Building sailing dinghy Merisirri started in spring 2017. The goal is to launch it in 2018, unless other commitments hinder the progress. The boat is being built from SCAMP plans, instead of ordering a CNC kit from United Kingdom to Finland.
The SCAMP building manual divides hull building into 12 stages. Making the centerboard, the rudder and the rig can be done almost anytime, although it’s preferable to have the centerboard ready before building the centerboard trunk.
|Centerboard and rudder||Centerboard
|Stage 1||Building jig
|Stage 2||Bulkheads 4-7 and seat longitudinals
|Stage 4||Transom (bulkhead 8)|
|Stage 5||Seat cleats and sole cleats
Centerboard pivot details
Water ballast vent
|Stage 6||Hull planking
|Stage 8||Seat tops
Side decks preparations
|Stage 9||Deck framing
|Stage 11||Cabin sides with cabin top|
|Stage 12||Cockpit coamings
Glassing the hull
|Rig||Mast, boom and yard
Merisirri has certain additions to and deviations from the plans. Here is a summary of the major ones. As the building project is underway this list is likely to change.
Footwell. SCAMP seats are 25 cm (10 inch) up from the floor level. When sailing long distances it’s comfortable if you can sit your legs straight, especially if you are tall. Merisirri has a footwell between BH5 and BH6. This popular modification was included in SCAMP Mk II in late 2017.
Narrower cuddy doorway. This modification of BH4 was introduced in Southern Cross and included in Mk II. It have been recommended for better safety and convenience. Wider bulkhead walls also provide a good place for a bulkhead-mounted compass.
Compass. Every cruising boat should have a traditional compass for navigation, and Merisirri has one too on BH4.
Tiller tamer. When sailing single-handed there are moments when you want to get your hands free to e.g. read map or look for gear. Merisirri has a simple adjustable tiller tamer.
Navigation lights. It’s still under consideration whether Merisirri will have fixed or removable navigation lights. In any case, both COLREGS’72 and CEVNI regulations on navigating in the dark are to be met.
Brass strips for centerboard, rudder and skegs. When a dinghy hits rocks the centerboard and rudder get damaged easily. To protect them from damage there is brass strip attached to their front edges of the blades.
Stirrups. Actually this is not a customization but still mentioned here because of its significant effect on safety. When the boat is righted after a capsize getting over the relatively high gunwale can be tricky. The stirrups are a simple solution to that challenge.
Cockpit tent. What would dinghy cruising be without an option to overnight in the boat? In SCAMP cockpit there is space for one person to sleep on the floor or for two persons on an additional platform. Merisirri has a woolen tent for the cockpit.
Mast support. When trailering there are no proper place for the mast. To overcome this shortcoming Merisirri has removable supports for the mast.
In addition to the SCAMP building manual (v1.5) there are several blogs and forum threads that have been useful.
- SCAMP New Build (Christine DeMerchant, from plans only)
- Building the SCAMP Sailboat “Argo” (Jason, SCAMP #349)
- SCAMP #243
- Building Hagoth (Brent Butikofer, SCAMP #433)
- Building Shackleton (Brent Butikofer, SCAMP #268)
- Craig’s SCAMP build (Craig Bryant)
- #70 - an amateur kit build
- Lofting ‒ useful method to make smooth arches
Someone said that the three hardest things about building a boat are selecting a design, selecting a color scheme, and selecting a name. That must be correct because after all the rest is just about following the instructions.