Boat Building Class 1

Photo Credit Unknown
Photo Credit Unknown

 

As I have mentioned, I am building a Bolger Bobcat.  It is a 12′ catboat based on the Beetle Cat design.  It is going to be a challenging build and my original intention was to have it built by summer 2014.  I have since decided that I am going to use this build as a sort of classroom opportunity for my 7-year-old daughter Maggie.  We had our first class last week and I have adjusted my completion estimate to June 2020.  It’s going to be slow going, but we’re going to have a blast getting there.  I suspect that she will lose interest in it mid-2019 and then I will take a year to wrap it up just in time for her to say, “Dad.  I’m like 12 years old.  This boat is like so old fashioned.  I want a Laser like my bff’s have.”

Last week we started in on a scarf joint.  I know that the Payson plans call for butt straps or just fiberglassed butt joints, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to demonstrate a scarf and to add a little strength to the panels.  My method for scarfs is to nail down the 2 panels cambered by 1.5 inches and to use a belt sander to grind down the angle.  I learned quickly that little kids and belt sanders do not mix so well.  I was very safe about it, but the sander turned into a vehicle very quickly racing its way across the boards.  I finished up that piece of work while Maggie operated the shop vac to keep the dust down.

Next was epoxy.  I mixed up a batch and let Maggie do the brushing.  We brushed on a thin coat un-thickened and then thickened a batch to ketchup consistency and re-coated.  Wax paper and weights held it all in place and viola!  A beautiful scarf joint.  Maggie was pretty impressed and very excited about our next class which will include alot of measuring and drawing lines.  With a little luck, we may even cut out a panel or two.  I am planning on doing these boat building classes with her every Thursday night and will update regularly.  She is very excited about it as am I.  Faire Winds!!

The sanding crew
The sanding crew

 

Pretty clean scarf prior to final sanding
Pretty clean scarf prior to final sanding

 

 

3 Responses to Boat Building Class 1

  1. Thanks for putting these together – but for the novice (like me), you might try to describe a scarf joint and maybe a bit more about the process. I’m trying to read and watch all I can before I can actually get to building my own boat (waiting to buy tools and supplies). So seeing and understanding will be key for me and I’m hoping to find some of that through your blog.

  2. Hi Mike. I am never sure what level of detail to go into because I am not sure who my readers are just yet. I don’t want to bore an experienced boat builder with intricate details yet I don’t want to miss out on helping folks like you that need the intricate details. Either way, thank you for the feedback. I will definitely get a bit more detail oriented on future posts!
    -Jed

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