Continuing painting up top, there are an amazing number of areas to be painted, each one seems to want to be painted as a separate task.
So, this is how I spent most of my July - sole, cabin top, decks, seat tops, transom cap, mast trunk, hatch covers. Each section required masking, and 3 coats of Interlux Brightside.
But finally, you get to stand back and aaahhhhhhhh - look at the finished painting.
This shot shows what primer does for you. This is one of the hatch covers with one coat of Interlux Pre-Kote primer, after sanding. You can see from the color variations that the primer filled in a lot of variations in the underlying epoxy surface, which resulted in a much smoother surface for the paint.
To add the upper support block to the mast, I got a chunk of spruce left over from building the mast, rough cut to size, and ripped it in half. The, I cut a hole using a hole saw on a drill press with the halves clamped together, and supported at a 2.5 degree angle. After some final shaping of the hole with rasps and files, it was ready to glue to the mast.
Although I did not epoxy finish the mast, I did put 3 coats on the support block and on the mast about an inch above and below the block. Epoxy on the block to make it more durable, and on the mast to protect from moisture that might sit at the joint.
Finally, the day to bring her outside arrived. Neighbors were enlisted, stretching was done, and all appeared to be ready for the emergence of the cute little boat.
We used the same straps used to turn her, but this time fastened to two by fours at about the right height for lifting. With three burly guys on each side, and with the outside doors removed to gain a few more inches of needed clearance, we proceeded to inch her towards her trailer, waiting on the driveway outside. We had to stop a couple times to allow the front most hefters to run upstairs and out the front door to continue, as there wasn't room to squeeze by the hull in the doorway. Then, after a final OOMMPH, she was lifted up onto the trailer and rolled over to her own personal tarp garage. All went well, nobody hurt themselves, and most importantly, we didn't drop the boat!
Next up - rigging! The seemingly endless process of adding bits and bobs, and finally all the string with which we will control the sail, and other assorted parts.
I added Kiwi-Grip non-skid paint to sections of the sole. After doing a practice session with the "paint" on a scrap piece of plywood, I thought I was ready. But, larger sections are harder to coat evenly, as time is pressing. And you need to pull the masking tape off right after applying the paint, and it is very easy to either 1) mess up an edge while pulling the tape or 2) get the wet paint from the tape on something that shouldn't get it. Suffice it to say, some cleanup was required afterwards. Overall, though, I am pleased with the result.
And then we proceeded to varnishing the spars. While each coat didn't take all that long to do, there were 10 of them, so it stretched on and on.
I supported each spar from its end with a nail driven into a too-small hole so I could rotate the spar while finishing. The nails are supported by a piece with a notch. The holes are filled with epoxy afterwards, and (will be) varnished.
Since I did the varnishing, I discovered that one can hot-coat varnish, and get perhaps two coats on per day. And better yet, without sanding between coats (glory be!). AND, you can roll and tip! I got this from a varnishing workshop at the recent Wooden Boat Festival at Port Townsend. Good info for the next varnishing project.
And the rudder gear was mounted to the rudder head and to the transom, up and downhauls mounted, and a tiller created.
The tiller is one of the projects deferred until winter, so I bought a post hole digger handle at the hardware store, glued a wedge to the aft end and drilled a hole for the fast pin. Voila - $12 tiller.
One change I have made to the rudder is to glue a scrap of yoga mat to the upper forward top edge of the blade, where it contacts the bottom of the rudder head. I found that the downhaul doesn't hold the rudder down firmly enough, and it clunk clunk clunks against the head in any chop. I may move the connection point of the downhaul forward on the top of the rudder this winter, but the yoga mat padding takes care of the problem for now.
Time to install the centerboard. The CB pin is epoxied to this plywood cap, which is screwed to the side of the CB trunk. I have been concerned about the pin coming loose from the cap, working its way out, and the board coming adrift as a result. Probably unlikely, but I decided to glue a little preventer board onto the cap to eliminate that possibility. Turns out, it makes a nice handle when trying to install the pin.
My pin is installed from the outboard side of the trunk, via the seat top hatches. I put 1/16" nylon washers on either side of the board (held them on with scotch tape during install). The cap has an o-ring around the pin, and a neoprene washer outside that - the neoprene washer is to take up the gap between the cap and the trunk created by the o-ring, so that when tightening the screws, the cap is not torqued to one side stressing the joint to the pin. So far, I have seen no leaks from the pin.
I made a forward rig support from some scrap 1x4, and used the mast cut-off on the bottom so that the support would fit into the mast support block at the bottom of the mast trunk.
The aft rig support is two aluminum tubes, with a teak wooden top piece. I have since added more yoga mat padding to the top edges of both supports. I'll probably replace that with leather sometime this winter.
And, leather was applied to all three spars. This was not too difficult, though time consuming. I did discover that you don't need to soak the leather for any length of time at all in water before stitching. I just ran it under the tap, one side then the other. On the first leather I applied, to the mast, I soaked it for perhaps 10-15 minutes in a bucket, and it stretched out so much, it no longer fit. I had to trim the edge and re-cut the holes.
You can see on the yard here, which I did next, that I didn't pay enough attention to the alignment of the seam with the spar until about half way down, so the seam is not quite straight. Yeah, I know, but I like to sweat these kind of details. The boom came out better.
I added spacer blocks to the cabin-top cleats because, apparantly, the downhaul cam cleat is difficult to cleat into otherwise. The halyard cleat gets one too, just for symmetry.
I also put 9mm backing plates on the underside of the cabin top. These were all pre-painted, the cabin top paint was sanded off, and the blocks and backing plates epoxied down using the cleat fasteners as clamps.
The hatch gaskets were added. Since there have been some reports of leakage from the PT Watercraft hatches, I made two changes. I used Sikaflex to bed the tubing instead of contact cement, and on the seat top hatches, I used 9/32" tubing (instead of the 1/4" tubing that came with the kit). I had to add two plastic washers under each hatch dog on the seat tops (instead of one), because the hatches sit a bit proud of the seats, and you have to push down on them to engage the dogs. I haven't really tested the water tightness of these yet.
I have since had a demonstration of the sealing of the BH3 hatches though (which got the standard 1/4" tubing). I trailered ANNIE B to a mountain lake recently, and when we got there, I had a devil of a time opening the BH3 hatches. I can't explain it, because we had ascended in altitude, so it may have been more of a temperature difference thing, but the suction holding the hatch doors closed was impressive.
And the first time raising the sail, and sorting out all the lines.
Since I initially rigged the sail, I have made a few changes. I started with cute little bronze cleats for the reefing lines, and eye straps instead of cheek blocks for the leech reef lines. I have since replaced the little cleats with 4" plastic cleats (that I happen to have laying around), and cheek blocks for the eye straps. The eye straps had too much friction for pulling in the leech reefing lines, and the cleats were just too small.
I am using a lazy jack arrangement that Keith Nasman created for Zephyr. There is one continuous line from the aft side of the masthead, under a wooden "thumb cleat" on the boom - the line has a clip in it so I can remove it for trailering. And one line from the forward masthead, down the port side of the sail, under the boom, and up to a cleat on the aft side of the mast just above where you see the boom in this picture.
And the setup of the rig proceeds. At left, here is the first cut, with the sail and spars mostly setup (I thought) and sitting on their trailering supports.
I sewed a sunbrella spar bag to protect the rig during trailering. All three spars and the sail fit inside. It is closed forward, and there is a 10 foot zipper from the aft end. I found I need to put a couple straps around the whole package, one at each end, to cut down on fabric flappage at freeway speeds. Otherwise, it worked quite well on a recent longish trip.
Thanks to Keith Nasman for the loan of his awesome Sailrite machine for this project. My 1950's era Singer just wasn't up to the task.
SCAMP is very responsive to the helm, and so some sort of tiller tamer is desirable, I find. I have used this particular design on 3 boats now - it is inexpensive, and works well. Called a helm impeder (design created by a Brit, don't you know), there is a bungy cord in the middle under the tiller, and a cleated adjustment line on the starboard side of the tiller, with which you can easily adjust the amount of tension.
HIN plates get installed. I routed a little recess for the transom one, so that it sits flush. Epoxied in, damage would definately be done to remove it. The hidden one is, well, hidden and similarly difficult to remove. And suffice to say, it was a royal PITB to install it at this point in the build.
So, lets see... Sail rig seems to be ready, trailer - check, rudder - check, centerboard - check, weather - check. So, I think it may be time to get her wet!
On a fairly calm (as it turned out) Thursday late morning (8/27/15), friends and family gathered at Willamette Park in Portland to see if the cute little boat would float, and even more improbably, sail. Much practiced setting up of the sail was performed yet again, without incident.
And, finally after 2 1/2 years in the making, she finally is afloat! The owner/builder could be seen checking various hidden places for water where it wasn't supposed to be, and for places where it should be. All was well, so the group assembled for the christening ceremony without fear of a sinking mid-christen.
And, she was launched into a 0-3 knot breeze. This shot was taken by Keith Nasman, who works not too far from the park, and who happened to notice a familiar sail and hull profile while on his lunch break. We pulled in and chatted a bit, while he admired the newly launched and not yet banged up boat.
After taking a few more folks out for rides, the wind died and we got to try rowing ANNIE B. Turns out, I had neglected to install the sleeves and stops on the two part oars I got from Gig Harbor Boatworks, so rowing was a bit more difficult than it otherwise would be.
But at that point, I also resolved that I will be building my own spruce oars this winter. Those blue, heavy river rafting oars just aren't the right thing for a SCAMP.
Some of the above launch day pictures were taken by Richard Blakeslee - thanks Richard!