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Seaclipper 16 Build

Don Silsbe

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As many of you may know, I’ve been aching to build another boat.  But the War Department wanted to know which boat I was going to eliminate, to make room for the new one.  THE NERVE!!!


Then, there was a person who wanted a trimaran, but was not in a position to build it.  “Could anyone build it for me?”  


Long story short, I will satisfy my boatbuilding addiction by building a Seaclipper 16, and this fellow will get a boat that meets his needs.  It’s a win-win!


I’ll pick up the plywood and epoxy at the B&B Messabout, and get cranking.  Fortunately, my bride realizes that I’m happiest when I’m building a boat.  I already have the plans.  This is gonna be “fun”!  Here are some photos of the boat.


IMG_0525.thumb.jpeg.4b2760cf944621292b4925aec8fd2090.jpegThe photo above shows how the amas can be retracted.  (The starboard one is shown retracted.)  This is one of the owner’s requirements.

She takes a Hobie 14 sloop rig.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today, I ripped all the stringers for the boat.  That means I’m off and running.

“AK” stands for ama keel.  All the stringers are cut to a 15 degree angle, except for the two at the bottom of each ama.  Those are cut at 32 degrees.IMG_0799.thumb.jpeg.ec971653918c1a724803bc1a453e0a5a.jpegIMG_0798.thumb.jpeg.967a12427150155219f3ed1d3a2bb573.jpeg


Here are all the 15’s.IMG_0800.thumb.jpeg.71c3dc7bd8ff7c6de8bb3115467afa3f.jpeg


Now, I’m going to scarf the stringers for the amas, and save the rest of the fun for later.

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The ama stringers are scarfed!  I had to take my time, since it would be easy to cut the taper on the wrong face, and ruin about 8” of stringer.  So far, so good.


Who was it that said every boat shop needs a worrying chair.  Here I am, putting mine to use.IMG_0810.thumb.jpeg.37b97019d6affc8f904d8ed6bb9b9f9e.jpegIMG_0809.thumb.jpeg.c94b70334a22fb914e644fec58391af9.jpeg


Next comes scarfing four sheets of 1/4” plywood.  Woo-hoo!

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@ecgossett— She takes 7 sheets of 6mm  5 sheets of 9mm Okoume ply, and 12 gallons of epoxy!!!  I’m using #2 lumberyard pine for the stringers.  I picked through the pile, and selected only boards with small knots.  Most of the B&B boats use pine.  Scarfing is covered in my next post.

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I’ve been a scarfing fool, these past few days.  The plans call for six sheets of 6mm plywood to be scarfed full width!  I like it better when you rip out and scarf 12”-18” strips, and scarf those.  It’s a whole lot easier doing that, but probably more wasteful.  But enough bellyaching.  I now have three 16 foot long boards curing up overnight.  Now the fun begins.

“Somebody” didn’t realize that six sheets needed to be scarfed.  I started with four.  NEXT TIME, I’ll do three and three for the hand planing.  I tried my power planer, and didn’t like it.  Once I (finally) sharpened my hand plane’s blade, good things began to happen.IMG_0823.thumb.jpeg.0a0ab770f9a8a93dc5a17479e7ede4b9.jpeg72080804476__22AFB23D-2B76-49C5-BC2E-913EB81E8062.thumb.jpeg.a7f148da0efcaa695de90be226c0fbb8.jpeg


Here are the last two.IMG_0828.thumb.jpeg.4187a58439a530d63136977b6c9c9906.jpeg


This is the first pair, being wetted out prior to flipping and gluing.  (Prior to the application of thickened epoxy, of course.)IMG_0829.thumb.jpeg.39079e02b74a4130cb6ba84c98669a3f.jpeg


Finally, the stack is glued & screwed, and waiting to cure.IMG_0830.thumb.jpeg.db035e786b8141eb94e6c8f9a3cf4b9e.jpeg

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Hi, I'm David Jones owner of this Seaclipper 16.  I live right next to a lake in Dallas TX in a Senior Living Center. Daily, I look out my window and see sailors in their boats enjoying the winds. As a sailor myself, in years gone by, I itched to be on the lake too. I wanted a trimaran for it's stability and quickness on a puff of wind, but no commercial entity caught my eye. So, why not build one. Don Silsbe was one of the people who answered my ad for a builder. He showed me builds of several of the boats he has built....needless to say, I was impressed!  We corresponded back and forth over hundreds of emails and settled on this design as something he could build over the winter. My son-in-law also lives in NC and will bring the finished boat to me in Dallas. We have a contract for this project and the decision making on construction details and how the money is spent is all laid out. I feel very fortunate to have found Don to build this dream of mine, and as this will satisfy his "need to build" it is a win for both of us.

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Next week is Stringer Week.  My neighbor Brodie and I got a jump on it, and got the o/b amas done today (Saturday)


This is my “grand-neighbor Brodie.  (We don’t have biological grands, so we adopted our next door neighbor’s kids.)


All glued up.



These screws are better than clamps or drywall screws.  First, they are self-drillers.  Second, they have a flat bottom, not countersunk, third, they don’t have threads for the top 1/2”, so they draw up better, a d last but not least, they are Robertson (aka “square”) drive.IMG_0876.thumb.jpeg.76cfa8de20975fef12b491c3abc1ac75.jpegIMG_0878.thumb.jpeg.77288fce3ab4a84bcd51aa7fb08c335e.jpeg

They would work better with the head on the plywood side, but they were great this way, too 

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