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Steps in Building a SCAMP sailboat

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It's time to install the front stem, the forward bulkheads and the mast box.

The stem helps to position the forward bulkheads.

Positioning and gluing Scamp's stem.

checking alignment

I dry fitted the forward parts and checked that things fit together. It always seems to take me forever to fiddle all the parts to be sure I can glue. Everything seems to go together.

cardboard templategarboard aligns

I had one more part to check. I had had to adjust the curve of the base to fit the stem's flat base. It was only about half a centimetre but this multiplies across 12 feet. I was worried that this would throw out the fitting of the bottom plank.

The actual plank is too stiff and heavy to try, so I made a cardboard copy from old boxes. It would be enough to allow me to check that the board would fit.

I taped it on and it fit adequately. From other build photos, it looked like the board was fussy to put in, but this gives me hope that I will not have too much trouble and that the part at least fits.

checking bow

I just held up the bow piece and roughly lined it up. I don't see any problem with the fit. I suspect that there might have to be some muscling to force the plank to bend but I think that is not so hard.

I think I can go ahead and glue in the stem.

scamp stem gluedscamp stem glued detail

It was a simple matter to glue in the stem. I had marked the position so no guesswork. It lined up and was square with no argument.

Bulkhead Openings

Before I install bulkhead 3 and the mast case, I have to decide on how I am going to access the front compartment. It's a water tight area so the access doors need to be waterproof.

I also need to decide the size and position of the doors.

Many people have made nice plywood hatches that work adequately and Small Craft Advisor used to offer a nice kit for doors. I'm not sure if they still do.

Here is a link to how I made the templates and cut out the openings and lining pieces.

To cut the bulkhead opening it was a simple matter of lining up the pattern and marking the cut, making a rough cut with the jig saw. It makes the router cut much simpler if most of the material is removed with the saw. Then using a flush cut bit to go around the pattern and tidy up the opening. As long as the pattern is good, the opening is good.

bulkhead opened

The openings to bulkhead 3 are done and took no time at all to make once everything was set up and the patterns made.

I was able to cut doors and backing pieces using combinations of bits and collars.


I had forgotten to cut indents in bulkhead 4 and so I did them now. The indent guides and keeps roof and mast case supports in position. It would have been much easier to do this on the workbench BEFORE gluing in the bulkhead.

rough cut with jigsawtab to align mast case bottom

I checked the position of the bulkhead and lined it up as best I could. The kit has a handy jig but the plans do not. It's a bit tricky to line up the bulkheads at the top. I'll square them at the floor level and level as best I can.

spacer blocksmast case

In order to glue up the mast case I made a few spacer blocks. This gives me something to clamp or screw against while checking and assembling the mast case.

rough fit

Dry run for the mast case and bulkhead assembly. Everything is mostly good. I'll fine tune and glue up tomorrow.

dry run mast boxmast case is glued

It took quite a while to get a perfect fit of the mast box. I found that the back piece was just too low. I had to lift it by about a half centimetre and things fell in alignment.

I put a coat of epoxy and glued the sides of the mast box to the bulkhead.

I chose to glue to the bulkhead first, working flat, because everything was just a bit floppy and I was worried I could not control the parts. This will be easier I think.

dry run front deckfront deck

I tried the front deck in place with bulkhead 2. I'm trying to get an accurate placement. The deck went on and it lines up correctly with bulkhead 3 so I think I have a go.

I was able to cut temporary ceiling supports to keep bulkhead 2-3 and 4 in proper alignment.

hull and mast case get epoxy

I applied a good coat of epoxy on the mast case parts and on the front of the boat. I had enough epoxy to make a few fillets on the back bulkheads. There is no waste this way.

I think I have to take a detour and finish the opening of the hatches. Working on the bulkhead after it is glued in place is too annoying. Details of hatch opening here.

mast case

I glassed the back of the mast case. I will glass the seams of the mast case on the outside as well. I could see the potential for trouble if this is not strong enough. My fear is if I should drop it while putting up the mast. I'm not that strong. I might set up a little rig to help raise the mast. Tanzer people have lots of clever easy ways of raising a much heavier mast so it should not be that hard to figure out. I'll think about it.

linersmast case

After installing the liner/stiffener pieces on the bulkhead opening, I turned it over and put a coat of resin on the bulkhead. I think it's much easier to sand the bulkhead while it is flat so I will clean it up as well as I can so that the only finishing sanding I have to do is around the edges.

Made some wider fillets so I can bring fiberglass around the bend and really tie down the mast case.

cabin floor support

While waiting for the bulkhead epoxy to set, I fitted and glued some supports for the cockpit floor.

back glued onback glued on

After coating the inside of the mast case with epoxy I glued the back on and put weights to keep in place. I removed most of the squeeze out.

After setting I was able to clean the hardened edges and curve the edge so the fiberglass would stick, I dusted everything and cut some glass strips to reinforce the back and seams.

glassingmast case glassed

The back of the mast support case and the seams have been fiber-glassed. I had sanded the bulkhead so I added another coat of resin.

Bulkhead 3 glued

After much fretting and worrying, I finally glued in bulkhead 3 and the mast case.

I will need to glass and brace the mast case some more but everything feels rock solid. This was a bit stressful because there is just enough wiggle room in the slots that I have cut to change the position angles quite a lot. The instructions were, to make loose fitting slots, but that comes at the cost of less accurate positioning.

checking the squarefloor is square bulkhead is square to stem

The bulkhead is squared to the floor and to the stem and the bulkhead is level. I'm showing the level to the floor but I have the floor clamped to the proper position against the bulkhead 3 and it is level.

scamp bulkhead2scamp bulkhead2

After checking positioning of the roof to the cabin and front deck beams I was confident that I could glue bulkhead 2 which I did. It is slightly out of true and leans just a bit backwards. It's just short of a quarter inch out. I preferred to have the front deck fit well than a perfect square bulkhead.

Before gluing the bulkhead I added another support piece on the boat frame. The forward support were quite far apart and the bulkhead 2 was wobbling. This made the support much stronger and eliminated the wobble.

scamp bulkhead2beams

I spent an afternoon cutting and adjusting the support beams for the forward deck and top of the cuddy. I fussed about getting the angles right and had to cut through holes in the bulkhead 2. I had not dared do that on the flat because I wanted to measure in position. The little beams go through the bulkhead and get epoxied in place.

I'm using slightly knotty wood so I've made the beams just a bit deeper than specs ask for. I had to adjust the notches and holes but no problem.

The cuddy roof lines up nicely and the mast opening ramp will be almost flush with the roof.

I guess the mast box opening has a small guide ramp to make it easy to step the mast. The earlier boats don't seem to have this but I can see how helpful it will be.

cut out in bulkhead 1front

I cut a notch in the front stem. This is to allow me to glue a doubler on the front bulkhead so that I can bolt on a ring or attachment for the front line. I also glassed the area so it would be stronger.

The attachment to the front stem is fragile. It is supported by 2 wood pieces.

I'll add fillets to strengthen the various parts.

The front bulkhead has bevels on all sides to accommodate the the angle of the deck and planks.

The front pieces are now ready to be glued.

glued a supportfront

Fitted the cuddy floor support and glued it in. The white stick is just wedged in to push on the support. I have a bunch of small wedges that seem to come in handy almost everyday.

The beams supporting the front deck are glued in place but I will add fillets later. The whole set up felt too floppy to glue the front panel so I'll do that after everything sets.

I also spent time adding another coat of epoxy here and there, and sanding. Had a bit of extra thickened glue so added a couple of fillets.

glued a support

The cabin supports fought me tooth and nail. They would not line up, they popped out of the depressions cut to guide them, the epoxy got really sticky and my clamps kept jumping off.

I finally got everything in place and clamped just as the epoxy was starting to thicken. It was too stiff to make fillets. MaƱana.

front panelfront

I glued the forward bulkhead. The front panel gets attached to the top of the stem but this is quite flimsy. It went on without argument and I clamped it solidly. I have lots of little pieces of wood to line things on and to give the clamps something to hang on to.

I wanted to check that the front panel was square. I finally used an old drafting square with a corner cut out with the bandsaw. I had to make a slight adjustment but things are square.

I still have to make some fillets and sand here and there but the front section bulkheads, mast box and roof supports are now complete. Another benchmark

I will now go on to finish the various bevels and markings for the transom. Once it is in place the lower hull panel can be installed.

Installing the Bow Eye was more complicated than I expected.

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.