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Steps in Building SCAMP



My SCAMP build, Making the Spars

The Scamp is rigged for a balanced lugsail. There is a boom at the bottom and a yard at the top.

I went shopping for wood for the spars. I was hoping to find some nice spruce 2 x 10 that could be cut down, but I was not very lucky. Nothing clear enough. The lumber is also quite wet and warps a lot.

There are lumber yards that will deliver good wood but the cost is high. I asked around for douglas fir but not much success there.

I've had good luck with pine. I made my Skerry mast from old shelves made of rough pine and it has survived very well. I had to do some joining and make the mast larger than designed but it has been a good mast and shows no sign of damage. I can get nice clear pine. It's not the strongest of woods but the grain is nice and there are no knots.

I eventually settled on a few nice boards and will laminate to get the thickness.

boom is ready to glueboom is glued

I cut my boards a bit larger than required and aligned the grain of the 2 pieces so they go in opposite direction to help avoid warpage.

The 2 pieces glued up fine but had a slight curl. Once glued this disappeared. I made sure to wet the wood with a generous amount of epoxy before gluing so the wood could absorb as much as it needed. I'm thinking this glue line will stiffen and strengthen the wood which is too week and bendy to be ideal.


extra glue is scraped off marked the taper

I had wiped off most of the epoxy that had squeezed out so cleanup was simple. I used both the scraper and the sander.

The boom tapers at both ends so I marked the taper and cut it. I used both plane and sander.

boom has tapers cut

Tapers are cut and ends cut to size. After a quick check and sand I was ready to round over the edges.


router with round over bit edges are rounded

When I went to the last wood show, I had bought a new bit to round over edges. This is a quarter inch radius with a bearing. It worked very well to give the edges of the boom a nice round feel.

boom has 2 coats of epoxy

Next step was to give the spar a couple of coats of epoxy. I waited for the shop to warm up and applied lots of resin. Quite a lot soaked in. I was surprised on how much stiffer the spar was. I think it will work very well.

I forgot to drill holes at both ends so I guess I'll do that before I start finishing the boom. I intend to varnish it.

I'm trying to get my cutting and sanding done so I can start painting the hull. I'll have to do a major clean up and vacuum. I have no hope of eliminating all dust but I can get the lower surfaces clean so I don't stir up any when walking around.


Making the Yard

The yard, which is the upper spar, is longer and rounded. It is also quite thin and expected to bend some.

I decided to use a birds mouth construction. Not because I care about the weight reduction but because it is an easy way of getting a nice straight round spar from material that is not large enough, nor strong enough by itself, to make a solid spar. I know that the epoxy and laminations will help strengthen the spar.

table saw setup v groove cut

It was a simple job to cut the 8 staves and groove them. The wood is quite soft but the grain is good and there is little warping. I had to scarf a few extensions but that worked well. I cut the scarfs by hand using my Japanese pull saw.

I will cut some of the taper in the staves but the wall are so thick I will be able to actually thin the glued up yard when I round it. Taper and Glue next.


emails: Christine

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