Moving the Football Forward

First off, the rear bulkhead.  After everything received 2 coats of epoxy, I was finally ready to install all the parts.

DSC00473DSC00475The assembly was mostly accomplished with screws, but a few C-clamps were needed to set the larger pieces.  After screwing/clamping all the pieces, I spent nearly an hour cleaning up all the squeeze out.  The clean up can save hours of sanding later.

DSC00472Next up came the transom and doubler.  8 C-clamps did the job.

DSC00470And then I epoxied the bow and cabin panels.

DSC00471And finally, I rolled epoxy over all the holes that had been previously filled with thickened epoxy.  This might be unnecessary, but I want the floor very well sealed from rain.


A boat is built one piece at a time.  If you work on your boat daily, it will get built right before your eyes.  It also helps me to blog about my progress.  Strangely, this seems to keep me motivated as well.  Plus, you’ll have a cool record of the building process for your family and friends to see.  


More Epoxy Work

DSC00468If you look closely you can see the 3/4″ shim that places a chamber on the hull of Skiff America 20.  This camber helps keep the nose down while cruising.

DSC00471After sanding, I added a 2nd layer of epoxy to the cockpit hull this morning.  The forward cabin area now has 3 layers of epoxy on it.

DSC00472The rear bulkhead is getting epoxied along with all the solid Sapelli pieces in preparation for assemblage.  I want 2 coats over all the parts before I assemble the bulkhead.

DSC00463Cutting the 3/8″ oak plugs that will fill the screw holes in the bulkheads.

DSC00467I’ll cut these plugs flush after the epoxy cures and then roll them with additional epoxy.

DSC00465The front bulkhead after receiving its 2nd coat of epoxy.


These little steps all seem small and insignificant, but they’re all very important.  Take your time when building a boat, do it right…you won’t be sorry.  


Front Bulkhead

With Marinepoxy in hand, I was ready to glue the solid pieces to the front bulkhead.  Remember, I’ve already fit and screwed these pieces in place…but this time it’s permanent.

DSC00479DSC00480After rolling un-thickened epoxy over all the mating surfaces, I then added thickened epoxy to these same surfaces.  After that, it’s simply a matter of aligning the parts and reinserting the screws.  This makes all the prep time worthwhile and insures a simple, error free assembly.

After completing the front bulkhead, I rolled the subfloor and rear bulkhead pieces in epoxy.


It takes as much time to clean up the squeeze-out as it does to assemble the entire bulkhead…but the time you spend cleaning up is very important and saves hours of sanding the next day.  I use a sharpened popsicle stick to clean up all the joints.  I then use a rag soaked in alcohol to wipe up globs and ugly spots.

Installing Cockpit Subfloor

My epoxy arrived, so I can now move forward.

DSC00484You are looking at the back corner of the 3/4″ hull panel.  I drove three screws into the construction frame at the very back edge of this panel (within a 3/4″ margin along the back).  I chose this location because it allows me to install the subfloor without interfering with the screws.  I then placed the 3/4″ shim in its proper position.  I then drove two screws through the doubler at the front edge of the cockpit panel.  This bent the hull into it’s proper shape.

DSC00485Subfloor placed onto hull panel.  Remember, I left 3/4″ at the aft end to accept the transom.

DSC00486After driving the screw, I used C-clamps to make sure the edges were down tight against the hull.

Steps I took:

  1. I rolled a generous amount of un-thickened epoxy onto the 1/2″ subfloor and let this soak in for about 45 minutes.
  2. I glued and screwed into position all hull doublers.
  3. I secured the aft end of the hull to the frame using (3)  3″ screws.
  4. I positioned the 3/4″ shim.
  5. I secured the forward end of the hull to the frame by driving (2) 3″ screws through the cockpit/cabin doubler into the frame.
  6. Now the hull panel was properly cambered (around the 3/4″ shim).
  7. I rolled epoxy onto the top side of the cockpit hull panel.
  8. I spread thickened epoxy to the top side of the cockpit hull panel.
  9. I placed the 1/2″ doubler panel onto the cockpit hull panel.
  10. Starting at the forward end and moving toward the stern, I drove screws through the 1/2″ panel into the 3/4″ hull panel.
  11. I placed C-clamps along the edges for a secure bond.


I now have the subfloor properly secured to the hull panel with both hull and subfloor properly cambered.  


Preparing Subfloor Panel

While I have great access to the hull, I have decided to prepare and install the subfloor in the cockpit area.  The additional subfloor panel is to strengthen the cockpit floor.

DSC00475I placed the hull on top of a 1/2″ sheet of Okoume.  I left the aft edge of the hull proud 3/4″ to accommodate the transom (the transom sit flush with the back edge of the hull).

DSC00476I then traced the outline of the hull onto the 1/2″ Okoume.

DSC00486While the 1/2″ plywood was still square, I laid out my intersection lines for the screw holes.  Approximately 12″ on center.

DSC00487I stayed 2″ in from the edges.  There are 43 holes in total.

DSC00492After drilling the holes, you need to take a rasp and clean up the back side of the plywood.  These little protrusions will keep your plywood from laying flat against the hull.  I then trimmed the subfloor to its proper shape.

DSC00493After cutting small squares of wax paper, I built my mini clamping devises.  Notice how the wax paper keeps the washer from falling off the screw.


I’m now ready to assemble the hull panels.  After the hull panels are secured to the construction frame (with the 3/4″ hull shim in place) I’ll add this subfloor panel.