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by Martin Ellacott ellacott@mnsi.net

Somerset represents the latest endeavor in a series of small boats that I have built, and was designed by Sam Devlin of Washington State.  The hull is built of 1/2"; exterior grade plywood, good two sides. All the exterior wood is Brazilian mahogany. The decks are strip plank mahogany and West System epoxy.  As a matter of fact, West epoxy was used exclusively for all coating, gluing, and glassing operations. The bottom of the 1/2" hull has a 1/4" layer of plywood cold-moulded to it and is covered with 2 layers of 6oz. fiberglass. The sides of the hull and the cabin roof have a single layer of 6oz. glass.  The 3/4" decks are a lamination of 3 layers of 1/4" plywood formed over the bulkheads.

The transom, cabin roof and the top of the motorwell cover, were made the same way except that separate forms had to be built first.  From all appearances, the boat looks as if it has an inboard motor, when in actuality a 60HP outboard motor is bolted to an interior transom, hidden under the motor cover.  All bulkheads and floors are 3/4", exterior grade plywood, with the interior of the hull given several coats of epoxy.

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The interior joints and bulkheads are filleted using a combination of screened mahogany sawdust and epoxy, and then triple glassed. The exterior seams and joints are all double glassed.  When the hull was returned to the shop after being turned over, the deckhouse was totally pre-fabbed, waiting for warmer weather so it could be finished outside.  When finished, Somerset will have all the necessary equipment for this small coastal cruiser to spend extended periods of time away from her home port in Sarnia, Ontario.

Picture Data

#1.....After 14 months, Somerset finally emerges from the shop. At this point, the hull is completely finished and the interior structures have been roughed in.

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#2..The main bulkhead has been reattached. It had to be cut in two to accommodate turning the hull over, and later, moving it out of the shop. It has also been splined to maintain its integrity.

#3...After end of the boat, showing the 3/4" laminated transom and cockpit drains.

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#4.....Attachment of the pre-fabbed cabin side. Also shows some of the detail of the motor cover.

#5.....Cabin sides permanently glued and screwed in place. The window shows the epoxied insert that has been routed out to accommodate the 3/16", tempered glass which is flush fitting.

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#6....Exterior of the deckhouse is completely finished. The companion-way door slides horizontally for access to the cabin.

#7......Finished exterior, showing the mooring bit and the scupper for the footwell located at the bow.

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#8.......Pitman crane and lifting harness. In this position, it can be seen that about 14" of the after end of the keel have been removed to facilitate sharper turns in confined areas.

#9.....In the water at last,approximately 2 years from the start of the project. The bridge in the background joins Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. This area is one of the busiest waterways in Canada.

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#10.....Boat and builder in the Sarnia Yacht Club at the end of the sailing season.

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