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.

Friday, September 19, 2014


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.

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