Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

Day 2: 

Cleaning  up the finger joints did not take as long as I thought. 
I glued the bow joints and now I need to wait for curing. Time for lunch. 
I will get started on some “independent” projects this afternoon while I wait for curing. 


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 220
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Motoring around the pond during Gramma Camp!  🙂   Just enough for the kids to start getting used to the Norma T.      (My daughter joined us... what a great Gramma Camp helper.)

Today: My son’s family came up last night and we took everyone out for a sail. I love that this small boat feels so comfortable for four adults and a couple kids. Note my sailing position, feet up and

Week 10 — Day 47 & 48: It’s transforming Into a Sailboat   Back at the building of Norma T.  In these two days I was able to finish the main mast tabernacle and it’s installation as well

Posted Images

Day 3:  Getting ready to fold the hull tomorrow... likely. 

The city finally opened its yard-waste center, so some yard cleanup is in order while I wait for new newly glued areas to cure. The center must have 40-50 people in line (only four at a time) so I am sitting here and writing this entry... I don’t have anything else constructive to do at the moment. 😀
After a few more yard-waste runs today, I will keep doing some of the boat’s independent projects (maybe sand out the centerboard, start assembling the hatches, etc.)

I know, the pictures are not boat building photos.  I hope that the next photo will be showing the hull after being folded. 




Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3... continued: The Fold!


I took care of the lawn waste runs and then had time to sand both sides of the centerboard, one side of the rudder, glued the transom, loosely wired the bottom seam, and readied things for the next significant step... tomorrow’s folding. 


So, after supper, still with some energy, I decided go ahead and fold the boat.  I mean, “Why not? It’s ready to go.” 


It’s loosely wired right now and I will tighten things tomorrow. I’m not exactly sure how the first few gears in the bow are supposed to fit together, but they must have to transition from the first gear (which is only engaged because the chine is flat) to actually enmeshing as the chine angle begins and increases moving aft. 

I’m satisfied and very appreciative of having purchased this quality kit from B&B Yachts. Things are seeming to fit together very well and the processes (especially as portrayed in the video series) enable me to progress through the building steps. 

After the fold and loosely wiring the chine I placed the longitudinal bulkheads to envision a bit more of its shape. 


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Paul356 said:

Brilliant.  Always glad to see another Core Sound in Wisconsin.  I'm in Milwaukee, with a 17.  Maybe someday we can connect.

Sure... I’d enjoy that. Thanks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4:  

Things were accomplished but with less apparent progress. 

Longitudinal bulkheads are installed, inwales are getting there, there seems to be no twist in the hull, joints are tack-welded so wires can come out tomorrow, and I finished sanding the centerboard and rudder. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A late lesson I learned, it seems that a great time to epoxy all your plywood is before it’s all glued up. I know the wharram kits come pre-epoxied. Lots neater to epoxy it flat....


I’ll bet you make massive progress. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are pros and cons to pre-coating. For this boat in particular I think it's a wash to "pre-coat" the actual hull panels because then they require sanding to prep for assembly and taping. There are many areas on this boat that can be coated and finished without ever picking up a sanding tool for example in all of the flotation tanks (seat tanks) after taping these areas can simply be coated with 3 coats of epoxy and done no sanding needed. Many of us however choose to sand after the first or second coat in these areas just so the final coats are smoother since epoxy tends to soak in and raise the grain slightly. I have found that sanding the plywood with 150or 220 grit and vacuuming the wood prior to coating helps that a lot. 


In other areas this is the best practice and or even required like underneath the seat tops. For the underside of the seat tops I like to apply a nice heavy coat while it is flat and then within the curing window, apply another coat right before gluing it down. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is so much to say about hot recoating in areas that are not seen regularly, or viewed as being Hollywood views.  I can't stress enough how much I love to avoid sanding.  I will get up in the middle of the night to continue a proper hot recoat schedule rather than have to sand later on in order to continue adding goo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5: Inwales... oops, a glitch. 

Alan suggested in a video that installing the inwales by yourself was “tricky.”  (Tricky has become a fun word for us since our granddaughter recently wrote her name on a letter we received... and she thought the was “tricky”.)  Using Alan’s suggested approach I was able to dry fit them... juuust about.  One more little nudge down on the second inwale at the bow (it was still a high) and...  Kkraaack!  Dang. The top double wire in the plywood pulled out and the first four inches of the seam split open.  So... what to do?



I left the well-ordered B&B boat building techniques and had to just figure out some way to pull things together.  I bolted a couple pieces of wood on the sides but it didn’t pull things in enough.  I added a carriage bolt to squeeze... better.

10D88A56-1E14-45F4-A0E6-8D442846FF78.jpeg.0f260274a1d705e92b1bed8eb652d93c.jpeg(can’t get this photo oriented.)

Then, I dry fit the second inwale but the extra tension  pushed the points apart again. Hmmm... how to pull things in tight?  I put a c-clamp on the heads of a couple lag screws that I put into the inwales.  That pulled them together, holding the tension so I could tie the inwales with a double wire. Then, through a couple new holes below the plywood rip-out, I placed another double-wire tie (with a couple washers, just to perhaps avoid a second tear.)

Now, after a couple hours of Jerry-rigging, it’s time a bit of coffee and lunch before installing the inwales.  (All that extra stuff will get cleaned up at some point.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha... my son just wrote this to me in an instant message:


Nice work. I find this is the true joy of boat building. I will completely lose my cool when something goes wrong with, say, a plumbing project in the house. But on a wooden boat, I say “well shoot. Ok, what now?” Then begins the quiet introspective creative process of working with the materials (wood is so gracious, isn’t it?) and available tools to make something work. By the time you paint, no one will be the wiser


Day 5 continued:


I glued/installed the inwales. I suppose the very point of the bow looks a bit like a guy who broke his nose... slightly crooked 😄... and wearing a nose cast. 


Next steps are to remove the wires (I’ll leave a couple in the bow for now) and begin the fillet and taping process, along with coats of epoxy.  I expect it will take a while (time is needed for the epoxy to harden) and it will be a bit messy. I’ll start after supper. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having a couple of plywood failures (explosures really) in bending panels to difficult curves at the bow, I gave the problem a bit of thought.  The photos attached show how a much more difficult shape was made in complete safety for the plywood.  The side reinforcement battens are all in compression to the side panel and need only enough dry wall screws to hold them in position so the big bolts are unnecessary.  A C-clamp or similar is the best thing to draw them together and allows plenty of adjustment as you go along.  The piece added on the outside is to give the clamp a needed fixed place to draw the panels in with no slipping.  This is the only piece that needs to be plenty strong to take the force.


If you need a clamp at another place to even the bow shape, add another batten on both sides.  The pictures should show everything well enough.  Never had a problem since on much heavier plywood where stop gap measures almost always failed before.


Good luck.......Tom Lathrop





Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks somewhat similar to what I was trying to do. Mine is mostly a result of looking in my stuff for what I had around and trying a few things. Only absorbed a couple/few hours to get things so I could continue. I’m satisfied with the result. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you did a very good job on the bow.  The photos I gave show just about the limit of what can be done in achieving a deep knuckle on the bottom panel with plywood that survives this much bending.  I wanted an extreme bow knuckle on this boat which resulted in getting up the learning curve.  Graham has also had similar problems and has worked out how much bend he can have on the plans for amateurs to have success.  We experienced some of the early plywood breakages with Graham years ago as we learned how much the wood can be forced.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem I encountered happened when I was pushing down the second inwale into place.  I didn’t cut out enough wood behind the inwale joint... kinda weird angles to figure out when fitting. I thought it looked OK, but...

So, I left too much wood at the bottom of the cut. That extra wood acted like a wedge and simply pushed the bow joint out. The poor little wire tried valiantly to hold, but got pulled through the 1/4 inch of plywood. User error.  Lesson learned. I removed adequate wood on the next fitting. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Post supper of Day 5...

My body says, “It’s the fifth day... it’s like Friday night of a workweek. Relax. Take a motorcycle ride, have a beer after and watch TV.”

OK, the fillet/taping begins tomorrow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are making great progress and I see that you are getting some character building as well. Not that I am suggesting you need any more. You have the right spirit for this group, when plan A does not work, there are another 25 letters in the alphabet.


I am glad that you are having a well deserved rest tonight because I suggest that you do not tape the inside of the boat until the transom is fitted. This is because the stern shape will change with the transom in place. If you look at the keel where it will meet the transom, there is a small gap. If you look at the keel rocker from the side you will see the keel curving up until about a foot from the stern where the curve starts to bend down. You need to put a prop from the floor to lift the bottom at the aft end of the keel line until it is tight. Then position the assembled transom in it's place assuming that you have trimmed the inwales and side stringers. The transom will force the bottom and sides into their correct shape. It would be a pity to lock the chine and keel into the wrong shape. This does not mean that you have to fit the transom in permanently, you can still take it out again if that suits but you do need it in place when epoxy is curing in the stern area.


Keep up the good work but don't get too far ahead, you are putting us to shame.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6:  Transom installed in the morning. 

I guess, if put in the water, it’ll float now.

Thanks, Graham, for the hint about using some props to help draw the bottom into the transom... it worked effectively. Everything seems to fit. 


The bow seems to have shaped up adequately... just a small “septum deviation” in the nose. It’ll give it character and a small story.  (Isn’t that what they tell a person who experiences a broken nose?  😀)


I like this shot of my old fence pliers from my fence-building days in college summers. Lots of hard physical work, 50-60 hour weeks, and miles of chain link security fencing. and barbed wire. The pliers are perfect for building chain link with lots of applications... even for making a step to reach the top of the fence... very handy, but I haven’t had many reasons to tie much wire over the years.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • PadrePoint changed the title to Core Sound 15 #162 — Building the “Norma T”

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Supporting Members

Supporting Members can create Clubs, photo Galleries, don't see ads and make messing-about.com possible! Become a Supporting Member - only $12 for the next year. Pay by PayPal or credit card.

  • Create New...

Important Information

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