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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I have been thinking about building a small row boat as a project in my shop. Have any of you tried building a home made boat? I was wondering if anyone would have some input on some of the hints and kinks on a project like this. I am looking forward to any comments. I found some free plans on this web site Free boat plans, boat builders, designers, plywood boats Free, Boat, Plans, Skiff, D4, Sharpie, Dinghy, Dory, Plywood, Boatbuilding
Thank you
Roxanne
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 05:59 AM
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Thanks so much for that link Roxanne, Building this type of boat is a project well worth doing, if you are going to do it then read up on "Steam Bending" and don't get daunted by the idea of doing that as it can be done with very primitive gear. Practice Steam Bending and be able to do that and this these types of Boats are within anyone's ability, neville9999
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxanne562001 View Post
Hi all,
I have been thinking about building a small row boat as a project in my shop. Have any of you tried building a home made boat? I was wondering if anyone would have some input on some of the hints and kinks on a project like this. I am looking forward to any comments. I found some free plans on this web site Free boat plans, boat builders, designers, plywood boats Free, Boat, Plans, Skiff, D4, Sharpie, Dinghy, Dory, Plywood, Boatbuilding
Thank you
Roxanne
One thing to consider is the cost of materials. Building one could cost near as much as buying one and unless you have a lot of expertise you will have to use wood which will require maintenance. I'm not trying to burst your bubble but there is lots to consider. As a boy I helped my grandfather build a sixty foot fishing boat and a skiff. The project took more than two years to complete then all was lost in the 1954 hurricane. I wish you the best of luck.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it to it's fullest.

Making sawdust by the sea in Massachusetts
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 07:50 AM
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The materials will cost more than a used boat. When I was a kid I tried building one. My mother suggested that I fill it with water to see if it leaked before taking it out to the lake. I did and it did and that was the end of the story. It would be a fun project and someday I may attempt another one. As they say you live and learn.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 09:30 AM
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Roxanne,

I suggest you look at the Wooden Boat web site in Brooklin, ME

They sell many books on building boats.
I have been to several of their hands on classes.
Their magazine is great.

Bert Pesak
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:20 AM
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Roxanne, building a boat is a major project and one that would provide years of enjoyment. Research it to death before you start; there are so many little tricks of the trade for success. Speaking of steam bending have you considered laminating some bracelets? It's a good way to learn about steam bending if you are new to it.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:42 AM
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just my thoughts Roxanne.
I've built several small boats and I suggest making the first one simple. there are several plans available. I would try stich and glue and plywood. you have several good ones that you have already looked into. I would only add Bolgers instant boats.I'm assuming that your'e thinking of it as something you not only can use but have the satisfaction of building it yourself. but if your in need and in a hurry, I suggest buying something used. the used boat market is almost always far below new purchase. P.S. Some find pleasure in turning fruit bowls, I love building boats. think of it as a pleasing experinece.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 11:49 AM
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I know a guy who is a regular in another woodworking chat room that built an adirondack guide boat. This was his first boat to build, and it came out absolutely stunning. He used bent lamination rather than steam bending the ribs for it.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 12:15 PM
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I say go for it! Attached is a photo of a small sail boat I built several years ago. It was the most fun, challenging, frustrating, exciting, and educational project I have ever done. Learned a lot about epoxy, fiberglass, and more. I learned amazing things like that you can actually cut curves with your circular saw and that epoxy fills in your mistakes. Overall I spent about 400 hours building it. Some of those hours were just sitting and trying to figure out how to make something work. Others were spent gazing at my project and thinking, "Wow. This is looking really cool!" Yes, you will spend much more than you think. Yes you need to find a plan that you like (I recommend stitch & glue construction. It would have made my construction easier.) Yes boat building is a challenge. But when your neighbors start passing by and saying "Wow!" it's all worth it. I have passed my boat on to a youngster who loves to sail and don't really want to own another boat. But I've gotta tell ya', I do want to BUILD another one.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa brain View Post
I would only add Bolgers instant boats.

Yep, I totally agree with that. I think I've got all the Bolger books now. Stevenson Projects have some nice boats too, but are a step up from a rowboat.
Somewhere around here I've got a copy of a book on making John Boats. They're simple, they're cheap (use sheathing plywood), and they work. The author learned from his father and grandfather, and says that the life of a plywood boat, without painting is about 15 years - but that means when it's stored it needs to be upside down, to keep rainwater from collecting and rotting it. It's best to paint them tho, and ordinary house paint works as well as the expensive stuff.

I haven't had the chance to make one yet, but have been doing research on it, and collecting books and plans for years. When I do, it will be plywood, probably tack and tape rather than stitch and glue, flat bottom or possibly a bit of rocker, straight up and down sides.

I'd say get the plans for one of the one-sheet dinghys and do that for a first build. That'll give you confidence, then you can go for one a bit fancier. Bolger's Tortoise comes to mind. Take pictures, lots, and lots, of pictures.
http://www.instantboats.com/tortoise.htm

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Last edited by JOAT; 06-08-2012 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Add link
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