Breeze ideas, and build notes -
|| (still in progress) Last updated
Correction & update
of side layout! see below...
Sea trials at Cedar Key Mess About 2002!
Here's documentation of the Duckworks
build of Summer Breeze in stitch and glue.
Breeze was designed to be the most boat from the least materials. It is a robust
all purpose skiff targeted
primarily at pleasurable rowing and sailing in protected waters, but also
suitable for a small motor. It’s light enough to car top, narrow enough for
most truck beds and yet has capacity for two adults and a child. (Or a dog and
their gear, or no dog or kid, just a bunch of gear. Or one really huge guy with
a bottle of wine and bi noculars! Your choice...)
also uses the fewest specialized tools or skills. There is no lofting. The sides
are created with all straight cuts that can even be done with a hand saw. The
sides are then stacked and a hand plane or rasp, or belt sander is used to round
a gentle curve in the rocker. The bottom perimeter cut is traced from the bent
sides. (Though offsets are available if you crave connecting dots.)
edge joining of plywood sheets is required, but the skarfing of the sides and
back is done with simple butt blocks and weights or a staple gun, for clamping.
boat can be built either stitch and glue or chine log & nails or screws.
personally prefer the later, as I prefer wood working and nailing to handling
epoxy and fiberglass.)
finished boat is 11 1/2 feet long, 50 inches wide with 16 inch sides. When fully
loaded with two adults and gear (up to 500 lbs) her transom and stem barely
touch the water. This translates into very little wake and consequent easy
rowing or sailing. She can take a small motor as is, but if the primary desire
is a motor skiff the transom can be widened, made more vertical, reinforced and
the rocker decreased. (See variations.) Scott Widmier uses a 4 horse outboard on
his Summer Breeze.
If you're already a boat builder you probably recognize an easy build when
you see one, so you don't need any encouragement from me. Have fun. If
you're new to boat building or haven't built a boat before you've found a
good place to start with Summer Breeze.
This is the most important ingredient in creating anything. If you have a
vision you're set. If not, try making the paper
model. Imagine how you'll feel when you launch your new boat you made with
your own hands. Imagine they way you intend to use your boat. Dream a
If you can read a tape measure, saw near a pencil line, drill a hole and
hammer a nail you have all the skills you need. As you'll see, none of it is
as mysterious as it sometimes looks.
- Measure & Mark: tape measure, straight edge, pencil - bevel guage
- Cut: hand saw, saber saw, circular saw
- Drill: hand or electric drill (cordless is nice)
- Sanding: block & paper, electric palm sander, hand belt
- Finishing: foam roller & tray, roller covers, foam brushes, bondo
or exterior filler
- Clamps - the more the better, but you can make some of PVC too.
2 - 4x8 sheets of 1/4" exterior plywood. (I've used Marine grad, AC,
BC & Luan)
The solid wood pieces can be of fir, spruce,
yellow pine, cypress or whatever you can find.
Being a "belt and suspenders" kind of guy, I like to use glue and
fasteners. The theory being if you use nails or screws sufficient to hold the
boat together by themselves, plus a modern glue that could hold the boat
together by itself, you have a built in safety margin. Either can fail and you
can still be afloat. On top of that when using fasteners, you can often continue
on with building while the glue continues to cure.
||Stainless steel deck screws are available in
most hardware stores. I like the square drive heads myself, but philips is
fine. I use them to attach the (optional) inwales through the spacers into
the rub-rails. Also, where the frame pieces overlap, and attaching the
seat risers. I used to use little 3/4" SS screws to glue on the sides
and bottom, but partly for economic reasons I have grown fond of bronze
ring nails for that purpose. They both hold as well, screws are removable,
but getting the heads flush and filled well is a challenge.
||Screws can be used temporarily like you would
clamps. Drywall screws with little pieces of plywood are great for this.
The ply keeps the screw head from pulling down into the boat piece you're
holding which minimizes the hole you will be filling later. I try to keep
a bunch around in different lengths.
|| Bronze ring nails are sometimes called "boat
nails" and are a great invention. They hold as well as screws, are
relatively cheap and easy to use, and if you hit one with a tool, say a
hand plane, it doesn't damage the blade. Bronze is softer than steel and
so steel will cut it. They are available in many sizes my favorites are
#14 3/6", 7/8" and #12 7/8", 1", 1.25".
PL Premium, Titebond II, Epoxy
First you'll study
the plans and gather your materials and tools. Then you're going to make some
major parts, sides, stem, frame and transom. Then you will bend the sides around
the frame and attach them to the stem and the transom. You'll make the chines
(gluing strips for the bottom) and glue them to the sides. You'll use this sides
assembly to trace the lines of the bottom. The bottom is glued on then the other
bits, rub rails, keel, skeg seats etc. Then you'll sand and paint the whole
deal. That's the big picture. Now on to the details.
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 5.25” 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.)
a center line lengthwise on the ply sheet at 24”. Also a center line width
wise at 48”. (This is where the center frame falls.)
the 12” x 32” triangles on the corners of the ply sheet, then cut, and set
and cut out the frame gussets and breast hook from the other corners as shown in
the drawing. (Full size patterns may be available.)
a 3” strip off both sides - one will make the lengthwise butt block for gluing the bow section of the back. The other will be laminated into a backup
plate for the leeboard.
glue the triangles to the end of the ply per the drawing and instructions below.
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 don’t 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.
|| There is only one
frame which falls at the widest part of the hull. It's often easier to do
a full size layout drawing of the frame and set your wood on it. The final
measurment of the bottom and the side frame are 39" and 16". They have
to be slightly longer initially. How much longer depends on the actual
width of your stock. If your wood was miraculously exactly 1.5" wide then
we could trust our drawing which says they are 39 15/16" & 16.55"
before the angle is cut. But in the "real world" your stock might be 1
5/8" so just lay your wood on your drawing and transfer the lengths.
Clearly mark the center of the bottom piece to help with
I like to cut the side pieces a couple
of inches longer than 16", and trim them later. This allows me to
temporarily screw a piece of scrap 1x2 across the top to stabilize the frame
while all the fastening is going on.
|| . Here's the pattern for the gusset. You
can draw a full size pattern or do something like I did with these foam
board scraps. Just make two 6" legs and a 9.5" leg and connect
them to each other. Instant pattern! Place them on your ply and trace the
|| The gussets are sandwiched between the bottom frame
and the side frame pieces. (see drawing) Glue and nail the assembly, with
one 1 ½” SS deck screw in each corner where the frame members overlap
These are drain holes that are found in most
traditional boats, which allow water
to move freely from one side of the frame to the other. They are more
important in a larger boat where any water needs to drain to the bilge
|| I feel they are optional in this small a
boat since a boat this size is often turned over to empty, or bailed and
sponged. There are a couple of ways to make limber holes.
|If you have external chine logs, just saw the corners off
the frame. (See sketch.)
||They will need to be more inboard if you do inner chine logs. Notch for
inner chine logs before you attach the frame to the sides. (See sketch.)
|Whatever you do make sure you seal them well with epoxy or
paint prior to assembly. They are difficult to get paint to once once
assembled, and they could suck water into your frame and promote rot if
water is left standing in the boat.
|| Here's the frame in an almost completed Summer Breeze with external
chine logs and optional inwales. You can also see the forward seat
supports. (I know this picture's a little out of sequence, but it's
the only photo I have of the frame right now.)
||This is the board layout I came up with for the Duckworks
contest. This layout is a bit crazy, since it is only to comply with the contest
materials rules. You don't have to do all the scarfing, you can just buy longer
boards! And you can make some of the sailing bits of plywood too. I'll comment
about that as we go.
Made of solid 1x12 (3/4 ” x 11
5/8”) the bottom measures 29 ¼” inches and the top 34 ¾” inches. These
measurements are for the outside or aft side of the transom. That way if you decide to make
your transom of thinner or thicker stock it will still be right. The aft, or
outside dimensions remain the same. The
angle is 13 degrees. Or 103 degrees for most circular saws, since your adding 13
to 90. Remember to mark the center clearly on top and bottom edges.
This is crucial for alignment later.
The arched crown addition
is optional. (Looks sweet though.) The transom could also be made from ½” or
3/4” ply if you have it. My first Summer Breeze transom was made from 2 x 12
stock. Which turned out to be overkill.
The most frugal use of materials is to cut a 1x2
corner to corner and glue the sawn faces together.
The angle is 41 degrees, set your band saw or table saw blade to
20.5degrees. This can also be cut from a 2x2 (or laminate two
3/4” stock) where you just cut two corners off your stock.
is optional if you are doing stitch and glue. Duct tape the outside of the bow,
and prop the hull up bow down to assist in applying the fillet of thickened
epoxy and tape to the bow joint.
Once the sides are joined, and the
frame and stem is made, it’s time to bend the sides, and make this stack of
wood look like a boat! I highly recommend a dry run of this step. It can
prevent major nervousness. And a goof found without glue is infinitely easier to
On the floor or work
surface first attach the stem to one of the bow ends with two or three drywall
screws and ¼” ply pads.
||Now line the sides of the
frame up with the marks on your sides. Hold it with a couple of your dry wall
screws with the ¼” plywood pads. You have a big “H” now.
Using a “Spanish
windless” – loop of rope with a stick twisting it to tighten it, (Or what I
prefer is a truckers hitch instead of the stick) bring the
bow sides together and screw the other side of the stem.
||I actually use a variation on the trucker's hitch. Any loop
in the end of a line can be used like a block (pulley) which gives you
mechanical advantage, or "purchase" as shippy folks say. For
this bending after it's pulled up tight a simple overhand knot "in
the bite" (half bow) will secure it, since we're not driving this rig
down the highway.
Here's a great
animation of a "real" truckers hitch that works well for securing
loads... like boats!
Great boy scout knot site!
||Now attach one end of the transom to one side end with
||Now use a Spanish windless
to pull the sides into the transom. Temp fasten this with screws as well.
Step back and admire your
handy work. Now does that look like a boat or what!! Better put it on low saw horses at this point
if you've been working on the floor.
Now check for alignment. Stretch a
tight string from bow to center line on the transom. Make sure it passes through
the center mark of the frame. Adjust as needed. (Meaning bang it around a
We'll test fit the bottom before gluing it up.
||Here is Chuck's stitch and glue version with the sides bent
test fitting the bottom.
These are cut from one strip 5/8” x
1.5” 130” long. It is split at 18 degrees. They can be of fir or pine
or cypress, the important part is that they be as clear, straight grained and
free of knots as you can find. They can be wet down and set with their ends
supported and a weight in the middle overnight, to make bending a bit easier.
external these are just glued and clamped to the outside bottom edges of the
sides and nailed with 7/8” bronze ring nails. They can “run wild” at the
ends, and then be trimmed. The other advantage they lend is when the bottom is
glued on. External chine logs form a lip that the edge of the bottom can be
easily clamped to. This does alter the way the leeboard is attached, as there
will need to be a spacer that the pivot bolt goes through since the board will
bear against the gunwale and the chine log. (Stitch and glue, or inner chine log
allows the leeboard to be bolted flat to the side.)
Internal chine logs are another matter,
but are probably the most “boaty” steps in building Summer Breeze. You get
to use a bevel gauge and feel like a real shipwright! This is because we measure
and mark two angles on each end using your bevel gauge. (See diagrams.)
the bow end is fitted and the chine is bent and temporarily clamped to the side,
until you reach the frame position line. Mark where that line falls on the chine log. Now unclamp the chine log and do the same from the stern
to the frame mark. You’ll now have two marks near the middle of your chine
that represent how much the piece needs to be shortened to spring fit into the
boat. Using your angles from one end, shorten the piece the amount you measured between your marks.
If all went well it will pop into place if not, either shorten it or we’ll
fill the gap later.
These are glued and clamped, and nailed
in place. A long board with course sand paper can be used to level off the top
of the chine logs. (See illustration.)
tack the bottom back in place and trace the side lines onto the bottom.
When the fit looks good trace where the sides
touch the bottom. Remove the bottom and cut outside the line with your circular
saw set shallow. How close you saw to the line will depend on how you intend to
remove the overhang. If you flush trim with a router it doesn't much matter. If
you intend to hand plane and sand, you might want to angle your saw blade 18
degrees and stay pretty close to your line. This
will give less material to remove later.
fit the bottom:
Set the bottom on align the bow triangle and
the center line of the stern with the center of the transom. Weight it in place,
and tack it to the stem, frame and transom with finishing nails. How’s the
fit? If it’s good congratulations! If not, aren’t you glad the transom is
only dry screwed on…;-) If
necessary the position of the transom can be adjusted slightly.
Now remove the bottom and disassemble
and reassemble the sides, frame stem and transom – this time with glue. Pull
the string and check alignment before the glue sets up. Correct if necessary.
you glue on the bottom you want to be sure the chine logs are pretty level
across the bottom.
||A long level or straight 2x4 can be used to check how level
your chines are. Splitting the stock at an angle gives a head start on
this, but you'll probably have to plane or sand some. One trick is to wrap
course sand paper around the end of your long board. The end resting on
the other chine keep you level as you work your way along.
I made this little marker some call a
"finger guage" that makes it easy to mark where the nails will go in the chine log.
Mine also has
a 4" piece of wood taped to it that determines the spacing. (Some
space their fasteners 5" or 6" apart, but I use nails which are cheap,
so I put them at 4".)
Here it is in use. Mark with
a pencil or an awl.
|| Here are some
illustrations. Shape will vary depending on
whether you have chosen to do inner chine logs or outer.
glue to the chine logs, stem and transom and tack the bottom back in place,
using the same finishing nail holes. Mark, drill and nail the bottom on moving
from bow to stern, with a nail every 4 inches. (If you prefer SS or bronze
screws can be used instead of nails. They hold about the same as nails, but they
are removable. Getting the heads flush is slightly trickier.)
Also known as rubrails, these go on
just like external chine logs. They are glued and nailed flush with the top edge
of the side. The ends can run long and be trimmed after they are attached. I dry
wall screw and pad in either end is helpful.
& Breast Hook:
These are cut from ¼”
ply as shown on the plans. There are two ways they can be installed. Cleats can
be glued to the inside of the sides such that when glued in place the ply pieces
are flush with the gunwales. The top of the gunnels and stem, or gunwales and
transom can be planed or sanded flat. The ply pieces are then glued flat on top.
The first approach looks tidier to most folks, but the second approach is a bit
easier. The edges can be left as is, or a scrap of ¾” solid wood or ¼” ply
can be glued to the underside edges for stiffness and appearance sake.
Variation on hook and knees.
Details and pictures here.
all of the above seems tricky here is another approach. ¾” to 1" dowels
can be as
combination braces and handles.
These lend the stiffness and resistance
to both compression and expansion that breast hooks and knees provide while also
functioning as handy handles or tie points while car toppng.
On the firest Summer Breeze, I made
them both made from 1x4 which
is 3/4" stock. You can laminate the skeg from the two pieces in the
drawings of the sides layout. It tapers from 3.5" to 3/4". The keel is 2 1/2" wide.
My approach is the same
as used on the Bevin's Skiff. Here are their instructions.
(off my site) Their instructions might be a little clearer. (Remember their
bottom is 3/8" so don't use their nail sizes)
Here I'm dry fitting the blanks. First make center lines inside and outside the
boat. On the outside mark
on either side of that half the width of the keel. The edges of the keel should
hit those marks. Make a center line mark on the bow end
of the keel that will line up with a
center line mark on the stem. Once positioned trace the edges of the keel with a
pencil. I drilled 2 pilot holes in the stern end
of the keel and one hole at the bow end where I use a temporary dry wall screw
which goes through a small pad of 1/4" ply, so it clamps instead of pulling
down into the keel wood. Now I unclamp the keel and round it's edges.
I like rounded edges, but they aren't really necessary. Here I'm rounding the
edges of the skeg with a 3/8" round over bit in my router. (If you laminate
a 1/2" skeg use a 1/4" round over bit) A clamp on the
router and a clamp fixing that clamp to the workbench makes a mini shaper. You
can also round edges with a rasp and sandpaper.
I make the skeg slot by drilling a hole in the keel with a spade bit
where the forward end will go. (Same size bit as the thickness of your skeg)
Using a table saw, circular saw with a guide, or a hand saw cut the slot from
the end to the hole.
Rounding the tip of the skeg with a radius round over bit makes it a
perfect fit in the hole at the end of the
slot. (Again 1/4" or 3/8" bit matched to skeg stock.)
I use #14 x 7/8" bronze ring nails to attach the
keel. You could use screws if you like. I pre drill for the nails with a
bit slightly smaller than the nails. I use a pattern of 2 side by side about
3/4" in from the edge, then 1 in
the center every 4 inches. In the skeg area, I only nail the edges.
Either clamp a spacer in the skeg
slot to be sure it stays the right size or put the skeg in the slot. Spread PL on the bottom of the keel,
screw it to the stem, and nail or screw it to the transom. (#12 1 1/2" ring nails) The rocker in the bottom
seems to hold it in alignment pretty well. You can also attached some temporary
alignment blocks to make sure it goes in right.
If you're working by yourself:
After the ends are attached,
turn the boat right side up on your
floor. (Remove the skeg if you had it in the slot.) I put some scrap 3/4" stock to either side of the keel to keep the
boat from rocking. I then stand in the boat using my weight to press the keel to
the floor while I nail from bow to stern. I needed to prop the stern up with a
boat cushion while I did the bow as my weight wouldn't pull the keel all the way
to the floor otherwise. I also prop the bow while nailing the aft end. It's also
possible to leave the boat on sawhorses, and slide a saw horse along under where
you are nailing.
If you have a helper:
It's quite a bit easier if you have a helper. You can keep the boat on saw
horses, and your helper can hold a "bucking iron" - any heavy
weight, usually a sledge hammer - against the keel behind where you're
hammering. (Your helper will want
to wear hearing protectors.)
Now flip the boat back over
and glue in the skeg. First test the fit, and adjust if necessary. Butter up the skeg and put glue
in the slot to get good squeeze out. You don't want air pockets in there. I
didn't put any nails or screws into the skeg from the inside, since it seemed
strong enough without them. You might want to though. Be sure its at a right
angle to the boat bottom as it dries.
After the glue has set I cut the skeg and keel off flush with the pull
Here it is glued.
As with epoxy it's very good to
work as clean as you can when gluing. It's much easier to clean up glue while
soft then to struggle to get it off later. I keep a bunch of tongue depressors
around (sort of large Popsicle sticks.) and use them as disposable scrapers. You
can cut the end at the desired angle and scrape squeeze out as you go. That
said, there will be dried glue to clean off. How hard you work at it depends on
the level of finish you are going for.
have no seat in my prototype boat as I like that space open for sailing. With no
centerboard trunk, the whole boat becomes a cockpit with much sprawling space.
prefer to sit on a moveable seat when I row, usually a stack of cushions. A
great idea I haven't tried yet, it a plastic tool box with a piece of plywood
and a cushion attached to the bottom. Sit on it to row, flip it over to grab a
tool. The cushion should float it in a mishap, but best to keep it tethered.
If you decide to install a seat
measure and cut it to fit which allows for any minor bend variations in your
hull. For the design contest I allowed a small cleat
of 3/4" stock to be attached to the side for the seat to be attached
center of bouyancy according to the computer is 79" from the bow. In
theory you can
place the center of your seat there. But remember what Yogi Berra says:
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
So you could do
what I do. Seal the edges
of the ply with epoxy, and then get her wet and see how she floats. In the
"theoretical place" a 9 1/2" wide seat will have the frame notched into it 3" in
from the aft edge of the seat. However, I rarely stand on my seat putting all
my weight over the center of buoyancy. Some of my weight is on my feet. So a bit
forward of the theoretical is probably closer to the practical.
A better Idea I
just got from Mike Goodwin is a removable seat that works like
this. The seat is omitted from the sketch for clarity.
||Another 1x2 frame piece it attached to the side
forward of and parallel to
the main frame. Notice the lower end tapers to
meet the internal chine log.
(If your chines are external or you stitch
and glued just taper it to the side
bottom joint.) The cross support is also 1x2 and runs long so the
"ears" can be used to tie or bungie the seat in place. Hieght is
a matter of taste and I've seen seats from 9" to 12" high. You
can decide by feel or, if you plan on using a trolling motor allow for the
height of your battery, as midships is the best place for it.
If your trim test has your seat farther aft then let the aft
"ear" run longer and notch the seat around the frame.
mast partner should also be cut to fit, and make sure you leave the center of
the mast hole at 50" from the bow as shown in the rig sketch. If you do the
rectangular mast from 2x4, make sure the long dimension is athwartship (side to side) as
the mast takes the most load in that direction and is stronger that way. The
mast partner should not be removable but fastened securely to cleats as a lot of torque is
transmitted to the hull through this piece.
|| These are 4 1/2" squares of 1/4" ply with 1 1/2" squares
in the middle. The slot is in the bottom one to let water drain. Face the
aft. Glue these two pieces together. Shoulders are cut in the
bottom of the mast leaving a 1 1/2" square 1/2" long to fit in
the step. Find it's position by leveling the boat - corners of transom and
base of stem should be the same distance from the floor. You can use a
plumb bob from the mast partner, or insert the mast and use a level to
make it vertical. Mark where the step goes. Glue and screw or nail
it into the keel. Make sure glue ooze doesn't obstruct the drain groove.
||The rig on the left is the original from a 9'x12' tarp. The
one on the right was for the Duckworks
contest, which had to be pieced from an 8'x10' tarp.
polytarp lugsail is effective and easily made. It has an upper spar or
“yard” 10 feet long and a 10 foot sprit boom, rigged with a “snotter.”
(Piece of rigging attaching it to the mast and allowing you to vary the tension
on the sail...see rigging diagram on details page.)
Here are details for making the sail.
and brace plate:
The leeboard is made per the drawing. If you want to stay very basic you can
get away with just rounding all the edges. If you want to make it a bit more
efficient you can taper it towards the leading and aft edges. Generally the
thickest point of a "foil," as they call them, is a third of the way
back from the leading edge. Some say leaving the trailing edge squared off is
more effective then rounded. That's a bit over my head, but if you want to
research it Jim Michalak is the guy to go to. Here are a couple of his
articles on leeboards:
http://marina.fortunecity.com/breakwater/274/1998/0615/index.htm#Pivoting Leeboard Design
Here's a quote from one of his recent newsletters:
The leeboard - always best to laminate it from thinner plywood to avoid
warpage. So if the leeboard is to finish at 3/4" thick you should make it
from two layers of 3/8" plywood or three layers of 1/4" plywood. What
I like to do is to make one lamination exactly the right size and the others a
bit oversized. Then apply lots of glue between the layers, place the layers on
top of each other on a flat surface and tap light nails through the stack so
that the layers can't slide around on each other. Then place something like
concrete blocks on the stack of layers to aply pressure. Then walk away until
the glue has set hard.
Trim the glued up leeboard blank to final shape. Then streamline the front
and aft edges that will flow through the water. Don't just round the edges with
a router bit. It doesn't have to be carved to a full airfoil shape but I would
suggest something like this:"
Read the whole thing here: http://homepages.apci.net/~michalak/
and browse his boat plans. He has some great ones, and very reasonably priced.
He also has some
great articles in his archives on leeboards and rudders.
The pivot bolt on Summer
placed the same distance from the aft edge and the top edge of the leeboard.
That distance will be 8" for external chine logs, and 6 1/2" for
internal or stitch and glue. The difference is because with external chine
logs the leeboard will bear against the gunwale, the pivot bolt spacer, and
the chine log when deployed. The other version is bolted flat against the side with a plastic spacer to
and touches the underside of the gunwale when deployed. It sort of "bump" stops against the gunwale in the down
A 3/4" thick backing plate of 3 pieces of the 3" wide ply is
fastened to the inside of the side, opposite the leeboard. This reinforces the pivot
bolt mounting point and distributes the forces over a wider area.
This leeboard idea I got from
my friend Richard Frye. It will work with internal chine logs or stitch
In the contest design the rudder is of 3/4" pine, but
I would recommend plywood if you can do it. I've used 1/2" ply, with the
edges just rounded, and I've laminated two 1/2" ply pieces into
1"stock and shaped it into more of a foil cross section. (see leeboard)
3/4" would work fine too, and I know Jim Michalak sometimes laminates 3
pieces of 1/4" for his. Many woods will work, but ply is much less prone to
split than solid stock.
I recommend you draw this full size on card board for a
template. That way you can check it against the transom and with your hardware.
This is a kick up rudder that will pivot up out of harms
way when you hit something. There is a disk of plastic sandwiched between the
blade and the head that allows for generous tightening of the 3/8" SS pivot
bolt and still have a nice amount of friction. Keep you're mounting
hardware in mind while you make this. Make sure the hardware doesn't interfere
with the pivoting blade. Sometimes it has to be countersunk.
Some counterweight their rudders to make them negatively buoyant.
For any who would like to try their hand at pouring lead... here are notes on my
journey into lead land.
tiller is made from 3/4" x 3.5"stock 38" long. I drilled a
hole in it the thickness of the rudder head stock, then sawed to the hole to form the slot
for the rudder head. If you round the head with a quarter round radius router bit, it
can fit the slot perfectly. Very
satisfying. Could be left square though. A stainless steel bolt runs crosswise
in front of the head slot to prevent splitting. The hole in the handle end is
for attaching a tiller extension if needed.
Option: You can see in the sepia photo above that I
run my main sheet through a hole in the tiller that has been routed into a kind
of smooth fair lead. It is above the rudder head in such a way that downward
pressure on the tiller pinches the main sheet, lifting allows it to run free.
This allows both steering and sail control in one hand, which I often find handy
in small boat sailing.
The mast is as simple as it gets. Use as clear
a 10 foot 2x4 as you can find. Taper it starting about 3 ft above the base, to
1.5" at the top. The 3.5" dimension runs athwartship (side to side) so
it's strongest side takes most of the stress. A 3/8" or 1/2" hole is
drilled in the top for the halyard. If you round it with a quarter round bit it
becomes a pretty smooth "fair lead." If you end up in conditions you
think are going to break your 2x4, get out your oars and get home!
Both my spars - the yard and the sprit are bamboo. I know most
don't have access to bamboo, so the yard can be made of closet rod if you can
find it in 10 ft lengths. You can also make it from 2x2 which is
1.5"x1/5". Round the corners to cut down on sail abrasion. The sprit
can be made of the same, but you can also taper it starting about a third in
from each end. Taper to 1" square. Find the clearest wood you can.
Here' is a great article by Dave Carnel on latex paints for boats. I know it
might sound crazy, but a lot of folks do it and it can work out to be an
economical and effective solution to boat finishing.
Resources - Supplies, Materials and Tools...
Distributors -- Boatbuilding Supplies for the Trade and Craftsman
- source of
steel nails and screws from USA Manufacturers
building screws, boat nails, carriage bolts
From Glen L Marine
Ken Hankinson supplies
reasonably priced epoxy (sometime free shipping)
Epoxy - Some claim its the best if you tend to be sensitive to epoxy
Lowest cost epoxy I know of. A Florida Company
Composites - Might be lower priced then Fiberglass Coatings, haven't
Exotic Plywood Tubing by BrandNew $5ish a foot for small mast sizes -
cherry, maple, walnut etc...
Jim Michalak resources:
- Rudders; small boat