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.
These were the last major construction jobs to be done. I had prepared the mast staves earlier. Naturally I had to get all the sawhorses nicely aligned to be sure that the mast would be straight.
First I had to round over the edges of the hull, and then fillet the joint at the base of the keel. The job took a lot of glass and resin – I had to order another 15 yards, in addition to the 50 yards that came with the kit. Naturally, a lot of sanding was involved.
With half a dozen helpers and six old tires, this took only a few minutes, even in the confined space where the boat is being built.
I cut the gaff and rounded its edges, and finished up the bowsprit. I also did a test-fit of the bowsprit. Then I finished shaping the edges of the centerboard.
The boat is just about ready to be flipped, so that the bottom can be glassed and finished!
Lots of work here:
- 24 scarfs had to be cut on the 18 strips of rail material.
- The 18 pieces had to be glued together to make 6 full-length pieces
- Each piece needed to be run through the table saw to give it a trapezoidal cross-section.
- I had to build a temporary bending jig from scraps and the pallet the kit came on.
- Each piece needed to be steamed (with the same setup I used for the sheerclamps) and clamped to the jig for a couple of days.
- Each piece had to be test-fitted in place, and the screw holes drilled.
- Each piece had to be glued in place one at a time, and held with temporary screws, clamps, etc.
- Finally, the completed rails were planed and sanded smooth, and the ends were rounded.
This took quite a while. There was a lot of area to cover.
I glassed the cabin roof and installed the cleats around the edge of the companionway.
This went basically according to plan: I put 3 coats of epoxy on the underside of the two pieces, glued them together, and carefully checked its fit on the hull. I used lots of glue and temporary screws, working quickly to get it all done before the epoxy started setting up. Afterwards I used a router and a plane to trim off the excess.
This was the last major component to be added to the hull. The next steps are a lot of filleting on the cockpit, lots of sanding all over the upper hull, and glassing the entire cockpit and cabin roof.
I cut it with a bandsaw (which made a rather wavy cut), and got it flat with a plane.
I installed the dorade boxes and their reinforcing blocks and cleats. Then I cut and installed the curved cleats on the front and rear cabin walls.. Finally, I installed the breasthook. All these pieces needed some routing and sanding, and three coats of epoxy.
I finally glued in place the front sheerclamps. which I had steam-bent a couple of weeks previously. I also installed the transom skirt cap pieces. Both of these jobs required a lot of clamps!
I cut lots of pieces of styrofoam insulation and put them in the buoyancy chambers. I also primed and painted the storage compartments at the rear. Next I glued the seatback panels into place. They are held in place with clamps, stainless-steel pneumatic brads, and a couple of weights. The last step was to glue down the top pieces.
I installed the transom skirt:
I decided that the forward sheerclamps were too stiff to successfully bend into place, so I decided to steam them first. I made a minimalist steam box from an empty paint can and seven feet of “spa vacuum hose” from Lowe’s. For a heat source, I naturally used the same LP gas burner I got for the lead-melting. After an hour of steaming, each sheerclamp bent easily, and I clamped them to the outside of the hull to dry out for a few days.
I did a bunch of filleting, and applied fiberglass tape to the side seams. I also started installing the parts for the seatbacks.
Below is a shot of the centerboard pendant sheave, safely tucked away in the trunk. I 3D-printed the spacers on either side of the sheave.
Actually, I still need to finish the removable sections, but that will happen much later. Now I have to cover them up to continue working on the hull.
I have been finishing the floorboards with Danish Oil. It is slow work. Because the stuff is stinky I have to work in the cold garage, so the Oil needs a long time to dry. So far about half of the floorboards are installed, and the rest need one more coat of Danish Oil.
I also finished the centerboard trunk with several coats of clear water-based polyurethane. People will be able to look at it and know for sure that this is a wooden boat!