Early Planning Question

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Early Planning Question

Postby SVSEASTORIES on Sat Jun 29, 2024 7:30 am

Builders and Pocketship Enthusiasts -

Good morning from Northern Virginia! In my search for my next project I have discovered Pocketship and SCAMP. Having no marine building experience, but handy enough, the thought of this project really excites me. While I dont have limitless freetime, I do need a new hobby and preferably one that keeps me close to home and has no 'due date'. Pocketship fits the bill. Longterm, as a resident of the NoVA area I have excellent access to the protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay which seems to be Pocketship ultimate playground.

While SCAMP is a great little boat, I think long term I'd rather have the flexibility and size of Pocketship. If I'm going to invest many many 1000's of dollars and well over 1000 hours of work, I'd like at least the end result to be something that will allow me some real latitude with adventure. There is one problem though I was hoping you all could help me answer. (I'm sure if I decide to start the project I'll have MANY questions of this forum, but for now just one).

In looking at the plans, the tabernacle when fully assembled exceeds the height of my garage opening by nearly 8-10 inches. While i have plenty of room inside my garage for the project, getting Pocketship out of the garage (even on short 1-2 inch of the ground rolling caster dolly) would be impossible with the tabernacle in place. I've see in the forum where its suggested to make the tabernacle removable, or shortened. Altering the designers plans especially with such a structurally important piece of the boat gives me pause. In truth I'd rather strengthen it, that weaken it. I've seen in one instance where a builder briefly mentioned having friends (many of them) help tilt to boat 45 degrees on its hull and slowly work the boat out of the garage, clearing the tabernacle. Is this acceptable? Any other ideas? Am I sadly just hosed, unless I go for a shortened or removable tabernacle?

Thanks for the collective advice of the group as I plan my next steps!
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2024 4:22 pm

Re: Early Planning Question

Postby Creekboater on Sat Jun 29, 2024 9:45 am

Hey there. First, welcome to the forum! Always fun to see another Pocketship build starting.

I don’t really feel qualified to speak on the engineering characteristics of fixed/removable tabernacles. Though I know several builders do this and if I’m not mistaken I think it’s even mentioned in the CLC manual as an option (I’m not close to my manual right now). If CLC mentions it even in passing I’m assuming it’s a fine option. Along those lines, whether they mention it or not, if it were me I would consider CLC my primary source for this question. Give them a shout, they are always happy to chat and give direction.

And now for opinions you didn’t ask for …. ;)

Personally, I’d rather you start directly with Pocketship. I truly love reading about all the different builds and how various people approach this and that. And if you start this, please do blog it. But….this is a pretty big project and speaking for myself I sure am glad I had one build under my belt for starting Pocketship. Like you, I consider myself handy and competent, etc. but I had previously had zero experience with epoxy and fiberglass, filleting, and such. Pocketship is an expensive build to cut your teeth on. Or, I should say, it would have been for me. But…I’m also pretty AR and have a nasty perfectionist streak. A more lassiez faire chill person might well give you much different advice. I desperately wish I were more like that! An encouraging note, regardless of how you choose to proceed, this forum is full of folks more than willing to help and answer any sort of question you may have along the way. I’ll stop now…. ;)

* Jimmy Skiff II
* amateur for sure (builder/sailor)
* impossible to insult my intelligence
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:58 pm

Re: Early Planning Question

Postby craig on Sat Jun 29, 2024 8:49 pm

Hi, good luck on making the decision. For what it's worth, I don't regret building my Pocketship at all (launched 2015).

A removable tabernacle is explicitly endorsed as an option in the build manual, and I believe most in the blogs/posted here are removeable. That being said, it is a bit of a pain to remove it every time you want to use the boat since the rats nest of sail, lines, spars etc can easily get tangled. Do you plan on storing the boat in the garage, or just worried about getting it out the door after construction? I've only removed my tabernacle a few times: to get it out the door, to replace it when I damaged it, and to re-paint the deck.

I didn't have any experience with epoxy or fiberglass prior to my build, and precious little woodworking experience either. It may have been better to build a smaller boat (or other project) first, but I muddled through it OK. I wouldn't let a lack of experience stop you from starting the build ASSUMING that you are OK with taking your time, asking questions when you get stuck, and not too proud to redo something that didn't go the way you wanted (ok, well you need to cover the last point no matter how much experience you have!).
Titania, launched January 2015
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:04 pm
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Re: Early Planning Question

Postby dbeck on Sun Jun 30, 2024 4:01 am


we made our tabernacle removable.
- the inside of bulkhead 2 received two 9mm pieces of plywood epoxied to bulkhead 2 on top of each other
- the outside edge from cabin top to bulkhead 2 received two additional layers of glass
- the tabernacle is fixed with 5 screws of 8mm thickness bolted through bulkhead 2 (holes done with drill-fill-drill)
This allows to occasionally remove the tabernacle if needed. See attached pics.

Please keep in mind that bowsprit and mast are mounted to the tabernacle and need to be removed/installed too. You will also have an issue with the height of the boom gallows. Keep the height of the cabin in mind, especially when the boat sits on a trailer.

With respect to build time and cost, this project is much bigger than we thought. After 2 1/2 years, we are close to the end of the build with around 1300 hours build time so far.

2024-06-30_09-31-05.JPG (102.04 KiB) Viewed 1651 times

2024-06-30_09-31-28..JPG (63.28 KiB) Viewed 1652 times
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:23 pm

Re: Early Planning Question

Postby slash2 on Mon Jul 01, 2024 4:10 am

I made mine removable. I used the guidance that John Harris posted in this forum. I used elevator bolts which have a larger, flatter head, and added a layer of plywood on the sides of the tabernacle. As I recall, the cabin top to cabin front joint is most prone to failure. I added extra fiberglass layers there.

I’m in northern VA too (Leesburg) and keep my boat at Leesyvania state park on the Potomac. Be happy to show you what I did with mine and we can take out it if you haven’t sailed one yet.
Steve Sawtelle
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:27 am

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