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Building the Phantoms

Phantoms assembly system

The plans for the Phantoms 16 and 18 show a typical stitch and glue assembly sequence without any jig or strongbacks but these boats can also easily be built in a more traditional manner, upside down using the deck panels as their base and the bulkheads as molds. The deck is flat and all the dimensions on the plans refer to the lower face of the deck as the baseline: no need to offset anything.

Designed for easy building:
Start by lining up the plywood sheets that will be used for the deck on a flat floor. Centerline and bulkhead location lines taken from the plans will later help to cut the deck panels. Cut the outline of the middle bulkhead and brace it in place.

Install the bulkheads:
All other bulkheads and transom. The bracing is not shown. The small jig at the bow is cut from dimensions given on the plans but will be discarded after assembly.

Install the stringers in notches in the bulkheads. The plans give the dimensions for the stringers and the exact locations of the notches. Use only temporary fasteners at this point. BTW, all these parts are cut from standard plywood sheets. We assemble our parts with strong fiberglass/epoxy splices, not need to scarf. Butt blocks can also be used.

Cut the side panels flat on the floor from the dimensions given on the plans: no need for templates. For fairness, use only enough fasteners to keep the panels in position.

Cut the side panels flat on the floor from the dimensions given on the plans and install on the hull. Stitch sides and bottom using plastic tie wraps. Build the epoxy-fiberglass seams.

After the cure, we will fiberglass the complete bottom then flip the assembly over and cut all openings in the bulkheads, cut the mid frame from the mid mold and use the floor panels for the deck: no waste of time or materials. The hull will be fiberglassed in and outside with biaxial glass and epoxy, this will produce a composite hull lighter than a fiberglass boat but much stronger.

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