Brand new to boat building

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by westkyle, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. westkyle
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Location: TN

    westkyle New Member

    Hello everyone, since a recent move I have decided to pursue a hobby and since I have sailing and water experience boat-building came to mind. I've been bookmarking and reading many different websites(including many forums posts here) in regards to constructing boats. For my first boat I want to build a canoe or small kayak. I thought of even building a catamaran at rebelcat.com. Amazon contains many books pertaining to boat-building and many books have great reviews; but I want the opinion of people on this board on any recommendations.

    If I would like a book or dvd to look to in order to help my learning experience what do you recommend? I want to learn stitch and glue and building pure wooden boats.

    Should I purchase a kit for my first boat? What designs do you recommend?

    I really am strapped on cash as well, so the cheaper the better. I also hope in time to be able to add to this community with some experience.

    Thank you,

    West
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Go with a Whisp. Its a cheap, lightweight 68lbs ,elegant row boat that you will love to use. Its so nice all your friends will want you to build them one.

    http://www.sredmond.com/index_boat.htm
     
  3. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    What is your budget? If you are really strapped for cash, a used boat is a better option.
     
  5. westkyle
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    westkyle New Member

    The whisp looks awesome. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on plans and I would want it to be a pretty easy first boat, so I can get a feel for boat-building and continue with more difficult things. I have a used boat already, but it's a power boat that I intend on messing with anyways sooner or later. How much money do you think it would cost to build a whisp? You got the wood, fiberglass, epoxy, and all of the other stuff I guess. I wouldn't know a good estimate just yet, but I can do the research. A cheap set of plans, kit, and wood would be a great find for me. I really want it to be a sailboat, but a canoe or rowboat would work as well. Hell, maybe I could make it a sailing canoe rowboat or something awesome like that.
     
  6. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    Going cheap on plans in many cases is an expensive mistake.
    Been there, done that.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    3 sheets of marine plywood, some timber for chines and oars ,Jug of epoxy, couple meters of eglass fabric, paint, sand paper...probably 500 dollars. Perhaps a bit more

    Its a very simple boat. Thats what makes it beautiful...and easy to build.

    http://home.comcast.net/~wburk4133/Whisp/bbuilding.html

    Surf around the net and there are a few more cheap and fun to build boats. 500 dollars is a good budget.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can build a 12' skiff for about $100.00 with exterior grade plywood and polyester resin. It makes not much sense to spend a lot of money on fancy materials when you are learning. You will waste a lot while you figure out what not to do.
     
  10. kvsgkvng
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    kvsgkvng Senior Member

  11. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    +1 for skin on frame for cheap. Kayaks typically , but some canoes and pulling boats.
    Not a lot of woodworking, but some. Not necessary to use epoxy, but I do.

    Free plans at yostwerks.com.
    These boats paddle well.
    Sometimes takes a little looking to get everything you need to know. I had to have help - some here on the forum.
     
  12. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    for your first build I would also suggest using exterior grade plywood and other materials you can get from for a big box store. You can also make sails from Tyvek house wrap or blue tarps and duct tape. It will not last a long time but it will get you on the water cheap and give you some experience working with wood. After you have some time both building and sailing a small boat you will have a better idea what you want in a boat, and where your skills are.

    I do not care to mess with fiberglass, I have built a lot of skin-on-frame kayaks and several sailboats using the same skin-on-frame hulls. I usually salvage lumber from old buildings or left over from construction sites, I have rarely spent more than $100 on any boat I have built this way. there is no reason to buy costly marine paints and lumber for a practice build for a boat you will likely out grow anyway. I have either burned such hulls after a few years, or given them away to friends to bang around in.

    When you have a better idea what you want for your long term use, than spend money on quality plans and materials. It is just a lot less stressful to not have to worry about costs on your "practice builds", if it does not turn out the way you want you can always start over, or trear it apart and make changes to it. that is easy to do when there is only about $60 worth of stuff at stake, not so easy when there is $1800 worth of marine plywood and fiberglass.

    Here are some links to some free plans to get you started:

    http://svensons.com/boat/


    I built this sailboat for only about $35, salvaged most of the materials, it is skin-on-frame. I uses plastic skin I pulled from the trash, heavy polyester fabric might have added about $90 to the build but made it more durable.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another skin-on-frame sailboat:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. westkyle
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    westkyle New Member

    I like the whisp, but I think I'm going to go with one of the guys above and go for something cheaper. I agree it might be a better idea to use cheaper materials and such for my first boat. Gonzo's 12 foot skiff idea has caught my fancy. Any plans for a cheaper sailing skiff?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  14. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    You will not want to use a kit if your budget is limited anyway. Here are some great sites at the links below with free plans of older yet proven designs. You can convert them to use 1/4" ac plywood or marine plywood by studding the details of more modern designs, but all of them are inexpensive to build. the "Tern" is already designed for plywood, and nice sailing scow design. Go to the links for sailboats. Choose something small, 14 or 15 ft or less for your first build, it will come together faster and cost less.

    http://svensons.com/boat/

    http://boatplans-online.com/catalog.php?category=smallsail
     

  15. westkyle
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    westkyle New Member

    The dart is looking like a cool and pretty easy boat. If I can't afford to use marine grade ply wood what is the best way to seal the boat? Do I need to use fiberglass and resin or can I just apply coats of resin to seal the boat from water damage?
     
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