Breast Plate Complete

With the breast plate installed, I was ready to install the cap piece on the aft edge of the plate.

DSC00486I chamfered the top edges of the cap piece to match the chamfer on the breast plate.

DSC00490The corners were a bit tricky to fit because they are angling two different directions.  I started with a piece 2″ longer than I thought I needed to make allowances for mistakes.

DSC00489I chose a simple no frills straight stick for the cap piece.  I plan to hang lines, fenders and an anchor underneath the plate against the bow.  It should provide a great place to store miscellaneous gear.


I’ll now focus on the upper stem and the bow cap pieces.  I’ve ordered my  bow navigation lights from Ductworks.  Once received, I’ll design these lights into the upper stem piece prior to installation.  


Breast Plate Installation

DSC00479I started by cutting the breast plate to its rough dimensions.

DSC00480I then used a block plane to taper the edges for a proper fit.  The top of the inner stem needed to be filed down a bit to allow the breast plate to fit flush.  DSC00481 This looks a bit long, but after looking things over very carefully, I prefer the longer breast plate.  It still allows me plenty of room to access the bow and climb into the boat, but also offers more organizational space under the plate to store lines, anchor and fenders.  I settled on an overall length of 16″.

DSC00483DSC00487DSC00485Prior to glueing the breast plate into position, I mocked up the stem.  I wanted to make sure these two pieces look good together.  I’ll be using a chunk of 2″mahogany for the upper stem.

DSC00490Once all looked good, I lubed everything up and dropped it into position.  I toe nailed the aft corners to hold it from falling.  I then added a fillet to the underneath sides and a strip of glass above the inner stem to further strengthen the bow.  Once cured, I’ll add an oak or mahogany strip to the raw aft edge.  This strip will also become a great organizational piece for hanging lines, lifejackets or fenders.


After installing the stem, I’ll add a cap strip to the entire top edge of the bow section of the boat.


Question:  You might be wondering why I held the bow plate flush to the top edge.  I plan to add a cap strip to the bow area, say 3/8″ x 1-3/8″.  This cap strip will widen (+3/8″) the top edge for more comfortable sitting as I swing my feet over the bow when loading and unloading.

The breast plate creates such an eye catching detail.  The function and beauty of this little boat just continues to amaze me.  It just keeps getting better.  

Beginning the Breast Plate

DSC00479I took the cutout from the transom and used it for the base of the bow breast plate.

DSC00480I then planed white oak and mahogany down to 1/2″ x 1″ strips.   I also chamfered the edges just a bit for a planked look.

DSC00482I then set them up to roll with epoxy.

DSC00484I then shot them onto the 3/4″ plywood using a brad nailer.  I left the pieces longer than needed so the brads can be cut off the ends once cured.  I then rolled the top with epoxy.


After I walked away from the breast plate, I looked at how Kilburn designed his breast plate.  Frankly, I like his pattern better than mine.  But, mine is done, so I probably won’t re-due it.  Once cured, I’ll begin fitting this breast plate into the bow of the boat. 

This is an amazingly beautiful wooden boat.  I want to thank Kilburn for this excellent design.  So far, this boat is far simpler to build than was my Scamp.  I believe one can build a Skiff America in half the time it takes to build a Scamp.  I’m very impressed with this design.