The unique Scruffie concept starts with a good strong ready made keel, with lead ballast built in (except Shimmy). The marine ply frames, bulkheads, shelves and seats are located to the keel and to each other by a series of precision pre-cut slots and tabs which interlock to form an incredibly rigid skeleton. Clever design means every component not only adds to the strength and rigidity, but also has a use once built - as shelves and lockers for example.
All the joints are bonded and coved, and the plywood itself is coated, using epoxy resin.
A series of closely spaced full length stringers is then bonded to the frames, adding more stiffness and strength and forming the support for the marine ply skin.
The skin is then screwed and glued to the skeleton, thus forming multiple watertight compartments for stowage and flotation.
Once faired, the hull is sheathed with resin and glass cloth.
Hardwood trim is of the highest quality, and choice of timber is the customerís.
Most parts are pre-shaped or laminated by Scruffie Ė deck beams, for example, are laminated hardwood, and profiles are provided ready-routed.
Modern epoxies are not only almost indestructible (once coated to protect from UV), they are very forgiving, and form a bond stronger than the timber itself. Thanks to this, and to the precision pre-cutting, anyone with ordinary DIY skills can assemble a strong seaworthy boat.
The time taken will depend on the builder, obviously, but within a few daysí work the kit is framed up, and progress is very rapid. Working full time, with a man and a boy (or a woman and a girl) Scruffie reckon to take 3 months to finish one of the larger sized boats. Itís fair to say that the second one would take less time than the first! Fairing, fitting out and finishing shouldnít be rushed, but again you donít need to be a shipwright.
We at Whisper Boats usually have at least one boat in build, and examples of all the designs are normally in build somewhere in the UK. We recommend anyone seriously interested organises a visit to us, to see the kits, the method of building, the options for hardwood trim, and to discuss the practicalities of building themselves.