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By John Turpin - Edmond, Oklahoma - USA

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Okay, time to paint again. I did some masking and then borrowed my buddy's paint rig again. Three coats of Glidden porch paint went onto the boat's interior. I also painted numerous other pieces, including the rudder head and hatch covers.

Masking and prepping to paint

How about some color for that cockpit?
More graphite for the kick-up rudder head
And, then paint

While the interior paint cured, I covered it with plastic and worked on my decks. I'd run out of marine ply and had to substitute in ¼" mahogany ply that I could find locally. This step turned out to be pretty time consuming, as I had to build a mainmast tube, foredeck stringers, side deck structure, etc.. I also had to cut, steam and bend in a coaming splash guard. Then, the four-lamination mahogany gunwale could go on. Note: Four laminations, times three scarfed pieces per lamination, per side of the boat equals lots and lots of sawing, planing, shaping and sanding of some pretty expensive, unforgiving wood. (Sorry, that sounded like whining.)

Fitting the foredeck ply around the mainmast tube
Glassing the decks
This coaming should keep the cockpit a little dryer
Laminating the complicated gunwales

This is the part I'd been hoping to get to. I could now work on the boat's brightwork and trim. The photos below depict a score of fun projects. Exposed wood is African mahogany coated with multiple coats of spar varnish. The tiller is ash and mahogany. At this point, the schedule had gone completely out the window.

June arrived and the boat was now ready to be rigged. Once the masts were stepped, I was able to install running rigging and various control lines. Everything is color coded and all lines and fittings were oversized. Double the masts; double the lines.

The Lapwing is named "Blue Peter" and now sports graphics applied in vinyl. I built the sprits from fir closet rod and applied epoxy, paint and fancywork.

The shear strakes now carry paint and graphics
The boat's website is displayed here. Also, notice the stainless boarding step.
The new sprits get paint
To protect the spars' paint, fancywork was applied to the sprits

On July 26th, Blue Peter heads to the lake for the first time. Winds were light and she ghosted along without a care in the world. 352 days after the project started, almost exactly one year, Lapwing #5 is afloat and sails like the mighty ship that she is.

Blue Peter on her new trailer
The signal flag "Blue Peter" that will fly from atop the mizzen mast
Splashing the boat. Hey, she floats!
Under sail
Ghosting along in light winds
The picture says it all
Kevin Nicolin taking photos from his Core Sound 17, Jubilee
My crew for the day, friend Travis Votaw
The happy skipper

I've only sailed the boat once, but hope to get her out again this weekend. So, I can't tell you much yet about how she sails. I need to have her out in heavier winds to really learn her. I did, however, stand on the side deck and try to knock her over. She was surprisingly stable and stayed on her feet. She's not tippy and didn't seem tender, but I'll learn more about her over the next few months. I'm guessing that her light weight and sleek hull will make her a rocket ship.

The project was a ton of fun, but clearly represented an enormous amount of work. The Lapwing turned out great and I'm very glad that I opted to go this route. I may possibly be tempted to build again someday, but I'm betting that I've retired as a boat builder. I wanted a good "adventure boat" and I think I now have one. This boat should give me many years of fun and provide me, my family and friends with all the adventures we can handle.

For more details on this building project and our ongoing adventures, visit Blue Peter's website at

Fair Winds
John Turpin
Edmond, OK
s/v Blue Peter


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