The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders

Boatbuilding Messabout
by Frank Mabrey

A few of the Western Oregon Messabout guys got together a couple of weekends ago to build 2 little D-5's to donate to Jack Brown's Depoe Bay (Oregon) "Killer Whales Rowing Club" kids boating group. The "Boatbuilding Messabout" took place at David Graybeal's Arbor Woodworks in Portland, Oregon. click to enlarge

Satruday: - Boat Building - It's not all donuts and pizza!

We start out drawing patterns on plywood and cutting them out with jigsaws and circular saws...

Chris gets ready to make the first sawdust. click to enlarge
Veteran boatbuilder, Steve Miller, jumps right in click to enlarge
Joe Nelson's daughters watch for tips on how to help Joe with his Core Sound 20. click to enlarge
David Graybeal and Case "Dirtdude". click to enlarge
There is lots of shop envy amongst the coots. click to enlarge
Jim Ballou gets ready to cut out twarts. click to enlarge
Chris and Jerry carefully NOT cutting the workbench. click to enlarge
Dirtdude says we can cut side and bottom panels with a circular saw, so we do. click to enlarge
Joe Nelson, twarted again. click to enlarge

We drill holes along the front, rear, and bottom edges of the sides. While the photographer is getting coffee, we brace the thwarts, attach the sides, and attach the sides to the the bow and transom. We also test fit the bottom pieces.

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The next step is pausing for coffee, conversation, and admiring our work.

click to enlarge Jerry and Chris prepare the starboard side for stitching to the transom.
click to enlarge Wire ties used to stitch boat. Placed 1/2 inch from the edge every six inches.
click to enlarge Everyone in the witness protection program avoids the camera. This is really a picture of Frank. See finger covering lens.

Now, the boats are turned right side up. We flex the hull until the diagonal measurements match, then we begin putting masking taping around where the fillets will go. Also, the center seam on the bottom is taped to prevent the epoxy from running through the seam onto the shop floor.

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After the masking tape is in place we mix epoxy and coat where the fillets will go..... click to enlarge
.....basically anywhere one piece of wood meets another piece of wood. click to enlarge
Pat Patteson mixes wood four into a batch of epoxy. click to enlarge
The thick epoxy mixture is used to form fillets at all the seams. click to enlarge
We found that having one person continuously mixing epoxy (three pump batches) for each person installing fillets kept both people busy. click to enlarge
Pumps make dispensing epoxy and resin convenient. click to enlarge
Brushes get gooed up, so have lots. click to enlarge
Lunch only tastes a little bit like epoxy. click to enlarge
Once the fillets are in place, the masking tape is removed and all the wood surfaces on the inside of the boat are coated with epoxy.
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The inside of the boats are coated with epoxy..... click to enlarge it's time to clean up then head to the White Eagle. click to enlarge

It is now Sunday and the fillets and interior epoxy coating are cured. The boat is now a solid structure. The crew is much smaller today.

click to enlarge Cutting off the wire ties stitching the boat together.
click to enlarge Cut seat frame pieces, drill holes, coat one side with epoxy, and attach frame pieces to boat.
click to enlarge Grind off screws that attach seat frames. This step necessary if too long screws used and installed from the inside. Oops!
click to enlarge Cut seat tops from scrap plywood. Fit need not be precise as gaps can be filled with thickened epoxy.
click to enlarge Mix up thickened epoxy (adding cabosil and wood flour) and coat the surfaces where the seats will attach.
click to enlarge Attach seat tops.
click to enlarge Two boat ready for trip to Bend. Next steps will be epoxy of exterior and fiberglassing of seams.