First the Background

If you haven’t heard of a Scamp sailboat, please check out the SCA Scamp site.

My thoughts regarding this competent little boat are found here.

What will I change for this second build?  Check it out here.

You can read my spar wood musing here.

You can read my voyaging design thoughts here.

Finally, you can find my hatch musings here.

With these concepts in mind, let’s build a sailboat.  


Veranda Utilization

How do you use your veranda?  If it’s full of junk, you might want to clean house.  

As you are well aware, Scamp has a very small veranda at the front of the cockpit.  I’ve laid awake at night trying to decide how to best utilize this small space.  I’m 6′ tall and weigh about 200 lb., so there’s not a lot of room to work.  However, there ought to be a way of optimizing this small compact space to our advantage.  Though quite tight, I contend this small space can provide an enormous amount of shelter if needed.

But, there’s a fly in the ointment:  If your veranda is chuck full of loose gear or even secured gear, you simply won’t fit for the purpose I have in mind.  I’m envisioning a veranda completely void of ancillary gear, absolutely clean and unobstructed.  If you can keep this area completely clear of all gear, it can prove an excellent warming shelter.  And, with all the storage space on this boat, why should we encumber this area with yet more gear?  Just say no!

Disadvantages of loose gear stored under veranda:

  1. Could loose it upon capsize
  2. Could injure you
  3. Obstructs access to hatches and working areas of the boat
  4. Can foul rigging and sailing lines
  5. Loose gear is dangerous gear

Advantages of an absolutely clean veranda:

  1. Boat is clean and tidy “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”
  2. Clean boat is a safer boat
  3. No chance of loosing gear overboard
  4. No chance of loose gear getting soaked
  5. Veranda can be used to shelter the sailor which I contend is the highest and best use for this cozy space.


Let’s look at a few pictures:

First shot is just me demonstrating the usefulness of the footwell.   If you don’t have a footwell on your Scamp, you should definitely consider doing a retro well.  There worth the effort.

With a Crazy Creek soft chair behind my lower back, this would make an excellent seat.  I love the footwell and would not build a Scamp without one.  



Here you see the grate in the up position, creating a level floor for safely stepping the mast…


or sleeping with head under the veranda.  But wait, you said it could shelter a cold sailor?  


By placing a medium sized dry bag against plank #2, I can swing sideways and fit neatly under the veranda.  A drop down curtain, secured to the top of bulkhead #4 (much like Howard has demonstrated) would finish off the security of this area by providing wind and water protection from the elements.

I would need a full set of cushions under the entire veranda area to soften the sole.  

My feet are comfortably placed against plank #2.  No, I’m not going to sleep here, but I would certainly take a nap or warm up under here.


This is how I want my veranda to function.  I want to be able to crawl under and take a 10 minute nap or allow a child to get out of the weather underneath its protective plywood cover.  I want in clean and on the ready.  If I have to move one single item, I fear it might not get used like it should.  Hence, I will be placing all miscellaneous gear in other areas of the boat, which shouldn’t be a problem on Scamp.

I love this little micro cruiser, and this level of organization will allow me to utilize this small area to the fullest.  If you’re willing to keep this area clean of gear, you pick up a whole new area to rest on this boat.  


Painting Panel #2

As I add another panel, I continue painting up the insides of the boat.  I’m not sure this is the fastest way to accomplish this task, but I believe it’s the easiest…I guess.  Actually, there are a lot of ways to build boat, this is just the way I did it.


It takes 2 coats to cover the areas, so be patient and take your time.


I tape off all areas that will need fillets later.



I’m almost ready for plank #3.  Stay tuned…

Cockpit Sole, Forward Piece

After having previously epoxied and laminated the fore pieces of the cockpit sole, I was ready to sand and fill the screw and air holes.

Check it out:

This is the underside of the cockpit sole.  I’ve taped the screw holes so I can fill them from the top side.  
Now right side up, I filled all the screw holes with epoxy to seal them.  I also rolled another thin coat of epoxy over the entire top side of the board.  


I paid particular attention to properly seal the edges.  



This piece now has 3 coats on the top side (2 underneath).  The final 3rd coat on the bottom will occur when I install the panel in the boat.   After curing, I’ll fill any low spots that continue to show and get it ready for installation.  

Bow Eye and Seat Cleating

Just a quick post to show a few odds n ends.

Check it out:

Since I won’t have good access to the inside bow area of my boat, I’m installing the bow eye now, while the access is good.  

I had a choice to either center the bow eye like the plans call out, or to move the bow eye slightly off center (looks a little goofy) and drill directly through the center of the vertical oak backer plate.  I chose the offset method.

I carefully marked off the correct area as to hit the backer plate dead center.  
This is where I came through on the inside.  

I probably got in a hurry on this one…not sure I would drill it here again.  I could fill with epoxy and center the bow eye, but I think I’ll leave it for a conversation piece.

Now on to the stern seat cleats.  

This small cleat had never been installed, so before I paint plank #2, I installed this missing seat cleat.  
Screwing through the back of the transom provides good clamping action.  


Just keeping the progress moving here folks.  

Front Cockpit Sole

Waiting for plank #2 to fully cure, this morning I worked on the front cockpit sole pieces. They had previously been epoxy coated twice and were now ready to be laminated together.

Check it out:

Notice the holes in between the screw holes.  Those are breather holes, allowing air and epoxy to escape.  
This system has worked very well for me.  Wax paper, washer then screw.  It keeps the screw hole to a minimum, which makes it easer to fill later and provides good clamping pressure.
I draw my gloved finger around the perimeter to seal this exposed edge.  
This joint will continue to ooze epoxy for a least 1 hour.  By checking back and rubbing the edge, you can knock down the air bubbles that form and keep the edge sealed. 

Have you touched your boat today?


Plank #2, in the can

Moving forward brought me face to face with plank #2.  This time, I had more confidence and with the help of my 2 sons, we had both panels in place within 1 hour.  It takes considerable more time to epoxy and fillet the panels than it does to hang them in place.  The filleting for both panels took about 4.5 hours.

Check it out:

The blue tape keeps the epoxy from running out the bottom of the joint. 


She gets better looking each day.  

Steps I follow:

  1. Bevel the bulkheads to better meet the panel, using a block plane or shinto rasp
  2. Wire the panels in place
  3. Check all angles for smooth bends and proper overlap
  4. Tape the bottom seam
  5. Wet all joints with un-thickened epoxy using chip brush
  6. Apply thickened fillets
  7. Shape thickened fillets
  8. Wet precut glass tape to fit between each bulkhead
  9. Apply wet glass tape to wet fillet
  10. Press and smooth the wet tape into the wet fillet using your gloved fingers, working out all air bubbles
  11. Clean up all the jet streams (the excess epoxy off the edges of the fillet)
  12. 2 hours later, I rub all fillets with a gloved finger dipped in alcohol to make them smoother
  13. Finally, I roll another thin coat of epoxy over all the green fiberglass tape

By applying the tape directly onto the wet fillet, you get a very good hot bond between the two layers.  This technique also keeps the sanding to a minimum.  I only need to sand one time when everything has cured.  I’ll then be ready for the finish paint.


The panels take a long time from start to finish.  Pick a day or long evening when you can give it the attention it needs.  It feels great to have panel #2 on the boat and curing.  

Completing Dry Storage Paint

The first coat doesn’t and shouldn’t cover well, but the 2nd coat should get things looking really nice.  I’m always amazed how long the first coat takes to dry.  Even with a thin coat of paint, the drying took over 24 hours.

First of all, why should one paint the storage areas at all?

Painting the storage areas accomplishes the following:

  1. It provides a wear surface over the epoxy
  2. It provides UV protection to the epoxy
  3. It’s easier to find small items you have stowed
  4. It creates a more finishes look to the storage areas
  5. Psychologically it seems like the right thing to do (at least for me)

Here’s Hagoth after her 2nd coat:

Using a roller and chip brush, the second coat covered very well.  
I’ll continue bringing the paint line up as the additional panels are added.  
Doesn’t this look a lot more finished?  I think it’s worth the time commitment.  


I used Rustoleum protective enamel in Gloss Almond.  I really like this color.  The paint is tough, easy to apply and cost $8.00/quart from Home Depot.  What’s not to love.  In fact, I like this stuff so much, I may paint the hull with this product…still thinking about this.



Sometimes by slowing down, you actually go faster.  This seems to be the case when it comes to painting the storage areas.  By painting now, even though it takes time to cure, it’s  much easier than attempting this process at a later date.  Do it now, slow down and get it right.  You’ll be glad you did.  

Painting the Storage Areas

I like to paint my way out of the hole I create.  Hence, painting has already begun.

First coat needs to be thin or you’ll be waiting days for it to cure.  
I use a thin roller and chip brush for the corners.  
You’ve got to be careful to stay off the fillet areas.  Tape keeps me honest.  


I’ll apply at least one more coat before moving forward with the next panel.  Building boats definitely takes time.  Better to paint these areas now than have to reach down into a hole off a ladder to reach these tight areas.

Boat within a Boat

In a sense, you are building a boat within a boat with regard to many areas of a Scamp.  

A few of these areas are:

  1. The footwell
  2. The water ballast tank
  3. The cockpit sole
  4. The lazarette

You want to build and seal these areas sufficiently well as to withstand pooling water as if it were the outside of a boat.  Hence the boat within a boat concept.

With this in mind, I’ll include a few photographs to show how I do this:


These are the forward cockpit sole pieces.  After routing the edges of the doubler, I apply several coats of epoxy to these pieces.

But, I never pre-coat laminating surfaces, choosing instead to “hot bond” these surfaces once I’m ready to laminate them together.  Hence, the photo above shows:  1-the bottom side of the lower cockpit sole piece (which will receive 3 total coats of epoxy) and the top side of the doubler, which will receive 4 total coats of epoxy, due to it’s exposure to rain.  The inside or mating surface of these pieces will be coated when I laminate them together.

4 coats of epoxy may seem excessive to some, but I like the insurance against water intrusion–the enemy of all wooden boats.  

The above photo shows the final coat of epoxy (the 4th) to the top of the aft section of the cockpit sole.  Before I could apply this last layer, I filled all screw and air holes (this step took 2 applications) and sanded all the edges to ensure I was ready for the final coat.


The doubler cutout shows where I’ll install a drain plug.  I wanted to mount the plug as low as possible.  The cutout allows good access for threading in the plug, which will be done from the inside of the lazarette.  I offset the plug as not to interfere with the rudder hardware.  It appears from mock-up that the lazarette will be self draining–fingers crossed.  If not, it certainly will prevent standing water from accumulating in the lazarette, which is the real point of the drain plug.   From the photo you can also see my access hatch (4″ screw in) which is located directly aft of the front facing edge of the lazarette.   I chose to locate the hatch within the lazarette to keep the forward section of sole clean of the hatch lid, which makes standing on the sole uncomfortable.  It also keeps the hatch cleaner and out of the way.  This hatch is only for air access as I’m not intending to store anything under the cockpit sole in this area of the boat.


It’s nice to stay a few steps ahead of your next move when building a boat.  By getting started on the cockpit sole now, I can stay ahead of the curing garboard planks.  

Garboard Plank Installed

Sometimes certain steps seem to hold a psychological advantage over you as a builder.  They seem to weigh heavy on your mind, seeming larger than life.  For me this weight was felt with the garboard plank.  Even though I’ve already built a Scamp and maybe because I’ve already built a Scamp, the garboard plank seemed to loom over me in a threatening sort of way.

This morning I strapped on my courage and did a full frontal attach on plank #1.  I recruited the help of my 2 sons as the plank is somewhat long and ungainly.

With the boys wiring the plank, I felt more like the boatyard supervisor than the workman.  
What a great education for the boys.  
I love the outward flair of the garboard plank.  This aggressive flair creates a stable hull enabling Scamp to lay comfortably on it’s side. 
We stitched right up the stem to hold the aggressive angle required for the first plank.  We’ll cut off the excess once cured.  
Copper wiring top and bottom along each bulkhead sufficiently held the panel. 
She’s beginning to look like a proper vessel.  


Now for a look at the finished footwell:

I’ll paint down to this graphite line when I paint the cockpit.  
The grate is meant to perform the following tasks:  1-keep my feet off the cold bottom of the boat, 2-minimize abrasion from sand that makes its way into the bottom of my boat, 3-act as filler board for footwell when stepping the mast, 4-act as filler board for footwell when sleeping solo, 5-act as seat-top filler board when sleeping duo, 6-act as rowing thwart, 7-act as a seat-top table when seated on sole, looking forward, leaning back against lazarette, 8-act as back support when leaning back against bulkhead 3 under the veranda.  How’s than for multipurpose?  


For all the psychological pressure I felt over the garboard plank, I was very surprised how easily things came together.  It was nothing to worry about at all.  When things begin to grow and become mentally larger than they really are, we just need to move forward and work through the issues.  Maybe this is a metaphor for life.