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Old 03-12-2017, 02:12 PM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Chesapeake Skipjack Kathryn...

I'm starting a build log to document my test build of the Chesapeake skipjack, Kathryn. This is my second design and I do intend to make it available to others.

Around 1900, there were several thousand skipjacks sailing the Chesapeake, harvesting oysters in season and performing other tasks the rest of the year. They were a particularly American development appearing in the late 19th century. While they do have a graceful shape, they were work boats through and through. They were typically built by local watermen and were of generally simple construction. It has been said that even a 'talented house carpenter' could build a skipjack. There currently are only around 30 skipjacks in existence, some still oystering, a few in museums and collections while others are used for educational and excursion purposes. It seems to be a point of pride that the Chesapeake skipjack fleet is the last American fishing fleet operating under sail. In fact, they are limited by law from using engines under some conditions so most of them carry a push boat to use when becalmed.

There have been a few false starts to this test build. In the first print out I found a sizing issue. Somehow, the bulkheads were not sized to match the keel and deck. I had to go back and resize everything to solve that issue.

The next step was walking down to the local Michael's craft store to see if they stocked chip board of roughly 1mm thickness to use in laminating parts. The sales staff had no idea what I was talking about. They could sell me fancy picture mattboard for an exorbitant price, but not just cheap cardboard. So I walked another mile down the road to the local art supply store. They had what I wanted and knew what I was talking about. I ruefully gazed out their front window at the apartment building I used to live in. My it would be convenient to still live there!

After laminating and cutting the keel pieces I discovered that my lamination was too thick. My double laminated, two millimeter thick keel was actually closer to three millimeters thick. So I reprinted and laminated the keel from 1 sheet of 1mm chipboard sandwiched between 4 sheets of 65# card. Perfect thickness! I then proceeded to break my last sharp Exacto blade. I called it a day, ordered some blades from Widget Supply Company and added a 'finger knife' to the order just to make it interesting.

The blades arrived yesterday so I've spent this morning cutting out the keel, bulkheads and false deck. At first I wasn't too sure whether I'd like the finger knife. I quickly became a fan. It doesn't seem to make cutting any easier. What I discover, though, is that it is a real advantage for me since I almost always cut looking through a magnifier stand which is none too tall. The lack of a handle makes maneuvering the blade a lot easier. I have found that I tend to just flip the knife around on my finger rather than remove it if I need to manipulate something with my hands. Consequently, I've poked myself several times with the blade. Nevertheless, the finger knife is a pretty convenient addition to my tool box.

Attached are pictures of my progress so far.

Drat! Just noticed that I forgot to cut the hole in the deck for stepping the mast. Oh, well!

--jeff











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Old 03-12-2017, 05:56 PM
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southwestforests southwestforests is offline
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Those were handsome boats. Oh, just think of all the finger knife stories you'll have available to tell the grandkids!
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:59 PM
Saybur Saybur is offline
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Nice progress so far, can't wait to see more. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:55 PM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Just a couple of blurry pictures to prove that progress has been made. Though Fate seems to be sending me a signal. My printer, though it shows adequate ink levels in the print manager, is clearly short on yellow ink. Thus, my rusty red hull prints out as hot pink. Doesn't match the keel at all! I'm certain my first experience at refilling ink cartridges will be educational.

I decided I'd assemble the sides anyway, just to test the fit. I'm glad I did. Turns out, the upper hull sections were a good 2mm too short. I'm scratching my head over just how that may have happened. Made an adjustment, reprinted and tested the fit again. Looks good now so when the ink comes in I'll be ready to move forward.

--jeff

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Old 03-15-2017, 04:59 PM
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southwestforests southwestforests is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kugelfang View Post
my rusty red hull prints out as hot pink.
Maybe they scrubbed the barnacles off with hot water instead of the perma press cycle?
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:02 PM
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SCEtoAUX SCEtoAUX is offline
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Got any acrylic paint?
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:33 AM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCEtoAUX View Post
Got any acrylic paint?
Yeah, I thought about paint just to keep going. My computer graphic skills surpass my painting skills, though. Also, some of the printed details are just too tiny for me to paint. For example, the oval on the bulwark is a name plaque. The letters measure ~ 1.5mm in height. I ain't paintin' that!

--jeff
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:54 PM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Ink has arrived, cartridges have been refilled. (Slight mess has been cleaned.) New parts have been printed and cut. Assembly restarts tomorrow.

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Old 03-30-2017, 01:45 PM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Just a progress shot. Can't say it's been the smoothest build but I've not yet thrown in the towel.

The idea of using rolled mast and bow sprit quickly went out the window once I printed out the parts and saw how small the diameter really was. I originally thought I'd be able to roll them around a bamboo skewer to give them strength. Nope, I'll just use the skewer and be done with it.

I wish there was more color on this model. Even the decks on the real skipjacks were painted white. As I build this I find the white card showing more and more dirt smudges. The black cut lines are also a bit distracting though I'll probably break out the paint to hide those. I tried using a white pastel but let's just say that added to the smudge issues....

The biggest challenge I'm facing at the moment is fitting the bow sprit. As it is, the deck sits up too high. The bow sprit is supposed to sit along the deck forward from the sampson post. At the moment, though, that would leave too much of a gap between the bow sprit and the cut water. I might have to carve away part of the sprit to make it sit lower. I'll also have to rebuild the very top of the bow since I mangled that part when assembling the hull and ended up cutting it off entirely. It was just too delicate as designed.

Live and Learn.

--jeff

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Old 03-30-2017, 10:25 PM
fleetsailor1981 fleetsailor1981 is offline
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I really want to build this boat. I have been impressed by the skipjack for years. Please don't give up on this model
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