15 Jan 21:
Skipper grew up in a small town called Flour Bluff next to the Navy base near Corpus Christi. The folks there were dirt poor, and the Corpus Christ Elites called the residents Bluff Rats. So we'll name our new design BLUFF RATTY, which also has a nod to Rat and Mole from Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows.
We have been toying with an idea for a punt, easy to build. The audience would be something Mom, Dad and the kids can build, throw in the back of a pickup and haul to the beach for a few hours of messing about. It could also serve as a work punt, I could have used it when I was repairing our pier. Propulsion is oar, paddle, double paddle, yuloh, quant and v2.0 could have square sail. We are incorporating some 1880s technology from BARBASHELA into the design and framing. We'll start with a 4x8 sheet of plywood, marine grade 1/4 inch (6mm) if you can find it local. Otherwise source the best grade you can find, with as many plies and as few inner voids as possible.
We had a 4x8 sheet of 1/4 inch marine grade ply and some 3/4 inch thick cypress in varied widths, so I thought we'd use that up first. We used several punt (flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow, designed for use in small rivers or other shallow water) plans to get an idea on what size pieces to cut, how long, how wide, how high. Our limiting factor on this BLUFF RATTY v1.0 Marine Construction Contract Design 1, Hull number 1 (MCC-101) is using only one sheet of 4x8 plywood. SUPER BLUFF RATTY (MCC-201), in design also, will use 2 sheets. Marine grade plywood is nice, otherwise work with you local lumber store or cabinet shop to order the best grade plywood you can, with waterproof glue, higher grades are best, they have fewer voids in the plies, smoother and thicker veneer, and more internal plies. Pressure treated plywood might be considered as well. Southern Yellow Pine, white pine, douglas fir or spruce would work fine for the solid wood, white oak best, some woods will need more care and maintenance and some are easier to work with. Availability of materials will usually be the main issue.
Those are the basics for material selection, there are builder decisions to be made. A white pine boat with the cheapest grade plywood could have a very limited lifespan of one season unless it is pampered with excellent coatings and stored out of the weather. It will be inexpensive and fun to build. A white oak or cypress boat with high grade marine ply, excellent coatings and silicone bronze fasteners could be a family heirloom "100 Year Boat" with reasonable care and maintenance, and it will also be fun to build. Either way there is fun to be had building a boat that will easily carry an adult and a kid, or a couple of kids. Crew capacity and weight will be determined soon and posted here, we are shooting for 2-3 crew, 300-400 pounds total weight.
Insert Materials List here.
Insert Plans here.
Using numbers floating around in our head, we cut 8 inches off each side to become the 2 lower planks (garboard). Once this is done, Congratulations! You are building a boat.
16 Jan 21:
We plan to incorporate design elements from BARBASHELA into BLUFF RATTY, one of the first is to put a small rake on the bow and reverse on the stern, so we found the angle using our BARBASHELA bow porch table and our pocket bevel.
18 Jan 21:
Before we attached the planks we sanded the seams to smooth out the THIXO. 60 grit did the job. Also tried out the new adapter for the shop vac hose, it works great, no more blue tape for me!
21 Jan 21:
I was going to put a little rake on the bow and transom, but those bevels got complicated fast. So I retreated back to plan, and made a plumb cut on the sheer and garboard down to the bottom panel. We'll need to fasten the sheer plank before we can trim the bow...or is it the transom...on both sides to fit.
24 Jan 21:
We have been all over the place design wise with the little punt we are building, there are elements for Popular Science's 1966 12 Dollar Boat and elements from other craft we have built or repaired. She's a BLUFF RATTY in spirit and we think her call sign will be SCUPPERS. The design changes wandered some more when I realized that I had cut off about 6 extra inches on the bow when I thought it would be a good idea to rake the bow. No time for the Moaning Chair, rain is coming, it was time to pull out the table saw and cut 2 new 8 foot planks for the sheer planks, 4 inches wide. I also cut a new bow and stern seat to be 10 inches wide instead of 8.
25 Jan 21:
While we were watching paint dry on PHOENIX we fastened the correct length sheer planks to SCUPPERS with THIXO Wood and silicone bronze screws. We also attached the stern, and trimmed the small frames and seats to fit.
28 Jan 21:
Main method of propulsion for the little punt SCUPPERS wil most likely be a punt pole. Secondary will be paddle, and we might try tiny oars. If so, we have some vintage Wilcox and Crittenden removable oar locks that we'd use. We only envision using SCUPPERS in water shallow enough for a punt, so that if we capsize we could just stand up and reboard the PV (Punting Vessel).
Okay we would attach them to the gunwale. Shown below on the hull just for size reference.
31 Jan 21:
Wrapped up the night before pondering scantlings for the seat risers.
01 Feb 21:
Primed SCUPPERS with TotalBoat Topside Primer. Rolled TotalTread Non Skid in the bilge of SCUPPERS. Spilled primer.
02 Feb 21:
We applied more coats of TotalBoat WetEdge BlueGlo White and Interlux Brightside Medium Blue, First coat for the frames and interior, second coat for the seats and gunwale. Also cut a rub strip for the gunwal out of cypress and attached it with #6 x 3/4 inch Frearson Head silicone bronze screws.
03 Feb 21:
Installed the frames, seat risers and seats with #8 silicone bronze Frearson Head screws.
04 Feb 21:
Sanded the TotalFair then rolled and tipped final coats of Rust-Oleum Safety Yellow, TotalBoat WetEdge Blue GloWhite and brushed Interlux Brightside Medium Blue.
11 Feb 21:
Launched SCUPPERS for Sea Trials. Watertight integrity was 100 percent, no leaks from any of the 3 different seams we tried, THIXO, PL Subfloor and RustOleum soaked cloth. One positive aspect of the punt design was the ability to step in directly from the shore and walk to towards the stern, which lifted the bow, and from there I was able to punt pole off of the beach.
One question we get asked is how we know which end is which? As it turned out, I didn't know, most of the Sea Trial was conducted stern first. The bow is tucked up just a little more than the stern and she would have beached even easier. In the photos above she is beached stern first.
We took steps to help identify bow and stern.
Looking for some short oars now, we have oarlocks standing by. She also needs some handling lines, maybe a cleat or two.