This is Page 5 of Building Instructions for the Redneck Racer Camp Boat.

Summary of Activities

(This is a good day to involve children or grandchildren who might not have been present for earlier activities)

  1. Purchase paint materials. Buy a quart of exterior latex primer and a quart of white semi-gloss exterior acrylic latex paint. (Purchase the white paint if you haven’t made up your mind yet on a base color for your PDRacer. If you have selected a color, buy that color instead of the white.) Purchase a good 3” paint brush made for applying latex paint if you don’t have a brush of that size.
  2. Purchase flotation. Buy two packages of six ¾” x 13 5/8” x 48” expanded polystyrene panels.
  3. Install the bow corner support pieces. Identify the upper bow corner support pieces from Panels 1 and 2 of the plans. There should be 4 matching pieces. Glue and clamp the pieces together in pairs to make two pieces ½” thick. Repeat this process for the bow transom support pieces. Also, glue all three of the motor mount pieces together. Do not glue the aft corner deck support pieces, the rudder, or leeboard pieces together at this time.

Put the children to work gluing and clamping pieces together. However, it’s a good idea to supervise them closely to make certain the edges of the parts match once the clamps are on. Glued pieces can slide easily while being clamped.

This view shows the bow deck support pieces glued and screwed in place. See Panel 4 for the position of the screws that hold these panels in place while the glue dries. The screws can be inset and remain in place or be removed and replaced with bamboo skewers dipped in glue.

One option for the aft corner deck support pieces is to match the pieces, glue both together, and glue and screw them flush with the aft deck support cross piece and the tops of the inside frames. Once the deck pieces are installed, both pieces will be under the edges of the deck.

Put the children to work gluing and clamping pieces together. However, it’s a good idea to supervise them closely to make certain the edges of the parts match once the clamps are on. Glued pieces can slide easily while being clamped.

This view shows the bow deck support pieces glued and screwed in place. See Panel 4 for the position of the screws that hold these panels in place while the glue dries. The screws can be inset and remain in place or be removed and replaced with bamboo skewers dipped in glue.

One option for the aft corner deck support pieces is to match the pieces, glue both together, and glue and screw them flush with the aft deck support cross piece and the tops of the inside frames. Once the deck pieces are installed, both pieces will be under the edges of the deck.

  1. Install the bow corner reinforcement pieces. Support the frame of the boat so that each lower transom corner is 6” off the floor. Using a carpenter’s square, check the corners of the inside frame and transoms to make certain that they are square. Test fit the bow corner reinforcement pieces where indicated in Panel #4 so that they will be flush with the tops of the inside frame piece and the mast cross piece. Place glue on the edges and screw the pieces into place.
  2. Install the aft corner reinforcement pieces. Test fit the aft corner reinforcement pieces as shown in Panel #4. Select one of the two optional methods for fitting these pieces in place from those shown in the photos above. The first option (matching pieces glued together and fit flush with the tops of the inside frame pieces and the aft deck support piece) offers more strength. The second option (wait to glue the second pieces in place until the decks are on) provides a more finished appearance.
  3. Cut out the mast partner in the foredeck. Place the foredeck in place on the inside frames and note the test fit against the bow transom. Plane and sand the forward edge so that it fits snugly against the bow transom and the edges line up with the edges of the bow transom. There should be a ¼” overlap on each side edge of the foredeck where the sides will fit. Next, from underneath, mark the position of the 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” mast partner location. Remove the foredeck and use a jigsaw to cut out this marked piece. See Panels #3 and #4 of the plans as reminders of the correct mast partner location.
  4. Position the aft deck. Place the aft deck in place so that it overlaps each side edge of the stern transom by ¼” and the aft edge is flush with the stern transom.
  5. Check to make certain that the framework of the boat is still square. Before continuing, measure the distance near the middle of the boat from the outside edge of the starboard inside frame to the outside edge of the port inside frame. This distance should be 47 ½”. If this measurement is off, temporarily attach a 1” x 2” cut to the correct length to the undersides of the top framing of the side frames in order to bring the sides into proper position.
  6. Cut the side deck pieces (gunwales). Mark the side deck plywood pieces so that they will fit snugly between the foredeck and the aft deck and overlap the outside edges of the inside frames by ¼”.

This view shows the placement of the four deck pieces: the foredeck, the aft deck, and the two side deck pieces that must be cut to fit between the foredeck and aft deck.

The deck pieces are glued into place, and an additional 1” x 2” x 47 ½” piece is fitted on top of the aft deck as shown to provide additional support for the stern transom and the motor mount.

Note the mast support structure under the bow deck. Hard to paint areas have to be primed before the sides are attached. Areas that will be glued, such as the chine logs, are not primed.

  1. Dry fit then glue all the deck pieces in place. After they fit well, then glue and clamp these pieces in place. Once the deck pieces are glued on and the clamps removed, the bow transom support pieces may be screwed and glued into place. These are the pieces that are installed upright and appear to swoop up from the deck to the top of the bow transom. Their function is not only to support that part of the bow transom that is above the foredeck, but also to keep water from splashing onto the deck from the sides. Option: For a more finished look, you can also fit and glue the little corner pieces that were removed when you rounded the transoms, into the forward corners of the deck.
  2. Prime the areas that will be hard to reach. Many places will be difficult to reach once the sides and bottom are attached. Painting these with primer and at least one coat of paint will be simplified if done now rather than later. Do not paint the bottom areas that will be glued to the bottom or those areas on the inside frames where the sides will be glued and attached.
  3. Fill the side cavities with foam. Cut 4 of the ¾” x 13 5/8” x 48” expanded polystyrene panels to fit in the cavities on the outside of the inner side frames. The cut out leeboard and rudder pieces can act as a rough guide for the lower curves, but you will have to estimate how much larger the cut panels will have to be to fit in the cavities. A sharp utility knife will usually be all that you need to cut out these panels.
  4. Paint the foam panels. Prime and paint each of the polystyrene panels so that there is a thin protective layer of latex paint over the panels including the edges. Insert these panels in place after the paint is dry. If they do not fit too tightly, you might want to glue them in place with PL Premium.
  5. Glue the sides in place. Turn the boat on its side and fit a side over the polystyrene panels and align the side with the decks, bottom of the inner side frame, and the edge of the stern transom. If everything fits to your satisfaction, glue the side in place. Repeat this procedure for the other side.
  6. Reinforce the top of the stern transom. Add an additional piece of 1” x 2” x 48” on edge along the top of the stern deck to reinforce the top of the stern transom. This piece should also butt up against the motor mount and be of a similar thickness. Round the edges to match the corners of the stern transom. Frank is shown installing this piece in the middle photo of the photos above.
  7. Check the fit of the bottom. At this point you are far enough along you will want to go ahead and add the bottom. Put a drop cloth or old tarp down then turn the boat bottom up on the tarp and level it. Test fit and square the bottom by aligning one finished end with the stern transom bottom. Drill a hole into the chine log in each corner about 5/8” in from the sides and temporarily attach each corner with a ¾” #8 screw with a fender washer placed under the head of the screw. Add three additional screws/washers across the stern drilled into the stern cross piece. Bend the plywood panel over the chine logs at the bottom placing a screw/washer in about every 15” aligning the sides as you go. When you have reached the bow, place additional screws in the corners and across the bow cross piece. We also recommend at least three screws be placed across the middle cross piece if you included one. We recommend that the fender washers be used under the screws to avoid leaving screw head indentations in the bottom. Check the spacing between the bottom and the chine logs. Note those areas which might need extra PL Premium as a space filler and mark these points with a pencil on the sides as a reminder. Now loosen all the screws so that the bottom is loose from the chine logs and cross pieces but leave the screws embedded in the bottom panel with the points slightly showing underneath. Set the bottom aside.
  8. Attach the bottom of the boat. Load your caulk gun with a fresh or almost full tube of PL Premium. Run double lines of PL Premium all along the stern cross piece, the bottom of the stern transom, and the edges of the chine logs near the stern. Run additional thick lines of PL Premium up the chines for about 36”. Extend the points of the stern corner screws in the bottom, and use those points to locate the guide holes where these screws were previously attached. When you are certain that the holes have been properly located, screw the bottom panel securely down into the glue at the corners and across the stern cross piece. Continue to fasten down the screws up to the first screws along the chine logs on each side. Lift up on the panel to expose the areas that have not been glued, then run thick lines of PL Premium along the chine logs until about all but the last third of the chine logs have been covered. Next, continue screwing down the bottom until you reach the screw just beyond the middle of the panel. Complete the gluing along the edges of the chine logs and across the bow transom and bow cross piece. Screw the remaining screws into their guide holes. Finish attaching the bottom by driving bronze boat nails through the bottom and into the chine logs about 5/8” in from the edges every two inches along the sides. Add a double row of these nails across both the bow and stern cross pieces and lower transoms, and a single row across the middle cross piece. Try to drive the nails in so that the heads are level with the surface without leaving hammer head marks. Once the nails are in, the screws can either be removed and replaced with bamboo skewers dipped in PL Premium, or the screws can be removed, the washers taken off, the holes countersunk, and the screws screwed back in flush with the bottom.
  9. Clean up and take photos. Congratulations, your hull is now 3-D. You are eligible for a hull number! But clean up before taking any photos. You can see how scruffy these builders look after a hard day of boat-building.

 

Notes and Tips Below Correspond to the Numbers Above.

  1. It can be argued that using other paint options such as oil-based paints or garage and floor paints will result in a longer lasting or more beautiful boat. However, our objective in building this boat is to keep costs down, and using a good quality primer and exterior semi-gloss latex enamel house paint will result in long-lasting coverage if allowed to dry for a few days before the boat is test floated. Even if you can’t get all the boat primed and painted on this day, it’s a good idea to try to get that part of the exterior that will be immersed painted as early as possible in construction. Save the thinned epoxy coatings, endless sanding, and gloss marine topsides paint for a later build. Semi-gloss latex paint hides some of those minor imperfections that enamel and high gloss latex paints seem to highlight.
  1. Here again we might be criticized for using a less than optimal flotation material, but based on our experiences, nearly any foam material will stay dry and perform its function if given a barrier coating of latex paint. The material chosen is relatively inexpensive, easy to cut to shape, and provides about 4 lb. of positive flotation per sq. ft. It can be glued together into blocks that fit nicely under decks and provide some additional support. It is subject to damage from kicks and nicks, but covering it with 1 mm PVC (available in 4’ x 8’ sheets at Home Depot), using painted/glue-immersed cloth, or gluing on other protective coverings will help to keep the foam undamaged. If you don’t cover it, you can live with the dings; but it is important to repaint damaged areas to help keep water out. An occasional spray of bug killer is not a bad idea either.
  1. & 17. These instructions are critical for “squaring up” your boat so that the bottom will fit and will not leak. Read these instructions over until you have a firm grasp of the process. Make certain that you have all the materials at hand that you will need before beginning to add the bottom. It will help to have a partner when test fitting and attaching the bottom. Ideally, the sanded B side or good side of the BC plywood should be down with the C side inside the boat. But if you have a piece with few knots or filled imperfections, then the C side can be down, particularly if the panel has a more natural curve with the C side down.