Sunshine Yacht Tender Model

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Blog series by kharder updated 03-11-2013 04:50 PM 12 parts 30812 reads 26 comments total

Part 1: Getting Started

03-17-2010 02:07 AM by kharder | 1 comment »

Hi Everyone, I am starting this blog series to document the process of building Sunshine, a 10’6” wooden yacht tender. She was originally designed for rowing, but I am building the sailing version. I purchased plans quite a while ago from Duct Trap Woodworking and am getting started by building a scale model. The model will be complete in every way possible so that I can work out all the problems before starting the full size build. The first step I have taken is to sc...

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Part 2: Lofting Pt. 1

03-29-2010 03:08 AM by kharder | 4 comments »

I started the process of lofting, drawing the 3D shape hull from front top and side views, based on the measurements from the plans using a scale of 2” = 1’. I have followed the same process that is required for a full size hull, but my scale will result in a hull 21” long and 8” wide. To create the full sized enlargement of the lines of the hull, the plans list points along the various curves which are carefully laid out on a grid and connected with long flexible ...

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Part 3: Lofting Pt. 2

04-01-2010 02:46 PM by kharder | 1 comment »

I bought some 1/4” x 1/16” x 24” basswood strips to use as batons and continued with the lofting. I’ts about like doing the full size lofting with 3/8” planks and crayons, but it’s a good start. I started with the sheer line in both profile and plan view to get a sense of the shape. I also lofted the keel and keelson. And then the stem. And finally the deadwood. The upper waterlines all turned into a bit of a mess because they are so clos...

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Part 4: Lofting Pt. 3

04-21-2010 07:37 PM by kharder | 2 comments »

I have pressed on with the lofting and got the stations, stem pieces and skeg pieces lofted. The basswood didn’t like taking all the turns and my two 24” pieces are now a handfull of 2-4” inch pieces from all the breaks. The stations went together alright with some minor changes to fair the curves. they are drawn upside down so that when i make templates they all have a common bottom reference point for laying out the molds. I drew out all the stem pieces so that i c...

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Part 5: Stongback and Molds Pt. 1

06-07-2010 07:06 PM by kharder | 3 comments »

Enough with the lofting, on to working with some wood and actually building something. I cut two 4”x6” pieces of 1/4” plywood for each station mold and matched up the most square cornors to be the bottom and inside edges of bookmatched pairs. I lined up the edges and clamped the sets so that each pair could be temporarily attached together with screws for shaping. I pre-drilled 1/16” holes so the plywood wouldn’t split and tried to get the screws along t...

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Part 6: Buying the Wood

07-12-2010 03:18 PM by kharder | 2 comments »

I have recently moved and progress on the model boat Sunshine has slowed. When i find my camera i’ll post the pictures of the completed molds mounted and aligned on the strongback. In preperation for actual construction I began researching what types of wood to use. I found out about Jeff at HobbyMill ( on a model ship building forum and he has been a pleasure to work with. He has all kinds of wood you can order in sheets milled to spec or in strips. he is ev...

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Part 7: Stongback and Molds Pt. 2

07-24-2010 04:44 PM by kharder | 3 comments »

These are from a few weeks back, but there hasn’t been much progress recently. Here are the molds of each station attached to aluminum angle and screwed to the plywood strongback. Finaly something that looks a little like a boat. Everything is very carefully aligned so that the hull comes out symetrical and straight. it still needs some bracing to bring the stations perpendicular with the plywood base, but it’s pretty close (and probably close enough) you can see that ...

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Part 8: Wood Arrives

07-31-2010 01:02 AM by kharder | 0 comments »

Yesterday I received a package from HobbyMill. Inside I found my wood order neatly packaged and individually labeled by species and thickness. Here you can see the three types Soft Maple for White Oak Alder for Western Red Cedar and Jatoba for Mahogany I am very pleased with the entire purchase from Jeff, he even through in an extra sheet of Alder since he suggested i practice the finishing since it is very soft and should probably be sealed. Build Costs: Plans – $45....

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Part 9: Keel and Deadwood

12-21-2010 05:24 PM by kharder | 3 comments »

It’s been a busy fall, but I’m trying to get back into the model now that i have some time over the winter. Some of these are old pictures i was too busy to post, so i’m going back and retroactively posting the construction that the molds are all set up, it’s time to cutting and shaping that beautiful wood from HobbyMills. Just like in a real boat, it all starts with the keel timber which forms the backbone of the whole boat. In the lofting below, the keel...

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Part 10: Transom, Stem and Rabbet

10-31-2012 12:29 AM by kharder | 2 comments »

It’s been about two years since I posted anything here – suspiciously similar to how long I was busy being a student at business school – so time to get back to it. I’ve dusted off my Sunshine tender model and cleared off room on the workbench so this winter it’s getting done. The backbone pieces get set up on the building frames and the transom and transom knee are glued onto the keel. The rubber band is to hold the keel down because it has a slight curve. ...

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Part 11: Lining off the planking

11-09-2012 03:19 AM by kharder | 2 comments »

A bit of progress on lining off the planking to post. This went easier than I was expecting, once I read up on how it’s done. Basically the sheer line (top edge of the boat hull, bottom edge here) is fixed and you want plank lines that are mostly parallel but a bit wider near the middle than in the ends. Other than that the top planks are similar in width and get wider toward the bottom of the boat and I knew that this boat is planked with 7 planks. From there its just trial and error u...

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Part 12: First planks, the garboards

03-11-2013 04:50 PM by kharder | 3 comments »

Now that the plank lines are set I need to glue on each plank starting in the middle of the boat and working down towards what will be the top edge, or sheer in boat-speak. Each plank will overlap the one below it which makes the shape of the planks very visible. If they are well shaped they plank lines create a beautiful flowing shadow lines and accentuate the curves of the hull. If they are off it starts to look goofy fast! The planks next to the keel are called garboards (no idea why) a...

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