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Spindrift 11N Build Log


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I picked up a Spindrift 11N kit from Graham this weekend and will start building it this week. This will be my first boat build so I expect I'll have a few questions along the way and hopefully not too many 'Doh!' moments. I spent Sunday rearranging my garage so I'll have some room for the build. It's going to be fairly tight but it should be doable.


I'm planning on spending my evenings this week joining the bottom and sides of the hull parts together and building the frame to support the build. I've just laid out the hull sides to give me an idea of my workspace.


First picture with hopefully many more to come.


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I've had my first 'Doh!' moment. When I joined the hull sides and bottoms I didn't get all the teeth to lie flat. It's only the outer 5 teeth on one of the bottoms that isn't flush but a judicious application of thickened epoxy and a lot of elbos grease should get everything nice and flush again. I placed a board and weights on top of the joints when gluing them but I should have triple checked this joint. The rest of the joints came out very nicely.


Steve W: I really like you boat. Hope mine looks as nice when I'm done.




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Thanks for the tip Steve. Good to know I can continue forward.


What brand of hand tools do folks usually use. I've got a Ryobi jig saw which I want to replace.




I am sure there are better ones, but I bought a Grizzly jig saw model Model G8994Z many years ago. It's a Bosh clone for the tight budget.  It has been a warhorse. I've made more stuff with that thing. For 59 bucks I don't think you can go wrong. It's variable speed, oscillating and has a very good blade retention system. Blades can be bought anywhere.

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As you have already been told, do not worry about the raised finger joint, I anticipated this happening when laying out the panels for the kit. Instead of joining the bottom panel at the end of the sheet like the home builders do I  placed the joint centered on the nesting bulkheads so that the finger joints will be cut in two and will be well glassed into the nesting bulkhead structure.


You got away with this one but is should be a reminder that when building boats you have cajole ever piece into it's proper alignment. It almost never automatically falls into alignment by itself.


My two cents on the jig saw.  Bosch used to be the gold standard. I am on my third one at the shop and we were on the second one at the boat building class. I will not be buying any more because they are not holding up. I think that the other manufactures have caught up. Just make sure that it takes the Bosch pattern blades and and has the features that Steve mentioned. We were given a Hitachi a while ago and although it is not quite as strong as the Bosch I will pick it up and use it if it is closer at hand. I would certainly look at the Grizzly.

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Bosch is not what it used to be.  If you have an old barrel grip Bosch you should guard it with your life, I am.  I hope I never have to figure out what to buy now.  Festool makes some great stuff, but it sure is expensive.  See if there are any used tool sellers in your area.  I have bought a couple things from one near me and been glad I did.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

It took two weeks but I managed to source the wood for my gunwales. I got 6 strips of 1/4" x 1 1/4" x 12' Mahogany strips with the 17 degree bevel cut into them.


Is there a trick to get the gunwales to mate at the bow? It looks like Walt just left them square with a gap at the tip which was filled in with another piece of wood. Is this standard practice or is there a method to cut the appropriate angle in the gunwales to get them to mate at the tip?





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I shaped a piece of mahogany for the bow. Since we start bending the gunwales at the bow I was able to dry fit the strips with a fair amount of precision, which made shaping the bow piece easier. I doubt that this is the most common way, but I like the look and I wanted a nice hard piece of mahogany at the bow.







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