Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build #5: Hull Bottom and keel Photos...big day today...

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Blog entry by Napaman posted 06-16-2010 07:25 AM 12794 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: I AM A SAILOR! Part 5 of Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build series Part 6: Got Parts? »

Keel and Hull Bottom Parts all cut out…

Well it has been a loooong time between boat building posts…but this is a big week. This is my first week off from school and today was my first full day of building—and it was a good one. Between the last 6 weeks of school always being hectic…and the start of sailing lessons it has taken a while to get going again…but from now on it will only be the wait on materials that slows me down…

Yesterday afternoon I spent my time cleaning/clearing my work space again. It had been such a long time since I had worked on the boat that I needed to clear the area. I decided that I would put down an old tarp so that I can protect the wood a bit while it is on the ground to avoid small rocks and dirt digging into the wood since it would otherwise sit straight on the patio cement while I worked on it.

My focus over the first few days is to cut out all the hull bottom parts and the bulkheads. I will then cut out the lazerette, transom and deck pieces. When all those parts are cut out I will get a friend to help me put them all together—but for now I am waiting for a bunch of items I have ordered.

I have also been finally taking the time to order many much needed items…during the school year it was too hard to concentrate and make any decisions—and in the last few days I have ordered a bunch of items that will help me to take all the parts I am cutting and glue them together…today I ordered about 2,000 stainless steel screws…for some reason I could not make that decision last week…

Okay…the pictures below are of the keel parts that I cut out about 8 weeks ago…yikes has it been that long? Since starting the sailing lessons (all day Saturdays) it has kept me too busy.

There are 9 keel parts…they will be laminated together in an overlapping pattern to give them strength…they are pretty roughly cut, but everyone tells me that it will be fine when I go back and sand/shape them.



The next set of pictures is from yesterday and today…it was a long day…got out early and started “lofting” the hull bottom onto the two sheets of 1/2 “ ply. Lofting is a very difficult process in “classic” boat building, but with the plans I am using for my boat you make a “grid” system and number it off into stations…then from a midline you set nails on the station lines at a distance called for in the plans. I really took a long time to do this…but I was really enjoying my radio and taking my time…double and triple checking for mistakes…I did find a few…by lunch I had finished all the lofting…set all the nails…rough lofted the curves…and then cut out the additional cut out pieces.

The plywood sheets are 4 feet wide—-but the boat width at the bottom of the hull is about 3 inches wider on each sidel…so you rough loft the boat…cut off a couple pieces…and then set them at the widest point and set the last few nails…the last step is to loft the final curves…


After a long lunch I watched the video for the hull bottom cuts (just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything…) and then I went out and cut the hull bottom…this was a big deal…at the end I had the bottom of my boat done!

Hull Bottom 2


It looks super small—-but this is NOT the actual size of the boat because the sides and deck will extend outward from here at an angle…and then when the deck is on top it will look much bigger…but it was nice to sit in my boat…lol…




Boat Building Materials Cost List: AS OF 6/14/2010—not complete
(not all prices are exact because I am trying to put this together a bit later—approx)
1) Stevenson Projects Weekender Plans and DVD: $90.00
2) First round of wood: all marine grade plywood sheets, keel wood, and joiners, etc.: $1,340
3) West System Epoxy, 1 gallon: $93.00
4) West System Hardener, 1 quart: $?
5) Sytem 3 Wood Flour, 1 Quart: $7.99
6) System 3 Silica Thickener, 5 quarts: $26.50
7) Sharx 316 Stainless Steel Screws:
a. #8 –1”x1,500: $123
b. #8—1.25” x 500: $46.00
Will need more wood but bulk is purchased…same with screws. Will need more epoxy…but this is about half…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 06-16-2010 07:38 AM

Good progress Matt

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4147 days

#2 posted 06-16-2010 07:45 AM

This was in the top few Google search results for “Shark 316”: Swan Secure sells #8x1.5" in 100.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 06-16-2010 11:21 AM

very cool

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4052 days

#4 posted 06-16-2010 12:48 PM

Very nice project – I guess by the end of the holidays you will be sailing the Pacific?

Thanks for blogging the progress it is very interesting and shows that you do not need a high tech, big workshop, all you need is some basic tools, space and dry weather.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#5 posted 06-16-2010 03:16 PM

It looks like you’re making some fine progress.

That’s a very impressive project. It looks a lot bigger than I imagined.

I have one question. Is the bottom laminated to make it one inch thick?

The pictures make it look thicker than 1/2”.

You’re going to have a very enjoyable summer.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3581 days

#6 posted 06-16-2010 03:59 PM

Funny, I was just thinking it should be about time for a post from you, and there it was. I’m so happy for you. I’m really excited about watching your project progress. Are you putting the camera in the same location for a time-lapse?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3581 days

#7 posted 06-16-2010 04:02 PM

D&B, the bottom needs to be thin enough to flex to the curve of the keel, so it’s not laminated. There will be a lapped/stiffened joint where the sheet parts meet. Much easier than the traditional scarph joint. The hull will then stiffen itself structurally and the epoxy fillets really to a good job making the whole thing stronger by increasing the bonded surface area.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4099 days

#8 posted 06-16-2010 04:36 PM

Thanks guys…

Dick…Capn Skully is right…it will “thicken” on the edges with stringers and panel joiners…the web site for the designs is really good…and they explain how plywood bent in certain ways is incredibly powerful…

check out:

There are 1,000’s of projects and great details on the plans…

Chris—yes I have the camera taking a few spots from the same spot…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3518 days

#9 posted 06-16-2010 04:51 PM

Congratulations Matt on your progress…............. lookin’ good !

I was kind of looking for a picture of you on the bottom of the boat with a sailor hat on maybe… LOL

I’ll be following along on this adventure with you…...

Take care

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4217 days

#10 posted 06-16-2010 04:57 PM

Ed would be proud. I’m really looking forward to seeing your progress on this. I think lots of us out in the woodworking world (including me) have thought (dreamed) of building a boat. Whether it’s a canoe or a yacht, there’s a fascination with that kind of project…& you’re getting to do it.

You’ll definitely have my attention throughout the build & jealousy later as I’m imagining you slicing silently through sparkling waves… wind in your hair, surrounded by a crew of bikini clad California beauties…ok, wind in your hair, anyway, it was only a dream on my part.

For you, the slicing (not a technical nautical term) part will be a reality soon enough. -Tom

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4099 days

#11 posted 06-16-2010 05:20 PM

Great pictures Dave!!! Dave had a SUPER NICE weekender…

Here are some good links:

ANd direct link to builder photos:

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4099 days

#12 posted 06-16-2010 05:24 PM

Dave—-wasnt sure what you meant on your earlier comments with the “butt”...I assumed clean it up with a chamfer before stringers/panel joiners???

The cuts were outside the line…started to make a second pass closer to the line on the hull bottom but seemed to chew it up…so I stopped…in many spots I am 1/8 ” OUTSIDE the line…Assuming once stringers are on I will clean up…but worried it will put my angle off so will need to be super careful.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3777 days

#13 posted 06-16-2010 06:01 PM


DO you have a lesson plan for this?? JUST KIDDING!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4099 days

#14 posted 06-16-2010 10:50 PM

ok…thanks dave…that is what I figured…and planned for…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#15 posted 06-17-2010 12:33 AM

Matt: Some great progress. And now the mind is clear of the distraction of kids.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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