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Spindrift 10 Build (by a 9th Grade Girl)


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A little update:

We’ve both had busy lives last week but had a few hours today to further prepare the inside for painting and we installed a few more pieces (breast hook, quarter knees, and mast step. The boat will be flipped soon to begin bottom work.  For now, we’ll leave out the center seats (aft and middle) and foredeck (they are fitted and ready for installation.)  Those pieces will be left bright with varnish while everything else will be painted. 

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The Wheezer and I flipped the boat today. Being 10 feet the two of us easily did the task. And, it set right down onto the building form.  The bottom work begins. 

She has 3 coats of epoxy on the whole inside and on one side of the rudder, dagger board, middle seat tops and front deck. 


I’ll be cutting the boom soon.  The only wood parts yet untouched are the rudder assembly. 

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The Wheezer has been busy but is getting plenty done on her own. Three coats of epoxy are on all the pieces she will leave bright: rudder, dagger board, seat center sections and bow deck. I encouraged some good sanding on them all and to decide whether anything should be coated again before varnishing. ?


And, wow!  Today we got all of the seams taped in two hours... she’s obviously getting better and better at the processes.  We also got a first coat of epoxy on the bottom and sides in that two hours.  



Getting there!  

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I will never again epoxy anything that gets varnished on my boats, with the occassional exception of plywood.  If the varnish ever breaks down, and the epoxy is yellowed or cracks, you will never get it looking good again. If it is varnish alone, and it is damaged, it is easily removed with a heat gun without damage, and then simply re-varnish.  In man's efforts to make things bomb proof we some times make things worse.


I just now had to repair the seat in my Spindrift.  The corners burnt in the sun and the epoxy cracked at the corner and started to release.  I used a chisel and removed the compromised material, sanded to smooth, Built up the bare wood area with varnish and sanded/varnished all a couple time to feather out the old to new edge.  The color will never look right again.  Had there been no epoxy you wouldn't see that I repaired it at all.


Port Orford Cedar


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@Hirilonde— PAR used to say the same thing.  But what about all those strip-built canoes and kayaks?  Maybe the solution is staying ahead of the game, and giving the varnish a fresh coat or two each year.  It only takes one or two spring days, and you’ve got new UV protection.  Just thinking out loud.

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Point padre and I got some stuff done the past couple days. We got the second coat of epoxy on the boat, I started varnishing the parts I want to show wood, we got the boom made and I started varnishing it. We started Getting ready to put the rudder together. And lastly we put the keel on tonight! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!2F602446-1725-43B8-AF0E-10C4B165E921.thumb.jpeg.6386a941a356c7aaf433ab8ce0f45e57.jpeg

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Weezer I think it is OK to have little celebrations along the way. You have accomplished a lot. Many boat builders maybe most boat builders do not get as far as you have. Many never get past looking at plans, some get bogged down when they find out how much work it is, or when they make their first mistake.  Some builders on this forum have launched their boats still in their primer and some just coated in epoxy.

That being said you will often hear "Great your boat is 90% completed but you still have 90% to go". Or when your boat is ready to paint it is a little less than half completed. There is some truth to that.


When Dave says no celebrating just keep working it is because he does not want to see you fail he wants to see you succeed. It is like you are running a Marathon or swimming? and you reach a milestone and you high five all your friends, but your coach says OK keep your head down and keep working you have a ways to go yet.


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The Wheezer is progressing toward the conclusion section of her little symphony (yes, I’m a musician, among other things.)  I took nine photos during our three hours together today. She’s is doing the epoxy and varnish layers on her own. 


She decided to make the mast bushings as a first project of the day.  This is one of those things where I described how to do the tasks and she did everything... I just watched. 

Starting the second bushing for the smaller mast piece... each of these needed about 90 inches of fiberglass tape (cut in half lengthwise.)



Moving on to make bushings for the middle mast piece.  These bushings only needed about 30 inches of fiberglass tape. 


They are set aside to harden.  We’ll make collars after these harden and are fitting well. 


The skeg got a bigger fillet along its connection area to the hull. 


We moved on to flip the boat back over and to add the third layer to the gunwale. We could have bought some sealant to attach the outer layer but decided to use epoxy glue instead.  It won’t be a working tender (until The Wheezer builds herself a cruising sailboat ?) and I don’t think the need will arise to replace the outer part of the gunwale.  I think the thicker gunwale looks and feels better than with just the two layers. Plus, the strips we put on are the pre-rounded edges of the 5/4 inch treated 12 foot deck board from which she cut all the gunwale strips with a table saw.  A bit of surface sanding is all that the gunwale will be needing.   She decided she wanted the bow end to be a point rather than to have a blunt cut off nose. Builder’s choice. ?

The rudder pieces are epoxy-coated on one side. I marked the areas in the inside of the rudder cheeks that will be glued and she put a first epoxy coat on the portions that won’t be glued. Two more layers and we’ll glue up the rudder.  I let her know the choice that some make to bolt the end of the tiller to allow it to swivel up from the aft end of the rudder assembly.  We’ll see if she wants to do that or glue it permanently (as is typical.)

The last task she did in our three hours together was to drill a hole in the bottom of her boat inside the dagger board housing.  We’ll router out the opening when we flip it over again. 

I added an extension to my 1/2” drill to reach the bottom.  Both her parents are dentists... I suggested she could let them use this drill in their workplace. ?.  Maybe just to give the patients a little “thrill?”  ?.  OK, maybe not. 




She admitted that it felt weird to drill that hole through the bottom... something that I believe most of us who’ve built a boat can relate to. 

As I left for home I took a shot of the pieces she will leave as a bright finish. A few more coats of varnish are still coming to them. 


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Well, the kid has essentially finished building her boat kit and is continuing to prepare the hull for painting. The varnished (bright) pieces will be installed after the hull is painted. 
The rudder assembly is glued up. 
The mast bushings have been sanded just enough to fit nicely into the larger tubes and she’ll add wider collars to stop the insertion at the correct spots. 

An auto body guy might be willing to help The Wheezer do the painting at his professional shop, showing her HOW and providing the tools and materials. Would that be cool or what?  (I never did any spray painting; I missed that part of shop classes.)


If that painting arrangement works out, I encouraged her to work a lot on the sanding and prep processes, adding a little more epoxy where needed to make the surfaces as nice and smooth as possible. 

I’m leaving tomorrow to travel with my wife until the end of June (finally!) but will be back for a few days part way through. I will have time then to help her install the rigging.  Things just might be done enough to take the boat north for a family June vacation. (I suggested that once everything is coated well in epoxy the boat can be used until the painting is available.)

So, great job, Wheezer!!  ?

Traveling, of course, means a “work stoppage” for Joe (15’ ski boat — my current build) and “no sailing” for Norma T (last year’s CS15 build) until July. (I invited my boys to take the sailboat out on their own... we’ll see whether they do ?.)  Here are a few current shots of Joe:






Oh, and yesterday was a first for me... The Wheezer’s parents have her grandfather’s 1947 fire truck, retired from service in Williston, North Dakota.  My wife is in the front passenger seat and my son, grandson and I were invited to ride up top (rear bench seat) on a run to get some ice cream. ?




More un-boat-related trivia: Just before our ice cream run, The Wheezer’s dad drove the 2021 Wisconsin State Boy’s High School Cross Country Varsity Team Champions into town on his firetruck as they returned from their state meet... along with local fire trucks and ambulances and many dozens of boys who are part of the team... sirens blaring and lights on... a raucous affair indeed. 

Coach Donn Behnke (the guy on the left —- my age) coached SPASH’s team for 44 years, during which they qualified for the state meet 42 times, took runner-up nine times, and took the state title eleven times. (My boys both ran on the team.)  AND, he’s a great junior high history teacher. 

He was at the park as I launched my CS15 sailboat a few ago and we chatted a bit about the upcoming state meet. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It’s been awhile since I posted, sorry for the wait. But it is all loaded up in the trailer to take to get painted. We will be talking it on Friday to the paint shop as well as get my first dove of the covid vaccine!! A since of normalcy is finally coming back! I also have all my varnishing done, I just need to do some light sanding. The pole is done just need to do some sanding on that as well. 6457AC0F-0FB6-4425-9504-260A9C5F4002.thumb.jpeg.efd58936b86a5e403387767e6aab6771.jpeg

My dad was excised to get his spot in the garage back!  

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Great to hear this.

Here, I’ve been happily vacationing and hiking and YOU’VE been a’working. ?


Good luck on the painting. I’m looking forward to seeing it all “pretty in pink”.


And, I’ll read up on the rigging details to assist with that next week when I’m back (for a few days... then it’s more vacation... from my retirement.)

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  • 1 month later...


20 hours ago, TheWeezer said:

I am still working on getting it painted.



I believe the it may refer to the Spindrift 10.

Weezer does your boat have a proper name? 

Also a miner point of etiquette if you must refer to your boat in the third person it should be 


I am still working on getting her painted, or she still needs to be painted.



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