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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 One! 

(Day Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine - Ten - Eleven She Gets Wet! - Twelve - she gets a sail!)

    Finally made 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.

The sides:

   Lay out the sides on the sheet per the drawing.  Be sure to mark where the frame will fasten to the sides.  

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          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.

Rip 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. 

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 Butt blocks:

  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.

Do 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.

Make 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.

Position 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 has cured.

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    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 surface. When that prop strip of wood is removed, and you flatten the "tent",  clamp pressure gets transferred inward, to the edges of the glued pieces. 

    In preparation 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.

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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
strength. "

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.

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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.

PLtest2.jpg (8077 bytes)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 - Day Two

Stem - Frame - Transom - Dry fit

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.

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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.

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Transom - 

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.)

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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.

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Now clamp 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 belt sander.

sidesround2.jpg (11108 bytes) sidesand.jpg (12063 bytes) If the photo isn't clear see drawing above.

Temporary Frame:

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. 

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Here I've tacked the sides frame and transom together in a dry run to test the fit.

 dryrun2.jpg (11069 bytes) dryrun.jpg (12796 bytes)   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 build..

On 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 stuff:

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




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