I started building SCAMP sailboat #225 on May 28, 2013. The SCAMP is an amazing 11′ 11″ micro-cruiser. This SCAMP will be available for sale at the fully-assembled-and-epoxied-kit stage. If you are interested, email Dan@Hookedonwoodenboats.com. Thanks!
On this page I am posting Hacks, Tips and Tricks to building the SCAMP. To see the Cost and Time to build the SCAMP, click on HookedOnWoodenBoats.com/SCAMPCostTime and to see my Weekly Build Updates click on HookedOnWoodenBoats.com/SCAMP.
SCAMP Build – Hacks, Tips and Tricks
- EPOXY USAGE
- Use as much epoxy as necessary for each task, but NOT ONE OUNCE MORE.
- Clean up epoxy runs, sags, or blobs while the epoxy is wet. A putty knife and paper towels wet with denatured alcohol work well.
- Pre-coating Panels. Put first coat on one day, let cure overnight, and then sand the next morning and put on the 2nd and 3rd coats that day. Roll on 3rd coat after 2nd is still slightly tacky to avoid problems from amine blush.
- To keep bubbles from forming when applying an epoxy barrier coating; put epoxy on while the temperature is dropping (not rising).
- Pre-coat as many of the parts as possible BEFORE assembling.
- EPOXY FILLETS
- Glue (acid) brushes work well at smoothing out fillets. Lay a bead of fillet material down, smooth it out with a spoon, then smooth out epoxy with a glue brush (it might help to dip the brush in denatured alcohol).
- For tight areas (mast box especially) use a disposable pastry bag to apply fillets.
- BE super careful about applying your fillets as precisely and neatly as possible to reduce the amount of sanding done after drying.
- Neatly mask off fillet areas with blue tape before applying fillet.
- The SCAMP is quite deep so for easier access, install the fillets (between planks and bulkheads) as each plank is installed – not after all planks are attached.
- To make a proper batch of fillet material, thicken mixed epoxy with 2 parts 407 (low density), 2 parts 406 (Collodial Silica), and 1 part 404 (high density). This is the mix used by Scott Jones at the Northwest Maritime Center Boat Shop.
- Mix a maximum of 8 ounces of epoxy at a time (unless working in cold temperatures), apply, smooth and clean. More than 8 ounces may cause the epoxy to exotherm!
- Make your own epoxy tools using 4 or 6mm pieces of plywood. Sand them smooth, and label size on each one. Have a clean palette (plywood covered with wax paper) to keep your tools on during filleting sessions.
- Sand bulkhead and centerboard fillets, and bulkhead areas BEFORE planking the boat.
- Make sure the jig is absolutely level and square before starting the build.
- Label your pieces (with blue tape) to include the name of the piece, fore or aft, and a triangle with the top pointing up to indicate the orientation of the piece on the boat. When dealing with matched pieces (e.g. planks), label as either port or starboard.
- Use the seat-tops to check bulkhead positioning often (dry-fit only), and most importantly, before (while) hanging your planks.
- Be as careful as possible to properly level and align each boat part during assembly. Recheck levelness and alignment frequently during the build.
- Build and fit the complete centerboard trunk system off the boat, fit with completed centerboard, then install trunk in boat.
- When gluing in B4, dry fit stem to front of B4 to ensure stem will fit properly after B4 is epoxied in place.
- I like to avoid using screws just to hold parts in place while epoxy is curing. Instead I will clamp, weight or pin nail parts in place during epoxy curing. By doing so I avoid filling and sanding the recesses for the screws.
- Assemble 4 part mast trunk and fillet inside corners BEFORE installing on boat.
- Before I epoxy any new part(s) to the boat, I make sure I have done all the work that I can on the part I am installing and on the parts that have already been installed. This includes epoxy precoating, sanding, filleting and beveling where necessary, etc
- CENTERBOARD LEAD
- Get creative – ankle exercise weights have lead shot. Buy used ones, cut open and you have a cheaper source of lead 🙂