Opah - Not Officially Launched As Yet


Opah is an SC16 designed by Jacques Mertens at Bateau.com
 

Plan &b Profile

LOA:
15'- 7"
4,75 m
Max. Beam:
4'-3"
1,30 m
Hull weight:
175 lbs.
80 kg
Max. HP
6
.
Material:
Stitch & Glue
.

I must be the envy of most backyard boat builders! Not only did Katia put up with my continual disappearances into the garage to finish Rybka, she bought me a new set of plans for my birthday!!

The designers (again Bateau or, more rightly, www.boatplans-online.com) describe the vessel this way...

"The Swift is an outboard powered square stern canoe. The fine hull will travel fast with little HP. In displacement mode, the Swift will go much faster than a wider boat. She moves with less fuss and creates only a small wake.
Rigged with a 6 HP outboard, the Swift will plane with 2 people (350 lbs) on board. Heavier loads will require more HP. We know that most owners of square stern canoes use larger engines but 6 HP is the limit calculated with the USCG formula.
Compared to other square stern canoes, the Swift has the advantage of a wider stern. This makes starting the engine much easier. The Swift hull also also more lift than a regular canoe with a cut off stern.
Being light and long, like all square stern canoes, she is sensitive to longitudinal weight distribution. Handled by one person, the weight must be kept in the centre. This means that the single hander must sit in the middle of the boat and use a tiller extension to steer."

Plan  Plan

I will follow my tried and proven method of showing my progress based on Rybka's construction. I promise - photos, lots of photos

I also received for my birthday a REAL digital camera (thanks Mum and Frank) - I think it was a message that the photos of Rybka were a bit ordinary - well not anymore! It is a Canon PowerShot A300, so some of the photos should show a lot more detail than my old digital camera, even though the old digital camera will be used at times (when I'm covered in epoxy).

So here we go again - with style.


May 31st 2004

I have the plans! Thanks Katia, it is a great birthday present.
I Have The Plans

October 8th 2004

After a few months layoff, I have now started building the Swift. Today I received the marine plywood, fibreglass and epoxy from my friends at BoatCraft Pacific.

I then scribed the panels, both bottom and sides, using the 4 sheets of 6mm plywood. As you can see I'm still using the tools I used for Rybka, even though we are all a little bit older now. My measuring is still good as you can see on the first photo.
6' x 4' Plywood Measuring

October 9th 2004

Today I cut the bottom and side panels out. After cutting the first panels I used them as a template for the second set.
Scribing

October 12th 2004

After cutting the panels out, I then made the long panels. A simple process, a fibreglass splice on the join. Tomorrow I will do the reverse side.
Making Long Panels Making Long Panels

October 13th 2004

The first join went well, so I have turned them over and made the splice on the reverse side. I have also epoxy glued my two transom pieces together. The clamps have ply off cuts between them and the surface, from experience I hated the little round indentations that were made from the clamps on the frames on Rybka.
Making Long Panels Transom

Me - doing what I do really well - applying epoxy. This is the inside of the transom pieces.
Building The Transom

October 15th 2004

The long panels are all made up now, so the next step is to attach the sides and bottom to the frames.
Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way

An instant boat! I'm very pleased with the result. It looks good, don't you think?

October 19th 2004

The almost finished result of joining the panels.
Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way Building The Hull The Stitch and Glue Way

The bow section is very hard to bend and line up - I'm playing with ways of doing it correctly - I don't want a warped hull.

October 26th 2004

I successfully formed the bow - It was a lot of work, but worth it. The trick was to get the forward pieces to line up straight without falling in on itself. Patience, and some more patience worked a treat. As soon as I had the shape I epoxied the hell out of it, I have not sanded it yet. As you can see, I believe too much is better than not enough.

The inside of the hull has duct tape applied to the seams so as not to allow the epoxy fillet to "leak" through to the other side.

The following night I removed the panel stitches and filled in the gaps that were there after the "spot welding".
Epoxy Fillets Epoxy Fillets Epoxy Fillets

October 30th 2004

Today I sanded my work on the bottom of the hull, shaped the bow and ground a small radius on the sides. It has come up fantastically.  The orbital sander did a great job - just for interest sake, I used 80 grit paper to shape it.
Sanding Sanding Sanding Sanding

Then tonight I got really excited and applied the fibreglass tape to the seams. Single layer on the sides and bottom and overlapping strips on the transom and bow.
Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing

October 31st 2004

Well it is going very well - my fiberglassing is something to behold

Today we fibreglassed  the whole bottom with overlaps at the chine using the 1.25 metre biaxial cloth - it should really be called a sheet! Katia did all the hard work with the little fiberglass roller, I just wetted the thing out, and you should have seen her with the scissors cutting it to shape - snip-snip!
Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing

Just look at that shape - lines like a woman's thighs
Fibreglassing

I'll be getting my keel tomorrow, I have to post a question on Bateau2.com on how to install it on a vee shaped hull.

November 1st 2004

Today I bought my skeg from BoatCraft Pacific, 2.5 metres of clear hoop pine 25mm by 25mm.

Tonight I installed it on the hull, many thanks to the posts on how to do it. It was much easier than I thought. I was expecting to have this overhang on both sides of the skeg while resting on the keel but it was not nearly as bad as I thought.
Installing The Skeg Installing The Skeg

November 3rd 2004

I had the rubrails delivered today and I installed the starboard side tonight. I would have installed both if I had had enough clamps. Just to refresh your memories I applied a coating of epoxy glue to one side of the rubrail and then did the same on the hull, and then proceeded to clamp the life out of it

The rubrail is clear hoop pine 19 x 38mm.

The little blocks of wood under the clamps are to prevent the little indentations that are made when you tighten them up. The hoop pine is pliable, light and easy to work with but at this stage of the construction very easily marked.
Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail

November 4th 2004

Tonight I installed the port side rubrail.
Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail Installing The Rub Rail

November 14th 2004

The rubrails are on and over the last week I have been fairing the bottom of the hull. I reinstalled the frames and flipped it over. I have applied two thin coats of epoxy mixed with sanding filler and using a trowel (the thing that concreters use I'm led to believe) I have spread it over the bottom and one of the sides. The result has been very good.

This is what I didn't do on Rybka - I thought the high build primer undercoat would fill in the weave, but alas, it didn't.

This is after one coating with the sanding filler, and sanded. As you can see the last photo shows the side that hasn't been done as yet.
Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull

This is after I have applied the second coat this evening. Very shiny isn't it
Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull

November 16th 2004

The sanding of the bottom of the hull was completed after the epoxy/sanding filler cured. I'm very pleased with the finish.
Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull

But not THAT pleased.

I have applied a third and final coat tonight. I have to stop somewhere don't I ?
Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull

December 28th 2004

Here is Katia showing everyone how long it takes to finish the Swift. The alternative is of course how long is Jeff's d... -
Katia

Enough of the frivolity. I have sanded back the fairing filler and though it doesn't look like it, the seam can be seen, the finish is really smooth. I'm very happy with the result.
Fairing The Hull Fairing The Hull

Katia with a mouse
Fairing The Hull

I then removed the frames and sanded back my fillets along the inside seams.
Sanding The Inside Seams Sanding The Inside Seams Sanding The Inside Seams

I then applied the fiberglass along the seams, transom and bow. The lamination schedule specifies the number of layers.
Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing Fibreglassing
It's looking fantastic.

December 31st 2004

I then applied the wide fiberglass sheet over the entire bottom.
Fibreglassing Fibreglassing

!!! Happy New Year Everyone !!!

January 5th 2005

The glass has set and I'm ready to install the frames permanently into the hull. I cut my access holes and, using a temporary spacer to keep the shape of the hull, I epoxy glued my frames onto the hull.
Installing The Internal Frames Installing The Internal Frames Installing The Internal Frames

January 7th 2005

The frames are now installed and roughly sanded, so tonight I installed the frame supports for the seat tops - epoxy glued and clamped.
Installing The Internal Frames Installing The Internal Frames Installing The Internal Frames

January 9th 2005

Tonight I installed the seat and deck tops. They have been epoxy filleted to the frames and sides of the hull.
Installing The Seat Tops Installing The Seat Tops Installing The Seat Tops Installing The Seat Tops

We are moving to a new property on the 15th so I might be a while in getting back to the canoe, but I hope it will be soon.

The New Shed, or Boat Builders Haven !!
New Home

When things get too hot on the shed, I can now jump into the pool to cool off.

It's been a hell of a long time since I was able to get any work done on the boat as I had a lot to do on the new house, and everything was being stored in the shed until sufficient space was made. Kitchen cabinets, a utility shed in the backyard and all manner of things had to be built and installed - all of which I would not of attempted a couple of years ago. It's amazing how much confidence you can gain when you build a boat!

May 2nd 2005

Sanding, sanding and more sanding. I have filled all the gaps now and sanded them to a nice finish.
Sanding Sanding Sanding Sanding

*** Every time I stray into the garage, Jeff employs me to flip the thing over, so I try to stay as far away as possible*** (Katia)

So here we are back in the shed after a couple of days and I have laid the fiberglass on the seat tops.
Fibreglassing The Seat Tops Fibreglassing The Seat Tops Fibreglassing The Seat Tops

May 28th 2005

The fiberglass seams on the seat tops have been sanded and I have now applied a coating of epoxy to the entire interior of the canoe.
Epoxy Coating Epoxy Coating Epoxy Coating Epoxy Coating Epoxy Coating Epoxy Coating

July 11th 2005

Now that the epoxy has dried, we flipped her over so that I can paint her. I started to apply the epoxy high build undercoat to the bottom of the hull.
Undercoating Undercoating Undercoating Undercoating

August 7th 2005

We have the trailer, bought second hand through our local Trading Post at a very good price. I had to replace the rollers etc but all up it has only cost $450.00.
2nd Hand Trailer

The hull has had 3 layers of the epoxy high build undercoat applied and allowed to cure over a number of days.

I then sanded it back using the orbital sander. I started with a rough grit, 80 and used gradually less abrasive grits - then came 120, 240 and finally a 360 grit paper. The result was a mirror finish, the fourth photo from the left shows this very well, you can see the reflection of the light from it.
Undercoating Undercoating Undercoating Undercoating

Guess what colour the boat is going to be
Topcoat Topcoat

First I applied a mist coat and then a full coat. Again I'm using Aquacote, a water cleanup polyurethane topcoat. I'm letting it dry fully before I apply the subsequent coats.

August 28th 2005

While the topcoats are being applied and drying, Katia and I decided to investigate the freshwater fishing spots around Brisbane.

This is Wivenhoe Dam, a water storage compound only 30 mins from home, and best of all - no power boats allowed!! My Minn Kota electric outboard should be great here - no large wakes, and very quiet, not many boats go out here.
Wivenhoe Dam Wivenhoe Dam Wivenhoe Dam

The water levels here in Brisbane are a bit low at the moment, we are in a drought after all, but to my mind that forces all the fish into a tighter area.
Wivenhoe Dam Wivenhoe Dam Wivenhoe Dam

The longest boat ramp I have ever seen! As you can see by the last photo, when the water level drops below the edge of the ramp they add more gravel to it.

September 25th 2005

The topcoats have dried and here is the canoe just before she is about to go on the trailer.
Topcoat Topcoat

Sorry about the quality - it was night and I used available light.

October 1st 2005

The boat is now on the trailer and I have masked the hull from any overspray. This time I'm trying to spray the paint onto the surface. The bottom worked well and I'm not expecting any problems here.

It looks nice doesn't it.
Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer Getting Ready For Primer

October 13th 2005

Here I have applied the mist coat and then the first coating with the epoxy undercoat.
Undercoat Undercoat Undercoat

I then applied the 2nd and 3rd coats of the undercoat.
Undercoat Undercoat Undercoat

October 15th 2005

Ok, here we go - the topcoats!! Remember I'm using my air gun for only the second time and I must admit I'm nervous. You may remember the hull was Pillar Box Red, the gunnels and inside are going to be a  sand colour. I'm really going to power through this today as it only takes 30 - 45 mins to dry. The pot life is 4 to 6 hours so my one mix should last me the entire job.

The mist coat...
Topcoats Topcoats Topcoats

The first coat...
Topcoats Topcoats Topcoats

The second coat...
Topcoats Topcoats

The third and final coat!!
Topcoats Topcoats Topcoats

I'm very, very pleased with the result of the air gun. I did get a bit to close with the spray gun in a couple of places and a part of the gunnel and one one of the sides and ended with a little run of paint. I will let it dry hard and then sand those 2 areas back a bit and touch it up - you will not even notice. A good days work.

October 16th 2005

It has been raining all day and the paint hasn't quite cured yet, so I went to my local chandlery shop and bought the first stainless steel bit for Opah, yes that is the SC16's name,  the towing eye.

I then installed it after removing all of the masking material during the spray painting process.
Almost Ready Almost Ready Almost Ready Almost Ready Almost Ready

The almost finished product ...

October 22nd 2005

Splash Day!! Today all the work is found either to be worthwhile or a joke

Rigging her up. I purchased a 55lb Riptide Minn Kota electric engine and a 100ah deep cycle battery for it. The cutout on the stern deck is just a perfect fit - I didn't have to measure it up, it was the dimension on the plans. I have a small Garmin GPS12 mounted on a SS rail using a Garmin bicycle mount. In keeping with Jacques (the designer) intentions, I will also be using an extension tiller so that I can be in a central position while underway.
Splash Day At The Ramp Splash Day At The Ramp Splash Day At The Ramp Splash Day At The Ramp Splash Day At The Ramp

Here we go... I didn't find it hard to get in, regardless of what the 2nd photo from the right might suggest, I was washing the mud of my rubber boots before I got in!!
First Time In The Water First Time In The Water First Time In The Water First Time In The Water First Time In The Water

She is very stable in both the sitting and standing position. Here we are underway - I was steering while standing.
First Time In The Water First Time In The Water

Even a child can do it
Liza In The Boat

Just look at those lines - it looks great.
Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin

Yes, we did have full safety gear on board.
Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin Liza and Katia Taking It For A Spin

All in all, a very successful test. I only need to get a couple of things before the Launch now.

 
 
 
 
  Copyright Jeff Fitzpatrick 2001 - 2012