Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm getting more done on Long Steps

With some of my other commitments dealt with and the weather warming a bit, the start of spring being just a week away, I'm getting a bit done on Long Steps.  Some friends came and we flipped her over, ready for work on the bottom and I'm getting her faired off ready for fibreglass.  There are patches where tape does the job, that being around the "corners, and along the chine between the bottom panel and the lowest plank, and the corners of the transom to planks and the stem.
I've three layers of 6oz tape wrapped around the forefoot, there will be two more over that, the intention is to protect the edges of the plywood where the boat will be pulled up on a beach or a boatramp. The next two tapes will run along the chine then a sheet of glass will run from under the lowest plank lap joint across  to the same on the other side, then the skeg goes on over that.
I've also put a patch on where each of the rudder fittings will bolt on, thats to reinforce the high stress area where those fittings will be seated.
I don't think that I've mentioned it before, but I've bored the holes for the rudder fitting bolts well oversize, filled them with epoxy mix then re drilled them, that to prevent any leakage getting into the end grain of the plywood as well as increasing the strength through the transom plywood and the big doublers inside.

But todays little triumph is that I've made the fittings that will hold the bolts in place.  The problem is that with the after deck on, access to the inside of that space is very restricted, so I've made some 6mm stainless steel plates, threaded to take the bolts, the bolts will go through these and have a locknut on them to ensure that they cant come undone, then be screwed onto the doublers inside the transom as a permanent fitting. 
The bolts protrude out through the transom, neoprene "o rings" over them, and the fittings placed over those with washers and nuts to secure them.  Here are some shots of the fittings.  
A warning, stainless steel is tough, not hard, but tough, I broke a tap doing this, in part because I didn't have the correct drill size for the tap. Only 0.2mm difference, but like I said, that stuff is tough.  Its cheaper to go and buy the right size drill than lose a tap.

This is the lower one, the ends of the plates are shaped to fit the inside of the planking.  The bolts are the wrong way around but you get the idea.  The fittings by the way are from Duckworks, they're great. 


  1. Hi John,

    Long Steps is a beauty. I'm looking forward to seeing her on the water.

    Warm waves of aloha,
    SV Oceanus

    1. Thanks Brandon, I have to say that I'm looking forward to that same day. Phil McCowin has been sailing his for a while though, and she's performing pretty well, he's promised to write me a review and I'll be making that public as soon as I have it to hand.

  2. Hi Mr Welsford,
    I just purchased your Swaggie plans. I'll start the build shortly after I receive the plans in the mail. Will there be an opportunity to consult with you as the build progresses? You can connect with me at


    Dogan Tekben

    1. Thanks for choosing Swaggie Dogan. Yes, just email me if and when you have questions.

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  6. hi
    I have a question regarding Swaggie please.
    How much longer can i build it (if 10% then it is about 21 inches more in lenght to approx 20ft in lenght).
    Another question is;
    Can it have a small cockpit due to Mediterranean use?
    Thank you
    Raymond Mangion