PDA

View Full Version : So.....I would like to build a boat



Dave Lehnert
06-27-2010, 7:18 PM
I have gotten the bug to build a wooden motor boat. Small 12-16 foot????
Doing more to show off my woodworking than having a boat.

Where is a good place to start doing some research, how to's etc...

Bruce Seidner
06-27-2010, 11:06 PM
The most supportive and active forum that I have found is on Glen-L.com. Most of the discussion is around building one of the 300+ boats they publish plans for but plenty of folks are building other plans, like from Wooden Boat Magazine. I have purchased plans from Glen-L and find them to be very complete and there is no lofting required with full size blue prints for the frame pieces.

It doesn't feel like a "commercial" site though clearly Glen-L is a business. But it is one that is very service oriented and I have not found better prices for the consumables, fasteners, epoxy, etc. They are having a gathering this fall not far from me in Chattanooga, TN and I am looking forward to seeing what people have built. There are very detailed blogs and photo documentaries of the projects in play and finished. I have never asked a question that was not replied to in a very helpful manner. I give them 3 thumbs up.

Dave Lehnert
06-27-2010, 11:30 PM
The most supportive and active forum that I have found is on Glen-L.com. Most of the discussion is around building one of the 300+ boats they publish plans for but plenty of folks are building other plans, like from Wooden Boat Magazine. I have purchased plans from Glen-L and find them to be very complete and there is no lofting required with full size blue prints for the frame pieces.

It doesn't feel like a "commercial" site though clearly Glen-L is a business. But it is one that is very service oriented and I have not found better prices for the consumables, fasteners, epoxy, etc. They are having a gathering this fall not far from me in Chattanooga, TN and I am looking forward to seeing what people have built. There are very detailed blogs and photo documentaries of the projects in play and finished. I have never asked a question that was not replied to in a very helpful manner. I give them 3 thumbs up.
Thanks, Just the info I was looking for. I consider myself to be a woodworker capable of doing such a project but wanting to do some research on how much it will cost to build etc....
I am a long way from building one. Just in the research stage.

David Kirtley
06-28-2010, 12:17 AM
Duckworks Magazine is a really good source of info:

http://www.duckworksmagazine.com

Greg Woloshyn
06-28-2010, 3:51 PM
Dave, I'm in the same boat as you, just starting research and looking at all the plans available. I have found Boat Designs to have the best selection of plans for what I'm looking for.

As of now, I'm looking into pricing for a used 15-25hp outboard motor, just so I know what I'm getting into as far as money goes. If anyone can chime in, feel free.

Karen Wales
06-30-2010, 10:27 AM
Hi Dave,

I agree with everyone here. These are all good resources. I have taught a lot of boatbuilding courses so I have some questions I think you should ask yourself before you build:

-Do you want a traditionally built boat or do you want to use plywood and epoxy and fiberglass?

Reasons to build a traditional boat:
-No messiness with epoxy and/or epoxy and fiberglass sheathing.
-All solid wood, nice white cedar shavings, good smells etc.
-You get a lovely, traditionally built boat in the end.

Reasons not to build a traditional boat:
-You live near fresh water and/or your boat will spend most of its life on a trailer. Traditional boats need time to swell and solid wood boats tend to have a much shorter life span in fresh water. Salt water seems to cure wood.
-When you hear of ancient timbers being salvaged in the Great Lakes it's because they have been preserved in the cold depths.
-Solid wood often splits, especially during the planking process. This can be very discouraging, especially for the first time builder.

Reasons to build a plywood/epoxy or stripped/sheathed boat:
-Many many kits are available (no shame in using a kit for boatbuilding).
-Marine plywood is more forgiving if the wood needs to be bent in two directions.
-Epoxy seam lapstrake construction or stripping and then covering with glass and epoxy makes for a relatively easy build and renders a strong and long lasting boat that can be trailered and never needs time to swell.
-These types hold up fine in either salt or fresh water.

Reasons not to build a modern constructed boat:
-Messy epoxy and/or fiberglass.
-To some, it's less satisfying than working with "real wood" throughout.

Once you clarify your building objective, think about what you might like to do with a boat when finished. Go fishing on a quiet lake? Sail? Race? Teach your kids to row?

Once you think through these questions, you can more easily choose which boat project is right for you.

Glen-L does have a lot of great products. Chesapeake Light Craft has some great kayak and other plans and kits. Of course, WoodenBoat and many many other sites have fine plans too. It all comes down to figuring out what type of building experience you're looking for and what boat you want in the end.

I hope this helps you,

Karen

Don Ziolkowski
06-30-2010, 3:55 PM
See the forum at forum.woodenboat.com.

Bob Smalser
07-01-2010, 4:04 PM
Head over to the Woodenboat forum and do a search of titles for "lumberyard skiff". It's the perfect first boat to make all your mistakes on before tackling something more complicated and lengthy to build. You can build it inexpensively using local materials....either Doug Fir construction lumber or local White Oak or Black Locust for frames, and cedar or Eastern White Pine fence boards for side planks and bottom. And Stainless steel or bronze (salt water) ring-shank nails with a good poly plumber's caulk for bedding will work fine.

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj198/jimmylee_06/sundayboatride015.jpg?t=1216746337

The notion that newly-built traditional carvel or flat-bottomed skiffs can't be leak-free trailer boats, or will have problems with planks splitting is entirely mistaken:

- Just don't leave them in the water for more than two-three weeks for compression set to occur.

- And in an older flat-bottomed skiff that leaks, it's no biggie....the planks can be reset to tighten them up and recaulked in less than a day.

- Last, if your skiff needs to live at a mooring all summer and will be pulled for the winter, simply double-plank the bottom. Two layers half as thick with canvas and tar in between. It's easy and the boat will never leak.

Holler if you need help.

-

Dave Lehnert
07-02-2010, 12:53 AM
WOW! Many things for me to consider.

Thanks for the info.

Bob Smalser
07-02-2010, 1:42 AM
Depending on what wood you have available locally, a solid-wood boat can also be significantly less expensive than a painted plywood or glassed plywood boat. Besides being a lot more pleasurable to build.

A few tips:

Lotsa folks pooh-pooh ring-shank nails as too difficult to repair. Not so. Using a hammer and cleat for padding, tap the piece apart slightly so you can reach in with a Sawzall or tape-wrapped hacksaw blade. Cut the nails, remove the piece, drive the heads out from behind using a punch, and pound the pointy-ended stubs into the framing member and leave them there. With bronze it's actually a lot easier than removing screws.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/7534648/100694055.jpg

Don't use any sapwood in the boat and bed all the faying surfaces in a non-adhesive bedding compound. Yet "marine" bedding compounds like Dolphinite are ridiculously expensive, and you'll need a lot of it. So in work boats I use Henry roofing tar from Home Depot and for fancier work I use Vulkem 116 poly plumber's caulk....3 bucks a tube at plumber's supply houses.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/7711190/139929543.jpg

Same with paints. The easiest paints to use are Brightsides and Easypoxy poly marine enamels, but they are very expensive and too glossy if replicating a traditional look is your goal. Several companies still make alkyd porch and floor enamels that are a third of the price, last just as long and have a more authentic look. Avoid varnish except for mahogany accents. It's a maintenance problem and paint looks just as good when the boat is in the water.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/21637099/359943593.jpg

Don't spend any money importing crooks for knees and breasthooks. We can show you how to easily laminate them from your framing scraps. They are usually lighter and stronger, too.

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj198/jimmylee_06/LYSSailinglaunchday004.jpg?t=1216747189

And if you have time left over, you can even rig that skiff for sail. ;)

Jim Creech
07-02-2010, 9:47 AM
As this will be your first boat you would do well to heed the advice of Bob and Karen. They have hit the nail on the head so to speak. I also have built small craft out of lumberyard materials that turned out quite nice and have seen a number of handsome craft built by beginners from what the purists would call "inferior material". Remember, the best boat builders that ever lived started out as beginners! Choose your building method, choose your design and go for it. You will be hooked!