9'2" MCTAVISH-Son of Fireball replica


This is Neira, from Spain. Looking for a nice outline on the net, I found this one at MCTavish website, and scaled it to fit the longest EPS blank I could get on town, a 280cm long x 60cmwide x 12cmthick tipe IIIEPS block (ok, 1"=2,54cm).

Being impossible to find a wood stringer long enough for that blank (believe me, impossible), I decided to use two pieces of orange XPS foam, 250+30cmlong x 12wide x 3cmthick, for adding enough stiffness to the blank so I could later work with the planer on it. Also, this 3cm of XPS foam will provide the extra width I need to match the SoF scaled outline.

First, I asked the owner of the EPS shop to cut it in two 30cmwide halves, which he was very kind to do at no cost.

Then I worked on the deck and bottom rocker in each one of the halves, separately, using two 240cm long wood templates nailed on each side and a handsaw. This decision became an error later, since it seems not very probable to make 2 exact copies with your hands.

After that, the 2 pieces of EPS were glued to the XPS “kindofstringer” using non-solvent contact cement. XPS cut with a razor and the funny thing starts: shaping!!!.


Outline is drawn on the foam, no template, just width each 10cm of legth

High tech tools being used for outline transfer…

See you next post (3 pics per post???)

Shaping starts at an empty room of my flat. Call me mad if you want…

And goes on…

Foam stringer seems to be stiff enough for working at this stge, but not for surfing. I guess I’ll must think in something later…

Next post, please…

And the result of the shaping stage (one day long, very funny, trust me)

Ummm, that nose concave and that full length channel (thanks Semente for the idea) should be difficult to glass…

What??? That rail on the right of the pic must be re-shaped!!!

Well, it’s all folks. More pics when glassing starts (next weekend, maybe).

can you post the website where you got that CAD surfboard design program from


No software apart of Autocad2000 was used.

Simply open Autocad, insert an external image (the jpg with the outline), draw a polyline over the outline on the photo and a single line over the stringer, from tip to tip. Then just scale these 3 elements (pic, outline and stringer) till the stringer has the length you desire (280cm in my case). Last, draw a set of horizontal lines every 10cm (in my case) or every 12" (it’s up to you) and make the measurements.

If you’re not used with Autocad, post here the pic you want to extract the outline, the length you want it to achieve (1"=2,54cm) and I’ll extract it for you.

See you, Neira.

Hi chano, intresting post, great to see your progress, your Autocad method for getting out-lines is exactly (and I meean staight down the line type of ecactly) how I get out lines.

Good thing about polylines is if your not happy with the shape you and push’em and pull’em, scanned in images from adverts in mags are paticuarly good for this.

What did you have in mind in the way of art work for you finished board??

Hola Woody,

I guess a lot of us use Autocad for scaling outlines.

I plan no artwork in this experiment.

I’ll try no fit a full length cloth between the 2 layers of fibreglass, trying to do a kind of sandwich construction. Vaccum bagging seems difficult to me at this moment,and I worked with cloth inlays before (easy), so I thought cloth will fit my needs: easy bending+2mmseparation between FGlayers. I’ll try to find a one colour cloth, so I guess if I cut the laps, I can achieve a “resin tint effect”. I considered a black full length cloth for a GregNoll-DaCat look, but I guess black is not the best colour for a thermoplastic toy like a surboard.

When using the computer to change a template, just remember that when a shaper scales a board up or down in length, he does not always do it equally. For example, if it gets 10% longer, that doesn’t necessarily mean it gets 10% wider and 10% thicker.

Nicely put, thats exactly what I was trying to say about pulling and pushing the polylines about, you can expand or reduce sections by grabing several points and moving them , and also change the shape of small sections if your not happy them.

Guess my explanations need a bit of work, another point to rember if taking a outline from a photo (especially if it’s one you didn’t take yourself) a photo will flatten perspective, if the photo was taken at an angle it will mess up the dimentions, seems obvious but not always apparent in some photos. That why adverts are a good source.

Your cloth inlay sounds cool, I always thought that would be harder than using pain or tints so i’ve avoided doing any, please post some explanation of your techniques and photos of inlaying as you go,

Good stuff

OK folks, I know shapers don’t scale models exactly proportionally to the lenght of the board and also know that pics can be distorted. But in this case, I love the look of the outline in this pic, no matter if it’s distorted or not.

BTW, I was “talking” to Ben Wallace, from McTavish Intl., who told me the original Son of Fireball proto (seen in the pic) was 7’10"long and 20"wide, which are not far away of range of my scaled model:280cmlong(9’2") x 63cmwide(25" !!!). So I guess pic was not very distorted.

25" wide!!!..This ship must noseride like hell!!!

BTW2: Any suggestions to add stiffness to the board (remember: no stringer). I wonder if adding one more fibreglass layer all over the rails (laps) will do the job… Also thought about some kind of “direct-to-the-foam-T-stringer” routed to halfway the thick of the foam.


      about the stringer problem, i would go with a patch of carbon fiber both in bottom and deck from tip to tail to make the board stronger and to avoid flex. Maybe it could work.

      Seeing your project i figured that you went with the EPS / epoxy combination to build an stronger / lighter surfboard. If this is what you want to do, my personal opinion is that a cloth inlay is something that adds a lot of weight and no strenth to the board, so here you have a contradiction i think.

      Find a solution to the stringer problem or Soesto will do the job... ;)

      By the way, for me, 25'' wide is too much... i mean TOO MUCH. I would go, at least, an inch and a half narrower. How is going to be the bottom contour?, maybe if you're going with some kind of hull you can go this wide. Again, just my opinion.

      Good luck!

You can also make up for lack of stringer by using 3" laps, then 6" tape running down the stringer both top and bottom.

Hola Coque,

EPS was not a choice. After some weeks trying to buy a single longboard foam from Stalwart and getting no answer from them, trying to buy some foam from WatSay and getting nothing I surrender and decided to do it on my way.

Sincerelly, wheight is not a problem. Using cloth (full length) will not add strength by itself but I believe putting cloth between 2 layers of fibreglass can give a similar result than a PVC or core-mat sandwich construction. You know: 2 separate layers with enough space between them give more stiffness than 2 layers glassed together (double T effect).

Soesto! Will it be summer one of these days?

Neira, Stalwart will be closed some time if there isn’t a new owner to run it. Homero now a days can’t run the factory.

Anyway i just shaped a 6’2’’ Stubbie and the foam (from Stalwart) was really bad glued, the stringer was the most screwed one i saw in my life and i spent more time dealing with the blank than shaping the board… And then, the foam was rock hard in one spot and soft like a bodyboard (sorry, i couldn’t resist) few inches later, so doing the rails was a pain.

So now i’m ordering Clark Foam, and today i just received 5 blanks (i made 5 boards in my life and now i’m ordering 5 blanks at a time…), so if you ever want a Clark Foam, just drop me a line.

Are you getting good waves? my last session was this weekend in Afife with 2 foot waves and on shore wind and before that i was a month out of the water, and soon will start the ASP schedule here in Europe so i think i’ll drive to Ferrol this weekend to assure some good sessions.

Good luck with your project, if you need something, just write me.

BTW, I was "talking" to Ben Wallace, from McTavish Intl., who told me the original Son of Fireball proto (seen in the pic) was 7'10"long and 20"wide, which are not far away of range of my scaled model:280cmlong(9'2") x 63cmwide(25" !!!!!!). So I guess pic was not very distorted.

There is no way that McTavish shapes the 9’2" boards 25" wide. It’ll be much narrower than that. That’s what I meant by not scaling the width up the same as the length.

I'll try no fit a full length cloth between the 2 layers of fibreglass, trying to do a kind of sandwich construction.

The gerneral guideline for a eps blank (1 lb denisty) is to use 3 layers 6oz on the deck and 2 layers of 6oz on the bottom. To stiffen you can do a couple of things:

  1. large laps like LeeDD said

  2. LeeDD talked about 6" tape, think of this as a flat glass horizontal stringer on the deck and bottom.

  3. lap more layer (could wrap all five layers)

  4. alternate deck, bottom, deck and lap all

all of these should increase the stiffness of the board and give a stringer like effect.

Hola a todos!,

Last sunday I started the glassing stage, at the bottom of the board. 1 layer of 4oz. fiberglass+1kg of SP106 epoxy resin (resin+hardener, I mean).

I decided to buy SP106+SLOW hardener, since I was afraid of getting caught by the gel. This seems to be a good choice, since I was working alone in that glassing for about 1 hour and a half, mixing batches of 1/3 of a kg of mixture, pouring them on the board and wetting the fiberglass with a rubber squegee: concave and channel first, flat sections second, laps third.

Having no stringer, I decided to follow your advice of using large laps. I was afraid those large laps won’t stick in the underside of the foam, so I used an old trick I love to use: first of all, turn the foam upside down (deck up, in this case) and paint the 3" next to the rails with resin, using a paintbrush. Then, turn the foam, bottom up, trying not to touch the wet rails and proceed with glassing as usual. This way, if laps are not completely wet (you know, shit happens!) they will stick anyway to the foam, even they can get wet when pressed to the foam with the squegee.

90 minutes of glassing-no hassles.

30 minutes of driving+3 hours of 2 feet perfect surf at Caion+30 minutes of driving home-It was dry!!! Even not sticky!!! I guess sun was warming home during afternoon…

Here are the results:


Yes, that’s a custom made squirrel fin on the left…


Laps, again

Glassed bottom-nose

Glassed bottom-full. Note concave and channel. More wet than I wanted them to be, but…

Glassed bottom-full. Note concave and channel.

Some bubbles under the fiberglass along concave and channel edges, but not as many as I expected. I guess I’ll fill them when glassing the full length cloth and the next fiberglass layer.

Note SP106 is not water clear, quite yellow where resin gets thick.

See you when deck is glassed…

Hola muchach@s!


Yesterday afternoon was no surf around town, so I decided to proceed with the glassing of the deck.


Very happy with the results of the bottom glassing (90 minutes of squeeging epoxy resin with no hassles), I thought it was not necesary to mix resin and hardener in batches of 1/3 of a kg., so I mixed the whole 1kg pack.


Bottom glassing was done last weekend at 15ºC.

Deck glassing was done yesterday afternoon at 20+ºC.


When I grabbed the recipient where the mix was done, after wetting underside of the foam rails for best lap-sticking (app. 2minutes), I felt it quite warm, but proceeded with the glassing anyway, from “stringer” to rails. WRONG1:Next time I should stop here and only waste 1kg of epoxy(18€).


When I had squegged half the kilo over the deck, epoxy started gelling, a little smoked started going out of the recipient and I had to open wide the window. Half the deck was not even wet, neither were the laps. WRONG2: Next time I should remove glassfiber when gel caughts me, so I only waste 1kg of epoxy and 3m of glassfiber (18+10€).

CONSEQUENCE3: Trying to spread the maximum resin before complete gel, I went to the other side of the board diving under it, between the racks, but I din’t flex enough, so my nude back smashed the underside wetted lap areas. I have now a 2" epoxy strip tatoo on my back (Sorry, no pics of it). WRONG3: Next time I won’t glass in truncks.

Here are some pics of the disaster: