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Texas Spindrift 11N Build


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After a trip to Lowe's to pick up some 1/4" bolts, I figured it was a good time to work on things for a while. So I set up the trim router to put a 1/8" round over on the inner edges of the hull. Then I found some cardboard and glued the nesting bulkheads together.


Found some scrap and made four reinforcement squares.




I found rebar wire the other day at Home Depot, so that's what I used to stitch the hull together.




Everything seemed to be ready, so with the help of my lovely wife, I did the butterfly thing that I've seen demonstrated, and next thing you know it looks like a boat.










Only after all this was done and I stood back to take some pictures did I realize the mistake I made.


In all the excitement I forgot to install the bolts. The bolts that I had just picked up at Lowe's.


So now I need to decide what to do.


Do I remove the bulkhead and go drill the holes on the drill press, or do leave it in place and eyeball it with a portable drill?




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You'll be removing the bulkhead to apply glue to it so you may want to wait till that point to drill the holes. I also found that the spacers between my bulkheads shrank over time so that now my saw barely fits. It was probably caused by having the bulkheads bolted together compressing the cardboard.





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Steve, thanks for the idea about making straight holes with the portable drill.


Roam, I used cardboard that is a bit thicker than the saw blade, and I can see how the bolts would easily squash them if overtightened.


Right now I'm thinking about drilling the holes right before I permanently glue the bulkheads in place, and leaving the bolts only hand tight. 




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Starboard: I love the way yours turned out. The contrast between the dark and light wood species looks really nice.


i hope to leave a lot of the upper surfaces bright, but on the last cruise ship I was on I do recall seeing a crew of workers sanding and refinishing all the bright railings.


How well has your finish held up?



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The bright finish has held up fine. The boat is stored hanging from the rafters in the garage, and it hasn't seen a lot of use since i built it. I'd say the paint on the hull is in worse condition from the bangs and scrapes. The gunwales get as much contact as anywhere else, right?


I'm really happy that I kept a few areas bright, but I don't think I would have liked the results if I'd tried to to the whole boat that way- too many imperfections. It the first boat I've built after all.


Yours looks great so far. It's a lot of fun seeing another nesting spindrift getting built- every boat is just a little bit different.

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I found a photo from last fall- the gunwales are a little banged up from the hard dock i rubbed up against a while ago, but it would probably be pretty easy to brighten it up with a little sanding and varnish.



One of the reasons I built my nesting Spindrift is to go on the deck of my J/24 out to Catalina and zip around the island once I get there. It's hard to beat this view of Blue Cavern Point!



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Got a few things done this past week. I went ahead and removed the nesting bulkhead and drilled the bolt holes.  Then I added the bolts (loosely) and reassembled.




Next, I dry-fit the transom. I had to move the wire ties that were in the aft-most holes because otherwise I couldn't get the bottom of the transom to sit flush with the bottom. I just drilled holes a few inches forward of the original holes and reinstalled the wires.




Finally I was able to use my hand plane to bevel the sides and bottom of the transom to match the angle of the hull.




I still haven't ripped the mahogany for the gunwales, but that will be next. I am also planning to make a mahogany breasthook and two transom knees to replace the pine ones from the kit.





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I have a question about what order I should epoxy things in place.


When reading the assembly instructions it says to "not be in a rush" to fiberglass the seams after the boat is opened up. So I am trying not to jump the gun.


It looks to me like I need to epoxy the transom in place when I install the Quarter Knees, followed by epoxying the gunwales in place and screwing the aft ends of the gunwales to the transom stiffener. But the instructions have a paragraph after the Forward Bulkhead section that mentions releasing the "aft clamp" and setting the transom in place making sure the alignment is correct before gluing. So is the transom is just loosely fit while the gunwales are installed?


Anyone else have this confusion?



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Boat is looking great! thanks for all the pics. 

The transom and quarter knees can be glued in next followed by the gunwales...then the nesting bulkheads and fwd bulkhead, chines and keel.  


The nesting and forward bulkheads must be in place while the gunwales are glued on but they are left in with wire ties only until after the gunwales are installed because the gunwales change the sheer of the boat quite a bit and give it it's final shape. If the bulkheads were already filleted and taped in you could end up with some weird looking kinks in the side of the hull where the gunwales and filleted bulkheads were fighting each other for hull shape. 


The transom could go on after the gunwales if you like, that would be ok too. The transom's job is just to pinch the sides of the hull in gently. One thing we see occasionally is a screw into the transom beam from the hull side which can put a nasty hook or fishtail in the side panel if the transom bevel is not perfect. So go easy with screws into the transom from the side. If you were really paranoid, you could temporarily clamp the gunwales strips in place and do a dryfit with the transom, quarter-knees, and gunwales to make sure all the angles match up and are happy when the gunwales put some rigidity into the side panels. 


Hope that all make sense. 


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A clarification.... my first response made it sound as if the forward bulkhead and nesting bulkhead are to be installed after the gunwales are glued on. Note however that these bulkheads MUST be in place while the gunnels are being installed. What I meant was that they are wired in and not filleted and taped until after the gunwales are on. 


I edited my first response to make that clear from the start.

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Based on your explanation, here is the order I am planning to follow:
1. Wire or screw the forward and nesting bulkheads in place

2. Epoxy the breasthook.

3. Pre-fit the gunwales to make sure the transom bevels are correct, and adjust accordingly.

4. Epoxy the transom and quarter knees.

5. When cured, epoxy the gunwales
6. Make any adjustments to remove twist.

7. Epoxy the forward bulkhead

8. Epoxy the nesting bulkhead

9. Tack weld the seams


Does that look right?



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