A blog about SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) boats. Covering the build, sailing the boat and the scamp community that has formed around this little portly boat.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Shellshock is a vulnerability that may allow a remote attacker to execute code on your server. Remote code execution is very bad. It may allow an attacker to retrieve your passwords, add your machine to a botnet or even launch attacks against other machines. These attacks are possible when untrusted user input is passed to a program called bash, something you've probably never heard of before.

BASH is a shell; a program that is an intermediary between you and the complicated parts of a computer. The shell is meant to soften the user interface to the computer, it does automatic path searching, filename expansion, and many other tasks. Bash is meant to be used at the command line, but GUIs are usually considered shells as well. Bash is also used as an intermediary between computer processes; when one process wants to start another process, it often sends the command line to bash, who processes it and executes the new program.
BASH (Bourne Again Shell) was written by David Bourne in 1977. Over the years, we've enhanced bash to be a full fledged programming language, complete with syntax, functions and what we call an environment; the area where variables are stored.
We've even enhanced bash to execute code from the environment.
That's where the problem lies.

In some web application frameworks, the headers of a web request are put into the environment by the webserver. In the shellshock attack, a malicious user submits a request that has headers that look like this:
User-Agent: () { :;} #malicious code goes here
The first important bit is the (), which creates a function. The second important bit is the last part. I've used the # which means a comment, but the attacker could put anything in there and your machine will execute it.
The header is put in the environment by the web server before executing a subprocess to serve a webpage. Bash does it's job and happily executes the malicious code before executing whatever back-end program it is supposed to execute.

The attack shown above works on a particular framework called CGI, but the method of sending untrusted, unsanitized input to a program is not unique and can be exploited in a lot of ways.

In many ways, this attack is worse than April's heartbleed. Remote code execution is far worse than mere information leakage. However, this attack is used against servers, so the average user won't see the attack.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My day job was shellshocked today.

I suspect I'll be shelled tomorrow, too.

Pt Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

The first weekend in September was the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
Holy cows there were a lot of people there.

I woke up on Saturday morning after working on the boat somewhat late. The intarwebs were down at our house. That's not good and it worried me, but I left and headed out for the ferry. It was a fun drive back up to Pt Townsend I even had some time for a brief chat with Nancy.
It was kind of like going home. I felt right driving past the turn to our rental house.

I even considered driving up to the house to see how it looked.
When we arrived, there was a rock in the front yard that had a small stack of rocks on top of it. As we drove past one time, I told Quin to poke it. He did, and we found out that it really was a stack of rocks, not one of the sculptures with a rod in it to hold the rocks. Ooops.
So we (mostly Quin) spent some time stacking rocks to rectify our mistake. We even improved the situation and built a couple more towers (again, Quin).

I didn't stop by the house, but I like to think the rocks are still standing and have been improved.

I arrived in PT about noon. The park & ride behind the Safeway had a sign that said "full" and they were opening up the marina parking area. I didn't think that was right and drove through town.
It was right. There were a lot of people in town. I had to park in uptown near the library. I walked down the stairs and to the maritime center. It was packed.
I paid my discounted entrance fee (thanks for the membership, Nancy) and went into the marina area.

It was like a normal street fair with 8x8 white canopies except instead of selling jewelry made from rocks and shells or tie dyed kids clothes, they were selling epoxy or tools. Lee Valley had their booth right where our boat had been built!
I stepped out back and found Josh there manning the Small Craft Advisor booth along with trusty #1 right beside. And Simeon was there as well.
Simeon told me that John Welsford was speaking at 1:00, so we wandered over there.
But first, I wanted to see the EdenSaw challenge. This is where teams have 48 hours to build a seaworthy boat. Scott was in the challenge and I wanted to see him.
Needless to say, he was quite busy, but we did talk briefly. I wished him well and moved back to see John talk.
Scott has the green shirt

You can see their boat

When writing this post, I found out that Scott's team won. A very nice video was posted.

I listened to John speak about safety and small boats, and while there I said hi to Melissa. Nice to see her again. I spoke with some other scamp builders, then went on walkabout.
I found my way over the the NWMC and spied Simeon just heading out. He asked me if I wanted to go out with him, and I most assuredly did.
We spent the afternoon sailing about; a lovely day on the water that I thoroughly enjoyed. Simeon was a wonderful host and even let me take the helm. I got in more sailing time than I've had in years and we had some good conversation. I hope I didn't bore him with too many questions about scamp building.
Simeon and Noddy, #11
We were out over 3 hours, but the time seemed to just fly past. I didn't even sunburn as badly as I thought I might.
I even got some pictures of the rigging of #1 and Noddy and a few ideas of things to do during my build.
I drove home that evening happy. It had been a great day. Thanks Simeon.

Me and Noddy. Photo by Simeon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rudder and centerboard glue up

When we were in Port Townsend, I bought the foil kit. Essentially, it was 2 mirror image pieces cut by a CNC mill. When placed together, they form the foils.

However, I didn't have any weight. The suggestion is 2 lbs in the rudder and 22 lbs in the centerboard (!).
I found a local place that sells 1/2" lead plate. I went down to their shop and got 24 lbs of lead. it was about 6.5" wide and 18" long. It was easy to do the math and know that to get 2lbs, I had to cut 1 1/2" of lead. I pulled out the jigsaw and cut it. I was told by the guy at the shop that lead doesn't really have a vapor pressure (like mercury) and that all I had to do was wash my hands after handling the lead.
Still, he gave it to me in a plastic bag, which I thought was good.

Lead really is weird stuff. Extremely heavy.

I measured and routed out a 5/16" deep chamber in the rudder halves at the same spot. That was bit tricky. I don't have any pictures, but the trick is to pick a couple reference points and draw a line that is mirrored on the 2 halves. Once you have that, then you can pick an offset on the line and trace your piece of lead. Now the routing is easy.
The rudder glued up

Another shot
The centerboard had a small void that needed some epoxy to fix it. This is marine plywood which is supposed to be void free. After all, you don't want to fiberglass and epoxy a chunk of wood but then when you smash it into a dock, you hit the bubble just right and break open the wood.
From what I've seen the plywood definitely does have voids, but they are generally pretty small and easy to fill.
The centerboard had a void. I fixed it.

The lead
I eventually did the same trick with the centerboard and routed out a chamber and glued together the 2 halves.
If you do this yourself, I recommend easing the edges really well. You need to fiberglass this around the outside and over the edges. If you have any square edges, you will get bubbles under the fiberglass cloth. In theory you can put a small hole in the bubble and fill it with epoxy, but I've only seen that work once. I found that it was easier for me to cut out the bubble, fill the bubble with thickened epoxy and wait for that to cure. Once it was cured, then I could lay the second layer of glass over the top. I'm sure I lost some strength, but it is in very small spots.
Also, don't worry too much about smoothing out the entire board. You're just going to coat it in fiberglass anyway.
Unless you are going to finish it clear. If you do that, then you'll want to take more care.

However, my work is horrifying. I don't want to finish these clear, I think they'd end up looking just too nasty.

Boat workstation created

I went back to work on Tuesday. Nancy was out of town.
I did nothing on the boat. Absolutely nothing until Saturday. We had unloaded the boat in the garage right after we got home, but many of the tasks involved sanding and Nancy threatened me if I got sawdust on her car. I had to solve that problem first.

Saturday, Quincy and I put up a plastic tent around the boat. I even found these nifty (if expensive) sticky zippers that could go on the plastic so that we could have doors that could be closed to keep in the sawdust.
plastic tent

The red parts are zippers.

I also built a downdraft station out of a cardboard box and a bucket head shop vacuum. This is handy thing to have to make sure you don't breathe the powdered epoxy additives while mixing them. You really don't want that in your lungs.

I think I did a bit of sanding, that weekend and even added an extra coat or 2 of epoxy to the front cabin.

The trip home

Nancy, Quincy and Lindsey left on Sunday evening.
Dad and I got up on Monday morning and drove back to Seattle the long way.

We had a great discussion and generally just hung out.

On the way down, I had read about an undersea warfare museum near Bangor sub base. We stopped and it was a very nice museum. Here's a shot of my little jetta loaded down with 2 kayaks on top, an Oru in the trunk and a scamp on the trailer. In the background is a bathyscape that's been to the bottom of the ocean.
That's a lot of boats in one frame
 We stopped in Gig Harbor and found the boat ramp nestled way back in a residential area and not well marked at all. We parked there and paddled for awhile. The weather was not as nice as the last paddle, but we were still out on the water and having fun.
Boat ramp
We got back mid afternoon. Dad had a flight the next morning as did Nancy.

Weekend after camp

So camp was over, but we still had our house rented until Monday and dad didn't fly home until Tuesday AM.
Nancy and Lindsey were headed up to see us, but wouldn't show up until after a church event, like 3 or 4 in the PM.

So dad and I went for another paddle. This time near Port Hadlock and the Wooden Boat School. The water was just beautiful and calm. Luckily I was able to catch a few pictures with my water proof case around my camera.

The only problem was that we were near a channel and the current was flowing pretty heavy. At one point I yelled at dad and told him to paddle. I swear he was within 6 inches of hitting a post and he probably would have dunked the boat. And that water is cold. It could have been a bad situation, but it all worked out. And the water really was beautiful.

Dad with the boats.
Beautiful water

In the afternoon, we got Quincy to go out and paddle with us in Mystery Bay. You can see my Oru there. There is just no way that little 12' boat can keep up with my other 17' boats. But it fits in my trunk and that's great. At some point in the last few weeks, I realized I own 4 boats. 2 of them are homemade and one of them was funded on Kickstarter. I'm not sure what that says, but it's interesting.

Later that afternoon, Nancy and Lindsey showed up and we had a nice evening in our little house.
Happy on the beach
That seems like a great picture to end this post.

Finishing scamp camp

While we were living in our little house, I was the unofficial cook. I really enjoyed coming up with a simple menu for 3 dudes living in the woods. We ate very well; the menu included philly sandwiches, turkey reubens on sweet dark bread. Of course we did easy stuff too, a few days we just had grilled brats.

On Sunday evening, we even had salmon. I bought one big steak and a jar of honey mustard salad dressing and some grilling planks.
Salmon is required in the Pacific NW
Wednesday morning, dad ran down to Gig Harbor with my Jetta to pick up the trailer. The trailer was something I was sweating. Just one of the details I freak out over. In the end, it all worked out well and I thank Dave at GHBoatWorks for his help. I had even purchased the right size ball. I even had a trailer light tester that worked. I remember my dad messing with trailer lights for hours when I was a kid. Those testers are great.
Here is dad painting epoxy on the interior
After Wednesday's steaming then clamping, Thursday morning the carlins had the right shape. When they cooled, they stayed in the curved shape. Now they just needed to be glued in place. And we were out of glue in tubes. So we mixed up some epoxy thickened with colloidal silica (it add strength to the epoxy, but makes it really hard to sand. I think I need a primer post on working with epoxy someday) and glued in the carlins, one on the outside (gunwale) and one on the inside (inwhale). This was sticky messy work. Epoxy is always sticky and messy, but this one I thought was especially bad.
Here she is with the carlins glued in place.
This is a blurry picture, but you can see better what has been done.
The deck will sit directly on top of the carlins. I may add some strengtheners under there, but I'll worry about that later.
And another shot from the stern.
The sole is in the bottom.

Once we got that done, we knew we wanted to load her on the trailer tomorrow, so we scrambled to put a coat of epoxy on the exterior, just for protection. She was going to be driven for a couple hours and we didn't want any rock chips or other unmentionables against the soft wood.

Friday morning, our only job was to get the boats loaded on the trailers. Wow, after an intense 2 weeks, we were done. I took lots of pictures here, as did everyone. I think we were all proud parents.
Our boat and Peter's boat, Silver Bars (great name)
Loading her onto the trailer didn't take very long. 4 people could easily lift a boat with a pair of 2x4s slung underneath. The hard part was that the trailer we had was meant for a boat with skegs. We didn't have skegs yet, so we had to prop her up at the stern. But once we got that done, she was travel worthy.

I couldn't resist the star shots below. A couple years ago, I had admired a scamp sitting on the mariner star at NWMC. Now my own boat was setting there. Granted, she wasn't seaworthy yet, but there she was.
I'll have to go back and get the same shot when she is done. Whenever that might be.
NMWC star

Dad and Peter

And with that, our camp was over. It was sad. I felt like boot camp was over; these people with whom I just spent 2 weeks were going to scatter and probably not see each other again. I liked everyone at camp and it was sad to head out. It had actually been a draining morning getting her loaded and saying goodbyes.
Quincy was able to run with Howard and Melissa to Melissa's home so he got to spend some extra time with Howard and he quite enjoyed it. I was glad he was able to go.
He got back to PT just in time to meet dad and I at a japanese place for lunch.
Dad had a great time with his chopsticks.
joy and chopsticks
I have only heard from a couple people at that camp on the SCAMP message board. I was able to see Melissa and John Welsford at the Wooden Boat Festival a few weeks later, but that's another story.

Week 2 of Scamp Camp

Week 2 of the scamp camp was a bit hectic. We had only 4 more days plus some time on Friday to load the boat onto trailers and get out of the NWMC. The Wooden Boat festival was 3 weeks away and they needed the space.

Monday we added on the 2nd plank. Adding the planks was actually quite tricky and required quite a few people. The planks stretch around the boat and have to touch each rib. Normally you'd use small screws into the bulkhead ribs, but we had an 18ga pin nailer (battery operated) that was nearly perfect. Just be sure to use stainless steel nails in case one ever is accidentally exposed.


Tuesday we had a special treat. We went up to the CNC place that had cut our kits. Computer numerically controlled machines are essentially a decently large rotary router head mounted on a really big 3 (or 5) axis machine. The router head moves in the x & y direction, and it can also move up and down on the z axis. Since it's all computer controlled, the operator just has to tell it how fine to make each cut; if you use a 1/16" router bit, then you'll have very fine control over all your cuts but large pieces will take awhile. If you use 1/2" bit you'll chow through material faster. Some machines even have auto-chucks to chuck different size bits. We spent some time there in the afternoon and it was really neat. We also picked up our rudder and centerboard halves. They were mirror images of each other and roughly cut.
Unfortunately, I didn't get raw pictures of the rudder and centerboard. I'll have a post on those later. (As of this writing, I'm still trying to catch up with this blog - I feel I need to write up what we've done, before I go into what we're doing currently.)

By the end of Tuesday, we had placed the third and final plank.
We still have a lot to do though, including putting on gunwhales and inwhales.

Wednesday, we got out the steamer. The gunwales and inwhales are made of yellow cedar 20mm x 30mm. Scott bought a big 13 foot chunk about 4"x5" or so and ripped it down. The yellow cedar piece was clear and beautiful so the resultant beams were very nice. It even smelled nice.
3/4 view
The standard view before the gunwales

And another view.
In between planking, we spent a lot of time cutting and installing cleats. The cleats hold up the seats and generally provide structure. In the picture below you can see all the cleats attached. They're also 20x30mm yellow cedar. You can also see some fillets in various places.
Scott fired up the steamer after lunch. It was a modified 15 gallon water heater. (I'm sure the safety mechanism was completely left in place and the thing was perfectly safe. Uh huh.)
It took a long time to get up it's steam up. Scott would race in with a carlin in gloved hands (though they weren't really that hot) and place it on the boat. We'd screw in the aft end and clamp it up along the sides of the boat. We did two per each side of the boat. But we didn't fix them permanently. That came on Thursday when we moved one of the pairs to the inwhale.
In the below picture, you can see the 2 carlins clamped to the boat.
carlins clamped at the gunwale
To be continued.

Red Lantern Rally

The Red Lantern Rally had been scheduled since January 2014. It was intended to be the weekend between weeks of the camp.

We heard that there were going to be 11 scamps in the same place. That's pretty impressive considering that less than 300 kits have been sold and probably only about 1/3 of those have been built. Josh keeps a database of all the scamps.

The Red Lantern Rally happened at Mystery Bay, which is about a 15 minute drive from Port Townsend past Port Hadlock and the School of wooden boat building. It's a fabulous little bay with calm water and a small dock.

The big news of the day was the rescue system that has been worked out.

I got my Oru out and paddled that for a little while, but I also had my Pygmy boat and the Mariner kayak that I really like.

But for us, the best part of the day was just sailing the scamps.
Here is dad with Mike, and Tor. He's very happy.
Dad, Mike and Tor
And as a bonus, Quincy got some dubious credit. Howard started a silly little race. Everyone had to eat a saltine cracker, then whistle. When they were done with that, they could set sail. The course was out to a buoy, then over to the grocery store where we had to buy ice cream then back to the beach. I paired up with Dave of Gig Harbor Boatworks. We did very well, we actually landed first, but we had the wrong type of ice cream. Dad came in second (the photo above), but they were disqualified also.
The reason for the disqualification was Quincy; in a brilliant interpretation of the rules, he ran over to the store and threw us ice cream. Unfortunately Howard actually insisted that the ice cream be Snoqualmie ice cream.
Howard did give credit to Quincy. Scamp has built up a lexicon of terms that aren't necessarily used on other boats. He coined the term, "pulling a quince", which means everyone gets to bend the rules. It was a real honor for Quin and a lot of fun.
Joe (brown shirt) Welsford (striped blue), Howard and Quincy.
A good time was had by all and the weather was beautiful.
As a bonus, Nancy showed up and we got to spend some time together even if it was just a quick drive back into Port Townsend.

The next morning, the Rally was still happening, but we didn't spend a lot of time there. Dad and I went for a paddle in Port Townsend and we just generally had a relaxing day in the beautiful weather of Port Townsend.

Here's a shot of some of the scamps:

One more character I'd like to mention; I can't believe I forgot. Simeon built Noddy, hull #11 in the first Scamp camp. He's a really nice guy and he hung around quite a bit that first week. He'd walk over and look inside the boat and make a "Hmm" noise. That noise was very ambiguous, but usually I'd ask him about it and he'd say something encouraging. I think he approved. Later, during the Wooden Boat Festival, I spent 3 hours with him on his boat. Great guy and I wish him the best.

next: Week 2 and finishing camp.

Scamp Camp - The rest of week 1

Unfortunately, I'm writing this a few weeks on from camp.
I've forgotten a lot of the day-to-day details, so we'll cover the rest of week 1 of the camp in 1 post. Week 2 of the camp will probably be another post. Then we'll get down to the build steps I'm doing, which is why I really started the blog.

On day 2, we had more pieces to fiberglass for the centerboard trunk. We also did some cleanup of the interior of the hull.
End of Day 2
 I think we also did our first fillet. A fillet is a small u-shaped bead of thickened epoxy that runs between 2 pieces of wood. They are a real trick to get correct. You need clean up your mess before it sets up, otherwise you have to sand it.

On Wednesday, we really started to make her look like a boat. In the below picture, you can see that we've put in the interior structure. The seat tops are on top of the seats but not glued in. The interior structure was compared to an egg carton by the designer. I think it's more like an old-time wooden coke flat; all the pieces interlock and make a very rigid structure. In the below picture, we had a lot of glue to wrangle into the right places.

Thursday of the first week was more enhancements to the internal structure. We glued on the stern and the bow. You can't see the bow in the below picture. You can see the struts that are used to keep the front pieces straight. You can also see the newly added bulkhead 3 with the vertical slot. That is the mast box. The mast goes far enough down into the structure of the boat that stays are not needed.
Stern and bow glued.
In case you are wondering, no, I don't have a mast, nor do I have any of the rigging. I'll have to purchase all of that.

Somewhere in these days, we talked about the ballast tank and the storage wells under the sole. The ballast tank is a small area just aft of bulkhead 5 (which is aft of bulkhead 4). You seal it very well and put a drain plug in the bottom of the boat. Then when you put her in the water, you take the drain plug out and let that tank fill up with water. The water will weigh about 180 lbs. When you put her on the trailer, you drain it out.
I'm going to add 2 or 3 AGM batteries instead of water ballast. I'll also add a small trolling motor off the stern. Dave at Gig Harbor Boatworks has one that I'd like to buy.

Friday, we put on the garboard, which is the lowest of the planks for the side. The above picture was actually from Friday.
Here's a picture of me with her.
You can clearly see bulkhead 1 (the flat pram bow), B2, then me, then B4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 is the transom. The seats will eventually go on top of the bulkheads and the center area will be a foot well. I'll likely make some changes to the foot well to make it deeper in one area.

Since we are boat number 2 in the maritime center, you can see our boat along with 4 others being worked. There is 1 more not visible.

The weekend turned out to be a blast. We spent quite a bit of time on the water with 11 scamps in Mystery Bay. It was called the Red Lantern Rally because of the lantern logo for the scamp.

Before I go into that, I want to talk about how much fun we had this week. We'd work from 0800 to around 1730 or so, then we'd reluctantly pack up and head for home. We'd have a nice supper and discuss what we were going to do tomorrow or talk about how the day went. The evenings were very relaxing and a lot of fun. We had a few more grocery runs, but nothing like that first night. We ate out a few times, but mostly just had nice evenings at home.
In the mornings, dad would get up first and make sandwiches for the day. That meant we could enjoy the view from Port Townsend and have lunch and discuss. That was a nice perk.
And Quincy discovered a cache of Nicholas Cage movies in our rental house. I think he watched 3 of them. He also found a new love for the B-52's Rock Lobster.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scamp Camp - first day and cast of characters

We knew we'd be in the NW Maritime Center. And we knew that our base jig would be set up for us.
That's about it.

We arrived at 8:00AM ready to go. We found our jig and discovered there were 6 boats to be built in the NWMC for the next 2 weeks.

We also got the plans printed out on large plotter paper. Our hull number was 284, hence the name of the blog.

We were under the tutelage of:

  • Howard Rice - Experienced small boat sailor
  • John Welsford - The designer of the Scamp and small boat builder.
  • Scott Jones - the master builder at The NW School of Wooden Boat Building.

I had met Howard a couple years before; I remembered him. He shook his head like he remembered me from that short conversation.
These were the people with whom we'd spend the next 2 weeks.
  • Peter; Texas
  • Vinny; Cape Cod, MA
  • Sergei and his son, OR
  • Melissa; local Port Townsend
  • John; Wyoming
  • Joe; CA

We had a quick meet & greet, but everyone was excited to start the build. The first day, we were fiberglassing up some pieces.
We also talked a bit about safety in the shop. Important.

Dad in front of our jig

Dad and Quincy glassing up part of the centerboard trunk.

The hull is on the jig and epoxied

I resolved to take a picture each day from the same perspective in the hope that I could build a time lapse. I have all those pictures, we'll see if I can get the time lapse done.

For lunch that day, Quincy and I walked over to the local thai joint and had good food, but we should have gotten the special. Dad had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Howard and John had some chalk talks during lunch time. In the coming days, we'd get into a nice routine of sandwiches looking out over the PT harbor.

Scamp Camp - preparations

I knew August was going to be hectic.

I had spent July preparing; I added a trailer hitch and light harness to my Jetta. I added a light harness to the other vehicle because I really didn't know which one we'd take to Port Townsend. I bought as many boat building tools and supplies as I reasonably could. The camp attendees all got a list of tools to bring and everyone who has ever seen my garage knows that I don't mind buying tools.
I had a big pile of boxes full of tools, rubber gloves, brushes, rollers, etc. in my garage ready to be packed into the car.

I had some business travel in early August that always takes me away for a week. Quincy was going to join me for a few days and fly home with me on Sunday 10.aug. We'd have to pick up my dad at the airport. Then we could actually make it to scamp camp, which started at 8:00AM Monday.

Quincy and my flight was scheduled to  arrive Sunday at 12:30PM. Dad had arrived around 9:30 and was waiting for us at the airport.

We went home where Nancy had made us a nice lunch.
I was fussing about our trip up to Port Townsend. I had to repack my clothing and gear, then I had to fit 3 full size humans, 3 kayaks (2 17 foot kayaks and an Oru), a tent and sleeping bag, and all the boat building supplies that I had collected into my little Jetta.
Tight fit.
I wish I had a picture of the Jetta totally loaded down. The 17 foot kayaks on top of the 13 foot car look funny anyway, now put 500lbs of dude and 100lbs of tool in it and it was riding low.

But we shoved it all in there. Luckily we had the kayaks; we  put a lot of supplies in the hatches. We knew we needed groceries, but didn't have much extra room and decided we'd deal with it later. Once it was all together, we gave hugs and finally took off mid afternoon.

The drive up was uneventful but very pretty, as is the pacific northwest is during summer. And ferry rides are always fun. Good company and good discussions on the ride.

The biggest problem was that we all got hungry about 6:30. We ended up taking a slightly slower backroad in to Port Townsend and since it was a Sunday night, many places were closed in the small towns on the way. We were getting grumpy when we finally spied a local pizza joint. Perfect!
We unfolded out out of the Jetta (man, that car hasn't gotten any bigger in the 11 years I've owed it) and demolished a very good pizza.

Then, since I was a bit gruntled from the food, I said "Hey, there's a QFC just back there. Let's stop in there for 5 minutes and get some supplies. We'll need breakfast cereal, milk, peanut butter, bread, bagels, cream cheese. No more than 5 minutes."
Quincy took that as a challenge.
We all raced into the grocery store, and banged through the aisles to get everything we needed. For some reason, they hid the cream cheese from us, but we powered through and found it. We really were back out of that store after 5 minutes. It was the best kind of power shopping. I think dad was a bit bewildered; he's racing around in a completely new store along with a pair of wild-eyed nerds cracking jokes (as Quincy and I are wont to do). And to top it all off, in the parking lot was a fortune teller's wagon, brightly colored and gaudy. 
Curiously enough, the epic 5 minute shopping trip story was one of the first stories Quincy unleashed when we got back. It really was hilarious.

We arrived at our little house in the forest a bit before 8:00. It was perfect. Not big, but it had everything we needed and it was in a nice area. (Although we were occasionally downwind of the pulp plant settling ponds. Let's just say sometimes Port Townsend can be odiferous.)

We did some unpacking and repacking of the car because we really didn't know what to expect the next day.

Then we crashed. It had been an exciting and stressful day. Tomorrow we were going to start something completely new and we didn't know what to expect. Challenge accepted.


This whole mess started a few years ago.

We had a family reunion of sorts and spent some time in Port Townsend. We walked past the Northwest Maritime Center and there were some busy people in there hammering and sanding.
That's always interesting to me since I love working with my hands, but out back, setting on the maritime star was a beautiful sight.

She was a chubby, cute little microcruiser of a sailboat. I fell in love instantly.

I went back inside and spoke to someone. I told the man I thought that was a cute little boat.
He was polite, but clearly somewhat put out that I just called a boat merely "cute" when it was clearly functional, shapely and elegant. He told me indeed the folks hammering away were building that little boat and gave me a flyer. It was a Scamp.
We chatted a bit more and I moved on, but that little boat sat in my head for a long time.

A year later, my wife bought me a membership to the NW Maritime Center. She's always looking for projects for me. I think she underestimates my OCD and thinks that when I have a project, she'll still be able to interact with me. Or maybe she actually has a good gauge on my OCD and planned it to her advantage.

Spring 2014 happened and I still had that NWMC membership and no project on my hands. My earlier attempt at converting a car to battery electric power had been dropped due to an ineffective cost structure.

While perusing the NWMaritime Center site, I saw that there would be a SCAMP camp in August. I immediately started looking into it. An opportunity to build my own sailboat, start a long term project, take some time off from work, and most importantly to have my own sailboat; that was all pretty tempting.

I'm not exactly a stranger to the water or to boat building; I built a Pygmy kayak in 2007. It was a fabulous experience and it's been a solid boat that I find under my ass on most weekends in the summer. My dad had a 16' Snipe while I was growing up and I quite enjoyed the time I spent with her.

The flyer said that during scamp camp, we would build the boat with the designer of the boat and an experienced sailor. That experienced sailor was, of course, the man with whom I spoke that first day, Howard Rice. He had even pointed to a gentleman and said he was the designer, John Welsford.

All the facts added up. I could build a boat. I really could. I'd have quite the experience and get a boat out of the deal.

I just needed some help.

So I called my dad and invited him out to Port Townsend in August. I also invited my 18 year old son to the build.

After some wrangling, we got it set up. We paid our tuition, purchased the boat kit and rented a house in Port Townsend.

We were all set; three generations ready to take on a major project that we most assuredly did not understand as well we should.

This blog will tell the story.