Sailing Scamp 284

A journey to sail Scamp number 284.


A blog about SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) boats. Covering the build, sailing the boat and the scamp community that has formed around this little portly boat.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

First sail of the season

On the south end of lake Washington. It seems the repairs over the winter are all fine.

Good to see the sail unfurled again!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Big post about tents

Over 2 years ago, I used duck canvas and cut out a simple tent (post).
I've been using that same tent unmodified ever since.
I've even used the same pole setup. The poles go in oarlocks mounted on the coaming.

I use the same poles to hold up a tarp so that the boat can be stored outside. The rain runs off very well. Snow, not so much.

Unfortunately, I've gone through a number of tent poles. Fibreglass ones have broken under snowload and aluminum ones have bent because of the arc needed. I've even broken aluminum tent poles as well.

I have some serious plans to camp on the boat this summer and I need a reliable rain cover to sleep under and I would like to have a more durable storage solution.

This post will be about my effort to rebuild that old tent and keep myself dry if it rains.

Tent Poles

I went through a lot of poles. Fibreglass broke under snow load during the winter (and cleaning up broken fibreglass tent poles is nasty). I switched to aluminum tent poles, but they were bending under the load. One even broke. They were relatively cheap, so I would just occasionally replace them, but I was still unhappy with the results. That's when I realized that the ends were bending near the mounts and that it might be easy to relieve some tension on the poles if I just work with the bend. I found some tent poles with angles at Quest Outfitters.
I eventually decided on .340 poles with 145deg angles at each side.
1x 13" pole + 1x 145deg angle + 5x 13" poles + 1x 145deg angle + 1x 13" pole.
They look like this when on the garage floor:
Tent pole
And on the boat:
On the boat in the oarlocks.
There is not nearly the amount of stress on the pole as before. I think this will stand up even under snow load.

Oarlock holders

 I did have another problem. I was using stainless hose clamps to stop the poles from falling too far down into the oarlocks. The clamps were scratching my ipe finish wood, so I wanted a way to hold the poles in place without the hose clamp.

I went out and bought new plastic oarlock sleeves.
I drove a couple of stainless nails through the bottom of the sleeves, then filled them with thickened epoxy. After that cured, I drilled down to just above the nails.

You can see the nails

They hold the tent poles.
The best part is that I can always buy more sleeves for real oars if I ever put them in.


So now I have a good pole setup. I just need a place to attach the tent to keep it taut. In version 1.0, the tent hung very loose and was attached at the back and front with turn style connectors. There is a bungee that went over the cabin top and held the front taut In version 2.0, I wanted to use fabric snaps. I ordered some and attached:
  • 3x studs on the coamings in front of the oarlocks (per side)
  • 3x studs on the coamings aft of the oarlocks (per side) (not pictured)
  • 5x studs on the aft transom
  • 1x turn connectors under the coaming where it connects to the cabin side
5x studs on the transom

The one turn connector under the coaming and 3x snap studs afore of the oarlocks.
(Note: I omitted a lot of details here about overdrilling and filling.)


Now that we have poles and a place to snap the tent, we can finally adjust the tent.
I didn't make any changes to the bungee that goes over the cabin top. I didn't want to put any snaps there in case fingers would need to slide over the cabin top.

I marked the tent for the snaps and made sure everything was tight. I then proceeded to attach the snaps.
Three of the snaps are installed Note that it's not taut because the back snaps are not on.

View from inside the tent. Plenty of room.
It was rather tedious work because I wanted to only do 3 snaps a time to make sure I got everything taut. That meant hauling the tent off the boat, hammering 3 snaps, then putting it all back on again.

Once I got the snaps installed, then I had to sew up the edges. I'm not great with a sewing machine, but I can do it.


Closeup of the snaps and the turn connector

Inside shot
The hardest part was the stern. I needed to make room for the traveler. I chose to make a cut and sew it up very well so that it doesn't unravel. I don't think this will leak too badly if it rains.
Cut slots for the traveler


But I'm worried the canvas tent will leak a little bit in the rain. I might find some fabric water proof spray and apply it.

Tarp Tent

I still want a rain proof shelter.

I had purchased an inexpensive Harbor Freight tarp that was way too big for its intended use.

I cut it up to make the same tent with the same fabric snaps.
I don't think this tent will be very durable, but I can easily make a new and improved one. There will likely be a version 3.0 of tents after I learn a bit more.
Aft view

duct tape seals the holes and stops rip

side view

fore view

3/4 view


This tent should now be functional and easy to use.
I'll probably try using the tarp tent for storage during light rain rather than using a full tarp and the tie downs that I'm using now. I don't think it will hold out moisture well during very heavy rain storms, but for light squalls outside while she is stored, it should be fine.

This was a great project and I'm really happy to have it done and to try it all out.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Centerboard pin needs replacing

At the end of last season, I noticed that my centerboard pin needed repair.
I had just smeared some epoxy around the bolt head. I thought it would hold. However, the epoxy broke and the pin started to pull out of the plate.

original centerboard pin head

here you can see it broke

I had added some caulk. You can see a bit here
I decided to glue it better, so I cut a plate that fit the bolt head and glued it on there.
kinda messy but not going to move

I scraped away the caulk and put in a new red rubber seal.
I re-installed the pin but I'd like to test it by spraying some water up there with the hose before I call this one finished.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Roller end caps to protect skegs

After a few instances of damage to the skegs from the trailer roller mounts I wanted to protect the skegs. Here are some shots of the old rollers.


The skeg sometimes get cut by the mounting pillars
I picked up some 3 1/2"  roller ends and new 13" x 5/8" shafts and installed those today.

Here are the shots after.
End rollers installed

Better shot of the end rollers

I also raised the center roller about as high as it would go (see the first shot). That should guide the hull up and over until the skegs get on the rollers.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Trailer damage to the skegs

The Gig Harbor trailer has cut up my skegs a few times.

Just yesterday I scraped a skeg against the roller mount as I was pulling her onto the trailer. This has happened before.

Scraped the skeg on the trailer rollers

I've had to do more maintenance on the skegs than on any other part of the boat.

If I had to do the skegs all over again, I'd seriously consider just building the things out of 2" UHMW plastic. I have no idea how to bond UHMW to the hull though. I expect that even bedding compound won't stick to UHMW.

There are roller guide end caps that should protect the skegs. I'll do some investigation.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Canoe paddle house sign

At some point in the last couple years, my dad gave me a canoe paddle he had since I was a little kid sailing in his snipe. The paddle is probably even older than me. Around christmas time 2016, I epoxied and varnished it and applied some house numbers and set it in our front yard to be a house number sign.

Unfortunately, I didn't sand it well enough and the epoxy didn't stick well to the varnish on the paddle and started to flake off.

I decided to re-do the paddle.

I sanded it down to the wood and made sure I got all the finish off.

Then I epoxied it and used spar varnish to protect it from UV sunlight.
I'll put the numbers back on it and use for our house sign.

fourth coat of marine spar varnish

The blade center and handle is red oak. The black spots are the screws for the house numbers.


It's finished, I just have to mount it on the pole now.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Battery meter installation followup

I finished the installation of the battery meter. This post is for pictures of the install and notes if anyone else wants to do the same thing.

I was able to borrow a phone end crimper from a friend. Ten RJ12 ends were $1.29 from Fry's. I tested the cable to make sure I knew how to wire it before clipping off the end and running it through he bulkheads.

A few wire ties and it's all done.

Meter installed

Shunt mounted on the starboard side. Main switch (red) on port side.

In this photo you can see the blocks I put in to hold the battery in place

A better shot of the shunt
The Victron BMV-700 is a small meter. Requires a 52-53mm hole. I used an adjustable hole drill bit. I tested for measurement on a scrap piece of MDF until I got the right size.
When drilling a hole with the adjustable hole saw bit, I found it easier to cut the hole about 1/2 way through the plywood, then put a sharp jigsaw blade in a vice-grip and cut the circle piece out manually.

The build quality of the BMV-700 is ok. I worry about it in the marine environment but it should be ok.
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