamp Sailboat
Building the Frame

While I have spent quite a lot of time making the mast, centreboard and rudder, and cutting out all the main parts of the boat, it does not look like much. This is about to change as I start to go 3-D.

lots of space

The SCAMP is built right side up at first, on a curved platform. This platform not only gives the proper curvature to the bottom of the hull but also keeps the boat at a comfortable height to work.

The summer had been excruciatingly hot and humid and the shop had only been used for making 2 sets of Jinga boards. Everything had a thick coat of sawdust and all the boat parts were flat on the floor here and there to prevent warpage.

I spent a happy day or two getting ready and moving things around to make enough space for the frame.

I then dug up the chip board panels I had bought in the spring and cut a piece to make the panel long enough. The Scamp is just short of 12 feet so I had to add some extra wood. No fancy joint, just a butt joint glued and with a plywood patch on top.

Cutting extra pieceadded pieces

I used my Makita circular saw. It is my least favourite tool and the dislike is totally unwarranted. This little saw has worked well for almost 25 years, cuts well, I've never really had a kickback or any bad thing happen with it. It is accurate, powerful and easy to set up and control. It's irrational.

fair curve using a batten

I measured, put small nails on the spots and used a plywood batten to join the points. No problem getting a fair curve.

I used the jig saw to cut the board. Not fast but works fine.

Sides cut

2 sides of the frame are cut and set aside. I will put them back to back to check curve and make sure they are equal.

I'll do a quick sand to adjust any little quirk but they both look fine.

Crosscut sled frame pieces

I remembered that my crosscut sled had finally given up so I made a new one.

I needed one to make the cross pieces on the frame and it's faster and more accurate to cut on the table saw using a sled. I had lots of bits of panel around.

After that it took no time at all to cut the cross pieces for the frame.

All the parts of the frame are here. I need to assemble them and then build the legs to bring the frame to a suitable height.

legs for the frame legs

Here are the 4 sets of legs. They are ugly but quite accurate and very square. I used up lots of bits I had around when old cabinets and a wall were removed. It took a while to get all the nails and screws out but the lumber was dry and sound.

2 sides of frame

I clamped the 2 sides of the frame and compared them. They were pretty much the same. They were off about the thickness of the small nail in a couple of places. I sanded the 2 sides together and now they are exactly the same. 40 grit on the Random Orbital Sander works as well as a belt sander for small spots and easier to handle for me. The grain is too irregular to use the planes.

I could not think of a good way to easily attach the crosspieces. They don't span the whole depth of the frame and they need to be lined up with the top that is curved. In the end I attached 2X2 supports along my very accurate drafting lines and attached the crosspieces to that first then through the side.

Everything is nasty particle board with no strength for holding screws. I think the supports and the screws through the side will be just fine.

legs for the frame crosspieces

This worked very well and went quite fast once I had figured out a way. It took me all afternoon to make the legs and attach the crosspieces to one side. It always takes a lot of time the first time and there is seldom a second time! plus I'm slow anyway.

I've left a few clamps I used to position the pieces to help support them when I turn the side around. I'm not using any glue because I want to be able to take this apart when I'm done.

one side completed side 2 of frame

After aligning the legs close to their final position, I turned the first side with it's attached crosspieces and added a few temporary supports.

The temporary supports keep the crosspieces level. I went around and screwed the side on. I added 2x2 support and screwed the legs to the side.

This worked very well and I had very little pulling and adjusting to do. I had very accurate positioning lines drawn on the side from the drafting so I just alligned the crosspieces to this.

I had cut 6 wide extra crosspieces for the bottom. No photos. The plan asked for a bottom to the frame but the wood was so heavy that I decided to add wide boards instead. I'm a not very strong oldish lady and I could not find an easy way of moving this sheet around. It is dead solid anyway.

trimming crosspieces

I need to trim the edge of the crosspieces so they match the angle of the curve. I did that with the sander.

SCAMP form completed

I checked the square, the level and the diagonals and everything is quite good. My diagonals are just short of an eight of an inch out of square. I don't think this will matter. Every thing else is good.

I measured to make sure there was enough clearance around the frame to comfortably work on the boat. After doing a final leveling with little wedges under the legs, I screwed the frame to the floor.

Soon there is going to be a boat on this frame.

NOTE: When I started installing the stem I found that the base was about a quarter inch too high for the stem to fit properly. (The stem is the piece that attaches to the bottom of the boat. It also supports the front flat panel at the bow.)I suspect that this was the result of the thickness of the cross piece on the front of the frame. Once I beveled the crosspiece the stem fit better. It fell in place properly after I beveled the second crosspiece from the bow. So before you attach the bottom, take your stem piece and check that it fits properly because many things attach to this and it is very important to get it right.

emails: Christine

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 someone muddling along.