West Satsop CNC

Latest from the shop

The new West Satsop CNC shop is coming together! With the help of Enterprise for Equity and Grays Harbor PUD we're making building improvements to improve our energy efficiency, and in a 10,000 square foot facility, everything helps. Triple bottom line is a big part of our business mission and these shop improvements help us honor that commitment.

About West Satsop CNC

West Satsop CNC prides itself on uncompromising quality and innovative design. In addition to boat kits shipped all over the world, we make signs, flat-pack furniture and cabinetry.

FAQ Assembly and boatbuilding

Stitch and glue primer

Stitch and glue boat construction has been around since the 70's. It was brought into popular use by a boatbuilder named Sam Devlin in Olympia, Wa. His book, "Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding the Sam Devlin Way" is the definitive resource on the topic, and is available in our bookstore.

Our kits use stitch and glue techniques extensively. The basic process is to temporarily fasten (stitch) panels together at the edges (chines) and place epoxy saturated fiber tapes over the chines to create a structural bond.

A West Satsop CNC kit is constructed over a computer-cut jig which is assembled egg-crate style. This jig positions the bulkheads laterally (athwarthships), longitudinally (lengthwise) and vertically. Once the bulkheads are in accurate position, the hull panels are joined end-for-end, puzzle-piece style. The two long assembled bottom hull panels are then draped over the bulkheads and temporarily fastened together with wire or heavy gauge pneumatic staples. We've found that inexpensive heavy gauge electric fence wire works well.

Once the lowest hull panel is stable and located in the proper position, the second panel is attached in the same way. It's been described as "reassembling a bananna from the peels" for good reason. It's a little magical to see a boat appear from the seemingly random shapes of the hull panels.

Once all the panels are attached together, and secured in the proper location relative to the bulkheads, the hull is "tabbed" to the bulkheads - bonded with short lengths of epoxy saturated fiberglass tape.

As construction progresses, the joints are "filleted" (the joints are covered with a thickened epoxy mixture) and then taped with continuous lengths of fiberglass tapes as indicated on the plans. 

From the perspective of strength and speed, stitch and glue is a superior method of construction, and our kits really give the boatbuilder a great headstart on what can be a very rewarding project.

How do these pieces fit together?

West Satsop Boatworks uses highly-precise computerized cutting to make parts which are accurate enough for easy assembly. One of our trademark joinery features is the puzzle splice.

The puzzle splice has about .005 gap between panels. This gap is small enough to guarantee that the panel is properly aligned, but wide enough to allow you to apply glue to the mating surfaces.

First, Set the panel sections on piece of polyethelene sheet. Apply mixed but unthickened epoxy to each side of the joint, and slide them together, moderate pressure or tapping may be necessary to get the parts to slide together. Resist the temptation to dry fit the parts. They will slide together nicely when glue is applied, but not if the joint is all-buggered-up from abuse.

After applying epoxy, we recommend applying packaging tape to both sides of the joint to assure that the epoxy stays where you want it while it is curing. 

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