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Don Builds a KIT!

Don Silsbe

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Ted— I gave up downhill skiing for teo reasons.  1) Opportunities are limited in NC, and 2) The last time I went in MI, I started worrying about falling and breaking bones.  When you do that, it’s time to hang them up!

Chick— Yes, I’m trying to run with the big dogs.  (Namely you.)


Today, I worked on the gains (before to the left, and after to the right of the first photo), and started gluing up the mahogany gunwales.  They’re lovely.


I am deliberating over trying an alternate build process.  Russell Brown of ptwatercraft.com does things differently.  He pre-bonds fiberglass to the individual interior panels, and sands them smooth after two coats.  After assembly, he tapes the seams with hand-cut 6oz glass tape, laying peel ply over the seam.  This makes for a silky-smooth finish.  I’m gonna do a mock-up this week, to experiment with the process.  Stay tuned.



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OK, here’s the plan, Stan.  I’m gonna build a mock-up, to familiarize myself with this process, especially with using peel ply on the taped seams.  Assuming success, I will commit to the process on the wherry.  This boat belongs to someone else. They’re spending a lot on her, and I want it to be right.  But this process offers many advantages, including a neat and clean build.  It also keeps me from having to hand sand into a bunch of nooks and crannies.  My ROS is wider than these panels, which forces me to sand them all by hand!


Here’s Step One in my mock-up.  Second coat goes on this afternoon.


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Are you doing the entire gain as one rabbit in each plank?  It looks that way.  I suggest half of the gain is rabbeted into each plank such that there is a rabbit on the outside top and inside bottom of all planks.


edit: You can probably get away with it since you are building with epoxy.  A traditional boat relies on the constant overlap for waterproof.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I’ve completed the mock-up, and was successful.  I’m going ahead with the process on the boat, and I’ll get to that.  But let me show you the key steps in the process.  I still don’t know how to put text between the photos, so the text all appears first.

1) apply fiberglass to the separate panels with epoxy.

2) apply a second coat while the first is still green.  Sand smooth.

3) join the panels with an epoxy fillet, and let it cure.

4) sand the fillet smooth.

5) cut a 3” wide strip of “tape” out of some 6 oz glass cloth.  DO NOT use a roll of glass tape!  Saturate the tape with epoxy, lay it on the fillet, and apply a wider strip of Peel Ply.

6) when cured, remove the Peel Ply.  The tape should be invisible, and the joint require only minimal sanding.

Rolls of glass tape have a limp on the edges.  Homemade tape feathers out, and works well with Peel Ply to taper off into the existing surface. Sanding the fillet is the only aggravation; if you’re neat about it, it’s not that hard.






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I found that in this website, you put photos between the text...


Add some text (maybe an extra return or two to have a little “working room” at the bottom of the editor.)

Add a photo or batch of photos. 
Place the cursor where you want a photo that you loaded to be placed.

Hit the “+” button on the bottom left corner of your photo...



And there it is.

I’ve noticed that photos not placed specifically in the post will appear as a run-together batch at the end of the text (like your previous post.)


I usually add a return between and after photos to give a bit of separation and clarity.  If after saving the post it isn’t what you want, you can get back into “edit” mode clicking the three-dot button in the upper right corner.  (I hate to admit, but I really need to edit a lot on my posts... the one-finger text entry from a phone just doesn’t always work well for me... and sometimes my smart phone fixes some errors and sometimes really comes up with weird substations.... see?)


I think this is a really nicely developed website. I’m glad it is what supports the B&B Forums. 

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The panels are all loosely stitched together.  I’m prepping the bulkheads by pre-coating them with epoxy & sanding them.  744624A1-85BF-42F5-87FF-22D2431E4638.thumb.jpeg.7cb4203512810744938548500cd6f4f8.jpeg

At the moment, we’re trying out different types of storage access.  The aft floatation tank is very thin.  Might just have access in the bow.5AC93973-7C4B-4255-A813-A6BE745F4440.thumb.jpeg.1cfd2b178f1a22eea7eb71583e0ecc1e.jpeg

Here’s the bow:


The B&B-style hatch can work, but is a little bulky for this thin boat.



A round Armstrong hatch might be the best solution.



This is a 10” Armstrong that I borrowed from my boat.  The owner will decide which she prefers.


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Hi Don, just catching up with your build, that method surly looks like it cuts sanding, which on my current build is the “prime directive “.  If you have access to the videos on Off Center Harbor  Larry Brown has some good videos, but by your description, looks like you got it going on.  I have used his technique on some sub assemblies with good results.   I am absolutely sure the person that commissioned you to the build will be super happy with the results!

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@Jknight611— I do have a subscription to Offcenter Harbor’s website.  That’s where I discovered Russel Brown’s technique.  Since the panels on this boat are smaller than my ROS, I can’t use that on the interior, once it’s assembled. 74A89DEF-B15F-4B39-9B21-788986FF0E95.thumb.jpeg.533518169ef62612ce865d8d730e6bbb.jpeg And since thee interior is to be varnished, it seemed like a perfect application for the process.  All the necessary panels have been pre-coated (the exteriors of panels 1 & 2 are bare).  I’ve been tightening up the 380 wire stitches, in preparation for the first filleting ops.  She’s looking pretty lovely.2DF4C131-74F5-43E7-896B-B5C690474212.thumb.jpeg.9f8cc103fa53e0dc3d36b5a3316f3824.jpeg

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Those pliers look very similar to the company issued fencing pliers back in my college days. I’ve never seen them anywhere but it seemed in building fence they could be made to do nearly everything. They were always in my back pocket back in those “manual-labor” days. I still have ‘em my tool box. 


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