Building Nancy's China

       This site will document the boat-building to date.  Comments and entries will be dated beginning with day one.  Hence, to see the entire sequence in chronological order, start at the top of this page and read down the page.            

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August 23, 2008 - First Day!   

Comment:  I will usually make a comment about each photo.  Clearly, some boat builders will disagree with the materials that I have chosen or the methods I employ, but that's life.  So, here goes!

As you can see in the back of my pickup truck, I have brought home the first stack of marine plywood. 


I will use Meranti marine grade for the hull panels. This stuff is certified by Loyd's (whatever that means), so although its not the most expensive, I believe it will be more than adequate.  In the photo below my pickup truck, the plywood is laid out on the partially finished cradle that has casters on the bottom of it so that the project can be moved out of the garage and onto the driveway for more room when I am working. 

     The next photo is my scarfing tool attached to my circular saw.  I advise practicing on scrap wood before using this on expensive marine ply.  The next photo is the beginnings of my daggerboard, made of 3 half-inch pieces of plywood laminated together but with a rectangular section cut out of the middle piece and lead shot poured into it, impregnated with epoxy.  Total


weight of the board will probably end up being about 40 pounds, with most of that weight in the bottom half of the board.  You would not want a board much heavier because you would have to be pretty strong to pull it up.

 August 30, 2008

The next photo shows the scarfed plywood panels stacked on each other.  I experimented with 2 different methods: (1) using the Gougeon Scarfing tool attached to circular saw as seen in the picture above, (2) stacking the plywood and using a grinder/sander.  Conclusion: the scarfing tool is faster.  Its only disadvantage is cost (about $60).  Since I did 8 scarf cuts, that works out to about $7.50 per cut .... Wow, expensive!


September 7, 2008

Not much done this weekend.  However, finally finished gluing the panels together today. Also, more work accomplished on the cradle.  I need to finish it before wiring the panels together so that I will have a place for the wired-together boat to sit upright.

September 12, 2008  -  Hurricane Ike Hitting Us Tonight!!!

Hurricane Ike hits us tonight!!!  Expecting loss of electricity for several days.  Consequently, not much work done on the boat.  However, as you can see in the photo, I did cut out the transom.

September 20, 2008

Hurricane Ike has passed and we have regained electricity, so I did some work on the boat today.  As can be seen in the photo, I started "lofting" the bottom and side panels, using a long batten to draw the panels.

September 27, 2008

     Cut out the bottom and side panels and stitched the bottom panels together.  As can be seen in the next 3 photos, the port and starboard sides can be cut out simultaneously by stacking them on top of each other.  The bottom panels are first stitched along the keel edge and then spread open like a book.  Any straight piece of wood can then be used to keep the panels from springing closed (see photo).  I used 16 gauge wire for most of the stitches, but put 14 guage stitches about every 8 to 10 inches.  This probably was not necessary in retrospect.


September 28, 2008

Once the bottom panels are stitched together, I did something a little different.  Instead of putting the transom in place after stitching the side panels on, I stitched the transom in place just with a couple of wires. As you can see, a nylon rope is keeping the transom from falling back.  Next step is putting on the side panels and "squaring up" the boat. 


October 4, 2008 

  Stitched on the side panels today.  I did it differently in that I stitched both port and starboard panels on at the same time.  Beginning at the bow, I would put a few stitches in place on one side then move to the other side and put a few stitches in place.   The photo shows one of the steps in making sure the hull is not twisted. 

As you can see, sighting down the boat, all of the beams laying across it are parallel.  Next I made numerous measurements from the bow to the transom and at various distances on the top of each side panel.  I wanted to make absolute certain that the boat was "squared up" before I tacked it with epoxy.

October 11, 2008 

  As you can see in the attached photo, I have "tacked" the panels and transom together as well as 2 of the bulkheads...  this should now be stiff enough that I can remove the majority of wire stitches.  However, I might want to put on the sheer clamps (gunwales) as the next step, since this would give it even more rigidity.

November 21, 2008

  I have been working on the lazarette and the daggerboard trunk in the past several weeks.  You can see the parts to the daggerboard trunk.  After putting these together, the interior was fiberglassed and painted.  The two halves are now ready to glue together and then install in the boat.

 November 22, 2008

  As can be seen in the photo on the right, the interior of the lazarette has been coated with a paint primer.  One can also see the cleats that will hold the aft deck support beams.  Inwales, which were installed in the past month, are also visible in this view.  At this stage, all of the stitches have been removed and seams have been fiberglassed.  I have yet to completely fiberglass the interior of the hull, but that will be next.

November 23, 2008

    I measured, measured, and then remeasured dimensions for the top to the lazarette.  These were then transferred to brown grocery bag paper to make a pattern.  This full size pattern was used to cut out the top to the lazarette or aft deck. 

November 28, 2008

     Cutting a hole in the bottom of my boat to install the daggerboard trunk was something I had never done and so was a little nerve racking.  However, with lots of measuring and careful cutting, it worked out very well, exactly in the centerline as it should be.

December 15, 2008

    I bought a pair of gudgeons and pintles from Duckworks Boat Builders Suppliers, which I highly recommend as a source for materials.  These are heavy duty, stainless steel, and total costs was only about $70.   By comparison, having them fabricated would have costs hundreds of dollars.

January 3, 2009

    As you can see, I have now installed all of the bulkheads, the daggerboard trunk, and the "keelson".  In addition, much of the interior has had a least one coat of epoxy, although I still have a lot to do in terms of gluing, taping, and sanding.  I also plan to prime the interior with Interlux's Pre-kote before turning the boat over to work in the bottom. 

February 15, 2009

    As you can see, the carlins for the side decks are now in place.  In addition, I have just about completed priming the cockpit with Interlux's Pre-kote.  Clamped in place is a beam that will provide a little extra support to the decking and it also has slots for the deck longitudinal deck beams that will be put in place.

March 28, 2009

   The interior has been coated with a white primer and deck beams for the foc'sle has been added.  I have not yet glued these deck beams in place because I am going to want good access to the bow storage compartment for painting it, etc.


I have included a couple of close-up photos of the deck beams (clamps are holding them in place) and the breasthook.


I also fabricated and glued the forward keelson into place (It looks a little messy because I have not yet sanded it or painted it).  It is made with 5 pieces of oak, laminated together.  A stainless steel mast step will eventually be bolted here on the forward end of this keelson.  Hence, it was built very strong and a bit wider than the plans call for.

Today was a milestone!!!  We flipped the boat over to begin work on the bottom.  I first built a new cradle and then literally strapped it on to the boat.  Thus, it rolled over on to its new cradle.  It took three people and a bit of "head-scratching."


April 4, 2009

I few guys who are contemplating building a Nancy's China have asked me about the "transition joint" between the side and bottom panels.  So, I took a few photos of it.  In the first photo, the boat is upside down and you are looking at the side panel as it "overlaps" the bottom panel at about midships. As you go forward, you will get to the transition joint, where the side panel "transitions" to riding on top of the bottom panel (see photo).  This is well explained in Devlin's book.  


Once you turn the boat over to do the bottom, these bottom and side panel joints need to be rounded off.  This requires a lot of planing with a hand planer as well as some sanding to make it all nice and smooth.  I have included some "after" photos" of these joints, the first one being a picture at about midships, and the second one being what the "transition joint" looks like after planing and sanding.


May 16, 2009

I put a "shoe" on the bottom of the hull to protect it scratches and dings.  It is made of oak stock, which is a little hard to bend but not impossible.  My next step was to put on a skeg, which is actually not on the plans for the DC version of Nancy's China, but I don't think it will adversely effect performance.  The skeg is made of 2 pieces of half inch mahogany marine plywood, glued together to make it one inch thick.


June 14, 2009

As can be seen in the next two photos, I have installed the skeg, applied a primer (Interlux Pre-Kote), and put the first coat of blue paint on the hull (Interlux Brightside).  I will be putting two more coats of paint on the hull. 


June 27, 2009

Well, if you have a boat, you need a trailer!  So, today I was fortunate enough to get this used one for $475.  It's in excellent condition with no rust (it's galvinized) and tires are almost brand new.  I will need to make only some very minor changes to it for my Nancy's China.

July 19, 2009

 Here you see that I have finished the bottom and turned the boat back over.  Next step is the bow eye, then I have a whole lot of things to do on the interior.

August 16, 2009

 Here are several photos of what has been going on in the month of August.  First, I put the boweye on.  

Second, I have been working on the cockpit flooring.  This photo is of a template of the flooring, made from cheap plywood.  

Third, I have been carefully putting on the gudgeons so that I can proceed with putting on the aft deck.  Note here that I have used a long 3/8 inch metal rod to keep the gudgeons lined up perfectly. 

August 30, 2009

Today, I put on the aft deck over the lazarette.  Here, I have modified the plans of the Nancy's China slightly.  I raised the aft deck to the same level as the side decks.  In the original plans, the aft deck is about 6 inches lower and forms sort of a seat.  Here, you can see that I am in the process of putting on the fiberglass cloth.  Today, I also rough cut the side decks (pictures to come later).

September 27, 2009

I ordered my boom and mast from Dwyer Aluminum Mast Company.  In this photo, you can see the engineer's drawings after I sent Dwyer the specifications.  

As you can see, I plan to have a mast light as well as the capabilities for a main sail, fore sail, and spinnaker.  You can enlarge these drawings by clicking on them, and this will make it easier to see the details.

 October 11, 2009

 Finally, I have gotten around to taking a few more pictures.  Here, you see the decking is now completely installed -- foredeck, side decks, and aft deck.  The seam between the deck and the hull will eventually be covered with a gunwale.  That will be one of the last things I install.

 October 26, 2009

This past weekend, I "temporarily" stepped the mast in order to make measurements for the shrouds and forestay.  As can be seen, its helpful to have a two-story house with upstairs porch on which your son can stand and lend a hand!!!  I used cheap wire and turnbuckles, all of which can be found

at Home Depot or Lowe's.  As you can see, the mast is mounted with a "tabernacle" type of mast step, which is installed on the forward keelson.  Also, there is a "mast partner" made from mahogany stock.  The next photo shows how the chainplates are installed with a sturdy backing plate  cut out from oak stock.   



December 13, 2009

  Here, these 2 photos show some of the bright work that has been  completed:  The seats are of mahogany stock and cut to follow the curve of the boat; Likewise the daggerboard trunk top is mahogany stock; Storage lockers on each side of the trunk are of mahogany plywood;  Also, note the mast partner sitting on the deck.  I have not yet attached it but will do so when I am certain how much "rake" to have in the mast. You can also see that the cockpit sole is mahogany, and if you look  closely, you can see a switch and fuse panel mounted in the aft end of the boat on the starboard side.


January 27, 2010

  I fabricated the foredeck's splashboard in a similar way as wiring together the hull panels, i.e. drill some holes and wired the 2 pieces together.  Clearly, these pieces need to be carefully measured and cut out first.  They will then be glued together, the wires removed, and then the whole thing glued down to the foredeck.  The splashboard needs to be designed so that it is continuous with the cowling on each side.  Future photos will show this.



  On another day, I decided I needed some method in which I could lift and step the mast by myself.  I think the mast probably weights 40 to 50 pounds.  So, I fabricated a 2 by 6 to be temporarily mounted up against the lazerette.  I will be using some method other than the "clamps" to hold it in place when it is being used but on this day, it was just a trial.  Once the mast is leaning on the "helper", as shown in the photo, it is fairly easy to raise the rest of the way. 


March 20, 2010

The first photo below is that of the rubrail.  I used oak hardwood lumber, cut it to the size I wanted and then routed it.  It is attached with 3M 5200 Adhesive and stainless steel screws.  I still need to do a little cosmetic work on it (varnish, etc), but it is very stable.  The second photo is of the splash board fully installed. It is made from 3/8 inch mahogany plywood.  It is simply attached with epoxy and wood flour mixture.


July 11, 2010

The first photo below is that of my 2 HP outboard mounted on a stand.  I am in the process of building the motor mount, which will have a built in well for the outboard when it is tilted forward.


After making the cuts in the transom and aft deck, its time to build the box, which is made with quarter-inch plywood and as seen below, covered with fiberglass.  It is then sanded and painted (second photo below).  Next, I will attach the actual motor mount, a 1.5 inch board to which the motor is clamped.

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