Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build #7: Keel and Boat Cart--with Keel Blooper...

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Blog entry by Napaman posted 07-02-2010 07:10 PM 12775 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Got Parts? Part 7 of Stevenson Projects Weekender Sailboat Build series Part 8: Bottoms Up--Bottom is Done! »

If you are a Weekender Builder will you please let me know about what you think re: “concerns” listed BELOW…

Well…sorry for the lack of photos last time…but since my last post we had some visitors and my last sailing lesson—-I am now a graduate of a US Sailing Program…woot…

Last week I finished cutting out more parts…and then waited for all the stainless screws to come in…

This week I finally “played” with epoxy—-I wanted to do that before I glued up the keel pieces because they are huge and I wanted to know how it worked and mixed…before I went into such a big glue up…

I built a little tool box/tool tote out of some of the ply scraps…so that I could try the epoxy (and my dado blades for the first time—-woot). The dado blades were fun!

I had cut out the keel parts 6 weeks ago…but never glued them up…they were pretty rough so i decided the best thing to do would be to glue them up and then fair them together rather then seperately…

The glue up went well…My wife helped me and we wetted the first two pieces with straight epoxy and then mixed up more with wood flour to make a ‘peanut butter’ like consistency…if any thing we were on the runny side—-we got some squeeze out as we screwed the keel parts together…but I think it was fine…

In Picture One you see the three layers of keel parts before lamination…they overlap so that the joints DONT meet in the same place—like a PB&J Sandwich…yummy.

Blog 7

Blog 7

After the glue up we layed the keel out flat on the patio for the rest of the day…and I started on DaveR’s suggested boat cart…in his plans he connects the frame with a joist hanger…but I wanted to use the 4×4 scrap blocks I had laying around…after construction I realized the casters I bought for this ages ago we two different sizes…so I went out and got 2 new ones…only to realize they did not lock down…so back to the store again the next morning for locking castors…

Blog 7

small cart 1

Yesterday I took the rough keel into the shop and started to “fair” or smooth the edges…the edges were pretty jagged in spots because I was affraid to cut too close to the line…this was expensive wood…and wanted to be careful…the middle lamination was the roughest…so the idea was to shave down to the outer pieces…I was super pleased and you can see my new best friend the surform shaper…it worked super well…

I practiced on the bottom edge since it is not as critical (yet) and once I felt comfortable between the shaper, belt sander and circular saw I smoothed the top edge…at this point in the day I felt super great that it was looking good and I had a great keel…

Blog 7

Blog 7

Blog 7

THEN….a big concern arose—-so if you are a Weekender Builder Please Comment here or on BYYB:

After reading a blog on the BYYB forum I started examining my own keel. I realized that the JOINT of the keel and the STEM is not correct…there is supposed to be a one inch gap between the “Station 1” line and where the keel STEM sits down…so I am 1 inch off…see picture below—stem should be 1 inch to the right of the middle line(of three lines there).

Blog 7

And from the top looking down:
Blog 7

So how to fix…My worry is that I would need to change and adjust everything…so from this point forward the plans become a guide and all my parts will be a slightly different boat…

DaveR suggest that I cut the NOTCH on the stem one inch deeper—-thus sliding the hull bottom up one inch deeper and keeping every other measurement the same relative to the boat bottom and not the edge of the keel stem…in addition I will have to extent the “notch” in the top of the stem for the deck peek…

Okay….let me know what you think…I have not built my boat bottom but I have cut out all the parts…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

18 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4072 days

#1 posted 07-02-2010 07:13 PM

Sorry about photo sizes…I minimized all…but only some got smaller??? Anyone know why posting a project allows you to take photos straight off your own computer—-BUT when posting a blog you have to upload to photobucket (or alike site) first…then into the blog…it triples the time this takes me…blah blah…sorry martin!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4072 days

#2 posted 07-02-2010 07:43 PM

lol…the one thing they said in my sailing class is that we all had to capsize to graduate…that would be bad to capsize in the boat on the hard cement…especially without my lifejacket….and worse a sharp tool in my hand spinniing…

quick fix on the casters…and might have some building time on my hands while I figure out my next move…but feeling good with your suggestions…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3708 days

#3 posted 07-02-2010 07:52 PM

This is looking real good, a lot of progress!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 07-02-2010 10:35 PM

It looks like you are having a blast…I used to sail many years ago… I was in the Navy in Fremantle in Western Australia…[Americas Cup Race was held there] Used to race 14 foot Corsairs on the Swan River….. long time ago… don’t sail any more…alas..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4072 days

#5 posted 07-03-2010 12:28 AM

lol dave…good information!!!

larry—-I am enjoying the build…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View scottishrose's profile


110 posts in 3161 days

#6 posted 07-03-2010 12:31 AM

Glad to see your are making your dream come true!

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#7 posted 07-03-2010 12:59 AM

I am really enjoying following your progress but, sadly, I cannot help you with this problem. The only boats I know anything about are aircraft carriers.


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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3668 days

#8 posted 07-03-2010 03:51 AM

Looks like a lot of fun.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3802 days

#9 posted 07-03-2010 04:51 AM

Awesome progress Matt. I have really been enjoying this blog series.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3975 days

#10 posted 07-03-2010 01:13 PM

Hi Matt,

Sounds like you’re having a good time with this. It’s nice to see.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4295 days

#11 posted 07-03-2010 03:09 PM

You’re doing great Matt.

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

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 07-04-2010 02:23 AM

I’m not a boat builder so I can’t offer you any correction advise.
But, my money is on you Matt.
You’ll figure it out and be back on track in no time!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4072 days

#13 posted 07-04-2010 05:55 AM

thanks eric (and everyone)!!! I am getting a lot of good advice via the BYYB (Back Yard Builders) and looks like DaveR’s advice is ahead…feeling confident that it will be fine…

Did not get too far today…cut panel connectors for the hull bottom and marked them up…marked up the glue spots for the hull bottom and made new side panels for the hull bottom since I did not like the first two I made…

As the day went on it go real hot on the patio and got worried about mixing epoxy…since the girls were home never had a good chance to have my assistant help me glue them up…

We are going to try early in the morning tomorrow…so I should have a hull bottom by 9am!!!


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3336 days

#14 posted 07-04-2010 06:14 AM

looking good there matt ,
as they say in boatbuilding ,

“by guess , or by God ” ,

sometimes you have to wing it ,
congrats on the sailing ,
it’s always good to know how ,
if you want to go sailing (LOL) !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View CaptainSkully's profile


1596 posts in 3554 days

#15 posted 07-04-2010 04:24 PM

You can get slower hardeners for warmer weather. Sorry about the 1 inch issue, I know that probably chafed your baggywrinkles. Looks like things are back on track and you couldn’t ask for a better source of advice than DaveR, even with the BYYB forum. I’m digging the blog, the progress, and I’m really happy for you and proud of your accomplishments. I wish I could’ve helped you with your sailing lessons. I’m up in Sonoma pretty often, so maybe we can run by and see the boat in person some time. Let me know if you need more epoxy.

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

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