During the winter of 2015/16 I built a CLC Skerry. Recently I decided I wanted a bigger boat, and that I needed something to keep me busy during the Coronavirus pandemic. So in October 2020 I ordered a Pocketship kit.
I have to sand all the edges and bumps out of the fiberglass on the bottom of the hull. After that, it will get one more coat of epoxy, and it will have to be sanded again!
I put the cleats on the footwell sides, and coated them and the footwell floor with epoxy. Then I glued the two halves of the bowsprit together, even though I won’t be doing anything else with it for months.
I marked and cut one side, then used each cut piece as a pattern to cut the other side.
Some trivia for other builders: I needed 134 screws: all 1-1/2″, except for two in the outside rear corners that are 1-1/4″. I used flat-head Frearson bronze screws, with the heads slightly countersunk below the surface.
As soon as all the floorboards fit nicely and the screw holes were drilled, I removed them and set them aside to start work on finishing the interior.
Lots of cutting, planing, and drilling screw holes. I 3d-printed some handy jigs to get the floorboards properly spaced and the screw holes nicely aligned.
The last portion to be glassed was the bow compartment, which is a hassle to reach.
Notice that for the forward compartments, I marked up the fiberglass cloth with a Sharpie to help me cut it out and position it. Nobody will ever see it after the boat is finished.
This is tedious work (probably the most tedious part of the build), and I am about two-thirds done.
I finished all the interior filleting. Then I sanded the fillets in the rearmost section and applied fiberglass cloth to it.
This is a time-consuming step. First, I pulled out all the wires. Then I started applying nice rounded fillets of epoxy paste to all the joints. I am about 2/3 done, and it will probably take about 30 batches of epoxy (one patch mostly fills a 12-ounce plastic cup).
I also added a few cleats to the floors and bulkheads that I hadn’t glued in place before assembly.
I have been applying epoxy to all the joints in the hull. When it cures, I can remove the wire stitches that were temporarily holding them together. It has taken three sessions of gluing to do this. The bow was tricky, because the joints are hard to reach, and the sharp bends in the plywood mean that the gluing has to be strong.
This is traditionally the beginning of the actual construction. We added a couple of coins for good luck, an old tradition. Then I attached the keelson on top of the keel.
This went pretty smoothly, and I needed less lead than I expected.
There are or course tons of parts. It took a while to remove all the CNC-cut plywood pieces, and to figure out where to put everything.
There was (and still is) a big pile of random plywood scraps to get rid of.
I drove down to Annapolis to pick up my kit and a few other items. Fortunately my Skerry’s boat trailer carried the kit just fine, so I did not have to rent a van or trailer.
Because of Coronavirus, I couldn’t visit CLC’s showroom or check out their Pocketship, which was sitting under a tarp on its trailer in the parking lot. So I was at CLC for only 20 minutes or so. I also did some shopping at Fawcett Boat Supplies and West Marine, a couple of miles down the road.
It tool a while to unpack everything when I got home.