Duckworks - Projects
The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders

Camp Skiff
by Bob Chanberland

Hi Chuck,

click to enlargeIn the spring I mentioned my goal of getting as far as turning the boat over by the end of the summer. To my surprise I got beyond that to include deck framing and most of the cuddy in the rough. Towards the end of August I ran out of gas.

We took a trip to France for a couple of weeks and planning for that took precedence. The trip to France was great but no boats except for the fancy barges on the Seine in Paris.

It took a few weeks after our return to get back to the shop and construction of “Campskiff”. I have been at it incrementally since. The fitting of berths and storage in the cuddy entailed a lot of cut and fit but is proceeding nicely. I have been stuffing Styrofoam into odd spots, so far about 12 cu ft which should keep everything afloat.

click to enlargeI had been rather impatient to get to the decking but I kept finding things that had to be done first. I had gotten to the point where any task seemed to need some other task completed first so I finally dredged up some old charting techniques to program what had to be done in what order. It has been years since I had to do this sort of thing so my “PERT” chart is rather crude (and probably isn’t really a “PERT” chart) but it is serving its purpose well. Though not very detailed it is keeping work in order.

click to enlargeI’ve been reading the series in “Woodenboat” on the building of the “Redwing”. I wish it had been available before I started work. The transom arrangement on “Redwing” is much neater than “Camp Skiff” especially if one has wheel steering. I have decided that I will not try to rig wheel steering but may use a tiller extension so I’ll be able to move around a bit under power. The detailing of the two versions is quite different overall, “Redwing” being simpler because of the tape seam construction.

click to enlargeI am changing the cockpit layout to accommodate battery/batteries and some storage.. I’ve always liked having a bridge deck or equivalent to keep water out of the cabin so I am building a box placed athwart the cockpit which will become the equivalent of a bridge deck. It requires stepping over to get into the cabin but it is small enough to be stepped over easily but large enough so it is not forgotten and tripped over. This also is a comfortable extra seat for the cabin. The battery will be in the center and storage in the ends with hatches to access all of it. Basic storage will be milk crates and waterproof bags.

click to enlargeI have all the deck panels cut and the undersides painted. I taped the glue lines and painted the panels off the boat. Much easier than painting an overhead. All the deck beams in the cabin are painted also except for some odd corners that I’ll pick up later. The top of the cabin tips up to provide headroom when camping. This is all primed and ready for paint as are the panels. I have not figured out the detail at the companionway slide/cabin door juncture to keep the rain and burglars out. Mostly I’m concerned about water getting in. Any self respecting burglar will bring along a chain saw if he’s serious. There are a number of these details that come up that I havn’t figured out yet. Where to put an electric panel or main switch is a puzzle however if I don’t have an alternator on the engine and I only have a few lights I can ignore all that and fuse it at the battery.

click to enlargeThe hull has a wide wale that tapers aft. Roughly 8" tapering to 4 or 5 inches. I havn’t quite figured out how to lay this out but I think the approach I’ll take is to tape some butcher paper to the topsides take the top edge from the deck and then fudge the lower edge and work it until it looks right. My motto (sometimes) is if it looks good it is good. But of course this all waits until the deck is screwed down and the edges trimmed flush. I am not looking forward to the deck “guards” as Chappelle labels them. They are more toe rails or coamings I would say. Anyway they have a pretty good curve, are bevelled and 5/4" stock. I may just cut a continuous bevel, steam bend them on a jig and trust in events.

click to enlargeI was just thinking of writing that I should be done except for exterior paint by spring but I just glanced at the plans and I’m afraid there is a fair amount to accomplish before then but I think I’ll be done by the time of the Kingston or Peterborough messabout.

The garage is heated up and I’m going back to work.

Bob Chamberland