introducing "MORNING WOOD"

Just off the building platform, this is “my” JIF65 (finally after four previous ones for family members) which will be called “MORNING WOOD” :wink: :rolleyes: and was originally to be planked with some wonderful dark red exotic veneer for the hull and Bird’s Eye maple for the deck - [hence the name].

Once removed from the building platform and holding/looking at the basic hull, I had a thought - “Wonder how light I could make this using epoxy-impregnated paper, plastic packaging tape and other non-marine related materials?”

Now the dilemma - go with the veneer or go for some off breed, untried material? Will appreciate comments - kind of have my feelings still leaning toward the veneer hull mainly for aesthetics and good looks. I can always glue up a similar “skeleton” for a possible future build.

If the veneer is a light wood, I’d go with that. I think the birds eye maple is probably too heavy, though.

Can you really make epoxy impregnated paper waterproof? Even if you can, I think a light wood would be stiffer and lighter.

Very light (20 or 30 lbs) kraft paper on either side of a millimeter or two of foam might make a nice material, if you can keep water from messing it up. Lot’s of pressure when gluing the paper to the foam or you’ll have too much glue in there.

Monocote- a plastic fantastic! A guy in my club did a 1M in balsa forners, chines and a monocote skin.

Linc - the veneer I have on hand, and that was planned for this boat is 1/20th. inch thick (0.05" or 1.27 mm) It is thin and formable to the slight compound bending - however I’ll grant it is a bit more dense than normal balsa.


Tomo - I believe you just made the point for using wood! :slight_smile:

Being somewhat “ham-fisted” at times I think a monokote hull might be in danger should I happen to drop a battery pack - or small phillips screwdriver! :scared: I do believe it would be the end of a regatta series because of the puncture - worse than a flat tire!


If you use epoxy-impregnated paper will it be called “Morning Paper” :lol:

have you seen the video’s of the foiling 18 skiff that only has carbon frames no hull skin? I looked for picture to post but could not find any. just seach this on Youtube( Mirabaud LX Foiler without hull ! World première !) real cool looking boat.

IAN - great suggestion for a name. I suppose if I missed any spots with epoxy, it could be renamed “toilet paper” ----and so forth … :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I recall seeing this some time back on Sailing Anarchy - and the only big different (other than size) is that the foiler has nothing on it that must be protected from water - unlike our little ones that demand perfect electrical connections. Were it not for batteries, servos and receiver connections, it could be considered - but then it still needs to ride “above” the water. How to float it until it started foiling is of concern - or when wind drops.

After the realization of ripped membrane hull panels a distinct possibility, I think I will proceed to finalize this in wood as originally intended and then perhaps build another and take Ian’s suggestion a bit further. Paper mache’ has been used in the past - using old newspaper. I will have to try a boat using coated epoxy newspaper as a skin. Perhaps sandwich between two very thin layers of 1/2 oz. glass - similar as how Claudio did his large AC Cup boat using fabric.

I already know I will use ( or attempt to use ) the Sunday section of the paper that contains the cartoons - since it has lots of color. Besides, then I can use a modification of Ian’s suggestion and call the boat “Sunday Funnies” - especially since I usually like to sail on Sundays. Based on my sailing abilities - it would be an appropriate name ! :smiley: :smiley: :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:

A bit more framing - this time for a cabin top/foredeck. Again - it may add a bit of weight, but for this one I want it to “look” good and sail well - in this priority order.

Added photo below is of the cabin top/fore deck framing. Again, the stringers on top of cabin will be cut back to allow about 1 inch of overhang.

Perhaps it might be a good place to mount the on/off switch - up under the deck overhang and out of major water access.

Just a thought, how about skinning the frame with the stuff that the rc aircraft boys use for the wings,called solarfilm or something like that.
I’ve heard that it’s pretty tough, as those things end up in trees and bushes sometimes. :lol:

Tomohawk made similar suggestion. Because I sometimes get a case of the “dropsies” and can see a screwdriver having been dropped - punching a hole in the film. :rolleyes:

Amazing how may readers have emailed me urging the use of the Sunday newspaper comic section to cover after sandwiching between glass. I now know I must make another just to try it out.


Well, you could use a grocery bag and have a “Stop and Shop” boat or some such.

There are a number of choices of materials from the RC (and free flight) world. Solarfilm would be pretty vulnerable to sharp stuff. Coverite is a fabric covering used on model aircraft that might be more appropriate. Micafilm is a film reinforced with randomly oriented fibers and is somewhat more puncture resistant than the pure films as well. Then there’s silk and dope, which I think would be both beautiful and durable. Other choices: silkspan (I think this is randomly oriented), litespan (a synthetic tissue which I gather is pretty strong). At one time I think people used nylon and rayon as well.

I wonder about Tyvek in it’s various forms, although perhaps it would be tough to stick down or paint.

For the others, I recommend Sig Stix It for an adhesive.
(click “building equipment” below left)

I may need to discuss further with you - as not being a “fly boy - er person” I am not familiar with all of the various covering fabric/films.

Wife dumped Sunday’s newspaper, so need to wait until this weekend. Will confiscate the comics - and I have some 1/2 oz. glass somewhere. If I can lay my hands on it, I will have to try “Claudio-type of fiberglass plate layup” - just to see how it looks/feels.

If you have no problems sharing info for the aircraft film side of things this coming winter may prove to be very interesting. I had once commented that a keel, trunk, mast and platform for radio gear would be all that I needed - and then figure out how to keep the water out. I really must putt his off for a winter build however, as wife is concerned about too many boats under construction. I really need to finish off some of them.

Thank you though, for the ideas, as they will prove very helpful and maybe a challenge to build an ultralight. :wink:


Feel free to ask anytime. Does this site let you email me? You may have to as I may not always follow the thread. The only coverings mentioned that I’ve used much are Monokote, Ultrafilm (kinda like Monokote), and Micafilm. The latter would probably be most puncture resistant. I’ve used dacron aircraft fabric on a full sized boat, but that stuff may be too heavy for a model. However, it would not be easy to puncture. You’d heat shrink a full sized boat covered with it, but that would probably destroy a model. Perhaps Coverite would be a lighter equivalent.

Dick, how about thin depron foam sheet? perhaps laminate the ‘inside’ of the sheet, glue to the frames, fair and finish the chines then a light glass sheath?


Well Ray, tonight I committed myself to the wood veneer skins as I had planned a ways back. Will leave the “funky” composites to another build later on.

As noted, the hull will be a Sappelle/Mahogany veneer. Hard to see in these build photos but it is a deep dark red/brown, but has silvery colored stripes running length of hull and color while predominately dark red, also falls off to an amber/gold/yellow which can be seen along the exterior chine edge of the first panel that I applied tonight.

Panel was rough cut and the center of keel line carefully sanded down to the profile line. Starting in middle of keel and working out toward the end, the panel was held in place by plastic clamps. Once the panel was aligned with the center line of the keel beam, I tacked it into place with some CA glue in spots along the keel, bulkheads and chine. Will let CA setup over night and tomorrow move clamps to other areas and apply CA again in areas just to tack into place. Then I will bring out the WEST System and mix in dark red/brown microballoon fillers to spread along all seams where panel meets keel, chine or bulkheads. Will use a rounded piece of balsa to form small fillets along all epoxied joints. Then will repeat with second bottom hull panel.

Once both bottom panels are in place, will drop the side panels in place, and after epoxy glue up, the overhang from bottom panel along chine will be cut back and blended at seam.

As an FYI - the veneer is 1/20th. thick (0.05) and seems to take compound bend of panel rather easily.

A few photos of panel glue up/application to frames follow.
#1 - Top view looking down at inside of hull
#2 - Closeup of panel (bottom of photo) ready to glue up to bulkhead
#3 - Bottom view of hull panel (boat is upside down)


If you put a small spruce stick between the veneer and the clamps (full length of the seam), that will ensure that the entire edge of the veneer will be in contact with the frame when you are gluing it down. Some wax paper will keep you from gluing the spruce to the boat by accident.

Dick - I’m glad that you decided to go with the veneer. I think that you would find that the epoxy would lift the ink from the comics and you would just end up a psychedelic mess. You may find that veneer that thin may buckle when you wet it out with epoxy or varnish. I would have recommended 1/64 (.015") aviation ply which is dimensionally more stable because of the cross grain layer.

BTW - Coverite makes a fabric version of their heat shrink coverings. Its much tougher and more puncture resistant than monocoat film.

Ericr367 - thanks for the idea.I have been lucky that the bending of the panels isn’t so extreme to cause a lot of stress on the frames. Also, by taking my time, I have two small gaps to fill on keel - both are just barely wide enough to fit an Xacto blade with a bit of coaxing. Thus dark brown microballons will fill those and be pretty close to invisible - given the colors. Often when gluing up high stress joints, I use plastic packaging tape as it also repells epoxy.

Neil - I’m suffering from a monster hacking cough - so may no finish it tonite, but last night I got the starboard side panel in place and trimmed and sanded to meet the bottom hull panel. My plan has been to mix up brown balloons and fillet around all frame glue edges. Then really thin out epoxy and give it a wash coat as a sealer. Looking at some photos, I can see where the CA glue went through the veneer, so I am hoping there is just enough “twist” to the panels to prevent “ripples” when coated. I may do the cabin top first - so if it does ripple it won’t be a disaster.

I still want to experiement with the color cartoons - so that is on the docket for winter as an experiment, although it could find it’s way onto a different boat as external finish. When I go home for lunch, I will see about a photo post so far. I couldn’t wait, so last night I brushed a bit of water on the side and boy, do I like the color. Am thinking of cutting the sail number out of maple for the bow numbers - but my fret saw blades might be a bit too big. Would be neat to make up a “punch” and just hammer out the number. :rolleyes:

Thought about building a few of these veneer boats to sell - but too much time/work and no one would pay the price! :smiley: Also decking out the son-in-laws RG as well - (strip decking except for hatch, balsa with epoxy coating) since I am in the wood working mood right now.