Thread: Discussion 1866 Steam Screw Tug Weymouth
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 12:07 PM
Bob SF is offline
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USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Aug 2003
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Hi Everyone, it is after Thanksgiving and time to get the build started. The Weymouth has always been one of those bucket list models that I've wanted to build since I saw one back in the 1980's and it is kind of surreal that I'm actually starting to build it. My big stumbling block is getting over the idea that back in the 80's, I didn't have the skills to build this boat (and I didn't have the plans either....), but I can build the boat now (plans in hand and loads of scratch building experience) and the dream is becoming very real. It is time to make it happen. To improve my chances of success, I write out a build plan to make sure that I do things in the order that makes building easier. I'm not saying that this is the only way to do it, but this is the order that I think will work. In a couple of days, I'll be sitting down with my boating buddy to go over the build sheet to make sure the order of assembly is good. We may tweak the order along the way as problems develop. Hopefully, we have worked out enough of the issues to make this build a success. Here goes:

Build the boat upside down.
Order prop, shaft, speed control, sound system, speaker, receiver, thrust bearings, wheel collars, balsa wood, plywood, spruce or bass for stringers, and rudder servo.
Make one keel shape out of 1/4" plywood. Slot for prop shaft and drill for rudder post.
Make two keel shapes out of 1/8" aircraft plywood.
Glue stuffing box into keel.
Laminate 1/8" keel shapes to either side of 1/4" center keel shape.
Cut two deck shaped sub decks of 1/8" door skin (cut one large by 1/4"...this will be the curved deck, and cut the other to the exact size....this will be the donut sub deck) . Cut the center out of donut sub deck shape leaving a 1" wide donut (this is what we can build to boat frame on).
On building board, lay out centerline and frame locations.
Over scrap wood, bend the donut deck shape to the desired curve fore and aft and bolt it to the building board (from the bottom of the board), leaving the bow elevated enough to allow room for the boat's stem.
With a router, round over the bottom of the keel.
With a bandsaw, cut away the front of the keel to allow for gluing in a solid stem piece that would extend above the deck for attachment of the bulwark. Shape and sand the profile of the stem.
Shape the stem to a "V" shape to accept planking.
Align keel over donut deck shape to make sure curve looks good and fits keel shape. Cut "V" blocks to hold keel vertical. Screw "V" blocks to building board.
Cut frames from 1/4" ply to fit keel and donut deck shape. Include 1/4" x 1/4" cut out for two 1/8" x 1/4" stringers at keel (this is to give the last bottom most plank something to stick to...probably want to end these at frame 8). Include another 1/4" x 1/4" cut out for two 1/8" x 1/4" stringer at the top of each frame where it meets the sub deck (both sides of the frame tops...outside frame stringer to end at frame 8). The inner stringer forms the attachment point for the lip inside the edge of the cabin.
Once frames look good, glue them to the donut deck shape.
Glue keel in place.
Install 1/8" x 1/4" x 48" bass or spruce stringers in slots cut on bottom and outside top of frames.
Laminate 1/4" balsa to fill in stern area behind the 10th frame.
Glue 1/4" balsa doubler over donut deck shape between frames 8 and 9 and 9 and 10 to create increased surface area for planking to glue to. These doublers continue the shape of the stringer around the curve of the stern.
Remove frame from building board.
Sand balsa at stern to shape.
Sand balsa doublers to frame shape.
Install rudder stuffing box...leave it long to allow for planking thickness (including fiberglass). Tape ends closed.
Temporarily install prop shaft and install thrust bearing and motor mount. Fit motor, universal and stuffing box and set alignment. Remove everything. Tape tube ends closed.
Bolt frame back to building board.
Cut 1/8" balsa sheet to 3/8" strips (48" long).
Plank hull from deck to keel and from keel to deck, meeting in the middle. Plank evenly, 4 planks at a time, to left and right sides of hull. Leave room to reach socket and extension into hull to remove the nuts that are holding the frame to the building board. Plank these areas last when nuts removed to allow for hull removal from the building board.
Sand hull to shape. Fill as needed.
From scrap, cut bulwark angle blocks and tape in place. Sand hull edge at sub deck to match bulwark angle. Remove bulwark blocks and save them for use later.
Apply West System Epoxy (no glass).
Sand hull.
Apply glass to hull with West System Epoxy.
Sand hull.
Apply West System Epoxy (no glass).
Sand and fill.
Build boat stand.
Remove hull from building board and tape it to boat stand.
Build battery box to hold two 7 amp/hour gel cell batteries.
Install two pieces of curved 1/8" x 1/4" spruce or bass to inner frame edges to create cabin cut out shape.
Apply West System Epoxy to inside of hull. Recoat to fill wood grain completely. When Epoxy is cured, remove tape holding hull to boat stand.
Install 1/4" plywood center strip down deck to support bollard locations. Apply deck beams to create 1/4" curve in the deck.
Mark center line of deck on the hull.
Cut sub deck down the middle, sand center edge to allow for curve of deck, angle to fit. Mark and cut out deck openings.
Apply Epoxy to the bottom of each (left and right) sub deck and glue in place.
Sand outer deck edge to hull shape (don't sand off the angle for the bulwark).
Plank the deck and peg at frame locations. Sand to finished shape.
Install vertical frame for rudder box at transom. Include the bulwark angle into the design of the rudder box frame to hold the proper angle for the bulwark.
Cut and glue 1/16" plywood cabin lip in place. Extend plywood cabin lip up 1.25" above finished deck level. No glue fingerprints on the deck.
Stain the deck.
Varnish the deck twice.
Apply spackle to spaces between planks and wipe clean. Let dry.
Apply spackle again to fill voids or low spots and wipe clean. Let dry.
Sand deck lightly, wipe clean, varnish and repeat three times.
Draw and cut template for bulwark, allowing 1/4" overlap down sides of hull.
Cut deck curve in saved temporary bulwark frames and tape to deck (temporary frame to hold bulwark in place while glue sets).
Use bulwark template to draw and cut 1/16" plywood bulwarks (left and right).
Tape bulwark to hull, and mark the deckline. Do on each piece separately to allow for differences in hull shape.
Draw scuppers on bulwark. Do on each piece separately to allow for differences in hull shape.
Router scuppers into bulwark using scupper cutting guide. Put masking tape on outsides of bulwarks to keep wood from tearing. Remove tape.
Glue bulwark to hull using temporary bulwark frames.
Sand bulwark to final shape. Remove the temporary bulwark frame.
Glue 1/8" x 1/4" spruce or basswood to outside of bulwark at deck edge to create base for rub rail (both sides of hull). The rub rail base is glued below the bottom edge of the scupper openings.
Laminate 1/4" half round over rub rail base to create rub rail (both sides of hull). You can peg the half round with brads or wood pegs to hold in place. Titebond III is used here.
Laminate 1/8" x 1/8" x 48" spruce or bass wood to the top inside and outside edges of the bulwark to create a mounting plate for the hand rail.
Invert hull over 1/8" plywood to draw the handrail. Cut and sand handrail to fit.
Glue on hand rail. Sand to final shape. If you want to install vertical posts to inside of bulwark, now is the time. I'm going to try not doing it...makes painting the bulwark easier if there are no vertical posts.
Stain the hand rail and let dry.
Apply three coats of varnish.
Coat bulwark in West System Epoxy (no glass).
Sand hull. Mask the deck for priming.
Apply one coat of Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer (white) to hull.
Sand hull. Fill and prime as required.
Cut blue masking tape into 1/16" strips (44" long) and apply to hull to represent the caulk lines.
Coat one side of the hull in West System Epoxy and remove the tape while everything is wet.
Repeat for the other side. Let glue cure.
Sand hull lightly to scuff up epoxy.
Coat with two coats of Rustoleum Clean metal primer. Let dry.
Cut and install two bilge keels. Coat with West System Epoxy. Let cure. Sand. Apply primer.
Build deck house structure (ideas: use doll house siding for wainscoting, mass produce windows and doors). Keep everything as light as possible above the waterline. Use rolled 1/32" plywood over wood frame for the smoke stack.
Determine all metal hardware and order from Wet Goose Marine.
Do mock-up installation of all metal hardware.
Build the rudder and coat with West System Epoxy. Let Cure. Prime and paint with bottom paint.
Install the rudder servo and make linkage.
Build the smoke stack, sand, shape,etc. Coat finished stack with West System Epoxy. Let cure. Prime and paint flat black.
Coat deck house with West System Epoxy. Let Cure. Prime and paint. Install smoke stack, windows, doors, etc.
Build bollards. Prime and paint flat black. Drill deck for bollards and test fit.
Paint boat (my colors will be.....bottom - Satin Red, hull - Satin Black, bulwark - Satin White, inner bulwark Flat CSX Gray, cabin - Flat Caboose Red on wainscoting with Satin White above. All wood trim (windows and doors) will be varnished with Mahogany Varnish Stain.
Order graphics from Callie Graphics. Since the other Weymouth models were named Weymouth and Yarmouth, I'll name my Falmouth.
Weave bow and side fenders from sisal twine and nylon mesh.
Install driveline, motor, bollards, battery box, radio, fenders, metal hardware, rudder and linkage, sound system, speaker, battery box, etc.
Order batteries from Mouser Electronics.
Build wiring harness and install.
Build navigation lighting circuit and install.
Paint and install navigation lights and tow lights (masts).
Redo anything that didn't turn out good enough (a.k.a. try again).
Ballast test in the domestic test facility (determine how much ballast needed).
Cast lead into bricks and install. Make up lead tubes that velcro to bottom (either side of batteries) to make boat lighter for transport. Aft lead will be fixed to hull.
Tune radio gear (servo direction, set up speed control, set end limits, set throttle default...slight forward throttle, set up exponential on rudder servo).
Wire motor to wiring harness and test run.
Set up sound generator and connect with speed control.
Test run boat in domestic test facility. Fix ballast as needed.
Test boat for radio range.
Go to lake and do a shake down cruise (a.k.a. super secret boat testing).
Fix anything.
Launch boat officially.

My best guess is that this build may take a year and a half. As building progresses, I'll include photos. Back to the drawing board one more time before we get started. Bob SF
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Last edited by Bob SF; Dec 05, 2012 at 12:19 PM.
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