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Oct 04, 2012, 10:12 PM
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DanL's Avatar
I don't remember, but most likely it was an epoxy product called JB Quick. I used it for almost all bonding/filling during the build.
It remains somewhat flexible when cured, cures very quickly (5-10 min), can be mixed in any quantity needed, sands and drills well when fully cured, can be painted, is waterproof and can be cleaned up with 90%isopropyl alcohol before it cures.
Widely available (Walmart etc)
On very smooth/shiny or plastic surfaces, really rough up the bonding area by scoring thoroughly with a file, rasp or similar sharp tool.
For nylon, delrin and other "slippery" plastics, I not only roughen the surface, but drill dozens of small holes in the bonding areas to help make a mechanical bond when the JB Quick hardens.
There are products on the market now that supposedly bond nylon, etc very well. Surehold Plastic Surgery is one. There are others, but don't remember the names. Try Googling "gluing nylon".
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Oct 06, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Thanks Dan for the info.

Got a chance to pop in briefly at the Indy Admirals boat show today. Some fun looking boats and one nifty launching elevator.
Oct 07, 2012, 01:43 PM
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TBowman's Avatar
Cool boats...Especially the U-boat

thanks for sharing Andrew

kind regards
Oct 07, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar

Week 6

Deck drilling. I cut out the deck plans and taped them to the deck, making sure everything lined up perfectly. Then I drilled through all the marked holes, starting with smaller bits and working up to the different sizes for the two masts, keel rods and fairlead rods (for the running rigging lines). Dremel and emery board did a good job getting the mast holes to just the right size. Fun times. This is one awesome kit.

Bondo. To get some practice with the Bondo epoxy I applied a small amount to secure my deck support blocks. When it says not to mix more than you can use in 2 to 3 minutes it's no joke: after a few minutes it stops being sticky and becomes a useless rubbery consistency until it hardens.

The hatch. Because of its semi-irreplaceableness this next step proved to be a bit scary. First you drill a hole into the top of the plastic mechanical hatch for the keel rod tube to snug up into -- without breaking through the "must-be-completely-waterproof" hatch well. So I drill, Dremel, rattail file... so far so good.

Next you need to glue the mechanical hatch to the deck. To make sure everything was lined up perfectly I put blocks of wood and cardboard into the hatch well opening before gluing the hatch to the deck. The instructions say to use isocyanacrylate glue, so I apply my superglue, pressed everything carefully together... and then became quite surprised it didn't stick. NOTE: Superglue is a cyanoacrylate, not an isocyanacrylate. D'oh!

For take two I decided to use marine epoxy. After the application had set I put alternating coats of it and Bondo around the underside seam of the hatch to make doubly sure it would stay secure and watertight under the deck.

Next I tried to glue the hatch back seal to the underside of the deck piece using Testors cement for plastic models. The smell brought back ancient memories of putting together plastic models when I was a kid. The instructions say "If you can pull it off it was not a good enough bond." First attempt verdict: not a good enough bond. Second attempt using marine epoxy: better, but not good enough.

So when in doubt ask Dan L. what to do. Armed with the recommended JB KwikWeld epoxy, I drilled many tiny holes in the ABS plastic and scratched up the surface. Success! (Note: KwikWeld is not the happiest smell in the world... it's rather what I imagined the bilges of these sailing ships smelled like.)

Deck fittings. Since you need a handle to pull the deck hatch off, time to start work on the items that will sit on top of it: capstan, fore and main hatches and the gallows bitts (for storing the boat on). A little bit of clean up on the birch wood pieces, some wood glue, and presto, one capstan. Now just need to decide what shade of brown I want all the deck features to be.
Oct 07, 2012, 05:14 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
I know Bondo sells an epoxy, but be careful; Bondo body filler is not epoxy, it's polyester, and not much good as an adhesive.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Oct 09, 2012 at 11:11 AM.
Oct 09, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Jerry, now that I check the ingredients again you're right, its not an epoxy. Good to know. I think you just earned an honorary naming of one of the Theresa Marie figures. Hmm, able seaman Jerry Todd...
Oct 11, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Question. I'm thinking about extending the forecastle and poop decks by a couple of inches each. Would it be a problem also raising them up (at least the poop deck) by say a 1/2 inch to a full inch? Is that going to be a problem with the driver sail later?
Oct 11, 2012, 08:22 AM
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DanL's Avatar
Syren has a raised fore gun'l - about 1/2". (see pic) The deck is flat from stem to stern - no raised decks, but you should be able to raise the fo'csl.
The boom is well above the stern gun'l (see pic), so you should also be able to raise the poopdeck.
Oct 13, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Thanks (as always) for the info Dan.

Question. Did anyone put drain holes in their hatches? Since the tops are all open it seems like they would retain water without some little holes along the bottom.
Oct 14, 2012, 06:13 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar

Week 7

Deck fittings. This brig kit comes with many features to adorn the deck. After finishing the capstan and gallows bitts I assembled the three hatches from the provided wood pieces and plastic grates. I used Apple Barrel brand acrylics (from the local Michaels craft store) for all the painting. "Toffee" color looked pretty good for the grates and "Chocolate Bar" mixed with Olympic Waterguard clear sealant gave a nice darker color for everything else. The wood grain highlights very well on these pieces using this diluted mix.

One nice thing about using the J-B Kwik epoxy to glue the plastic to wood is that its black color looks like rogue bits of tar -- so no clean up needed.

I added a few smaller details to the deck fittings using supplies I had on hand. Some brass picture hangers were cut and bent to add some doors and hinges to the companionway hatch. I also made a weapons rack to feature an axe and three swords from my disarmed Papo figures. Two plastic beads became the wooden funnels for the anchor cable on the fore hatch. Fun details.

This is where these SC&H kits really shine. They include most everything you need to assemble the ships, while still leaving you many places to experiment with modifications and additional details.

Mystery fittings. My deck hatch fits down pretty snug. While it's easy to get it off by applying a little pressure on each corner from underneath, you obviously can't do that once the deck is in place. So to prevent a future "its stuck and I can't get it off" problem I added some brass "easy lift" mystery fittings on the edges of the fore and main hatches. I screwed them down into four 6/16 inch oak blocks on the underside of the deck hatch, with a little bit of epoxy in the grove.

(SNAFU report: The second one actually broke off as I was screwing it in (argg) so two of the four fittings ended up being one rotation higher than the other two. Ah well.)

Outsourcing. I also put in my first order to Model Expo to get some belaying pins, cannon balls, barrels and a few other goodies. While I'm trying to scratch-build all the stuff I can do well enough, some things for me are better just outsourced.

Distractions. While I've decided not to pursue any type of black powder cannons until I've sailed her for a year, the idea of putting a water cannon up on the forecastle, like I was thinking about doing with my Beagle, seems like something I should ponder a bit before I glue down the deck for good. Ponder, ponder, ponder...
Oct 21, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar

Week 8

Up periscope. Rabbits live under our backyard deck, much to our dog Boomer's consternation (he's killed three so far). So I figured now was a good time to buy a super nifty Alex Undercover Spy Scope ($11.99 plus shipping) for future bunny viewing. The lens rotates 360 degrees and the tube expands from 10 to 14 inches, so I'm assuming it may help in seeing underneath the Theresa Marie's deck to work on the hull seam and check for leaks.

Hull scribing. So while I wait for my eBay order to arrive, time to simulate wooden plank lines on the fiberglass hull. I found a twelve year old pack of caramel apple sticks which just happened to be 10mm wide. I pushed this up against the outside lip of the hull and scratched back and forth with a scribing tool from stem to stern. Then I taped another stick next to it and drew the second plank line 20mm down, and so on, for five 10mm lines. Worked pretty well, minus a few rogue scratches and thicker lines here and there.

Bulwark prep. I did some more detailing on the bulwarks, drilling eyebolt holes for the future gun tackle. I'm thinking of being a bit different in the Theresa Marie's painting scheme and paint the inside bulwarks white. I'll probably add an inside gun port lid, white with a black rhombus, for the guns to snug up on (assuming they aren't lashed lengthwise to save deck space). To add a bit more color I painted the inside lining of the gun ports a dark red (Tapestry Wine).

I also cut eight sticks of wood to act as bulwark height markers for gluing down the deck, marked off at their different gun port heights. The bulwarks tapper down a bit nearer to the stern so I figure that's a good way to double check without having to put the bulwarks back in place.

Installing the deck. With my periscope newly arrived, the big day came to glue the deck to the hull. I've been waiting for this for a looong time.

Ready, set, go! Marine epoxy applied to the deck support blocks. Deck squeezed in. Masts and keel rods inserted to make sure everything lined up. Tape pulled tight across the tops of the hull. Deck pressed down to the support blocks. Bulwark height markers put in place. More tape pulled tight. Run to bathroom to get drying epoxy off the back of my hand and wedding ring. Arg. Back to wipe off excess epoxy along hull. Check everything. Double check everything. Approving nod. Deck installed.

Everything seemed to line up pretty well except at the stern. Even after pushing the sides in as tight as I dared, there was still (as I expected) a little gap on either side for the last six inches or so. I seem to recall at least one of the other builders mention having the same issue. So some extra epoxy (or something) will be needed to fill in the gap.

Forecastle and poop plans. I'm discovering a big (and fun) part of these builds is spending time planning out what type of modification to do. Since I worked on my Beagle for so long I seem to want to incorporate several of her features into the Theresa Marie, including a more substantial forecastle and poop deck.

After doing some research to ponder the plausibility of having a pair of bow chasers I found a nifty model of the colonial privateer the Oliver Cromwell ( which features FOUR bow guns. So I think the plan will be to extend the forecastle deck out to seven inches with a 3/4 inch closed outer rail.

I think the plan for the poop deck will be to also extend it to seven or nine inches (with an overhang) to just in front of the wheel, and actually raise the deck height by 3/4 inch. Having stern windows for a cabin with a four and half foot ceiling seemed a bit daft, so we'll make the Captain's quarters a more comfortable six feet high (but still a stoop for some of the taller 1:20 scale Theresa Maries).

And yes I realize in my first build update I said "The plan is to follow the SC&H specs and not attempt all the modifications that pop into my head." I'm not adding a mizzen mast so there will be at least ONE mod I won't try... must... ignore...mizzen... siren... song...
Oct 28, 2012, 12:27 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar

Week 9

Sealing the deck. First I glued in some thin wood strips wherever there was a gap between the deck and hull. Then I applied Marine epoxy all the way around the deck/hull seam from above by dabbing it on with a small stick. Easy.

Then I flipped the ship (yes, now it can finally be called a ship) on its side to seal the seam from the inside. I used a combination of sticks and latex gloves to apply the epoxy. My arms were just long enough to reach down and across the two foot distance from the hatch to the far stern corner. Stretch! I used my periscope and small hand mirror to see. Not so easy.

Next the telescoping ends of the keel rod tubes were pushed up all the way to the underside of the deck and epoxied in place. Finally the gap between the stern tube and deck was filled in.

Bulwarks installed. I put the starboard bulwarks in place to make sure it still fit. It fit so tight that it was a real bear getting it off. I took the protective tape off the deck, applied epoxy, reinstalled the bulwarks and clamped everything down tight. 24 hours later I did the same thing with the port side.

There are a couple of places where the bulwarks ended up sticking out past the top lip of the hull a little bit, either from too much trimming or not enough shaping and clamping. So I'll need to do some touchup before installing the inner rail trim.

Inner gun port lids. Basswood. X-acto knife. Metal rings. Superglue. Paint. End result: 20 blood red lids for the cannons to snug up on. (And once again, how people have the patience to do those 74+ gun ship-of-line models is beyond me.)

I glued the inner lids in place with a combo of epoxy and superglue. Pretty happy with how it looks.

Waterways installed. This was one part of the build that I wished I had open gun ports to help with the clamping since I only had eight clamps that could reach. But the 40-50 minute epoxy gave me enough time to get the triangular strips that form the border between deck and bulwarks in place before it set.

The next step is drilling the scupper drain holes through the waterway strip. I know this has been a challenge for many builders and I'm glad to be forewarned about the possible issues.

Double grog for all! So time for a BIG STEP celebration. After a couple of years of enjoying other people's SC&H build logs, what a treat to finally see the Theresa Marie with her installed deck, bulwarks, deck fittings and crew sitting in my home. Cheers to everyone's ongoing inspiration and helpful comments.
Last edited by Jpop Andrew; Oct 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM.
Oct 28, 2012, 02:17 PM
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DanL's Avatar
Way to go! It's amazing how quickly you got to this point. It really is something to see the hull with deck and mast stubs in place.
All teh really tough stuff is done now - the rest of the build is even more fun (except maybe making the ratlines...)
A suggestion....
At this point, test for leaks and for balance. Attach the lead keel, load the battery in its proper position, lay the servos inside the hull and lay the mast pieces, yards, boats, etc on deck. Attach a line to the bow and launch her in a pool, pond, etc. Observe the trim, waterline, etc. Look for any leaks (don't foget the hull plug!).
I found Syren to be bow heavy (but I had added servod, firing gun mechanism, etc). So I moved the battery to behind the mainmast. Anyway, its fun to check out and will be a real thrill to actually see Theresa Marie afloat.
Oct 28, 2012, 02:46 PM
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so fast....yes...the ratlines....i should invent an automatic ratline loom
Oct 28, 2012, 05:26 PM
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Jpop Andrew's Avatar
Thanks for the comments. If I didn't have the advantage of reading through so many previous build logs I'm sure it would have taken three or four times longer to get to this point, like working on the Beagle did.

Plus I get to ask these types of targeted questions: Which would be a faster setup and breakdown, having the lower masts and lower tops fixed in place or using the hinge system?

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