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.  


Skeg Beginnings

The skegs serve several purposes on a Scamp.  

  1. They’re sacrificial when running aground or hauling your boat up out of the tide.  Isn’t it cool that you can haul this boat up out of the water if desired?  I think this ability to “get off” the water is extremely practical.
  2. They help keep the boat level when the tide begins to ebb.
  3. They serve as mini shoal keels when running downwind or sailing off a shore in shallow water.
  4. They serve as runners when your boat is loaded on a trailer, helping the boat ride level and secure.
  5. They allow the boat to “air dry” preventing wood rot

There’s probably additional benefits, but let’s just say the skegs are in integral part of this micro cruiser’s design.

Skeg Material Selection:

You can use just about any wood you want for the skegs.  Some choose to laminate plywood, some choose dimensional framing material like 2 x 4’s.  On my last build I used Red Oak before I realized it’s tendency to absorb water like a sponge.  When properly sealed with epoxy, I’m sure it still remains a fine choice for skegs.  But, this time around I settled on White Oak.  White Oak has been a staple of wooden boat building for over a century.  It’s extremely tough and water neutral.  It’s very dense and works extremely well as a sacrificial piece.

If you use plywood, many are glassing the skegs for increased strength.  If you use a hardwood, you can probably skip the fiberglass.  I see absolutely no reason to fiberglass White Oak, so this will save me a step.

I used a 1/4″ piece of plywood to make the pattern.  This saves time and shavings.  White Oak is quite difficult to work.  The top shape will be added later.  
I’ve learned that both sides are always a little different, so you may need to make 2 patterns, or adjust one to better fit the other side.  


I tried to cut the 2″ White Oak skegs on my Ridgid band saw and it was an absolute fail.  So, I’ve ordered a better saw blade to help me cut this tough wood.  Namely, a Timber Wolf band saw blade (1/2″ 3 TPI) designed for re-sawing.  Hopefully, this will do the trick.  You’ve gotta have the right tools…

Rudder Head Re-paint

For some crazy reason only known to the Boatbuilding Gods, the first coat of paint on my rudder head never cured.  In frustration, I set the rudder head aside thinking, in time it will certainly cure.  Well, after considerable time, it never did.  It almost did, but certain parts remained tacky.

So, today I sanded off the uncured coat and re-applied another coat of the same paint.

Check it out:

Wait as I might, this coat simply never cured.  The photo shows the rudder head after sanding off the initial coat of paint.  


First coat of re-paint.


What do I believe happened?

Hard to say, but maybe I rushed the painting overtop of slightly uncured epoxy.  This would be my initial guess.  I think I applied the paint within 24 hours of the final epoxy coat.  Rushing a bit too fast, don’t you think?

I’ll keep my fingers crossed with this re-coat.  I’m really hoping this time things cure properly.

As my dad says:  “There’s always something waiting to get a guy”.  

Moving Again

After being away for the last 8 days, it felt good to get moving again this morning on Hagoth.  I got the second side panel glassed and trimmed.

Check it out:

If you sand the previous fiberglass seam before overlaying more glass, you can hardly see the previous edge.  
It’s important to be sparse with the epoxy or it’ll float the glass off the wood panel behind it.  I’ll apply 2 more coats to the weave before allowing it to fully cure.  
Leave your glass long enough to wrap around the bow and stern seams.  


I was hoping to be done in time for the Port Townsend get together, but it hardly appears that I’ll make this date.  These boats take what they take…there’re done when there’re done.  I’m just the builder.  Hagoth will tell me when she’s ready to sail.  

I’m glad I’ve reached this point in the build and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’ve loved every minute of this project.  There are always challenging times and trying times, but things always seem to work out.  I’ll looking very forward to getting to know her on the water.  


I had the chance to cruise Alaska last week with my wife and siblings.  We spent 7 days aboard Emerald a Princess Cruise ship.  We spent time in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria BC.

I’ll include a few of my photographs from this trip.


I love wild places.  Alaska is truly America’s last frontier.  I would go again in a minute.

Boat building to continue tomorrow morning.  

Second Coat on the Panels

Check it out:

Removing the tape over the chine/hull junction.  This system works extremely well, leaving a nice clean edge.  
I then rolled another coat of epoxy into the weave of the glass.
I’ll clean up the shiplap joint once cured.
I also rolled the top panel (bottom in the photo) with epoxy.  This top panel has no fiberglass over it.  


I’ll roll a couple of more coats onto the lower 2 panels for a total of 4 coats.  I’ll let the top panel cure for sanding before adding more coats to this panel.  

It’s a lot of fun to see the boat continue to take shape.  

Glassing Side Panels

This topic will undoubtably render differing opinions.  How much of the side panels do you cover with fiberglass?  Do you glass them all?  Do you glass just one or two panels?

Next question:  Do you glass the shiplap joint?  And, how do you tease the glass down into the joint and keep it from raising up leaving air bubbles behind the glass?

My approach:  I’m either getting lazy or ultra simple or possibly more incompetent as I age.  On my last build, I tried to glass over the shiplap and it was sort of a disaster.  The fiberglass doesn’t like to take a sharp bend, and try as you might, the glass cures off the joint leaving air behind it.  This is not a good thing as water can get trapped behind the glass.

My solution:  This time around, I could see the very same issue raising its ugly head, so I cut the glass on the joint, allowing both sides to lay flat.  I’ll cover this cut with glass tape in a later stage.  I’d rather have no glass over the joint than to trap water behind the joint.

Now for the photos:

l decided to glass over the bottom 2 panels.  You can cut the 50″ wide glass on and angle and get both sides to fit.  I cut the glass at 20″ on one end, tapering to 30″ on the other end.  This will cover both bottom 2 panels completely.  
Here I am cutting a 13′ long piece of glass on the taper described above.  
It takes 30″ to cover the front and 20″ to cover the back.  
I used a squeegee and a roller to apply the epoxy.  
By wrapping the glass over the joint, you can build a strong boat.  You can also see the cut glass joint.  This allows the glass to lay down flat.  I’ll rasp and sand this joint once cured and cover the joint with glass tape at a later stage.  My supposition is that the glass tape will be easier to apply over the joint than the large panel of fiberglass.  
I like to wrap over the joints whenever possible.  


Maybe by working a larger radius onto the panel edge, you could get the glass to lay down better.  I may try this before adding glass tape over the joint.  There’s always something waiting to get you…  And, there always seems to be a way out of the problem once you give it more thought.  

Glassing the Hull

After enjoying a weekend getaway with the family, exploring near Yellowstone National Park, I got back to Hagoth.

Check it out:



While still green, I’ll trim off the excess glass around the lower panel and along the inside of the CB case.  I’ll then roll several more coats of epoxy into the glass to fill the weave and provide a protective layer to the bottom of the boat.  


Fairing the Hull

I got out early this morning to work on Hagoth.  After having faired a few prior hulls, I feel I’m getting faster at this work.  It’s easy to do and quite enjoyable to watch things come into shape.

Check it out:

Left side of image rasped flush with panel.
Right side of image rasped flush with panel.  A few low spots showing, but don’t worry, we’re rounding the sharp edge…
Edges rounded, ready for sanding.
My CB case bottom was a little shy of the hull bottom, so I built up an edge with thickened epoxy.  
Mr. Shinto took good care of this task.  
Chine edge rasped and sanded.
Shape the bottom corners of the panels to flow into the transom.


I’ve filled a couple of low spots and air pockets with another coat of thickened epoxy.  I’m quite happy with the fairing and looking forward to applying the glass.  

Filleting the Exposed Chines

It feels really good to be moving forward again, as opposed to getting hung up in the ding weeds.  

First order of business was to rasp all the proud edges flat with the adjoining panel and round over the transom and stern areas.

I then used a chip brush to work wet epoxy down into the open joints/planks of the hull.  After applying the wet epoxy, I laid a fillet down into these areas to bring them flush with the adjoining panel.  While still green, I run a gloved finger over these fillets (dipped in alcohol), to smooth and finish the fillet.  This also applies pressure on the fillet to ensure it is tamped into the joint a firmly as possible.  In a few areas, I’m sure I’ll need to apply another fillet to bring the void up flush with the adjoining panel.

Check it out:


Once cured, I’ll fair all these edges with my Shinto rasp and get ready to apply the glass tape along all the seams.

Hagoth is again making forward progress.  

She’s Flipped

After what seems like an eternity of niggling and fiddling with top side tasks, tonight Hagoth got flipped.

She finally experienced the ceremonial flipping that all completed boats experience during the last stages of their creation.  If they don’t get flipped, they don’t get done.  And,  let’s face the facts:  The majority of most home built boats never get completed, the majority of most plans purchased, never get used, the majority of most of our goals never get accomplished.  But, this is starting to sound depressing.  And, I don’t want my build blog to instill thoughts of doubt.  No, I want my build blog to be encouraging and faith promoting.  We can do this!  You can do this!  I can do this!

Just take a moment a look at this beautiful boat:  To me she is stunning.


Have you ever seen such a smart practical little work boat?  I absolutely love her pragmatic looks and functional design.  I still remember the first image I ever saw of a Scamp.

Here it is:



How can any adventure seeking individual not take note of this little boat and this particular image?  Is seems to imbue self reliance, self discovery, exploration and adventure all wrapped up in a 12′ sailboat.  To me, this is the very essence of small boat sailing.  I personally can’t think of any small boat that better fits this description.

At this stage of my build, I want to thank a few different individuals:

Namely, John Welsford for designing the boat.  Howard Rice for teaching my son Preston to sail this boat.  Small Craft Advisor and Josh Colvin for providing a kit from which I can build this boat.   Any finally all of you for contributing to the overall interest and personality behind the Scamp.

Now, let’s get our boat completed and in the water