I’ve been in and around wooden race and recreational boats for a few decades now. As a designer who sells plans I can really only direct people towards the most tried and true methods that work just about anywhere. This article explains a large part of experience that leads to my approach.
How much fibreglass is really necessary to prevent damage to a plywood boat for most users? For a long time I’ve been suspicious that both designers and builders are in a never ending spiral of more and more heavier fibreglass. I argue, with data from the Turner designed Jarcat, that the weights of glass are clearly excessive for most uses and users of small boats.
One of the most important things as a designer or sailor is to keep an open mind, but also to be able to analyze things in light of real experience and prior knowledge. This article, after a bit of a spiel, goes on to give some great resources that “opened my eyes” at different times in my life. They focus on areas of structural design, sailing, sail aerodynamics and touch on a bit more.
Is it revolutionary? The Quick Canoe uses Duct tape to hold the plywood together while the glue or glass tape sets up. This can save a huge amount of time. The Quick Canoe is designed to take maximum advantage from the method.
Slideshow and pictures resources to show some of the methods for building the Eureka Stitch and Glue Plywood Canoe.
This page compares the two plywood canoes in my range. Both have detailed plans and are simple to build. The page is to explain the differences and to help potential builders see if one of the boats suits their needs. Lots of links to pictures, build articles and even videos. The cla
Melanie in the UK wrote to me. She has just bought an old Mirror dinghy and started sailing for the first time. Problem is that the boat leaks and she doesn’t want to stop using the boat until the end of the season. I have a philosophy of keeping older boats on the water and not pulling them off for months on end until you have the time to do the job. So the article here is useful to see what can be done with an old leaky plywood sailing dinghy to keep it going. It is perfect sailing weather at the moment in the UK and it is better she is out there learning but with the worst of the leaks gone. With a disciplined approach she should be able to get all of this done in a week or so. The general leaks fixed permanently and the rotted area reinforced so that the boat won’t break.
This podcast/mp3 talks about why Australian (and New Zealand) wooden boatbuilding is different from the rest of the world.. Click to listen to the talk. This is the third of three.
This is the second of my talks in the USA. It focuses a bit more on construction and some of the methods that can be used to keep a boat light and simple, but very strong and stiff. It also discusses how there is a “creep” in boatbuilding and design that increases the weight of boats way over what is really needed for a strong structure.
Gluing Endgrain Gluing timber end grain with epoxySee drawing of endgrain right.. The basic problem is that end grain is highly absorbent so it can steal the resin from the join leaving insufficient for good bonding. The trick … is to feed the end grain some mixed resin before the glue mix is put on […]
There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a slightly raised temperature. * It flows out better onto the work * It mixes easier * The curing kicks off faster in cold weather (and the box can easily only be turned on when needed. There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a […]
There was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure good bonding when gluing or fiberglassing the surface. This is not recommended – the following explains why. There was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure […]
This is a problem most of use come up against at least once. However it is unlikely to happen a second time. Richard wrote to me asking why his epoxy was still soft 3 days later. He suggested it might be because of one of: 1. The immediate guess is that it’s been too cold […]
There are two tricks to sikaflexing between strips. Use the Sika Primer – it improves the bond strength to the timber for a permanent job. You can get away without it often, but it changes the situation from a fairly strong bond to a hugely strong bond (you’ll know this if you have ever removed […]
Most people know about using Cordless Drills to drive screws into timber now, but I remember when it was new and exciting! Here’s my spiel from my plans sets Cordless Battery Drill with Clutch. A marriage made in heaven. The drill can be battery (most convenient) or mains powered. It is best if it has […]
Paint vs Varnish Paint is more durable and will protect the epoxy and timber the best. Varnish hides a rough surface better. If you have done a rough job the timber grain will hide it. Make sure the varnish contains ultra-violet filters. It is a photo from the Goat Island Skiff Calendar put together by […]
There are a number of labour and materials saving techniques that are applicable when using epoxy. Contents of this section Wet-on-Wet Coating and Dewaxing Cured Epoxy. Building strong lightweight boats – a note on the use of epoxy One Hit coating and gluing Wet-on-Wet Coating and Dewaxing Cured Epoxy. As epoxy cures some of the […]
The two methods here save a lot of mess when building boats with epoxy. They also allow accurate and fast placement of mixed epoxy glue. Most supermarkets have varieties of “snap lock” bags. They have a seal across the opening of the bag that can be pressed together with finger pressure. They make it a […]