14ft Swamp Girl

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tw541
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14ft Swamp Girl

Post by tw541 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:56 pm

I recently started this boat and thought I would document my efforts here. I would have done a few things differently if I had planned this a little better. I bought the cheapest plywood I could get, Lowe's called it 5.2 mm Luan. It has three pretty even thickness plies and a paper thin ply on each face, actually five plies. I have never seen face plies this thin. It is about the thickness of a coat of paint. I would like to see how they slice this wood that thin. If I even touch this face ply with sandpaper, it cuts through. I have no doubt I can make this into a structurally sound boat, but it will definately have to be painted. I have to say, this boat has gone together surprisingly easy. I have been a woodworker for most of my life, and have built a few pirogues in my time, but this is my first stitch and glue project. This is not really a simple hull design, but it has gone together very well. I am really impressed with the design and the plans. I have no doubt a beginner woodworker could build this boat. I'm going to try to post a few pictures.

I have the boat stitched together and tack welded here.

Image

Here the boat is taped on the outside seams and saturation coated and sanded. The 3" wide 6 ounce tape is a LOT of work to get feathered into the hull. I used a good carbide scraper and then sanded with my random orbital Dewalt. I have decided to glass the hull inside and out and will start in the morning.

Image
Last edited by tw541 on Tue May 06, 2008 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kayak Jack
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Post by Kayak Jack » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:47 pm

Nice progress, TW541. And good decision to glass the outside. May I suggest that, to prevent splitting panels when hung up on an object, you also glass the inside to the waterline?

It has to work only once or twice to make you glad you did.
Kayak Jack
Doing what you like is FREEDOM
Liking what you do is HAPPINESS
I spent most of my money on whiskey and women - and I'm afraid I just wasted the rest.

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jem
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Post by jem » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:04 pm

Very clean lines. :)
-Matt. Designer.

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jem
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Post by jem » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:09 pm

That's one of the better first-timer Swamp Girl's I've seen.
-Matt. Designer.

tw541
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:19 pm
Type of boat I like: All boats
Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas

Post by tw541 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:17 pm

I glassed the bottom today with 6 ounce cloth. I was a little concerned since this is my first experience with fiberglass. It went pretty good. I am going to glass the entire hull inside and out. With the tape on the seams also, it should be a strong hull. The Lowe's 5.2 mm plywood I used was not bad structurally. I found no voids at all. It's only real problem is it's appearance. For a painted boat, it's not a bad choice.

Image

The cloth wetted out very well.

Image

I wanted to leave a strip without fiberglass to attach the gunwales. I scribed a line along the edge of the sides, and put clear packing tape along the line. When the epoxy stated to get pretty firm, I cut along the line with a box cutter and removed the strip of fiberglass and tape, leaving bare wood.
Last edited by tw541 on Tue May 06, 2008 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Oldsparkey
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Post by Oldsparkey » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:44 am

tw541 wrote:This boat actually started out to be just a mockup, and I was going to build the actual boat that I would keep from better wood.
Look at the happy side ... You will have two boats , this one to learn from and then use while building the other one.:D

Chuck.
Remember:
Amateurs built the Ark...... Professionals built the Titanic
Visit some fine paddlers at The Southern Paddler

tw541
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:19 pm
Type of boat I like: All boats
Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas

Post by tw541 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:19 pm

I won't be building another swamp girl. I don't need but one, and this one will be a good boat when finished. I can live with painting it. I have something else planned for the next build. What I have learned already from building this one is that stitch and glue techniques really will make a good boat. I had never tried it or even seen it done before, and I guess I had to try it to believe. I have only built plywood on frame boats before. I'm also getting the fiberglass experience I need for my next project. The outside at least was easier than I expected. I'm sure the inside will be a little more trouble. Everything is going better than I expected. I'm impressed with this design and the plans.

tw541
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:19 pm
Type of boat I like: All boats
Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas

Post by tw541 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:37 pm

I have the Swamp Girl ready for the graphite on the bottom. The epoxy really finished out smooth with 4 coats. I am very happy with the finish on the hull now. This is all I am going to be able to get done for a while. I am leaving Monday morning for a 3 week vacation, a crappie fishing trip back home to east Texas. I have not missed a spring crappie fishing trip on lake Wright Patman for the last 40 years, although they used to be called white perch for some of those years. I am also looking forward to getting back and finishing this boat. I have high hopes for it. I am also really excited about starting my next build, a pair of electric fishing pirogues for me and my wife. I have the plans now and can't wait to start. After finishing them, I will start on the Freedom 15 that I also have the plans for. That will be my winter project. I haven't finished the first boat yet and have firm plans to build 3 more, 4 if my wife decides she wants a Freedom too.

I had hoped to have the graphite coating on the bottom done before I left it for 3 weeks. I will have to assume there is amine blush on all surfaces when I get back and sand and wash it with acetone. I hope this will still allow a good bond. The inside is only filleted so far.

I will miss reading the posts here and in Oldsparky's forum for 3 weeks.

Terry
Last edited by tw541 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kayak Jack
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Post by Kayak Jack » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:04 am

Terry, I hope your trip is all you wish for and more. Please, email me when you get back? I'd like to hear about your trip and kick around the one we discussed for Jan/Feb 09.

I'm really interested in how your boat works out for you.
Kayak Jack
Doing what you like is FREEDOM
Liking what you do is HAPPINESS
I spent most of my money on whiskey and women - and I'm afraid I just wasted the rest.

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Oldsparkey
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Post by Oldsparkey » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:24 am

Terry...

Good luck on your fishing trip , have fun (I am sure you will) and don't eat to many fresh specks. :D Looking forward to a fishing trip report in the fishing section on SP.

Chuck.
Remember:
Amateurs built the Ark...... Professionals built the Titanic
Visit some fine paddlers at The Southern Paddler

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