New Member & Boat Builder

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by milezone, May 27, 2014.

  1. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
    Posts: 25
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 30
    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Hi All,

    I am a rookie boat builder and new member. I just completed my first boat, a very small 8' x 42" wide Jon boat. Basically I hacked this first boat together by watching many videos and the KY video and came up with my own thing. I used all materials from Lowe's. PT wood, gorilla glue, small amount of caulk, and outside latex paint.

    So I know this boat will be one of those 1 season throw-always. But after building this one, And having a blast in it with a small 30lb thrust motor, I now want to do a "nicer" version of the same 8' boat. Reason is it fits in the Gator, which I use to get to the small lake we are by.

    I think I have the construction down, but kind of lost how to seal the boat, and what paint to use. Wanted to avoid fiberglass, but seems everyone says that is only way to do it? As for marine grade stuff, there is no one in our area, or even 2 hours away that have this stuff, we have a Home Depot 45 minutes away and a Lowe's 30 minutes away.

    Milezone
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Good for you; having fun with boatbuilding. A sheet of exterior grade plywood left outside on the dirt will last 3-4 years before completely falling apart. Before fiberglass was invented, seam battens were used. Basically, it is a thin strip of wood that gets nailed or screwed over seams and bedded in caulk. For example, it will go over the chine. The trick is to build in a sequence that will make best use of the battens. In a chine boat, you should first do the sides and then the bottom. The chine batten will cover the seam and be easier to install and not stick out the bottom.
     
  3. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
    Posts: 25
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Thanks Gonzo for the advice. I am sorry the boat termology I guess i better study up, not sure what chine even is. :) Gonna google that and see if I can find more info. What paint do you recommend, or can I use epoxy and then oil base paint to seal?

    Milezone
     
  4. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Here is a photo of my quick weekend boat build. I did add a back seat after photo was taken.

    By seam Battens do you mean basically a piece of wood on the inside bottom corner of boat floor and boat wall? I did do that on this boat with Gorilla glue.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Gorilla glue is OK but there are glues that are cheaper and easier to use, without changing to epoxy. I use Titebond III most of the time and sometimes LePages Outdoor adhesive; they are water clean-up and effective when the joint fits well with no gaps.

    When there may be a gap, usually when attaching the last plank, epoxy is a better choice.

    I built a small sailboat some years ago using titebond III for most of the joints and epoxy only for attaching the bottom plank. My building Blog may be of interest.

    Unfortunately after a couple of years use it was left outside in all weathers and neglected during a long period of ill-health and the bottom plank felll apart, despite being so-called marine playwood. I cut it up and not one single joint had failed despite the neglect.

    This is a suitable way to build a boat that does not stay in the water indefinitely; boats that dry out after each trip do not need epoxy everywhere.
     
  6. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Ancient, that boat is awesome! I would love to try and bend a boat exactly like that me (but open inside boat). Do you have plans for that one? Also what type of paint did you use?

    And thanks for the advice.
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The batten goes on the outside to seal the seam. The inside piece is structural and called a "chine log".
     
  8. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    AAAThe got it, and found a few pics of it too. :). Ok I think I will try that method. Will use 1/4" for sides and 1/2" for bottom. And will try and bend the front as well. Thinking if I cut groves along the inside of he ply it will give me better bowing, is this a good practice to use?
     
  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    No, cutting grooves in the plywood will weaken it. The thickness you are using will bend without major problems.
     
  10. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Ok thanks. My plan is for the sweetest looking 8' Jon boat yet. :). I promise photos when done
     
  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    welcome to the forum!

    for fun knock around boats no reason to spend a lot of money on costly materials. If you select carefully and have a table saw, you can pull the better lumber from the stacks at Home Depot and re-mill it yourself.

    I have built some 20 small boats from salvaged (or "found") materials, rare buying anything from a marine supplier. I built one fiberglass kayak in high school some 38 years ago, and never wanted to touch fiberglass again. It does make a wood hull more durable, but it is not necessary for strength.

    I like using skin-on-frame construction for kayak, canoes and even small sailing dingys, it is a fast and low cost way to make lightweight hulls. wood frame with a heavy fabric "skin" that you seal with oil based paint or polyurethane.

    I have also built some plywood boats, and though marine plywood is preferable, 1/4" or 3/8" AC plywood, if chosen carefully, can also work for light weight boat construction. Which you can buy at Home Depot and Lowes. I like the Tightbond III adhesive as well, also the Polyurethane caulk makes a great, durable and waterproof adhesive and gap filler for small boats (it comes in the caulk type tubes that go in a caulk gun). I also like the painted deck screws that they guarantee against corrosion, very reasonably priced compared to stainless or silicon bronze screws.

    The quality gloss exterior grade porch paint can be almost as good as marine grade paint at much lower cost, and also available from the big box stores too. For sails I have used the cheap plastic tarps or Tyvek house wrap, either sewn or just using duck tape (including the two sided kind) for the seams. Quick and simple, and if the sail did not come out good you like, can throw it away and make another one for $12.

    You can get many great low cost plans from duckworth's boat supply, or some older designs for free on sites such as the one below (many are still good designs, all intend for the amateur builder):

    http://svensons.com/boat/

    Good luck.
     
  12. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Thanks Petros for the tips. Was surely thinking you guys were going to grind me hard for wanting to build a simple small boat. First one I love, and just today took her out for another spin, but giving it away to the neighbor kids to build me a bit better one after learning some tricks. :)
     
  13. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    The plans were from PAR, one of our senior members, he named the plans Dace after my boat as he liked the name so much. I made some changes to the design for reasons of my own related to access for my wife who has some problems. A dace is a tiny fish in the UK, notoriously hard to catch. It was a great little boat, easily car-topped, rowed like a dream and sailed on a sneeze.

    The chine logs that fasten the sides (called sheer planks) to the bottom plank were partly cut through to ease bending but don't do that to the ply.

    Note: the slits in the logs do not effect strength significantly; lots of builders do not use a continuous chine log, they use lots of short blocks instead. That is quite common in furniture too. Don't think of the chine logs as forming any kind of frame, most of the strength is created by the joint between the sheer plank and the bottom plank.

    I used a coat of sanding sealer, then two coats of primer and two top coats, ordinary water-based house paint. If it works on a house it will work on a boat. The problem I had that destroyed the boat was nothing to do with the paint, it was lousy plywood with voids in the adhesive.
     
  14. milezone
    Joined: May 2014
    Posts: 25
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    Location: Kentucky

    milezone Junior Member

    Ok thanks again, I am gathering up my parts list, going to try another Jon boat first, then will move into the trickier stuff next round. I have a feeling all my kids, and friends will be owning little boats soon as I try new things. hehehe
     

  15. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    I built my first boat when I was 11 years old, it was not very good. I have kept building small boats, I lost tract after 20. None had motors, all were either oar, paddle, or sail powered, all were small enough to fit on the roof of a typical car.

    so, once you start, I bet you an not build just one...
     
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