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Pros Tips For Building a Boat

Aug 17, 2007
To get a good boat, one must start with a good design. Any person equipped with basic woodworking tools, some experience and patience should be able to get his or her dreamboat translated into a real life of excitement and action. Boats do not go out of fashion. After a few years, if your taste or requirements should change, you can always sell your boat and start a new one. The building of your own boat is a challenge, but if you meet it, the reward is the deep satisfaction of a self-made life afloat.

The example in this article was a boat we built that we liked to call 'Swell Time.' The first step in building this boat, after selecting the materials, was to make full-size frame patterns. The frames are molded three inches thick, and cut from one-inch stock. The bottoms of all frames are cut with a 15 bevel to lay at the same angle with the transom. All of the side frames are cut straight and are faired after the framing is assembled.

All frames are assembled with three 1-inch No. 8 brass screws and glued with a good waterproof glue at each joint. No. 4 frame is cut for the seat riser but completely assembled over the full-size pattern. Attach a brace across the top of this frame to hold it together. After the hull is completed, this brace can be removed.

Care must be taken when assembling the transom, as the frame serves as part of the seat riser. The bottom frame on the transom is notched to accept the keel and battens. Use 1 No. 8 screws to assemble the transom. The transom bar is installed with two-inch No. 10 screws. All parts are glued.

The stem is next in line. This is cut from two-inch stock and braced on each side with one-inch stock. Be careful to cut the notch for the keel square. The keel is attached to the stem with three two-inch No. 10 screws.

Now make the building form and start setting up the frames. The building form can be made from a straight 2x10 with trestle-type legs. Cut the notches for the frames at 15 and set the frames in place on the form. Legs can be clamped to the transom to hold it in position while the keel is being attached. Use batten compound between the keel and transom. Be sure the transom is level and square with the keel and tack a diagonal brace between transom and keel to hold it in line while the rest of the framing is in progress. Fasten with two l-inch No. 10 screws at each frame.

After the keel is attached to the frames, secure the keel to the building form. Now attach all the battens in the same manner as the keel, making sure the frames remain square to the keel.

There are so many aspects of building a boat and the above is just a small taste of the action. Why not download our e-book 'How to Build 20 Boats' and learn how you can be enjoying your very own, personally created, customized boat, made with your own two hands.
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