Newbie looking for a starting place

Discussion in 'Education' started by Novice_Nautique, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Novice_Nautique
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    Location: United States

    Novice_Nautique New Member

    Hello all,

    I have checked out this forum many times in the past with out registering, just to read interesting threads about boat construction, design, etc. I am not a boat builder, but a novice boating enthusiast. I did renovate and restore a 1978 Ski Nautique from a total pile garbage to a nice reliable boat from 2005-2008. But it's been several years since working on a boat project and I'm starting to really dream about doing more than just a boat restoration. I want to build boats, but the task seems like a daunting place to accomplish on my own. It's a total dream to build boats for a living, but I would try to chase it down if I knew where to start. Ideally, I'd love to build both power boats and sailboats. My Ski Nautique is neat but I'd like to build something for bigger water, and long voyages. Ideally, I'd love to build a mold/plug for a nice sailing cruiser and start making them. But that's a unrealistic goal with out a very small progression into things. So right now I'm really just looking for a starting place.

    I'd like to build a model boat, or something really small and inexpensive to learn more about either wooden strip/plank designs, stitch and glue, or both. I am very interested in learning how to build "one off" custom boats, where the mold becomes the boat. Since this is more suited to my dream of building a some boats for my self (first and foremost). But does anyone know of a good place to start, with a model that would teach me a lot, but not cost a ton?
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  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Try a kayak for starters. There are kits from for example Chesepeke Light Craft that make it easy while you learn. You can choose either strip-plank or plywood.
    A model boat is so different from an actual boat that you may learn a few things but not the most important things. For instance, the tools are very different. And of course you can't enjoy it nearly as much, nor sell it easily as you would the real thing.
    There are also a lot of simple stitch and glue small boat designs of all kinds.
    Before you do anything, you should decide what kind of craft and then start reviewing plans, asking the forum members about the pros and cons of each boat design you like.
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    a sea kayak is an excellent place to start. Or I might suggest a 12 to 14 foot sailing dingy. With traditional construction you will experience everything you will do on a larger sailboat in terms of skills and experience. Once it is done you can go out and learn to sail in it. Again, almost everything you will learn about sailing a dingy will give you both experience and skills directly related to sailing a full sized sailboat.

    Than you can either sell it, or keep it to use as a tender on your "dream" boat.

  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Build a dinghy to serve as the tender, to service your dream boat. It should be of similar construction as the dream boat, so you can learn something.
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