Glen-L marine designs

SQUIRT / Art Spinella / Bandon, Oregon /

06-24-02: Filled all screw holes, sanded and faired all seams and marked water line. We used two coats of Behr water-based Euro stain (Victorian Mahogany) for area above the waterline and will eventually paint the bottom dark green separated by a white waterline stripe. We've turned to boat over to make sure the sheer and sides are true and will begin fiberglassing the bottom on the 26th. The building log shows about 32 hours to this point. Our goal is to be in the water no later than October 1. We'll see.
06-29-02. Knocked down the gloss of the seal coat below the waterline of the Squirt hull this morning, trimmed and fit the fiberglass cloth and applied the bond coat. Yesterday the stainless trim arrived.
06-30-02: Oregon Coast's cool temperature -- especially under the carport -- required moving the Squirt onto the lawn for some direct sunlight and warmth. Received deck fiberglass on Wednesday, July 3, as promised by Glen-L along with bronze fittings from Spartan Marine including padeyes, pole socket (for the Martini flag) and cleats.
07-04-02: Moved the Squirt back under the carport and 'glassed everything from just below the chine seam to the sheer with the deck cloth. This overlaps the heavier cloth applied to the bottom up to the waterline. The under-carport temperature finally hit the magic 70 degree mark and the epoxy set up and cured quickly.
07-05-02: Applied the fill coat this morning. Should begin painting the bottom this time next week.
07-08-02: First finish coat on entire hull. Will be putting another coat on tomorrow at which point a business trip will interupt work for a week. Sanding will begin when I return with bottom paint and waterline striping at that point.
07-20-02: Returned from a business trip and started sanding... and sanding... and... The hull smoothed out extremely well (much to my surprise) and the area below the waterline was primed then painted a dark green. Second coat was applied a day later and I'm waiting a few days for thorough drying before flipping "Miss QT" over to begin work on the interior. The building log now shows a total of 46.5 hours over exactly two months to get to this stage. October still looking good for launch. (The boat, by the way, is being built for my wife and bears her nickname.)
07-25-02: The boat was flipped over and the stained area above the waterline was sanded a bit more to take out a few rough spots not visible when it was upside down. Bought white waterline marine tape.
07-27-02: Encapsulated the inside of the hull. It used about 27 oz. of resin and a touch over 5 oz. of hardener. Including clean-up, the entire operation took about an hour and 15 minutes bringing the total time of actually working on the boat (excluding just standing there staring and drinking a Fosters) to 50 hours.
07-31-02: After encapsulating the hull's interior, I coated everything between Frame 2 and the bow and from frame 1 to the transom with "Kote a Deck" from Snow Roof Systems. This is an acrylic plastic product that remains flexible after it dries and adds a non-skid pebble grain similar to sand-in-paint. It costs about $25 per gallon and filled many of the small seams and corners where water could accumulate. (We in the Northwest are paranoid about rain and water leaks.) I used three coats (about half a gallon) and will use the rest on my next Glen-L boat. This product comes in colors so I used the same green as below the waterline. The center section between the frames will be varnished for appearance sake.
08-01-02: Deck beams and all blocking cut and fitted. Also cut and notched a 14 inch piece of quarter-inch plywood for the forward deck-beam support. Ordered step plates and a Martini flag from an online marine retailer.
08-02-02: Attached front deck beam support, blocked with poly-grip and brass screws. Also Poly-Gripped the plywood support as well as using brass screws. Cut the coaming and used a router to round off the bottom edges. The mahogany for the coaming was a full inch thick and had to be split to half-inch using my band saw. After the cut, it bent easily. Screwed the first piece to the transom and frames per the blueprints. Glued the second piece to the first with Poly-Grip and clamped with everything I've got (about 30 clamps of various types). Cut the dash out of 1x6 mahogany, planed it and used a router to round off the bottom edge.
08-03-02: Installed the dash using 2-inch mahogany blocks. Ordered the motor (a 15 horsepower Johnson), remote steering, remote controls, speedometer, wiring for lights, etc. The 1995 electric-start motor is a long-shaft that the Y Marina in North Bend is reducing to a short shaft. Decided to not install the rear-most deck beam until the motor is installed to make sure there is room for the motor to tilt up.
08-04-02: Cut and fit the mahogany seat back. Haven't decided yet what to do about seat cushions. Cut strong backs from a slab of 1x6 mahogany, notched the appropriate frames, tapered the forward edge of the front strong back, cut the battens from 1x4 (each is 1x2) and fitted them into deck-beam notches and against the back of dash. Glued battens and strong back in place.
08-05-02: To this point, the log shows a bit over 60 working hours. Bought a small trailer and will finish the rest of the work on the trailer. Teak step plates and the infamous Martini flag arrived.
08-06-02: Brought the Squirt to the Y Marina to install the electrical system. I'm just not good with electrical stuff. Then off to a business trip followed by a vacation to visit family in Michigan. Won't get back to the boat until late August. October 1 launch date still holding!
8-30-02: The electrical system was finally installed at the Marina (about two weeks longer than it should have taken) and I picked up the Squirt today. Steering, remote throttle, and navigation lights all work but the hardware is laying in the bottom of the boat since I wasn't sure exactly where to locate it all.
8-31-02: First coat of varnish was applied to the hull above the waterline. The Squirt is so small that it didn't take 45 minutes for the job.
9-1-02: Lightly sanded the first coat of varnish and applied the second coat. Eight more to go. Also installed the aft deck beam by blocking it to the coaming with brass screws and Poxy-Grip. Longest job was attaching the remote throttle. After first attaching it about where I thought it should be, I discovered it was too far foward. Also had to bracket it from behind (see photo) because it was deeper than the six-inch of the coaming. All together, it took about two hours to do, even though the next time it should barely take 30 minutes.
9-2-02: Decided this morning to build an opening hatch behind the seat so the battery and gas tank could be moved further forward and somewhat hidden. It also provides a place for storing life vests and miscellaneous. Built the hatch by eliminating the aft strong back and replacing with a hatch frame. (See photo.) It overlaps the 1-inch coaming about a half inch and overlaps the seat back and aft deck frame completely. The underside will be primered and painted with the Deck Kote paint previously detailed. The photo shows it resting on the motor, opening rearward. When the piano hinge is installed after the cedar decking is on, it will probably open to the side. Also put on the third coat of varnish which is getting really shiny (see photo) and built a tray for the gasoline tank. The gas tank tray -- also to be finished in Deck Kote -- has gaps in the forward and rear rails so any water can drain (see photo). The tank will be held in place with rubber straps.
09-09-02: All of the wiring and cables are now strapped out of the way. Everything was strapped to the battens or strong back with plastic ties.
09-10-02) Bought cedar for the decking.
09-12-02: It took a full 10-hour day to trace and cut the plywood deck underlayment, trim the pieces to rough size and attach them. In all there are five pieces for the underlayment including the main forward deck which I ran full width of the hull, a small bow triangle, a full-length port-side decking piece and two pieces on the starboard side. Affixing the underlayment took 127 brass and stainless steel screws and a tube of 3M 5200 adhesive followed by two hours of sanding the edges flush with the hull. Also fitted the hatch cover behind the cockpit. Decided to hinge the cover at the rear so it opens and rests on the motor when getting gas. The underside of the hatch will be the location for the mandatory fire extinguisher and a small cargo net for odds and ends. There's a vestigial fin in the modification of the Squirt design that will cover the gap you see running from just behind the cockpit to the transom next to the sheer. Next step will be encapsulating the underlayment and planing, trimming and coating the underside of the cedar and mahogany decking boards. October 1 is coming fast.
09-13-02: Using 1x12 cedar, I cut the finishing boards and planed them to 5/16-inch thickness then trimmed them to match the curve of the hull. Temporarily attached at the bow end each forward finishing board so I could slip cedar strips/decking underneath (See photo). Once located, the strips were marked to match the finishing boards' curve and cut for a close fit (See photo). Expended time, about three hours.
09-14-02: Cut cedar to cover the hatch lid. All boards were sanded thoroughly which took more than two hours. Encapsulated the plywood underlayment and the bottoms of the cedar finishing boards and decking strips.
09-16-02: After letting the epoxy dry for a couple of days, installed the finishing boards, forward deck, dash cover and hatch decking using 3M Adhesive. Temporarily tacked the boards down wherever necessary using drywall screws. Elapsed time: 3.5 hours.
09-17-02: Bought white vinyl for seats, arm rests and cockpit bolsters.
09-18-02: Spent two more hours sanding all of the boards so the fit to the hull is exact. Rounded over the finishing boards and filled any gaps or seams with cedar dust. Drilled holes for bronze boat nails at intervals in finishing boards and deck strips. Because this is solely for appearance, some of the nails were cut to about a quarter-inch in length before being hammered into the boards. That was another hour and a half. Spent the next hour preparing and finally putting on the first of three Poxy Shield coats (see photo) which will be followed by four coats of varnish. The blank area at the bow is for a medallion I'll be carving next week.
9-25-02: Getting closer by the day. To this point, I've put in 86 and a half hours and for all practical purposes the boat is ready to launch with nothing more than a couple of coats of deck paint. Everything after this is icing or ego or just plain nuts. I fall into the last category.
09-19-02: Second coat of epoxy applied.
09-22-02: Heavily sanded and applied first coat of varnish. Cut bow medallion out of 1-inch mahogany and cut bottom windshield frame member, also from mahogany.
09-24-02: Sanded and applied second coat of varnish.
09-25-02: Sanded and applied third coat of varnish. Trimmed port windshield rail bottom to match curve of hull. Bought all hardware for hatch including hinges and locks.
10-5-02: Missed our October 1 launch date, but I can lay it off on the marina that took two weeks to do one day's worth of electrical work. That's life. Since then: Began making the windshield. This was harder than building the boat. Patterned it after a combination of windshields on a 1924 Hacker Craft Dolphin and a 1948 Correct Craft (photos found in the Feb. 1998 issue of Wooden Boat magazine, pg.63) Using mahogany and cedar. Made the seat back and bottom using marine vinyl (white) over 2-inch foam contact cemented to 1/4-inch ply. Bow medallion has been carved and the "flying lady" from a 1941 Cadillac attached. (Don't laugh. It is really cool. Photo to come.) And then there's the varnish. Just applied the 6th coat. Waiting for a few days and will apply the final two coats. New launch date: Mid-October depending on the weather.
10-6-02: Finished building the windshield from mahogany and cedar. (See photo.) This was the hardest part of the Squirt because of the angles and deck curve. It's now being varnished separately from the hull to be attached later.
10-7-02: As you can see in the winged lady photos, the varnishing is coming along well. Spent an hour and a half doing some heavy, heavy sanding of the deck and hull with the ROS and 220 grit paper until the boat was "white7quot; with varnish dust.
10-8-02: A thorough cleaning with shop vac, mineral spirits and a tack cloth. The first presentation coat of varnish applied today. The second and third coats will be done after an expected rain storm goes through the area later this week.
(10-15-02) Third and fourth coats of varnish have been completed on the hull, deck and windshield. Presentation coats are terrific thanks to the book "Brightwork" by Rebecca J. Wittman. To this point, about 103 hours of actual project-work time.
(10-17-02) Spent a few hours cutting and trimming the polished aluminum that will be fitted to the bow.
(10-18-02) Applied waterline tape. (half hour.) Attached half-round wood trim pieces using stainless steel paneling-type nails then ground down the heads to make flush with the wood. Applied the half-round stainless steel to the sheer using brass screws. Attached the stainless hatch trim to the curve at the transom, also using brass screws. Both are extremely good looking and sharpen the appearance quite a bit.
(10-19-02) Today was a trim day. Everything from the bow medallion to the bronze cleats, from the hatch handle to the brass hinges went on. Struggled a bit with the anchor light base, but everything else went quickly and easily.
(10-20-02) Upholstery. Day 1. Used two-inch foam and marine vinyl for the seat bottom and seat back. Same vinyl and waterproof batting for the hatch bolster and cockpit surround. I thought the windshield was tough. The seats were quick and easy but the bolsters were a nightmare. Ripped them out twice.
(10-21-02) Upholstery. Day 2. After redoing the bolsters for a third time, I'm reasonably happy with the results. I may revisit this at a later date. We'll see.
(10-23-02) Cut and shaped and painted two grab handles for the radiused section of the cockpit. A good place to tie-off the line after launching so it's easy to tie up when you return.
(10-24-02) Turned the flag mast on a lathe from a 1-1/4-inch dowel. (About half an hour.) Stained and varnished.
(10-25-02) Drilled a hole in transom for the speedometer tube and attached the water sensor pickup. (20 minutes.) My wife (The caulking queen) caulked all of the seams (about two hours) while I primed then painted the half-round wooden trim pieces a flame red (about an hour).
(10-26-02) Second coat of red on trim. Windshield glass clips installed. I thought this was going to be hard and it wound up being a snap.
(10-31-02) The last few days have been spent cleaning up the final bits and pieces of the Squirt. From installing the fire extinguisher in the hatch cover to touching up nicks in the varnish or paint, to picking out just the right fenders (knotted rope. Very cool.) to installing brass screws on finish washers to the bow's aluminum trim piece and painting the fenders of the used trailer green to match the bottom. It is now done. Total hours actually spent on the boat: 139.5 (excluding standing around scratching my head wondering how to do something or just admiring my handiwork).
The trial run will be in a couple of days and then it's back out of the water so the sheriff can inspect the boat and certify it's seaworthy. Then I can get my registration numbers and I'll be totally legal.
This has been a fantastic project and my deepest thanks to everyone at Glen-L for encouragement, direction and just being available to answer what sometimes must have seemed to be silly questions.

Subject: The Launch
Date: 11-3-02:
This is the sweetest little boat I've ever had, and not just because I built it myself. With the 15 hp Johnson (vintage: 1995), it came up on plane virtually immediately with two adults on board. We put it in 10 Mile Lake here in Southwestern Oregon on Saturday November 2.
It took half an hour to pull away from the dock because of all the questions from other boaters. Everywhere we went on and off the lake, from the gas station to McDonalds, resulted in extremely positive comments.
But nothing can compare to driving the Squirt. It's quick, dry and comfortable. The short windshield was more than enough to direct the wind up and over the driver and passenger. And after hours of being on the lake, there wasn't a drop of water inside the hull. The hull design must be commended. It tossed water away from the boat making for a spray-free ride.
Top speed was about 26 mph thanks to a nifty performance prop on the Johnson. Cruising at 20 was not a strain for the motor, hull or driver. It handled the wake of other boats well and while a fin would likely improve the crispness of turns, it steered where aimed and responded just fine without it.
While strangers who saw it were enthusiastic and complimentary, I was most surprised by the reaction of teenagers. At least a dozen teens at different locations all gushed over the Squirt. One, at the dock where we launched, yelled from the parallel ramp, "That's the coolest boat I have EVER seen!" Questions ranged from "How'd you get the plywood to bend like that" to "How many coats of varnish did you use?" And naturally, "Where did you get the plans?"
Thanks, everyone, for a great time building the Squirt and an even better time showing it off.