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Dayson Compass

Monday, August 16, 1999


Welcome to the Dayson Compass!  This is the third status report for the 14' Flat Skiff we're building on the web at Dayson Boat Building.  This is an opt-in subscription, but if you wish to stop receiving these updates, please reply with the word unsubscribe in the subject.


This week our web site reached a total of 1560 hits!  That's an average of 54.3 hits each day!  Our record still stands at 117 hits in one day which was on July 26, 1999.  We came real close to breaking it this weekend when we hit 114 on Saturday!

A big thank you goes to who provided about 27 of those hits on Saturday!  They featured us as Web Cam of the Weekend!


I got a ton of work done on the skiff this week.  If you were watching on the web cam, it was probably the most exciting stage, because you could see the entire construction process of the hull!

I started on Monday with the starboard side.  It is actually made of two panels joined together with a butt block.  A butt block is just a 6" wide piece of wood that lays over the joint for added strength.  I did not use the full size patterns that came with the plans, because I felt I had a better chance of accuracy if I measured out each piece according to the plans.  This all took about two hours which may seam like a lot of time, but getting the starboard side exact was critical to the rest of the project.

So with all the measurements laid out and checked for the starboard panels, I cut them from two sheets of plywood on Tuesday.  The designer suggested using staples to join the panels with the butt block, but even with a powered stapler, they would not go into the wood.  So, I used some small nails that worked just fine.  Now that the starboard side was complete, the next step was to make the port side.  This didn't take long, because I just laid the starboard side down on two more sheets of plywood and traced the outline.  Then I laid them side by side to mark where the bulkhead and frames would go.  They were a mirror image of each other!  I used another butt block and joined the port panels together on Wednesday.

With both sides of the skiff complete, it was time to begin the bulkhead and frames.  This was no easy task.  My goal was to fit the bulkhead, transom, and four frames on one sheet of plywood.  There was no nesting diagram with the plans so I was on my own.  With a little math and some creativity I was able to get all but one frame on.  The last frame was cut on Thursday from some extra wood that would not be used for anything else.

I began assembling the hull on Friday.  The hull was assembled upside down, because the hull gains it sheer (curve) as the frames are added.  I added the mid seat stern frame (bulkhead) first since it was the widest point of the boat.  There was enough tension that the nails would not stay in so I used a couple stitches top and bottom on each side to attach the frame to the side panels.  Then I reinforced it with small nails.  Using the stitches also made it a lot easier working alone.  Rather than copper wire, I used weed eater string for the stitches.  It's very strong and will grind a lot easier during lamination than the copper.

With the sides attached to the bulkhead, I tacked the bow.  I put a stitch in every 6" or so to pull the panels together.  It worked great.  From the bow, I headed to the stern and installed the transom the same way, but used small nails to reinforce it.  I now had the basic shape of the hull.  Just four frames to go!

Using stitches and small nails, I installed the rest of the frames on Saturday.  The hull was beginning to look better and better, but it still was not very strong.  With the hull still upside down, I laid the last two sheets of plywood on the hull.  I fastened a couple stitches to hold them in place and then cut the excess wood off like cutting the extra crust off a pie.  It was really easy this way and turned out nice.

I used stitches about every 6" to attach the bottom to the hull.  The skiff now looked like a boat!  It became much stronger once the bottom was installed and will become even stronger during the lamination phase.  I expect to put the first layer of epoxy on Friday, August 20, 1999.  This will be shown live on the web cam so be sure to catch it!

Completed Hull - Click to Enlarge
completed hull


The best viewing times this week will be Fri. 8/20 7pm EST and Sat. 8/21 all day.

If you visit regularly you may have noticed periods of "recorded earlier" views.  I currently have guests at the house and for their privacy will not be showing live shots 24 hours a day.  Be sure to visit during the posted times to get live shots, and I'll let you know when we go back to 24 hour views.

Once again, thank you all for joining the crew as the skiff is built.  I hope that you all remain active participants and stick around to see it launched!  Until then...

See ya online or in the water!

Christopher Day
Dayson Boat Building

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Copyright © 1999 Christopher Day, 8400 Emerald Pointe Lane, Gainesville GA 30506.

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