Mostly retired spend all my time working on or thinking about boats and outboard motors :)
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Follow our project from start to finish


Building Journal

Well, after 4 years of looking, reading, planning, studying and buying "stuff" we finally started construction in September of 2009.

A couple of things made the "time right". First off, I retired in the July, so now I had the time to dedicate to the project and second, subsequent to my retirement, we moved the "Land O Lakes Region" in Eastern Ontario - so now I really had no more excuses :)

Anyhow, I have began a journal which I will update on this page as well as the build progresses. It may be of little value to anyone unless they are building the same project, but in the broader sense, may be of interest to anyone contemplating a build of this scale.

I have a fairly extensive tool collection which is making this build easy and enjoyable. You don't need everything that I have, but it sure is nice on a project of this scale. Here is a list of what I used for the project:

Stationary Tools:

Band Saw (15")
Drill Press (12")
Jointer (4")
Miter Saw (10")
Scroll Saw
Table Saw (10")
Thickness Planer (12 1/2")

Portable Power Tools:

Belt Sander (3" x 18")
Drills/Drivers (12, 14 and 18 volt - nice not to have to change bits constantly)
Hammer Drill (corded)
Jig Saw (variable speed) ** about 90% of all cutting could be done with a Jig Saw
Orbital Sanders (1/4 and 1/3 sheet)
Planer (3")
Shop Vac
Skill Saw (7 1/4")

Hand Tools and Misc:

Chalk Line
Chisels (various sizes)
Clamps (C, F, clothes pin style, pipe) approx 100 and could easily use 100 more
Files (various, but in particular a wood rasp is valuable)
Hammers (Claw, dead blow, mallets)
Micrometer (particularly if you plane your own lumber)
Measuring tape (one that is marked in 1/16" increments is a must)
Planes (Rabbet and block)
Plumb bob
Protractor (adjustable to measure angles)
Respirator (with both particle filter and organic filters - epoxy/sawdust are nasty)
Saws ("regular", back, pull, dovetail, coping)
Screwdrivers (all flavours)
Squares (framing, speed)


The building form was set up on the 10th of September, 2009. It was erected in a 20'x10'x9' tent shelter to keep the weather off.

In March of 2010 an 8' "extension" was added to the tent in order to house the entire (almost) 26' of boat. A few 2x4's and a big tarp were more than adequate.

Frame lumber/sheet material was purchased on the following dates as follows:

Totals (so far):

Douglas Fir 174 board feet
African Mahogany 60 board feet
Black Walnut 13 board feet
Western Red Cedar 14 board feet

9 mm Okoume 6 sheets
6 mm Okoume
12 mm Okoume
18 mm D-Fir 4 sheets
12 mm D-Fir 3 sheets
9 mm D-Fir 1 sheet

11 Sep 09 - 128' of 1"x8" (nominal) Douglas-Fir and 20' of 1" x 12" (rough) African Mahogany (Khaya) from The Wood Source (Manotick Station, ON) - $749.05

13 Sep 09 - 3 sheets 4'x8' 3/4" EXT Fir from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $148.58

16 Sep 09 - 1 sheet 4'x8' 3/4" EXT Fir from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $49.53

20 Sep 09 - 1 sheet 4'x8' 1/2" EXT Fir from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $36.13

30 Sep 09 - 32' of 1"x8" (nominal) Douglas-Fir, 60' of 1"x6" (nominal) Douglas-Fir, 10' of 1" x 13" (rough) African Mahogany (Khaya), 10' of 1" x 15" (rough) African Mahogany (Khaya) and 18' of 1"x9" (skip dressed) Black Walnut from The Wood Source (Manotick Station, ON) - $645.20

05 Oct 09 - 2 sheets 4'x8' 1/2" EXT Fir from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $72.25

15 Oct 09 - 19 b.f. random/random (rough) African Mahogany (Khaya) and 15 b.f. 8" (rough) Douglas-Fir from Monaghan Lumber (Peterborough, ON) - $199.59

18 Oct 09 - 1 sheet 4'x8' 3/8" EXT Fir from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $30.04

21 Oct 09 - 12' of 1" x 6" (nominal) Western Red Cedar from Rona (Kingston, ON) - $11.87

15 Apr 10 - 6 sheets of 9mm (3/8") 1088 Okoume plywood and 27 b.f. 8" (rough) Douglas-Fir from Monaghan Lumber (Peterborough, ON) - $630.98

27 May 10 - 12 b.f. 6" (rough) Douglas Fir and 18 b.f. 6/4 6" (rough) African Mahogany from Monaghan Lumber (Perterborough, ON) - $169.05

Epoxy, Paint, Misc.

12 Sep 09 - West System (105) Grp C epoxy resin, (205) Grp B fast hardener and resin pumps - West Marine (Kingston, ON) - $564.97

15 Sep 09 - West System (403) plus mixing supplies - West Marine (Kingston, ON) - $30.71

15 Sep 09 - Quart kit, System 3 - T88 epoxy glue and West System (875) Scarfer - Noah's (Toronto) - $155.99

03 Oct 09 - West System (406) plus mixing supplies - West Marine (Kingston, ON) -

Frame Construction

All members glued with West System Epoxy thickened with Microfibres (403) or Colloidal Silica (406). Members fastened with Silicon Bronze screws or Ring Nails as applicable in accordance with the fastening schedule given by the designer. Then all structure encapsulated with West System Epoxy according to West System recommendations.

Transom - Double bottom frames and single sides - Douglas Fir. Inner plywood layers - 2 x 3/4" EXT Fir. Outer layer - African Mahogany (Khaya) "faux" strip planked (3" x 1/4" strips) to give the appearance of a traditionally planked boat - will be clear finished above the waterline.

Extra Frame and Frames 1 thru 6 -

Bottom and side frames (double side frames on extra frame only) - 1" nominal Douglas-Fir.

Partial bulkhead (to sole level) 1/2" EXT Fir on every frame - not called for by design. This was a decision I personally made for a couple of reasons. First, the frame specs were 1" or 1 1/4" (optional) nominal stock. The first load of Douglas-Fir that I got (1" nominal) had been slightly over-planed so it's thickness was just a hair over 11/16" - a little on the light side. So the addition of the 1/2" fir sheeting, up to the sole level accomplished a few things. First, it restored all the strength that had been planed away from the stock lumber. Second, Douglas-Fir is notorious for splitting so the plywood bonded to all of the bottom frames and part of the side frames will alleviate that issue to a great extent. And third, it will provide a ton of support for the cockpit sole which would have had to been added otherwise.

Floor timbers - 1" net Black Walnut. I needed some very wide boards for the floor timbers and picked up skip dressed "shorts" for a very decent price - and saved me from hacking up my Mahogany which is better saved for parts that will be "seen" instead of buried under the (floor). I couldn't get wide enough Douglas Fir from any of the three suppliers closest to me at the time when I needed the lumber and the Walnut was a totally viable alternative.

Sole framing (at Frames) - 1" nominal Douglas-Fir.

Chine, Sheer, Carlins, Battens and Strakes

Chine - 1" net, Douglas-Fir.

The 26' chine logs were scarfed (12:1 scarf) out of three pieces of D-Fir.

Upon initial installation, which requires "some bending and twisting" according to the desinger, I shattered one of the logs trying to get it to bend into the stem. The "broken" piece was cut off (about 8' from one end) which left me with a "short" chine.

After fiddling around for 2-3 days trying different techniques to try and get the chines to bend without fracturing (even considered kerfing the last 10 feet or so, or laying it up as two 1/2" laminations), I went with "plan c".

24 hours of soaking both of the chines in regular water allowed them to spring into position without incident. I was intially reluctant to saturate my "dry and stable" wood, but it seemed the most viable solution available to me.

The "short chine" was simply lengthened, back to 26', by butt joining (with a full frame width backing block) in the aft section, where the chine was running nearly straight.

I cut my scarfs on the table saw with a home-made jig and the idea of trying to feed an 18' piece just seemed a little unsafe - so the butt joint/backer was the better solution.

Sheer - 1 1/4" net, laminated in place on the structure which allowed the wood to be bent to shape - 2 X 5/8", Douglas-Fir, scarf joined for length.

Carlins - 1" net, laminated in place on the structure which allowed the wood to be bent to shape, 2 X 1/2", African Mahogany (Khaya), scarf joined for length.

Battens - 1" net, Douglas-Fir, scarf joined for length.

Keel - the keel was made up of three laminations. Two layers of 1" (nominal) Douglas Fir and a single 3/8" layer of exterior plywood. The plywood helps prevent the fir from splitting, and the two laminations of fir lessen the chance of a defect becoming an issue.

The keel was laminated, in place, on the frames which had been set-up and fastened to the building jig. It was simply joined with staggered butt joints throughout it's 18' length amoungst the three layers.

Even laminating in stages required in excess of 40 clamps for an 8 to 10 foot section. I wanted to keep the keel, which needs to be heavily faired to properly mate the bottom panels, free of fasteners which would either have to be removed or could cause damage to my planes during the installation of the bottom.

The keel was fastened to each floor member (bottom frame) by a single #14, 3" silicon bronze screw. This provided all the clamping pressure required until the epoxy set up.

The screw was installed after the plywood had been laminated to a single layer of solid fir stock. The final layer of fir (which will take the brunt of the fairing) was then laminated over the "fastened" layers and held in place with clamps "only" until it dried.

5th of June, 2010 - after enduring a week of rain, the chine and sheer are rough faired. I'm really glad I have a power plane, I can't imagine having to do all that with a hand plane (but the hand plane is absolutely necessary to do the fine/finish fairing). I'm getting close to installing the side panels - don't want to rush it at this point. A low spot in one of the chines and one of the sheers needs to be addressed first.

Fast forward to September, 2010. After my last entry the rain came back then turned into blistering heat then back to rain for almost the entire month of August. I did manage to get the frames completely faired up, building up a low spot right at the chine near the stern. Then, while the weather was still nice I got the sides rough fitted and scarfed in place on the frames. They were then permanently fastened with epoxy and silicon bronze screws at all points along the sheer, chine, stem and transom.

With the sides secured I installed the knee between the keel and the transom and started cutting and fastening the 1 1/2" mahogany strips on the side of the hull. I need the strips in place before the bottom goes on, at least in the forward section ahead of the transition joint - it's just easier to do all the trimming/fairing forward before I try to butt the bottom of the hull to the sides in the forward sections.

The temperature dropped in October making epoxy work impractical, so all the tools are now stored away waiting for spring - I hope we have a short winter.

Good-bye 2010...

(more to follow - updates as the work progresses)
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