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Glades Skiff Build

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
After a post in the Boat Bragging section, there will be another new thread in the Trip Reports that you're gonna' love!

Mike, I've never posted a video before, but I will give it a try.

Catfish, Slowly but surely. At least I won't be waiting for fiberglass to dry, just about a gallon of varnish, instead.

Mike S.

Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
More progress today, but not as much as I would have liked. This seems to be a re-occurring theme with me. But, what got done, turned out well. :D

Spent quite a bit of time getting the transom in place. I suppose I should fess up and say "transoms." Seems this piece has only two sides that are parallel, the top and bottom, but they are both cut at an angle to make the transom lean out at the top. Both sides of the transom taper in towards the bottom, producing the flare of the sides. And both sides also are angled to match the sides of the boat that tapers in towards the stern.

I'm thinking that there were just too many angles for my brain to cope with.

To make a long story short, (why do we always say that after it's already too long?", I ended up making three transoms before I got one right. :oops:

Once I had a "keeper," it got buttered up with epoxy and nailed into place. Then I took another look at the book, then at all the pictures I've collected of Glades Skiffs, and decided where the forward seat will go. This time, I'm happy to report, I measured it several times, and got it cut right the first time. :) I haven't nailed it in place yet, I want to do that after it's been varnished. That way I can get good coverage on it, all the way around.

Then I spent some time sanding and planing the edges where the bottom and side planks come together. This is one job that the power plane got a work out. Lately, I'd been using a good, old-fashioned hand-powered block plane. That's one job I enjoy doing by hand.

Also completed today, was finishing wiring the stem together. I'd originally only wired it in four places and then epoxied the stem together. And it is that epoxy that will be keeping it together, the copper wire is actually there just so it will look right. Well, look right to me, anyway. As I've said, this is to be a "visual replica," and the copper wire was used by the builder who's instructions I'm following. Since I'm using fiberglass tape instead of mat, I'll have to do some sculpting with some "peanut butter thick" epoxy between the wires to get the glass tape to lay properly without any voids between the wires. (I know that will have to be done because I tried it without the filler today and had to remove the tape.) So that's one more job for tomorrow.

Not really much to show at the end of the day. But here's a look at the boat on it's side, first showing the inside:



And the other side:



The epoxy and fiberglass that cover the scarf joint in the bottom should more-or-less disappear when the boat is varnished. At least, that's what usually happens. . .

Couple of jobs lined up for tomorrow. One, there's a little bit of a gap on the inside in places, where the planks meet the bottom ply. Probably because I was off a little in planing the planks for the flare of the sides. Some thickened epoxy will take care of that. Also, I'll deal with that glass tape on the stem.

The other "big" item is cutting and fitting the gunnels. Remember, this design calls for them to be make out of plywood, rather than cypress stock. That's one thing that has me puzzled. Why plywood? There is a chance I'll be meeting up with a guy who might be able to solve that mystery for me, in a couple of weeks.

After that is done, then all that's left is applying a lot of varnish. While waiting for the coats to dry, I'll be able to get the poling platform done, and finish making the pole/stand-up paddle. That was intended for use on another pirogue, but I'll use it with the skiff until I can locate the right little cypress tree, and make a much more traditional pole out of it.

Still, I'm still looking at getting it completely finished this week, so I can get it out on the water for a try-out, next week. Been studying up on making and posting video's, so you can see for yourselves how my attempt at stand-up poling this narrow little boat works out!

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Jack,

No idea how I missed seeing the PM. Got it and replied! :D

Thanks, Mike! Still more to do and it IS looking more and more like a. . . Uh, BOAT! :lol:

But I got to get back to it, or it won't get done.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,645
1
on the bank of Trinity Bay
Mike,
Looking at the last two pictures it appears like the Glades skiff will carry one heck of a load. If it's carrying cap. was mentioned I missed it. Put a load in it and it will be a lot easier to stand up in. I have enjoyed following the build. Thanks
Bob
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Bob,

From what all I've read, you are right about it being something of a cargo hauler. I have nothing to go on as far as the actual carrying capacity, but I'll be finding out. And for certain, I'll be having some ballast up forward when I venture onto the poling platform! In all the pics of the boat available, no one has been using the platform. The man with the pole us usually standing just aft of the mid-point. Well, one exception. Glen Simmons is depicted standing on the poling platform, pole in hand. But the boat is sitting in a field, a "photo-op," I guess. Narry a drop of water in sight.

Now, the update:

I don't know who said it, or why, but I have heard that, "Every day, you should do something that scares the h3// out of yourself!" (If you turn that "3" around and straighten up the two front-slashes, you'll have broken the secret code!) Well, today, that's exactly what I did. And this is what I mean:



I imagine most everyone on southernpaddler KNOWS what this is about. But for those who don't know, I wanted to do an "end-pour" of thickened epoxy, pretty much making a solid stem, which the boat doesn't actually have. I'm sure it would work without one, but for me, this is a safety item. I'll be off by myself, too many miles from anywhere, and I want to know that the bow will hold together. Besides, I might want to ram something!

So, with some help from my wife, who says her name is NOT Dementia, we stood it up on it's nose and filled that V with wood flour thickened epoxy. I'd done this once before, before the two bottom panels had been joined, but that pour was kind of anemic. So I tripled its size with this pour.

Once that epoxy set up, I was in a hurry to lay the boat back down. The wind was picking up and I was getting nervous! Once down, I used the same method to fill in a little gap on the inside, where the side planks met the bottom. (My bevel wasn't quite right.) Most of the time, this job is done with much thicker epoxy and is usually "piped in" using a plastic bag with a small hole in one corner, like a pastry bag. But I thought I'd try the "pour" technique. Worked out pretty good. Results below:



The pour is that brown line where the bottom and sides meet. Did this for both sides, and the bottom in the bow, where the hull has a sharp V shape. (That ties in with the first pour.) While this was curing, I went down the road to get some disk for the random orbital sander, and some chip brushes for the epoxy work. Figured I try a local hardware store to avoid a longer drive and more gas, going to the bigbox store. I'll tell you what I told the clerk when he asked if I found everything I needed. "Nope. I found what you had that I could make do with." Next time, its the bigbox store for me. Paid too much for what I got, and it was not what I really wanted.

Here's where it stands now:



Not where I thought I'd end the week! The gunnel on one side and across the transom is glued and nailed into place. The gunnel on the other side is clamped into place so I can place my marks, and the piece at the bow on the near side with the C-clamps holding it on is a piece of scrap I'm using to sort out just how I'm going to shape and attach that piece. Looks like I'm going to go a little off the reservation on this part. More along the lines of some conventional stitch and glue.

And, the other end:



I did get the glass tape on the bow, just need to sand it a bit and do another coat of epoxy:



One thing that makes it much easier to move the boat around is this:



Yes, I did get around to removing the old rope-ends, those originally tied to some more of those orange nylon straps, turns out the straps really weren't needed.

Looks like I was a week off on my "prediction" of having it finished and varnished this week, and in the water next week. I think I won't make any more predictions. Apparently, I'm no good at it! Besides, I'd much rather get it right, than get it done on an arbitrary schedule.

Thanks for tuning in! Friday starts my "work week" and I've got to put my time in so I can buy more food for this guy, and his whole fam damnly!



He was up for the supervisor rotation, today. :D

Mike S. <----- who has a tendency towards being a little wordy and post too many pictures.
Spring Hill, FL
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,553
97
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Mike - end pours with a boat sitting absolutely flat. Take the cardboard back off of a Big Chief tablet (or some other lined tablet brand), using masking tape - attach it to the inside Vee of he stem end. Using thickened epoxy the consistency of peanut butter, gob in the seams where thin epoxy would leak out. After it sets up a bit, use thickened epoxy the consistency of pudding to fill it all it as you want it.
When it sets up, remove the cardboard and tape as well as you can. Paint the epoxy some suitable color.
Have a beer.
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Yes, sir, I think that would have been a better way to go. Tell you something else I learned, doing it as an actual pour will ensure the epoxy gets into the tiniest of spaces, but using a really fast hardener is a bad idea! We are talking about smoking, bubbling kind of bad idea, here. :shock:

Doing those side seams that way actually worked out pretty good. But when the seam you are doing has a lot of curve to it, you have to do it in segments, changing the angle of the boat, otherwise it will all flow to the lowest point, making for a narrow bead of epoxy at the ends, and a really WIDE section in the middle.

I be learning as I go! :)

Thanks for the info,

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,553
97
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Side seams, mask off the strip so you have about 1/4" on both slides of the seam. Thickened epoxy, using a rounded corner of (I think Chuck uses a credit card) to remove excess.
Chucky can provide an even more detailed description of his procedure for you.
But, mine includes cold beer.
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Have to say, the cold beer part sounds interesting. Just might have to take up drinking it again, one of these days. :lol:

Had a pretty good day, today. I used the templates I made from the fan-fold foam to cut out the last two pieces for the coaming:



Not wanting to find some copper nails and roves and learn how to clinch nail, I took the "easy" way out. Dry wall screws! These went through the two layers of ply and into a temporary backer block. Once the epoxy has cured, the screws will be removed and the holes filled with epoxy, thickened to peanut butter consistency. (That is how I fastened the sides to the stem when I built my Uncle John's Pirogue.) So, right now, it looks like this:



Now the gunnel has been fastened all the way around. While waiting for epoxy to set up, I put the "optional" poling platform together. It will have a little more work done on it in the morning, I'll be gluing some ply strips in between the cross-braces, on the underside of the platform, to help stiffen up the 1/4" plywood. (Stood on it, it NEEDS it.) Here it is, in place.



The seat is also sitting in place. Since it is acting as a thwart, spreading the sides a bit, it will get glued and nailed down. But not until the boat has been in the water, as I may want to adjust its position. The poling platform will not be nailed in place. I want to be able to remove it, or possibly shorten it, after I've tried it out.

Just two more pics, then I'll end this update. The "nearly done" skiff from the side, shot thru a light coating of sawdust on the lens:



And another view:



Tomorrow morning, I'll add some corner braces at the transom and do some fairing with epoxy/wood-flour where needed. After that, the final sanding begins, getting ready for varnishing. While waiting for coats of varnish to dry, I'll be finishing up the push pole/paddle. If I have time, I'd like to make my first cypress paddle. If I don't have time, I'll make the time first, then the paddle!

Getting there! :D

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
beekeeper,

Good question, wish I could give you a good answer.

In his book, Glen Simmons gave only a simple drawing and an all too brief description of how to build the skiff. The only other resource I have are the photos of him building several skiffs, and pics of those skiffs being poled through the water. And no two of them are exactly alike. But some things are common to all of them.

In every photo, the gunnel seems to be about an inch higher than the sides. I can only speculate that the reason for this is because the seat and platform are meant to fit on top of the sides, but inside of the gunnel, possibly just to keep them in place. Some of the other common features are that the gunnel is made of plywood, the bow has a reverse rake, there is very little flare to the sides, and most, but not all, of the sides are planks. All are fish-form, with the widest part forward, all have a pronounced rise in the bottom starting several feet from the stern, and the transoms are above the water line.

I may have the opportunity in the near future to talk with someone who is not only familiar with the Glades Skiff, but who actually used one, "back in the day." And believe me, I have a list of questions for him. :)

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
As near as I can tell, today was the last day of actual building on this one. Seemed at times that I would never get this far. Just so you know, the last parts to be made and placed were the pair of braces at the top of the transom. Probably not even needed, but they are there, now. I won't even be thinking about any sort of motor, so I doubt the extra strength is really needed. But they were mentioned in the book, so I put them in. Here they are, waiting for the epoxy to cure:



Today's "scary" part was removing the screws that temporarily held those sections of the gunnel that went on last, up at the bow end. They were under a lot of tension after being bent into place! Once I got them on, I let them sit overnight to get a good cure on the epoxy. My nightmare was removing those screws and seeing both pieces springing back straight again.

Of course, it didn't happen. Once the screws were out, I did a little sanding on the hull, then mixed up some thick epoxy and filled the screw holes, along with a few other "little gaps" here and there.

I also put some plywood "backer plates" on the underside of the poling platform. I'm thinking they will help keep the platform from being too much like a trampoline. . . After all, it is just 1/4" plywood. I was running short of left-over ply to make the platform, so there is a seam running down the middle of it. The plates I installed cover that seam on the underside, so that part of the platform is now 1/2" thick. I used some tools to weigh the plates down during the gluing and then a potential problem cropped up:



If the little guy can't get up after the epoxy cures, I guess my boat will have a feline hood ornament on the poling platform!

That little cat doesn't mind being around power tools running for the most part, hammering and nailing doesn't bother him either. But when I started using the random orbital sander on the bottom of the boat, the boat hull kind of acts like a giant speaker. That did wake him up and he looked around, got up, and walked off. So I guess I don't have a permanent crew member, after all. Just as well, he would have been stuck to the wrong side of the platform to act as a lookout or hood ornament, anyway.

NOT predicting, but "just sayin'," tomorrow I should be spending a little time in the morning sanding, inside and out. The rest of the day should be dedicated to laying on varnish. Most of the shaping of the push pole got done today, so should be able to finish it in between coats of varnish.

The next pictures I post will be of the boat done and at least a couple of coats of varnish on it. After that, I should be posting pics of the boat in the water, along with a video of me trying out the poling platform. (Or a video of me swimming along side the boat.) :)

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
As far as I'm concerned, the Glades Skiff, is built. :D Nothing left but the finish, and that's how I spent my day.

Sanding and varnishing. Just got the first coat on today, and as usual, the rest will have to wait until my next set of days off. When I get this part done, I'll post a pic of the finished skiff.

In the mean time, I did finally "get my kit together." :lol:

By that, I mean a mess kit. All DIY. I just posted some pics of it in the Camping section.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Not another post on my "trials and tribulations," just a side note.

I took the bathroom scales into the garage and managed to get a weight on the skiff. Must say I was quite surprised! With the seat in place and the poling platform, minus a couple more coats of varnish, it only weighs 70 lbs. :D

After lugging it and out of the garage so many times, I thought it would be closer to a 100 or so. That extra-wide, 15 ft + UJ Pirogue of mine came in at about 80 lbs and some change.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Think I was right about the boat's weight being heavier than the scales indicated. While at work, I got to thinking that the weight I got on myself was just a little too light, so I used the very accurate scales in the ER and found my weight was actually just what I thought it was. The scales at home gave a lighter weight, and even that changed too much every time I tried it.

So, I changed the battery in the bathroom scales. Now I gives my weight as being the same that I got at work. Re-weighing the boat now shows that it weighs about 85 pounds. Much closer to what I thought! :)

Still have to decide how to break the news to my wife about how much the scales have been lying to her! Might decide to just let that bit of news slide. . . :shock:

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL