My Backyard Boats:

The Piccup Squared

Mast, spar partners rounded up

    14 July 03: Work is going well. Mast and supporting spars -- yard and boom -- are glued up, ripped into rough form, planed, and sanded. All the other parts that needed to be laminated -- leeboard, rudder, rudder cheek, and tiller -- are cut out and glued. The end is in sight, though it will take another 20 hours or so to finish at the rate I work, which is slow for a fairly high level of finish.

    The last bit that isn't started is the polytarp sail, though I have the materials in hand.

    I called the state Dept. of Motor Vehicles and was told that as long as a vehicle and its load are less than 40 feet long, a red flag is all that is needed to be legal. That is a relief, because this boat is a bit heavy at the launching end to get off of the rack on the pickup truck. I can put the boat inside the bed with one arm, using a hand truck jammed into the space between the bed and the tailgate. It sticks out 5 feet. Red flag. Legal.

    Cost so far: Add $5 for glue for the laminating, $4 for nuts and bolts to finish the oarlock fastening, and $5 for poplar for the tiller, mast partner, and mast step, for a total so far of $385.16.

    Time spent so far: Add 10 hours for the work on the mast, yard, and boom and 5 hours for the other projects mentioned in this post, for a total so far of 156 hours.

The spruce blanks for the boom, at left, and the yard, center, and the mast, right, are ready for planing and sanding. I ended up with a hook in the mast that I'll align fore and aft, and there's a crook in the boom, too, but it won't be a problem. Spruce 2x4s yield all the spars.

My workshop in the basement has the stationary power tools and a long bench with vice. That's where I've been working on the spars and laminations. The spar job took about 10 hours. It's funny, but I don't use my router on boat work. It would be quicker, but harder to control, and any boo-boos would be glaringly permanent. I like the irregular quality of the hand work.

The mast after sanding. It's ready to roll. The setup with clamps and the block were how I sanded by turning while running the random-orbit sander to touch up the belt sander work that came first.
All three spars are planed and ready for sanding here. I settled for eight-sided, squarish profiles for the yard and boom but rounded the mast after initial planing.
Finished!
The leeboard is three courses of 1/4-inch bc pine plywood. Because I went with a larger leeboard to go with a larger sail that Jim Michalak added to the original plans, I had to use two pieces for the middle course. It won't be a problem, though.
After putting about a quart of Elmer's glue on the leeboard plywood, I screwed the whole thing to the workbench to clamp the courses and get good squeeze-out.
The plans specify a 2x4 for the tiller; I laminated two pieces of 3/4-inch thick poplar to get the blank right. I prefer gluing up to using single pieces, to avoid warping and twisting. Just pay attention to the annual rings of the pieces.

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