My Backyard Boats:

The Piccup Squared

Piccup and start over again

    04 May 03: Yesterday I was wet and disappointed because the Quark that I built dumped me in the Erie Canal when I launched it. Today? Today I started another boat, one I've been planning to build since sending away for the plans a few weeks ago.

    This new boat project is the Piccup Squared, another design by Jim Michalak. I chose this design over Jim's Piccup design, which is a multichine version that is assembled with the stitch-and-glue method, which I am not interested in for aesthetic reasons and also for pocketbook reasons. Rather than use even more epoxy, I'm moving toward using more Elmer's waterproof glue. The multichine version of the Piccup is said to be better in rough conditions; I want a boat that I can throw around by myself; it needs to be of a size to stand on end for storage in my ever-shrinking garage. I'll use this boat in sheltered waters, such as behind the breakwaters on the Buffalo waterfront on Lake Erie or the various breakwaters on Lake Ontario. My next sailboat will be a multichine project, but it will be a while, and I may put a strip-built canoe or kayak ahead of that project. Love this stuff!

    Today to start the new project I cut a pine 1x4 to 4 feet in length and used it as a batten to join an 8-foot piece of 1/4-inch bc pine to another piece just over 3 feet long. The Piccup Squared is 11 feet long and four feet wide, with pram bow and flotation lockers in bow and stern. I think it's a pretty boat, and Jim sez it's a Bolger Box, which means that the bottom curve and the side curves are the same. Bolger examples include the Micro and the Old Shoe, both of which I have the plans for and like a lot. So now I have a mondo sheet of plywood. The next step is to draw the side on this sheet and cut them out. The center piece that will be left over includes a temporary form that uses the pine 1x4 as its centerline and batten. Clever. I haven't encountered a Michalak design that takes this time-saving approach to batten use.

    Time spent so far: 2 hours to go to the home store for wood and to make the mondo sheet of plywood.

    Cost so far: Four sheets of bc pine, 1/2 inch, at $46.44; $3.49 for a 1x4x8-foot piece of pine; and the half gallon of epoxy left over from the Quark project, at $28; and $6 for a pint of Elmer's glue, for a total so far of $83.93.

The pine 1x4 I got was a beauty -- No. 2 but with few and tight knots and no warp. Beats paying for Select stock. Pine shows centerline for the two pieces of plywood to butt together on. The better side of the plywood will be on the inside of the boat, for ease of filling and sanding the exteriour of the hull. As it turns out, I got two sheet of bc pine that were almost perfect on both sides.

Mondo sheet of plywood finished at 11 feet, 1 and 5/16 inches long. The single batten makes cutting out the sides and other pieces a snap. Instead of making separate battens for each side, one batten does all the work.

Copyright 2002 - 2008 Herkimer & Perkins

 NOTICE: To reach us by email, cut and paste this address into your email client -- jonrg@verizon.net