The $100 Boat Challenge

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by oddboatout, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. oddboatout
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 15
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    Location: Nor Cal

    oddboatout Junior Member

    I was talking to a friend who challenged me to build a boat for less than $100 dollars.

    "Challenge Accepted!"

    Since this is a challenge about building a boat for $100 I am not going to stick to conventional boat building techniques, Please do not be offended.

    Here are the parameters that I am working with:

    Total displacement should be over 600 lbs (at the point just before swamp).
    Hull should be no more than 75 lbs.
    Must be more stable for casting than a canoe.
    Must be easy to maneuver.
    Must be able to be built by anyone, without any special tools (I was told that my radial arm saw and table saw count as special tools.
    No more than four days to build.
    No more than 12 hours in those four days. (I am not sure that I will be able to do this one).

    So I sat down with a piece of paper and a pencil and started planning. It was pretty obvious that I was going to be making a one sheet boat. From all of my reading there are two distinct types of one sheet boats; those that use the sheet for the transom and those that don't. Since this build is more about staying under $100 than being make with one sheet I am going with a transom from a 1x12. I am also going to make the transom seat and bulkhead seat from the 1x12 also.

    I have my design done. It is more like a punt. I will load my drawings later.


  2. oddboatout
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Nor Cal

    oddboatout Junior Member

    Materials list

    Ok so here is the materials list and local Lowe's pricing:

    1 48x96 piece of 11/32 ply $17.55
    2 1x12 by 8' long $34.50
    7 1x2x8 firing strips $ 6.86
    1 roll duct tape $ 2.98
    2 tubes waterproof construction adhesive $9.34
    2 gallons exterior paint * $10.00
    1 box of screws $5.58

    Tax $6.73
    Total $93.54

    I thought about using rustoleum's marine paints/epoxys but it was too expensive. My lowes has mix tints for $5.00 each exterior paint. I am not worried about color. Usually they are very pale colors and again the point is to be under $100 dollars.

    I have about six dollars for anything I did not include. Except for tools this is supposed to include everything I need for the build. I will stop at the dollar store and get some paint brushes so it will be closer to $95.

  3. oddboatout
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Nor Cal

    oddboatout Junior Member

    Design Drawings

    I will work to make them easier to see, but here they are.

    Attached Files:

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

    Petros Senior Member

    welcome to the forum,

    I have built a lot of boats for less than $100. I have built some pretty decent boats with salvaged materials, it just take more time to gather the materials, and I had to resaw a lot of the lumber, so that would not do for your challenge.

    A number of times a building partner and I have entered boat building contests and built a two man boat in under 12 hours (two man team), once in 6 hours (with paddles, no sail or rudder) using two sheets of AC plywood and some stringers. Many of them were skin on frame design, low cost light weight, but may take longer if you have never skinned a skin-on-frame kayak before. We built one trimaran sailboat in about 9 hours using only about 4 lbs worth of tools, the only power tools were a cordless drill and a little hand held jig saw. It was also skin-on-frame.

    You have to think about basics and not get caught up in catalogs with all the shinny (and expensive) hardware. Making a wood cleat only takes a few minutes, using a thole pin rather than ore locks keep things simple and there is no need to expensive hardware. It is more a creative challenge than practical one, it is just hard to think through what you really need when you spend too much time in a marine supply store. Look at the way boats were built back when there was no power tools and no mail order business selling you all that junk you can not live without. they had to keep things simple and practical, and they had to work.

    good luck.
  5. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    OBO; I can't tell much from your sketch but it appears that you are going to put some flare in the sides. If you do that it will complicate the framing, force you to do a lot of planeing on the chine logs, and worst of all, it will narrow the bottom. I presume that both the sides and the bottom will be cut from the same 4 x 8 sheet of ply.

    11/32 thickness is probably OK but more than absolutely necessary for a boat this small especially if the bottom is as narrow as it must be. Be very careful that you can meet the weight target. Fir or pine ply is heavy and the 1 x 12 is going to weigh close to 15 pounds.

    I am all for Petros skin on frame boat. You could build it longer, lighter, and more stable, and better performing, while staying within budget. Aside from that method...............

    As drawn you have a garvey nose that will require considerable profanity to get the ply to assume that curve, especially at 11/32 thick. It'll also make the framing at the nose a little more bothersome.

    Take a look at the Puddle Duck Racer (Google PDR). It has a lot of rocker but not so much that it is not do able. If you can find some of the details of Mike O'briens SIx Hour Canoe that might be helpful too. Either boat uses two sheets of ply. The canoe is long and the PDR is wide. You could fiddle the dimensions on either of these.

    One of our members, Troy, has built a cheapie skiff with common lumber, some of which was scavenged. It is a nifty little boat that was done on the cheap by being clever. That boat is worth a look in terms of method. He has a long post here somewhere that details the construction with pix and all.

    If you are to win this bet, then careful planning is the order of the day. You can win the bet and get some bragging rights in the process. You might even end up with a boat that you can actually use. Last remark; a boat with 24 inch bottom width and less than 8 foot of length is not going to be more stable than a canoe. You need more bottom width. Do not be bashful about using plumb sides.
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

  7. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

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