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OU CAN build this family-size, Yft. skiffa just as easilyrowboat. Yet16and inexpensively as flat-bottom it has the wave-splitting, bump-smoothing bow of a true semi-V, readily converts to a sailboat and can be carried in a station wagon! And all of this is accomplished without any tricky plywood bends. The forward V-bottom contours are shaped from Styrofoam with saw and rasp and resorcinol-glued to a centerpiece. Then the job is skinned over with Dynel bonded with epoxy. The result is not only a smooth ride but built-in flotation and a tough, armored hide where it counts most when beaching the boat. The use of Weldwood resorcinol glue in all joints and seams boosts strength enough to permit you to weight-trim framing parts in aircraft fashion and makes possible a finished hull that weighs about 120 lbs.—light enough for two people to carry. Total cost of materials for this boat was just $80. Its resin-bonded seams never need caulking and small, 3- to 5-hp outboard motors will push it along at 6 to 10 mph. A Mercury 110 (10-hp) motor was used with the prototype and speeds in the 20mph range were achieved. The sailing version is simple to operate and adds another whole dimension to this attractive boat. Let the lumberyard start the job for you. For your side planking you need four 16-in.-wide strips ripped length-
wise from 1/4-in. exterior plywood panels. Most yards have a panel-cutting rig and can do this job easier than you can. There may be a nominal charge but if you give them your materials list first and tell them you're buying only if, you get those ripping cuts free you'll probably win. One other tip on the materials: do a
the wide ones run through the saw to make them match the narrow ones. Assemble each joint dry (without glue), using about five 1/2-in. #6 flathead brass screws on each side of the seam. Be sure you're making a left and a right side—not two of a kind! After dry assembly, back out the screws, coat
FASTEN SIDES to stem, mid-irame, transom. Spot mid-frame 1/2 in. ahead of butt joint.
AFTER CHINES are installed, flip hull, bend forward bottom section into place.
little phone shopping in advance. The plywood planking for the original hull, for example, was bought at a cash-andcarry yard for $3 a panel, though prices elsewhere ran from 30 to 80 cents higher per sheet. No construction mold or form is required if you assemble the parts in the proper sequence. First, join the 8-ft. x 16-in. side planking strips end-to-end with butt pieces 10-in. long cut from the same thickness plywood. The butt pieces don't extend all the way from edge to edge at the joint but stop 3/4-in. short of the bottom edge to allow space for the chine. Incidentally, while still at the lumber yard make sure all your side planking strips are the same width. Because of the thickness of the saw blade some may be a trifle narrower than others. Have
all mating surfaces with resorcinol resin glue and reassemble. Squeeze-out should be about even all around if the surfaces have been coated properly. Lack of squeeze-out means poor contact. Add extra screws where this is apparent. Cut the stem and glue up the midship frame and transom next. The frame and transom can be tacked together lightly with copper nails for dry assembly. Since only the back section of the stem is involved at this stage, it doesn't require glue. Unless you're in a rush it's best to do the foregoing gluing the day (or night) before all-out construction begins. Leave the joints overnight at 70 degrees and they'll be good and solid in the morning. To plot the bow's up-curve, clamp or temporarily screw-fasten one of the
chines along the lower edge of one of the sides, setting the last clamp or screw (from the stern end) just 4 ft. 3 in. from the bow end. Then spring the free portion of the chine upward so its bottom edge is 7-1/4 in. from the bottom edge of the plywood and clamp or screw the chine in this position. Then draw a pencil line along the entire curved run of the chine's lower edge. This gives you the fair curve your bottom planking will follow later— along the area where the foam contours will be. Use a saber saw to cut the plywood along this line after the chine has been removed. Actual hull assembly comes next. Start by fastening the forward ends of the plywood sides to the stem with a couple of 3/4-in. #6 brass flatheads on each side. Then set the mid-frame in place 1/2, in. forward of the midship butt seam so the two screws you'll use on each side won't go through the seam. Use a scrap of 1/4-in. plywood under the midship frame to allow for a butt-joint piece between bottom sections. After the mid-frame is screwed in place (with screwheads slightly above
the surface to allow some play), spring the aft ends of the plywood sides inward and screw them to the rim of the transom. The transom angle should be marked on the inner surfaces of the sides beforehand. This entire assembly is made dry and is easiest if the sides are in inverted position. The chines are fitted in next along the straight run of the hull and the upcurve at the bow, held by 3/4-in. #6 brass flatheads 18 in. to 24 in. apart. Space them closer only at points where chine and plywood fail to draw together snugly. Once the chines are in, turn the assembly right side up. Then fasten the rubrails in place along the outside of the planking at the top edge. Check over the stem and transom joints in case any plane-trimming is necessary (not likely). Also, measure the diagonal distance from each transom corner to the opposite planking midframe joint. If these match to within 1/4 in., that's good enough. If they're off by more than that, use twine in crisscross pattern to pull them as required to match. After this the parts are disassembled,
glue coated and reassembled. Turn the assembly bottom side up and wipe off the squeeze-out along the chine-planking seam. Add screws where the squeeze-out is thin. The bottom goes on next. Lay a panel of 1/4-in. plywood good side outward on the forward section of the assembly. You'll find the forward end can be bent down easily along the bow's curved section and fastened temporarily with a 1-1/2-in. roundhead steel screw into the bottom of the stem. Put a washer under the screwhead so it won't pull through. Bend the panel's midship end down and clamp it to the frame or fasten with a few 3/4-in. it 6 brass flatheads into the chines. Add extras anywhere the seam shows a gap. Then mark the panel along the outside of the planking on both sides. Butt the stern section's panel against the forward one and follow the same procedure. Remove and cut with a saber saw. Before you replace the bottom panels for gluing, cut and fit the butt piece that runs across underneath the mid-frame.
Like the side planking butt pieces, it should be 10 in. fore and aft. Plane-fit the ends to seat snugly against the inner surfaces of the chines. When the butt piece is fitted, glue and screw it to the bottom edge of the midframe, using three 3/4-in. #6 flatheads. Then lay the forward bottom panel in place and mark it where the glue is to go. Glue, assemble and tighten all together. Be sure to get a good seal across the base of transom! After the bottom panels are on, trim off the side and bottom planking at the transom angle and turn boat right side up. Use a rounded stick to smooth the inner squeeze-out into the chine seams to form a rounded fillet. You now have a watertight hull. The original one reached this stage at the end of the first day's work. Begin the foam bow job by adding the first section of the false stem. As the drawing shows, this is beveled to the same angles as the stem already glued in place but it comes out flush with the outer surface of the side planking. And
EFFICIENT but simple sail rig moves this light hull along even in lightest breeze.
it extends all the way down to the full 16-in. depth of the hull. It's glued to the original stem and also held by a 2-in. galvanized screw (#12) driven into it from inside the existing stem. Once this false stem section is in place, you can fit the skeg-like forward section of keel behind it. By holding this against the side planking along the up-curved section and rocking it around the side planking curve as you pencil-mark it, you can draw a pretty accurate cutting line. Allow a little waste at each end for trimming. Bore through the stem into the forward end of [Continued ]
DETAILED PLANS include additional details for sailing rig and a Bill of Materials. To order, send $5 to MI Plans Service, Fawcett Bldg., Greenwich, Conn. 06830. Please specify Station Wagon Skiff, Plan SW3-67.
Station Wagon Skiff
[Continued the keel piece for a 1/2 -in. dowel. Then glue all meeting surfaces, glue in the dowel and fasten the aft end of the keel piece to the bottom planking with a flathead brass screw. After this, you can turn the hull right side up and drive more brass screws down through the planking into the keel piece. The next section of false stem is glued and screwed on with two 2-in. flathead screws driven from front to back into the preceding section. The final (point) section of stem is glued and held by a couple of finishing nails. Twisted wire through the keel piece and around the whole business helps tighten it up while the glue hardens. After this, it's a good idea to turn the hull over and fit in the rest of the frames and the seats. All these are simply cut and fitted on the spot and at the spacings indicated in the drawing. The vertical side members of the frames are planed to fit fair against the planking. If the trim-fitting causes some frames to snug in place slightly forward or aft of the prescribed spacing, don't worry about it. The metal fastenings are just there for clamping until the glue hardens, anyway. But make sure you do a good glue job all around. It's the stuff that gives your boat its strength. Don't skimp on it and definitely don't build this boat without it. The foam bow job begins with half a [Continued on next page]
Station Wagon Skiff
standard log of Styrofoam. This is 4-1/2 ft. long and approximately 22 in. wide by 7-1/2 in. thick with slightly convex surfaces. Mark it to cut off a half-inch slice from each convex edge so you'll have flat surfaces for fitting. Then cut the resulting block diagonally. You'll be using one of these triangular pie-wedges on each side of the forward keel piece. The cutting is best done with either a coarse rip saw or a narrow-blade buck saw. The buck saw is best because it has less blade surface to bind in the cut and it can cut the curve where the foam fits against the up-curve of the plywood hull. It pays to do your cutting on the safe side of the line, then trim to a final fit with the rasp. You mark for the curve-cut in the same manner that you marked the forward keel piece. But mark with a red or blue pencil. On foam it's difficult to tell a black pencil line from an accidental dig or saw scratch. When the foam pie-wedges are fitted to the bottom you can hold them in place by hand while you shape them to the desired bottom contours with saw and a Stanley Surform tool. You can use either resorcinol glue or epoxy to stick the foam to the plywood. But you should have ample leftovers from your resorcinol gallon so it will pay to use that at this stage. Then you can get by with only a quart of epoxy. Applying Dynel to the foam is the easiest part of the whole project. This stuff has such give that you can pull it over almost any shape in sweater-girl fashion. Then just staple it tight at about 2-in. spacing along the edges. To bond it on forever, merely brush, roll or squeeze the epoxy through it. There must be enough epoxy on the Dynel to close its weave, however, because oil paint should not get through to the foam. Before painting, disk-sand the edges of the bonded-on Dynel to fair them out smooth with the plywood. The final, full-length 3/4-in. x 3/4in. keel strip and the skids are resorcinol-glued to the hull—although you can epoxy the front portion of the keel strip if you have any epoxy left after the Dynel job. All the strips also are fastened with brass screws. •