The Full Sized Summer Breeze! This is the diary of the prototype.
For the most up
to date building plans and instructions go here.
October 3rd, 2000 -
(Day Two - Three
- Four - Five - Six
- Seven - Eight
- Nine - Ten -
Gets Wet! - Twelve
- she gets a sail!)
time to start the "real" boat. I'll share some notes as I go.
When I'm done I'll organize all the build info by boat part and finish the
drawings. For now you'll have to slog through it chronologically.
Lay out the sides on the sheet per the
drawing. Be sure to mark where the
frame will fasten to the sides.
Rip the bow side strip 16 inches wide.
(Remember your saw will remove a kerf of sawdust so allow for that to keep
your sides the same width. They will be slightly narrower than 16.) Per the
drawing measure and mark 52 from opposite corners of the bow side section.
Connect those marks and saw down the middle of the line.
Rip two 3 strips 32 long off of
the end of the remaining aft side section.
that section into two 16 strips. This aft section is where the rocker is
created. The line connecting the point 6 into the short side and 50 into
the long side of the panel creates the rocker. You can stack these pieces and
cut them at the same time, then round the point a gentle curve, or you can
use a batten (flexible piece of
wood or plastic) to draw that curve and cut it at the same time as the straight
cut. This can be done with a saber saw or jig saw, but a circular saw with the
blade set for a shallow cut works best. You can then measure the 4 3/8 in
from the aft bottom corner and connect that with the aft top corner, stack and
cut. Save these pieces for quarter knees later. (You might consider just marking
the quarter knees and waiting until after the dry fit to cut them off. This will
give you more adjustment room during the dry fit.)
(Yes, I have power saws, but sometimes I miss that quaint "voopa
voopa" sound.) You can clamp a long
straight fence and use your circular saw, or rip these cuts on a table saw if
you have one.
There are many ways to clamp butt block skarfs. You can use weights or short #6 sheet metal screws, or even clinch
bronze nails and leave them in place, but I prefer a staple gun with half inch
staples. The staples are removed after the joint cures.
Draw a center line down the butt
blocks. This line will be above the joint of the ply pieces. A large flat
surface is needed. It can be the floor or a table or workbench. I like to set up
saw horses with a sheet of ply or OSB on some 2x4s. Use wax paper or plastic
wrap to prevent gluing your pieces to the work surface.
a dry layout of the pieces and trim the butt blocks to clear the stem, chine
logs or inwales if you plan to install them. Trace the butt blocks during the
dry run. You can also round the edges and sand the blocks making them ready to
paint, before gluing them.
sure you weight or tack your pieces so they dont slide around when they have
the glue on them. Apply glue to the edges and the surfaces using your pencile
trace lines as a guide. If you use PL Premium spread it with a notched trowel.
If you use Titebond II you can spread it with a brush, roller or spatula or
scrap of cardboard.
the butt blocks, drape twine over them and staple stradling the twine. A staple
every couple of inches will do. Make sure you get the corners. The twine both
prevents the 1/2 staples from going all the way through the ply and makes
removal easier. I usually let my joints dry overnight.
I cut 4"
off the ends of the aft end sections leaving them 92" long. These serve as
butt blocks for scarfing the side sections together. (scarfing is a term used to
describe making two shorter pieces of wood into one longer piece) I'm using PL Premium
construction adhesive and half inch staples that will be removed after the joint
Here are some
tips on this scarfing method. This can be done on a shop floor or a sheet
of plywood on sawhorses like I have here. Plastic is placed under the
scarfs to prevent gluing to your table. Factory edges of the side sections are
dry fit together. This is a trick I learned while joining tops for musical instruments.
Slip a small strip of wood (say a 1/2" thick) under the joining edges to
hold them in a sort of tent position then clamp (or tack) both ends to your work
When that prop strip of wood is removed, and you flatten the
pressure gets transferred inward, to the edges of the glued pieces.
I mark a center line down the butt blocks and mark where they go on the side
sections. I also use blue masking tape to minimize the clean up of the
squeeze out. After applying the glue with my calk gun, I use a stick to spread
it on the ends of the side sections, then remove the prop stick under them. I
then spread the PL Premium glue with a 1/16" notched trowel, which allows
room for the glue to spread in the joint. The only clamping I'm using is
1/2" staples. I first lay a strip of twine across the butt block and let
the staple straddle the twine. This not only facilitates removing the staples after the
joint has cured, but also keeps your 1/2" staples from coming through our
two 1/4" pieces. After the joint has set, knock the edges off your butt
block with a plane, rasp or sander. This minimizes the hard edge of the block
effecting the bending properties of the sides. It also makes it a little less
eye catching after the boat's painted.
This is a rather unconventional approach to scarfing, however
if you read the fine essay by Jim
Michalak on various joining systems he's used you'll see he concludes that
all the systems have worked fine. He says:
"I've tried lots of different ways to make the joint in the 15 or so boats I've built
over the years. All the methods worked. I have a feeling that the butt joints on the
usual instant boat hull are not highly loaded and not too critical to overall boat
So it appears that the stresses on
these joints is not excessive. I've designed Summer Breeze so these joints occur
where the bending is very gradual. If you lack my faith in PL Premium feel free
to use any of the other approaches to joining wood outlined so well by Jim
Michalak and others. If you decide to use PL Premium, here are some tips.
It's good to keep cleaning
supplies around when working with PL Premium. It's easier to work with than
epoxy, but I'm told it's still quite toxic. Rags and paint thinner will come in handy for
cleaning up your tools. WD-40 is also very effective for quick clean ups.
Wear gloves and keep it off your skin. If you inadvertently get some on your
skin, immediate use of WD-40 followed by soap and water works great.
Here's a very unscientific but interesting test of PL Premium's strength.
I used two 8" pieces of 2x6
pressure treated lumber. I buttered the end grain of one and hand pressed it into the
middle of the other forming an inverted T. No clamping, and no fasteners. Let it
set overnight. I now challenge anyone to break the bond. Anything goes (except driving
over it with your car) you can use a wall, stand on it, throw it on the concrete
or whatever. If anyone succeeds in breaking this bond, please let me know how you
did it. (Did I mention I love this glue!)
Here is a technical
review of Polyurethane glues in general. They measure up very well against Resorcinol,
except in the boil test. I recommend avoiding sailing in boiling water.
October 5th, 2000 -
Stem - Frame - Transom -
The stem (the piece the
sides join to at the front of the boat) is made from a
clear piece of 2x4 24" long. The blade on the table saw is set to 27
degrees. The fence is set to the left of the blade so that the first cut hits
the corner of the stem. Cut one edge then flip the stem blank end for end and
cut the other kerf. At this point the fence is moved closer to the blade by
about a 1/16" and the two cut process is repeated. Keep checking the slot
width until the sides slip into the slot easily. See photo.
Now is when you can get
creative with the profile of your stem, sometimes called the
"cutwater." I sketched a double curve in this one and cut it out on my
small band saw. You could cut it with a saber saw or coping saw. You can skip
this artsy stuff if you like, in which case you can rip the stem narrower, maybe
2" to 2 1/2". Still round the corners on the leading edge though. This
is easy with a quarter round bit in a router, but you can do it with rasps,
files, or sander. See photos.
This is from 2x12 stock.
The half measure of the top is 17 3/8" - half measure of the bottom is 14
1/2". Lay out the transom from a square center line, then set your
circular saw to 13 degrees (or 103 degrees if it reads from 90). This is a
rather hefty transom by most standards for such a small boat, but I have some
reasons for this. One is that it's easier to cut a solid transom than to make a
frame with appropriate bevels and sheath with plywood. That kind of transom
takes 5 pieces of wood instead of one. Besides, you'll notice I've
pretty much used up the plywood in our two sheets already. One more plus is that
it provides a sizeable gluing surface, so stands a chance of surviving the
outboard motor that someone will inevitably try to put on it during its
lifetime. (An electric motor is fine, but this is primarily a sailing / row
boat, not a motor boat.)
Now that your transom is
done you can use it to finish shaping your sides.
First mark your station
lines on your sides while they're still rectangular. Lay them inside surface up,
and put a pencil line every 12" starting from the bow tip.
your sides back to back and use the transom on end to mark its position on the
end of your sides. (Position its top edge 4" in from the end making your
sides ultimately 140" long.
The over hang makes it easier to pull around the transom during gluing.) Using a
straight edge scribe a line from the base of the transom to a point 48"
from the aft end of your sides. Then use a batten (long flexible piece of wood)
to fair the turn up to the transom. You can cut this curve with your circular
saw or do a straight cut and smooth it into a soft curve with your hand plane or
If the photo isn't clear see
The center frame measures
48" across the top, 38" across the bottom and 14 1/2" tall. Use a
square to keep it in alignment then screw braces to it. The "W"
pattern gives good triangulation. This frame is disposable as the strength of
the gunwales are designed to hold the boat's shape.
Here I've tacked the
sides frame and transom together in a dry run to test the fit.
That's all for today...
I'm leaving town for a
few days so I wanted to mention a couple of things in case anyone building this
decides to get out ahead of me.
Some notes and a warning:
The bottom panel is the limiting factor of this boat. I know I haven't gotten to
it yet, but it's best to have your bottom panel made before you do the final
gluing of your stem, sides and transom. In case you're tempted to start smearing
glue because it just looks so great on your shop floor.... DON'T! It's no fun to
have that all glued up and find your bottom wont cover it. (I speak from
experience with the model.)
About frames: As this
goes together it ends up seeming much bigger than I imagined. I'm
wondering now whether I'll be able to get away with no frames. I'm hoping so, as
I love the spacious feeling the boat will have without any, which will also make
it easier for sailing. However it may prove too light and flexible. In this case
I will turn the temporary frame into a fixed one. It will most likely be of 1x2
with plywood gussets made from the trim ends of the bottom panel. I'll keep you
posted. If you're goal is to use yours solely as a row boat I suspect mounting
seats will lend adequate rigidity.
About Gunwales: As much
as I love the looks of the split gunwales I put on the model, or inwales as
they're sometimes called, they are more work to do. I may see how it works using
simple 1x2 stock as Dave Carnel does on Featherwind. This also makes this more
similar to Herb Mcleod's One Sheet Skiff and perhaps a more natural second boat
to Day Three!
Safety: Please be
sensible. Wear your PFDs and play in small boats in good weather. Being wood,
this boat wont sink, however without added floatation it wont be very easily
self rescue-able in deep water either. Be careful, stay safe and stay alive.
Now for the legal
I am neither trained nor
certified in naval architecture. This boat is intended to be built by the
author, of modern materials and is intended to be sailed and rowed on protected
waters. The designer takes no responsibility for the action of any persons
making use of this design for their own purposes; neither does this designer
make any claims that this craft meets any regulations set by any authority
anywhere in the world. Contact the designer David J. Beede at 115 Cygnet Lane,
Melrose Florida, 32666 USA or by email davidbeed.
David J. Beede 2000