"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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8 December 2012

Boat building progressed...A bit!

I am treating my boat's building as a journey, rather than a destination at the moment. How for have I got on my journey? Well, the answer is not far! There has been other priorities recently.

So, the progress so far:

1) Cleared the space where the boat will be built. That took more work than anticipated, but it was worth it for the closeness, and easy access, to my workshop.

2) Purchased a large marquee (12 metres by 4 metres) to be used as a boat building shed. It's much better than the makeshift shelter I was prepared to build, not really costing any more, and, at the end of the build, I should be be able to sell it, and not loose too much money on it, as it came with a 20% discount!

3) Purchased the first 25 sheets of 18mm marine plywood.

4) Purchased some epoxy resin and cloth. This is intended to be used on the hull, to strengthen the surface and make it more water-resistant, thereby (hopefully) having a longer lasting hull. I have hesitated in making that choice. I don't like working with epoxy, and would have preffered a more natural, less toxic product, but it's hard to think of something more water-resistant.

You'll notice the use of the word  water "resistant" rather than water "proof". Epoxy and fibreglass are not totally water proof. Water vapour can still migrate through it, into the wood behind, it just takes longer. Then, if you ding it and crack  the epoxy/cloth surface (which WILL happen) the water will find it's way into the ply. Practically, it's inevitable.

Purchased a circular saw. I loathe the things, the noise and the dust, but they are the quickest tool for cutting the ply, so I gave in! As I said before, I want to build this boat quickly.

Purchased a load of screws, and a lot of Sikaflex adhesive.

I have a faily large stash of copper nails and roves & bronze ring nails that I have been sorting out and stored, ready for use.

Once I start the build proper, it's going to be a "quick and dirty" build. I have a set of plans, or rather, I should  say,  lots of ideas gleaned from the internet and a few years of working on boatyards...

After all, this is going to be a "big plywood box", not a fine gentleman's yacht! I don't know about the wheel yet, because that add about 10' to the boat. Mind you, despite this, I am VERY tempted to go for it! But, there is still time to consider it.


  1. Plywood and circular saw pretty much go together. Sawing plywood with a handsaw is something I'd rather not repeat.

    I love boat projects. Having a good building space and a good pile of materials is a fine start.

    1. For thick ply, yes definitely! But for thin ply (say 1/4") I much prefer to use a thin japanese hand-saw. I can cut right on the pencil line, and quickly too, including curved lines. No mess, no noise, no finishing needed... Much, much better than a electric jigsaw. Did I say I like my japanese hand saws?

      I'll post some progress pictures as I go along.

    2. You've got a good point about 1/4" ply. Most of the stuff I've been working with recently is 1/2" or thicker -rough work too.

      I don't even own a set of Japanese hand-saws, sad to say.

      The last hand saw I used was a 3.5 foot German crosscut saw. How's that for rough work?