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.  

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Finishing the Anchor System

You need a way to anchor your boat, even if just for a lunch break or swimming break.

Here are the parts of my system:

  1. 100′ of 3 strand nylon rope.  3 strand is energy absorbing and nylon is stretchy.  This makes an ideal rope for anchoring your small boat.
  2. stainless threaded beaner (for quick and secure disconnect).
  3. stainless D shackle.
  4. 12′ of 1/4″ galvanized chain.
  5. Rocna anchor #4.

Here’s how it all went together:

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I started by whipping the ends with synthetic sinew to keep the line from unravelling.  I then melted the ends to fuse the 3 strands together.

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The threaded beaner will be used to allow me to remove the anchor line from the anchor, so it can serve other purposes like securing the boat on shore, hauling the boat on shore or towing another vessel.  I used a simple figure 8 knot to secure the loop in the anchor line.

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I used a 5/8″ stainless D shackle to secure the chain to the anchor.  I applied Loctite to prevent the shackle from un-threading.

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Now, I need a system of how to store and deploy the anchor.  Always more head scratching.  

CB Pin Retention System

While I await my new Scamp kit, I’m working through a few details of the build – like the drain plug and CB pin retention system.  These are systems that need to be sorted out prior to installation.  I’d rather tackle these systems now, while I’ve got some down time.

 I really liked the CB pin retention system I saw on Eric’s scamp.  He can be found on the Scamp Forum.  Eric’s system presents several advantages over my last system:

  1. It traps/holds very little water within the system.  Why is this important?  I live in Idaho, where it can freeze almost any night of the year.  A system that holds very little water is safer in regards to a freeze and presents one less thing to worry about.  What small amount of water it does trap, resided against the bronze fitting and not a wooden part.
  2. It’s redundant with the drain plug.  Hence, spare fittings will fit in either location.  Less spare parts to carry.  Easier to maintain.
  3. It offers a simple way of extracting the CB pin, by utilizing a wing nut.
  4. It’s water tight, preventing water from migrating out of the ballast tank (making my boat less stable) by traveling through the CB pivot pin and out the bottom of the CB slot.
  5. It’s simple, once you understand it.  So simple, I believe it will actually work.

Here are the parts:

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I purchased 2 Sea Dog 1/2″ bronze drain plug kits along with 2 spare bolts.  I’ll use one for the water ballast tank drain and the other as the CB bolt retention system.  These have a tapered thread to seal out the water.  I wanted a few spare plugs, hence the extras.

I’m not a metal guy, so I’ll have these parts machined locally in accordance to Eric’s design.

Stay tuned for outcome…

Rudder Finish Work

There was a debate going on within my mind – shall I finish the rudder bright or shall I paint it.  How much bright work should I have on this new build?  Bright work is gorgeous, but I hear it’s more work to keep looking nice.  In my mind, I have Hagoth firmly planted as a nicely finished work boat.  With this as a basis, I decided to paint the rudder.

After sanding the epoxy skin with 80 & 220 grit paper, I wiped it all down with mineral spirits on a rag to remove all the dust particles.  I then rolled and tipped the first coat of paint.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Marshal Cove paint, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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I wanted a color that had an Old World look to it – a historic color if such a thing exists.  After staring at the online paint card for over an hour, I settled on #17 Deep Red Gloss.

Check it out:

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I love the color and plan to use it on the veranda top and transom cap as well.

Summary:

Once cured, I’ll sand with 220 grit and apply at least one more coat.  The first coat seemed to go on very thick, so one more coat should be enough.

Let the Travel Blogging Begin

I’m experimenting with remote blogging.  I thought a blog post detailing my system might be helpful to others.

First the Why:  Why blog at all, why not just go and do – capturing your adventure your own way and leaving it at that.  The answer to this question is:  It’s so much fun to share your ideas and adventures with others.  Family and friends can follow along and be a part of your adventure.  It’s sharing and sharing is caring (that statement was not meant to be taken seriously).

How to blog on your Adventure?  Tons of options, but here’s how I plan to blog on the move – in fact I’m making this blog post while testing my mobile new system.

I’ve always liked solar power.
 Now with Goal Zero, you can capture the sun’s rays to charge AA batteries which can then be used (when the sun is down) to charge your iPhone.  You can also charge your iPhone directly from the solar panels, but if a cloud, when a cloud covers the panel, your iPhone will spaz-out, preventing further charging.  Given that power from the sun is free, I plan to install a solar panel on the transom cap or front deck of Hagoth to keep my iPhone charged.  I’ve learned to use my iPhone for all my nature photography, navigation and communication needs.  This keeps the gear to a minimum.  One digital device to charge, store and keep away from water.  Actually all the photos on this build blog have been captured using my iPhone.  

 


I type the blog post while looking at my phone (WordPress app) and using a bluetooth keyboard for data entry.  The battery on the bluetooth key board runs for over 160 hours of continuous use.  It was purchased off Amazon for $24.


I used my Katadyn water filter to prop up my phone for easy viewing while typing.  The keyboard is about 9.5″ x 4.5″ x 1/8″ thick as is made by Arteck.  It is back-lit so you can type after dark.

I’m a lot slower using this system to blog, but I think I’ll get the hang of it once I get a few posts under my belt.

Canister Stove Option

The Optimus Svea 123 is a cool stove, but maybe a little too dangerous on a rocking sea going vessel.

Here’s a stove that is safer and simmers with great control.

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This is my oldest stove.  It’s a Coleman Peak 1 canister stove.  
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The pot supports wind out to support a larger pot.  This is very important if your going to use an 8″ cast iron pan.  
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The simmer control is very good and I couldn’t blow it out using my breath.  
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I tried broccoli and chicken tossed in olive oil.  It worked up nicely.  
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This is real food prepared on simple gear.

Possible advantages of a canister stove:

  1. No liquid gas on board, hence much safer.
  2. Much less likely to spill.
  3. Requires no priming.
  4. Much less fussing to operate.
  5. Excellent simmer control (depending on the stove).
  6. Large pan compatible (depending on the stove).
  7. Base doesn’t get hot

Possible disadvantages of a canister stove:

  1. Never know exactly how much fuel you have left in the canister.
  2. Poor performance at high elevations (probably not a problem for sailing).
  3. Harder to source in the field than liquid white gas or alcohol.

Summary:

I was very impressed with the level of simmer control I got from this basic old stove.  I think it’s much safer than liquid gas onboard Hagoth and still rendered excellent results, if not superior results to my Optimus.  It also requires less fussing around than a liquid stove.  Between one 8″ cast iron pan and one pot, you could cook a lot of really tasty meals with a this basic set up.  I love to eat real food whenever possible. When your sailing, it’s very possible.  

How do you Cook on Adventures?

Weight always becomes an issue when cooking and eating on an adventure. If I’m backpacking or cycle touring, weight is always so critical that I usually just go with freeze dried food.  But, if I’m canoeing, kayak touring or sailing, weight is not as big an issue.

When weight is not as critical, how do you cook?  What system have you found helpful?

Here’s one possible solution, but honestly I’m always searching for an even better one.

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I’m doing a little patio adventure this afternoon to learn how well my Primus Svea 123 stove works when working with real food. 
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Notice the fireplace stove gasket I have wrapped around the burner post right above the tank.  I used a small wire to secure it.  The weave of the gasket material holds liquid fuel used to prime the stove.  

If your not familiar with the Primus Svea 123, a google search will bring you up to speed.  This is a very simple Swedish stove made of solid brass.  It’s been around since the dawn of time, has few moving parts and proven very reliable.  It uses liquid fuel, yet requires no pumping.  The Swedes found a way to eliminate the traditional pressurized gas container, hence keeping the overall design simpler.

So, what pushes the fuel out of the tank?  Well, you light the stove on fire, which pressurizes the tank through temperature increase.  You heard me right – you just light the stove on fire.

As simple as it is, a few modifications makes the stove even easier to use.

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Here I’m dribbling a small amount of fuel onto the gasket material.  The stove has a small indent around the top of the tank, but I find the fuel seems to spill out of the indent.  The stove gasket material works wonders keeping the fuel where you want it – right around the burner post.  
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 I use flint and steel to ignite the gas by directing the sparks down into the center of the stove from above.  You let the fire burn for about a minute, then open the valve and the fuel from the tank ignites and you have ‘fire in the hole’.   It takes a few minutes for the flame to stabilize.  IMG_1589

A Lodge 8″ cast iron fry pans works well with this system.  The cast iron evens out the heat, providing a great cooking surface.  This is way too heavy for cycling, but works well when weight is not as big a factor.

The cast iron offers several advantages:

  1. Even heat absorption from a blow torch placed underneath it.
  2. More forgiving than a thin pan when trying not to burn your food.
  3. Even heat distribution throughout the pan.
  4. Excellent heat retention to keep you food warm once removed from the stove.
  5. Bomb proof in term of care.

A few cons would be:

  1. Heavy
  2. Heavy and…
  3. Heavy
  4. Cast iron will also rust if not kept well oiled.

Aside from the negatives, for a sailing adventure, it might work great.  I plan to try this combo in my Scamp once complete.

A few positives for sailing might be:

  1. The ability to eat real food which is always much more satisfying than processed food.
  2. The ability to eat economical food like potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans and chicken.
  3. More control over the seasoning, cuz you do it all yourself.
  4. Better health and comfort on your journey.

A few negatives for sailing might be:

  1. Gas stoves are more difficult to operate onboard, say during a storm (when you might need your food the most).  You would definitely want to prime and light this stove on shore or at least at a stable anchorage.
  2. Gas stove are more dangerous due to the liquid gas they contain.
  3. The stove gets hot and you’ll need a place to cook and place the hot pan that won’t damage your wooden finish.  A pair of leather gloves and a hot pad come to mind.

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Summary:

I would love to hear how you prepare and eat good food while sailing.  Please share your preferred cooking system for others to consider.  

Graphite Epoxy

When you add graphite to epoxy, it provides UV protection to the epoxy.  Many therefore, use graphite as a final coating.  During my last build, I learned that multiple layers of graphite epoxy don’t lay down well over one another.  The subsequent layers seemed to orange peel.  Other’s have documented this same result – some provide antidotes.  I chose to only apply one final coat of graphite epoxy (that’s why I laid down another coat of un-thickened epoxy in the last blog post).  I rolled this graphite coat while the previous coat was still green.  I then used a chip brush to tip the wet epoxy.

Check it out: 

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How much graphite did I add to the epoxy?  I don’t know – enough to make sure I had a good black coating.  
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I also took time to coat the line/knot area of the board.  This access hole will make in-the-field line replacement extremely easy.  Pull the old line out and tie the new line in.   The Blokes Up North had difficulty at one point due to a jammed centerboard line.  They had to lay the boat on it’s side to access the jammed line – and they couldn’t roll the boat on it’s side without unloading the entire boat.  The most excellent design of Scamp allows total access to the CB line by removing the seat cap.  The more I learn about other sailboats the more I appreciate John Welford’s design of Scamp.  This little boat continues to amaze me.  

Summary:

The board looks very well covered and protected.  I’m really happy with how it all turned out.  I’ll now let the CB fully cure and then set it aside for later installation.  

More Foils Work

We’re getting close, but not quite there yet.  After blending all the edges, I now wanted one final coat of epoxy over all the thickened layers to seal everything up.  I’m told that thickened epoxy is hydrophilic – makes sense since it’s full of wood dust.  So, this final layer of epoxy is meant to see everything up underneath it.

Check it out:

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My rudder will be painted a dark red color.  So, once cured I’ll again sand lightly and apply several coats of enamel.
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My centerboard will get one final coat of graphite epoxy.  I’ll apply this final coat while the epoxy is still green.  

Looking forward to applying the graphite epoxy to the CB later today.  

Cleaning up the Edges

After I filled the double wrapped edge banding with epoxy, the foils were quite rough around the edges.  Today’s task was to sand down the seems and make the foils smoothly shaped again.

Check it out:

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After adding 2 edge wraps of fiberglass, I needed to smooth the transition between the banding and the foil.  I did this with thickened epoxy and a squeegee.  Once cured, I sanding the transition with my orbital sander.  
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After you sand the transition, you always need to re-fill a few low areas.
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Once this second application has cure, I’ll roll on one final coat of un-thickened epoxy to seal the foil.  
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This is a lot of work, but worth every minute.  These foils slice through the water, so you want them really smooth.  

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I’m currently reading this fantastic book about two Blokes sailing a open Norseboat 17.5 across the Northwest Passage.  I find it an excellent read for those who love adventure and love learning about the details that effect their expedition.  I can’t help but think about my Scamp build as I learn about bolts coming loose, rudder heads loosing up and their challenges in reefing.  We cannot keep these boat too simple.  If you can work through these issues during your build, you’ll have a mighty fine sailing vessel.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the book and highly recommend it.  How about a Scamp Raid in Greenland or Iceland?  We could ship our tiny boats in shipping containers, fly to Greenland or Iceland, sail for 2 weeks.  Then repack the boats and fly home.  I’m in, and I’m serious.  

Protecting the Foil Edges

You’ve got a lot of choices for edge protection:  Fiberglass, Xynole or Dynel just to name a few.  I’ve worked with fiberglass and Xynole between Scamp and Skiff America.  Xynole is said to be more abrasion resistant, but takes a ton of epoxy – like 6 coats to fill the weave.  It’s my opinion that the increase abrasion is primarily due to all the extra epoxy you add to fill the weave.  It floats off the wood if you get too much epoxy and It’s harder to fair, due to the swelling of the fabric.

So, in the end, I decided to stick with good ole fiberglass for my edge protection.  I figure I can always add more epoxy to the glass edges for increased abrasion resistance.

Check it out:

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Sanded CB.  I taped the edges for clean start/stop cuts.  
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I did the same for the rudder.
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3″ fiberglass tape cut to approximate lengths. I’ll apply epoxy to the glass using a roller.  I’ll then roll up the pieces, like a cigar and unroll them in place on the foil edges.  
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Before unrolling the tape onto the edge of the foil, I wet the edge using an 1/8″ roller with a thin coat of un-thickened epoxy.  This makes for good adhesion of the glass tape.  You can see the wet line in the photo above. 
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On the sharp corners, I cut out a wedge shape of fiberglass and overlapped the tape. 
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Another cut/overlapping corner.

Up Next:

I’ll now fill the tape weave before the epoxy is cured by rolling it with more un-thickened epoxy – probably 2 more coats.  I’ll clean up all the edges and then add another strip for more protection.  I’d like 2 layers of glass and 4-5 coats of epoxy between me and the rocks.