My Backyard Boats:

The Piccup Squared

Flipping over the Piccup

    02 June 03: I've been working daily on the Piccup, and the hull is coming along well. The other day when we flipped the boat over after I had grinded down the epoxy and fiberglass tape, I was surprised by how much the boat weighed. The Reverend informed me that I'm on my own with this one, in view of the weight.

    I have a plan, though. I'm going to made a wheel dolly so I can wheel the boat out of the garage upside down and get under to place it on the rack of the pickup. It's heavy, but not too heavy.

    Along with being surprised by its weight, I also was surprise and pleased by its size and shape. I've been wanting a good sailboat since I started building boats -- four boats ago. This one will fill the bill. It has ample freeboard in the sitting zone. I like that, too. Jim Michalak says that this boat should take water over the gunwale before the point of capsize -- a wet warning instead of a total immersion.

    There has been a lot of cool weather, and the epoxy that I put on the fiberglass stripes for the chines, and the first coat on the bottom of the hull, did not really set up until today, which was four or five days after I did the work. Sunday, I took the angle grinder to the stuff and basically had to grind off the second application, which was the dregs of the gallon of epoxy I was working from. It was cold enough that the hardener had granulated, and this was reflected in the epoxy on the hull. It was a mess on the surface from being pock-marked. I got another gallon of epoxy and will coat the skids, which I installed, and the sides, and a second overall coat on everything I grinded down.

    I'm sold on cutting my own fiberglass tape; it wetted out much better that the heavier and more expensive tape. I had very little problem with unraveling, which I was grateful for.

    After flipping the boat, I installed the second lamination of the gunwales, cut out the deck pieces, and put shims on the tops of the bulkheads, which were about 1/2 inch shy of the top of the plywood -- don't ask me why, because I don't wanna know.

    Next steps are to put a doubler strip behind the forward bulkhead, to strengthen the place where the mast partner will be bolted; mask off all the edges and trowel on thickened epoxy; to paint the interior of the forward and after air chambers; to fit and install the deck pieces; to make the forward and aft hatch combings and hatch tops; and then finish with the sailing parts.

    Cost so far: Add $30 for the half gallon of epoxy used so far; $4 for more Elmer's glue (going to buy a gallon for $10 next time); $10 for 3M blue masking tape and regular masking tape; $12 for stainless steel screws for the skids and gunwales, for a total so far of $253.18.

    Time spent so far: Add 20 hours for the work done since the last posting, for a total so far of 71 hours. NB: I work slow.

The second coat I put on the fiberglass strips was generally a mess because it was too cold and the hardener had become granulated. I'm storing the epoxy in the house now, to avoid a repeat.

The skids went on with the help of deck screws from the outside and permanent 3/4-inch stainless steel screws countersunk from the inside. The skids are pine.
Second course of gunwale glued, screwed, and clamped to the first course.
To get a more comfortable working height for what I'll be doing inside the hull, I took the hull off of the workbench and put it on my four-wheel cart.
The rocker in the forward part of the boat is more extreme than the rocker in the after section.
Bulkheads were 1/2 inch shy of the tops of the sides. I put in shims.
Shim clamped to the forward bulkhead.

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