Building First Mate

A sailboat designed by Ross Lillistone

Built by Stephen Chatelain

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06/22/2020 - It's been a busy week. Cleaning up old tasks, starting new ones, and lots of sanding!

The mid-ship seat went in. I wanted the seat to "flow" into the centerboard case, so I added an angled piece that wasn't in the plans. It will also catch my butt if I slide backwards when I row.

Here is the "mostly" finished interior. The only things missing are the deck, centerboard case top, hatch covers, oarlocks, and paint. I'm saving those for last. Now it's time to flip the boat.

With a little help, the boat was flipped and the bottom work started. I cut the centerboard slot to match the case and was careful not to cut into the fiberglass on the inside of the case. Next I have to fill all the holes left from the zip ties and the gaps between plywood panels. I'll sand it all down and cover the entire bottom with fiberglass cloth.

I've also started working on the spars. Here I'm laminating three layers of pine to form the boom, and once it cures, I'll plane it down and sand it. I'm keeping the boom and yard square with rounded edges for simplicity.

The mast will be next with four staves of Douglas fir glued in a square pattern and then sanded round.

06/29/2020 - Now I've started a second project. I couldn't find a decent used boat trailer or a cheap new one, so I decided to buy a trailer kit from Harbor Freight and modify it to carry the boat.

Here's the base kit minus the coupler and lights. I'll extend the tongue to 11 feet by swapping out the standard bar for a longer, thicker one. The trailer is rated for 1150lbs. which is plenty for my 180lb. boat. Also, I have to add bunks, side guides, and a winch post. When it's all finished, it'll cost about the same as an old used boat trailer.

Laying the fiberglass cloth over the bottom. There was a lot of prep work to sand the chines down. Chines are sharp edges where the bottom changes angle. And then I had to smooth out the cloth to remove all wrinkles.

Wetting out the fiberglass took about two hours. That was hard work in 90 degree heat. I ended up putting on three coats in one day with only about an hour between coats because the epoxy cured so fast in that heat.

I left it to cure for two days, and then I filled in some low spots and sanded down some runs.

More to come...