Jump to content

Core Sound 15 #162 — Building the “Norma T”


Recommended Posts

(This begins a boat-build-blog for spring and summer of 2020.)



I just received through mail my plans for the Core Sound 15.  


My Background: I built two small boats as a kid.
==> an 8 foot Glen-L three-point hydroplane (Tiny Titan)... I chose this as a project in 8th grade since my dad had a 5 hp Sea King motor. With some effort (letting go of the tiller and sitting up on the bow deck) I could get it into a plane. To use it in a nearby lake I built a little trailer with a 10 foot 4x4, a 2x4 cross piece, a broom handle “axel”, and a couple wagon wheels. I’d push it down the road a couple blocks and spend a few hours tooling around the lake. 
==> an 11 foot Glen-L runabout TNT)... I chose this boat plan since, with saved money from bagging groceries, I had bought a 12 foot aluminum boat (with a 1956 30 hp Johnson motor and a trailer... I sold the boat but kept the motor and trailer.)  I finished the TNT and started using it after finishing 10th grade. It did over 30 mph and could pull me waterskiing.   (By the way, my son recently claimed my boat after it sat in the back yard for a couple decades. He had built a three cedar strip canoes and applied his skills to rebuilding the TNT. We then worked together on the 1956 Johnson that hadn’t been used since 1996 - but it did serve as storage compartments for chipmunks - and we will try firing it up soon.)

Then came college, marriage, grad school, four kids, and a career. I’ve had many and various woodworking projects scattered among the years. No boats, though. After moving back to Wisconsin In 1995, my two sons and I were each paid $100 for playing in the summer city band.  My brother-law-law (a boat dealer) called me about boat he took in on a trade... $300... an 18-foot 1978 Lund tri-hull (aqua blue... named Miss Tuhla... quaint) with a 180 hp Mercruiser in perfect running condition. My boys and I bought it. It was a fun family boat until the kids got married... and great for waterskiing. 

During the empty-nest years, I took the ASA 101 and 103 sailing courses plus an independent three-day cruising course in Bayfield, Wisconsin (Apostle Islands area in Lake Superior.)  Fun, but chartering a 35 foot sailboat is just not within prudent budgeting. 

I retired as 2019 ended. Hmmm... time for something... what to do?  I somehow stumbled onto the B&B Yachts website. After brief research, I decided to purchase plans for the BRS17... only $85. While looking over the plans and feeling rather intimidated (not really understanding the B&B building approaches and all the little unknown details) and having then also done more research, I decided to call in an order with Alan at B&B Yachts for a CS15... the entire set of kits: THE WORKS. I must say that Alan’s comprehensive set of 19 YouTube videos on building the CS15 is what gave me the confidence to make the full investment.  I chose the kit route to have a finished project by late summer or fall (hopefully... my wife will want the garage back.)  I think that the kit approach will provide me sufficient challenge. 


My CS15 kits are being assembled in April 2020... I’m looking forward to making the trip to B&B Yachts to bring “THE WORKS” kit home... I am ready for the boatbuilding project to begin.  I decided that the speedier “end result” of a working sailboat, that I could call my own and enjoy with my family, was more important than taking on the laying out/cutting/fashioning of all the pieces... along with the fact that making the masts/rigging/etc. was beyond what I thought I wanted take on.  So, from me to B&B Yachts... a big thanks for making this project available and (likely) making it possible for me to succeed. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you'll enjoy both the building and final use of the CS-15. I've built several B&B boats, both from plans, and kits. They're GREAT! Alan and Graham are always there for advice as are an awesome bunch of us "experts". (And we're all so humble about it!) Looking forward to building along with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Wishing you a fun build.  I have the CS15 #153 that Alan built for the DVD, and sailed in their CS15 website video doing figure 8s. Fun and easy to sail even for a easily distracted, very short attention span, klutz like me. Not sure if Graham and Allen have one at/near by the shop, but I'll be in Washington NC for the summer after Apr 18.  About a hour NNE of B&B on the Pamlico River east of Washington, if you want to detour and check her out. I have a trip planned 12-21 Jun but otherwise plan to be at NC home at the moment.  Safe travels. Rick    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife’s car has vacated the space... until fall, she says... (that might provide me some “motivation”.)

I moved the kayaks from their cradles on the ceiling to their summer storage rack outside. 
A couple new shop lights went up to augment the four ceiling bulbs (much better.)

The grey floor mat will be rolled up and put somewhere.
The motorcycles might need to be on the back patio this summer (I have covers.)

I have been procuring clamps and other tools/supplies that come to mind. 
I’ll soon get some boards for the building form. 
Forum reading and video watching will continue. 

And, MAYBE, the kit will be ready for pickup at the end of the week.  ? I’m feeling ready to start. 

I’m setting the end of July as a target to have the hull ready for “Gramma Camp” in August. Sails,, mast, rigging, and painting might wait until later. Will I make that goal?  Maybe it’s too optimistic, but I’ll give it a shot.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know... I don’t have one piece of the boat yet, but, remembering a tidbit from my three/day cruising course on Lake Superior and being that the grandkids are a significant part of my taking on this particular project, I picked up this item for my eventual CS15.My course instructor, Captain Dave, who takes lots of first-time kids and timid people on experiential sailing ventures, calls this the boat’s “Fun-Meter”.


”The higher they number the more fun you’re having!”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I leave tomorrow for the 1,200 mile trip from central Wisconsin to Bayboro, NC to pick up the CS15 kit. Timing with gas prices seems ideal... I never thought I’d see 95 cents/gal. again.  I must admit I’m feeling excited... sort of “kid-ish”.


Meanwhile, my son is working to fix/repair the 11 foot boat I built in my sophomore year of high school... 1968 (he sent me this photo today.)  This winter, we had started to get the boat’s 30 hp 1956 Johnson back in running condition. 

So, 52 years since my last boat build... 

It’s time!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost back to Wisconsin on my 2,400 mile pickup trip (I think it was worth it). 
So... some day, I’ll need to buy a trailer just to haul around this little pile of wood???  ?


My first impression upon seeing the pieces of this kit laid out on B&B’s worktable is how neatly cut out everything is. I know what things look like when I cut shapes of plywood with a saber saw — sure, usually close to the lines, assuming I even drew the lines accurately — but with varying “shades of waviness” along the straight or curved lines. I just thought that the pieces looked like they were expertly made and I’m even more appreciative that I bought the full kit, “the works.”  It is a great investment for my family.  (BTW, not everything in the kit is pictured above.)

This kit is could be sort of like an IKEA project... I’ll understand what and how some of the oddly shaped pieces contribute to the whole as the assembly process takes place. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ted- You are going to love building that boat. I have my modified Spindrift aka Kendrift almost ready for paint. The CNC cut parts all fit like a perfect puzzle. Very fun and satisfying way to see a cool boat come together quickly. Enjoy!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that's a cool story and a good break from the goings on in the world. I bet you built your boat using good quality fir plywood back then. And like many folks back then they used polyester resin for any and all glass work.  Cant wait to see an hear more about that design as you progress along on your new boat building project. Things have surely changed in the small backyard boat building industry since 68, even though the addiction stays the same. People built small boats from pictures in Popular Mechanic magazines. Now we got youngens designing small craft without the use of lofting tables and tireless hours of fine point pencils.:PB) Of course some folks never change their ways and use a hatchet , some pine and a string to lay up boats.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Regarding my 1968 boat mentioned above...) It was made with prescarfed 4x12 marine plywood. For glueing, I used some reddish resin, mixing in some powder stuff (sorry about using all of this technical language here ?) and all joints included screws (I sort of overdid the numbers of screws.)  My dad was a lab chemist and brought home a number of things for coating the inside surfaces. He also supplied me with fiberglass and resin for the bottom (it’s my only experience so far with working with epoxy... that’s about to change.) I used whatever marine paint was available at my local Sears store. The last time I did anything with the boat was in 1994 when my son (8th grade) and I did some small repairs and added another layer of paint.  He asked me last week what kind of paint we used.  All I could say was, “ white paint... oh, and some red paint.

My boys learned to kneeboard and ski with it... but we soon had the chance to buy “Miss Tuhla” (first post above) and the 11 foot boat sat upside down in the backyard until my son reclaimed it six years ago. Then it sat in his shed for a few more years before he began to rebuild it. Oh, and the 30 hp motor that was in a metal shed for 20 years, then outside for five, was just full of chipmunk stuff: fluff, seeds, and acorns. ?  After new ignition, carb, lower unit housing, and a few other misc. things this winter, we will soon try starting it for the first time in 25 years. 

Cute story: last summer, my son replaced the boat’s decking and a few small places that had rotted. He used cedar strips cut from wood he removed from his basement walls. Then he covered the boat (right side up) with a tarp for the winter. Lots of snow pushed the cover down into the cockpit. Then a mid-winter thaw and rain filled the cockpit with water... which then froze into solid ice for a few more months. ?

Well, experience teaches us a lot of stuff. 


I’m writing this post at my last rest stop before arriving back home with the new CS15 kit. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While driving home, I decided on the colors I’d like to paint onto the hull and inside the boat. 

I... suppose... I still have a few things to do first. 

After unloading the van and getting the parts put in the garage and my downstairs workshop, it’ll be time for first steps... building form/cradle and glueing finger joints. Tomorrow!!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 1:  


My goals for the day were:

a. Make the cradle 

b. Organize a bit more, and make a shelf for the epoxy stuff

c. Start working with epoxy... the last time I did something like this was in 1969. I decided that the first task I’d tackle would be the two finger joints of the longitudinal bulkhead; they have the shortest finger joints. The various videos I’ve watched bolstered my confidence in this very unfamiliar process. I managed to do all six finger joints today as I’d hoped. I’ll see the results tomorrow. There will be some cleanup and sanding, no doubt. These joints were about as concerning or intimidating to me as anything I see in the boat project, kinda nice to get them out of the way. 

I made one dumb blunder. When I laid the second side atop the already glued opposite side for, I’d foolishly left a countersink bit between the two sides. Instead of a perfect match of all the edges, the two sides became slightly off at the aft end... a 16th inch or less... I can live with it.  It’s sort of like getting your first dent on a new car... good to get it over with right away... kinda breaks the tension. 

Tomorrow, connect the bottom/side joint and install the side cleats to prepare for the folding process.

The pictures show the preparation for the first attempt with epoxy on the bulkhead finger joint... and the completed bulkhead glueing.  The last picture are the six newly glued joint. 


(It looks like my motorcycle is looking on nervously wondering if it is being displaced by this new... THING.)




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • PadrePoint changed the title to Core Sound 15 #162 — Building the “Norma T”

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.