boat making books or guides?

anyone know of any good books on boat making (fiberglass of course), or information on different hulls, or designs. different tips or anything. or where i can find the book? just wanting to learn of the craft,a nd try it out in my spair time, would be a long time project, thanks dj

There’s a hundred’s of years of boat building experince written in books available, so check your library or used book store. Check www.woodenboat.com FIRST where there’s a forum like Swaylocks and a GREAT online book store. The same concepts of length (waterline), width (beam), rails (chines), weight(displacment) are also argued in boat design as in surfboards but in a different way. Like surfboards, there’s a boat for every function, region and culture only ten times as many as its written history goes back so long ago. There are also a number of boatbuilding classes offered in conjuction with Woodenboat in every US region which will clue you in to the witchcraft/Voodoo of boats. (Why don’t us shapers do something similar?) Like surfboard design, boat design take patience, love and devotion to understand. Good Luck.

me and Julio down by the schoolyard shapin a board under the tetherball when school was out …did any body make a longboard between 1530 and 1560? ahh we live in such a small time centric reality…Tiller publishing po box 447 St. Michels,MD 21663 (410)7453750 the book: building the Six Hour canoe uses 1- 4x16x1/4 sheet of marine plywood…sympatico … got my copy from Wooden boat magazine a couple o’ years back they gotta website I lost the address, the magazine lists it I’m sure …ambrose…how bout putting an outrigger on um?

rowing dory’s are fun to make! really fun in the surf!!

Speaking as a working boat carpenter- First thing is, what do you want to do with the boat? Row it, sail it, power it? Fish, travel, just futz around on a low budget? That determines a lot. Building a boat can be as simple as a skiff made out of one sheet of plywood or as complex as a composite hightech racing sailboat featuring kevlar, carbon fiber, TI alloys and so forth; it’s all in what you want. You mention ‘fiberglass, of course’, but for a small boat and especially one that you’re gonna build just one of it’s likely to be a lot easier to go with wood. For a glass boat, you usually go with a female mold, then glass the inside, pop it out and do what interior and other work needs doing…but that mold doesn’t become economical in money or time or material until you’ve made several from that mold. In any event- more links than you can shake a stick at from the link below. I’d especially reccommend the ‘Great Encouragement to Boatwrights’ section. The ‘Mother of all Maritime Links’ section is. Hope that’s of use doc… http://www.boat-links.com/index.html

yes 6hr camoe with an outrigger and a proa rig …fun fun fun…ambrose…you coulda used it today …great boat build site …I went straight to the proa… roots roots…ambrose…

thanks fellas! i might start out building the canoe. but what i’d really liek to do is build a little skif, and throw a little motor on it. not a toller, but maybe like a 50 or 75 hp. i’ve been reading alot on it, and its definately difficult. alot to do with design. tryin to absorb it in at the moment. also trying to find some good plans for a skif. i want to find an old beat up trashed boat around, and start out by just fixin it up. shouldnt be hard to do living in florida, full of lakes and rivers. i just got to find someone which will let it go for super cheap. thanks again fellas dj

Hi DJ, Ok, now that I know what you’re aiming for, may I suggest something like the Lumber Yard Skiffs linked below, built by a friend of mine. Relatively easy to build, relatively inexpensive, you can put 'em together with some pretty simple tools. He sells plans which have just about all the info you need. As a suggestion, go easy on the horsepower. While I’ve seen some small boat with huge motors, you don’t need ‘em and the cost and complexity will make your life difficult. For instance, one idiot I know put a 75 on a 20’ skiff, which had to have a power tilt ( which was always breaking down , about $200-400 thrown away every time) and throttles and wheel steering ( also always breaking down ) and he never took it over idle. The boat would have gone very well with a tiller steered 25 horse outboard, 35 at the most, like the one shown below. hope that’s of use doc… http://www.oldwharf.com/ow_workskiffs.html

thanks doc! thats perfect. i see what ur saying about horse power. i guess ill wait to find an old speed boat or something. ill definately look at that website. i’m just trying my hand at the boat thing. and if i run into problems help wont be to tough to find as i got 4 or 5 boat stores within 3 blocks. and plenty of lakes to try em out on. my only question left is how fast will a 35 engine go on a skiff? i would be using the boat, for fishing at times…and taking short trips out to surf spots. a couple i am dying to hit, especially due to noone surfing there. thanks dj

de nada, man. Flat bottom skiffs are kinda cool, need very little to float ‘em, you can pole the things around over flats, pretty stable. Beware of boat stores…their answer tends to be "Try ten tubes of our Veryexpensive Miraclewhip 4300 Super Duper Seam Crappe’ Deluxe " instead of just doing it right. Now, depending on how big the skiff is, how heavy you build it, how much you have on board, it can go either too slow or far too damned fast or just right. Me, I run a round bottomed and very heavy 20’ work skiff with an old 18, formerly an old and clapped out 25, before that a 28 with half the free world’s supply of torque, and with a couple of people on board it goes fine, loaded with everything I can put on it it goes slow. A lot of it is picking the right prop with the right pitch for the boat and the motor and load. Bear in mind that most fishing under power is trolling or stopped, and the difference between a ten minute trip to the surf spot and a fifteen minute trip is a couple of grand, a lot of fuel and some serious mechanic bills and complications. See what the working small skiff fishermen use locally, NOT the sportfishing idiots with more money than brains, for both engine size and make, as the working guys need reliability and good, cheap service that gets done on time. I run older Johnson/Evinrudes, though I like the four stroke Hondas which have the plusses of economy, reliability and torque and the minuses of weight and being so new that they are awfully expensive used. Avoid engines with too many complications, like aotomatic oiling. Definitely avoid anything with the name Mercury on it - we call them ‘black anchors’. When the 18 finally dies, I think there’s a 25 Honda going on my work boat. And, if you can find one, Johnson/Evinrude used to make a 55, which was a down-tuned version of a larger motor, made specificly for commercial fishing and work boat use with tiller steering. They were meant to be maintained by third world guys so they’re nice and simple. hope that’s of use doc…

doc, again great info. glad to see u got the knowledge in other areas to! i know u didnt say uve built one of these, but in general, say a 18" skiff with a 30 or so used engine on it…how much dough am i looken at shellin out. the one im considering doing looks fairly simple, and nothing amazing, but great at the same time. so what do u think material will run me? and how much do these small engines run for? a hundred or so? maybe 200. again, great info. im loving the idea of building a boat. i thought about buying one, or buying a used beaten one and fixing it, but i think this is way cooler depending on the price. it hink what ill do is what till the summer to start building, and have grandpa come down from idaho, as he’s already plannin a trip down to help me build a gigantic work shed in my back yard. dj

Hey, Uhm, first off, used motors are kinda like used cars, all kinds of prices, depends on what it is and what kinda shape it’s in and what kind of insane idea the guy has as to what it’s worth. Though I got my last motor out of the dump: some yuppie idiot just didn’t want something that wasn’t new and shiny, I guess. Look in the local Want Advertiser or whatever and that’ll give you an idea on prices. Likewise, if you’re gonna glass over plywood, which I’d recommend for a boatthat’ll get beat on some, I wouldn’t go with anything pricier than a good grade of underlayment plywood, not the very expensive marine ply. Dunno what plywood goes for in your neck of the woods either. I’d suggest a layer of matt on the sides, two on the bottom and one on the waterproof deck. It is gonna be more than $200 for just materials, though. I’d really think about something smaller than 18’ too. One of those will carry four guys, clam gear and two tons of clams, literally, and you are not gonna need anything like that big a boat. If it’s you, maybe one or two others, boards or fishing gear, mostly protected waters, 14-16 is plenty. hope that’s of use. I suspect your grandfather would get a charge out of helping you with it. doc…

doc, good suggestions. i think ill down size on the boat. probably 14. motors ill find a used small one. what kinda glass is used when glassing boats? 12 oz.? or what. im gonna start washing boats at the place down the street. hopefully learn something. grandpa will definately enjoy it. now if i was to do it in idaho i would have infinte tools due to his airplane hanger full of em. thanks again, ill keep u updated whenever i start it, dj

Hi DJ, Typically, you use fiberglass matt and a roller rather than cloth, which has several benefits, not least of it being that it’s cheap. The reasons for matt are that you’re just giving the boat an abrasion resistant skin, it’s not needed for any structural strength at all. It goes on pretty easy, just roll on some resin, set the mat on it, roll some more resin on it, done. Rolling some on first, penetrating into the wood, that’s cheap insurance that the stuff will stick - gets ugly when that doesn’t happen. Building a boat in Idaho would probably be easier, just that getting it back might be a little tough. All that nice wood in Idaho like several cedars and then fir…, fresh out of the sawmill… kind of a boatbuilders fantasy. Yeah, figure out where you’re going to use the boat for, then go from there. A sweet little twelve foot skiff below- my pal Walter builds 'em too. hope that’s of use doc… http://www.instantboats.com/skiff12.htm

doc, ok…i’ve heard the mat is cheap. which is good. see thats was my thinkign about idaho. gramps has trees surrounding his house…he seriously cuts his own limber, planes it, and then makes cabinets, houses, or whatever hes into at the time. as u said only problem would be getting it back. florida is not a place full of different trees. lots of oak and pine. i also got a friend on the family who would be willign to help me out if i mess up here in fl. he lives 20 minutes away and is an excelent wood worker. due to money ill probably just make it here… i am thinking 14. in 2 weeks my wrestling season is over and ill have time after shcool to go sit around at the boat shops. dj

Hey, DJ, Oak and pine is all the wood you’ll need. Oak is the best for frames, pine is fine for planking. Use bronze and stainless for screws and nails, I’d give serious thought to that 12’ Payson skiff, which can be built with a cross-planked bottom and lapstrake sides - all you’ll really need is a saw and a hand plane or two and if you build lapstrake, that nice drawknife you have and some copper rivets. If you do that, you don’t need to glass it, just use tar in the bottom seams, pine tar and linseed oil and turps for interior, plain linseed oil paint on the outside and you’re there. Plywood and glass, though, will go together quicker and mebbe be a little more rugged or able to tolerate being beat on. A 12’ boat, 8-15 horse outboard, three guys and boards and such, max, and you have a helluva nice little setup. Save the lapstrake and such for later. Boat work…well, not a lot of money in it, but it’s a pleasure to do. Awfully addictive. hope that’s of use. Though we may have stuck ya with a new career… doc… http://www.instantboats.com/skiff12.htm

doc, haha new career…who knows. i really dont mind whether i grow up a boat builder, surfboard manufacturer, or just cabinet maker. seeing im only turning 16 next month i got plenty of time to toy around, have some fun making stuff, and learn the ropes, to decide what my profession will be. if you think the 12 would suit me fine i will definately go for that…now that i think about it…14 is kinda un needed, as its just 2 more feet for…fish? haha. so ur saying pine will work? thats awesome. i am no wood expert, although i am good with my planer. enjoy using the circle and skill saws, and hand planes are always fun. so yes i guess ill go with that 12 u showed me there. i am glad to see u got crazy amounts of knowledge in more than just surfboards, and i notice many board makers do. is there any way, i could contact that guy who made those plans? or is it on the site. bc i think i wanna buy those plans, and begin to make this. right now i only got $90 which i should probably put towards my boards anyways…but oh well, ill risk goign broke. i just told my mom about my plan…she said…“oh yeah…well dont plan on me fronting u any more dam* money” haha. took me all summer to pay her back $1000 for tools and material when i started making boards. i think i will throw some glass on it. as i think it will be much more tolerable to the beatings i give it. I told a buddy who always watches me shape everyday about it today, how i wanted to build a skiff…and hes super stoked about helping out. maybe we’ll invest together and make it and share it. which isnt bad, bc hes got the car, and hes a good friend. doc, again i truly appreciate the advice and websites. its almost like christmas, but without being grounded. dj

Ha…christmas without being grounded…I like that. yeah, the plans for the 12 are only $35, and they come with some instructions. For $5 you can get the reprint of the magazine article about building it ( I haven’t seen it, but it might be worth the dough for the descriptions and through-the-process pics) - link is below. Now - I’d use oak for frames and stem and such, pine for things like the rails and what corresponds to cabinet trim, thwarts and clamps such, underlayment plywood for the bottom and sides. Some of those terms may not mean anything yet, they will. Hardware store stainless steel nails in the appropriate sizes and Franklin Titebond II sorta-waterproof glue. Use cheap resin, the $12-a-gallon boat resin, rollers and mat, roll some resin on the inside to seal the ply, then paint it with porch and deck-type enamel. Tools- yep, a circular saw, a saber saw might be nice, 3/8 drill definitely, power planer, sander. A table saw or better yet a bandsaw is nice, but you can get away without it, at least to start with. Clamps - oh yeah, definitely. C-clamps, whatever you can beg, borrow, steal or buy. A bevel or three, what is sometimes called a bevel square or bevel gauge. Planes, hammers, wrench or two, you’ll know as you go. The boat biz…well, yeah. Dunno where in Florida you are, I know a few guys working in boatyards down there, and it’s not too bad a way to make a living in the long run. Boat work is cabinetmaking, often on a much larger scale, with few if any straight lines. Sometimes doing cabinet-quality work with pieces of wood that it takes a gang of strong men to move, not just little fiddlin’ bits and pieces. If you like cabinetwork type stuff, well, lots of boats, glass and steel and aluminum, they all need fitting out, plenty of woodwork in 'em. I spent a few years doing the wood interiors in steel commercial fishing boats. If you are hinting for presents from the relatives for birthdays or other occasions yet, start hinting for Howard Chappelle’s Boatbuilding. It’s a tough read, all old-style stuff, the way they built boats back in 1938, but if you can do that you can do the new stuff without trouble. You might also look for a boat_yard_, not a boat shop, and see what you can find for after school work, apprenticing. Learning, which is good, but more importantly getting paid for it and learning how to be worth what they pay ya. Which also won’t mean anything …yet, but it will. hope that’s of use doc… http://www.instantboats.com/boats.html

doc, i actually live in northern central florida…take my hour trip t the beach weekly. i beleive it keeps me stoked. actually the working at a boat yard is a great idea…wrestling end the end of this month…then im looking for a job. id be glad to do grunt work, and i imagine they wouldnt mind paying me just a little to lay glass on and such. my city is called ocala…actually one of the best horse places in the world. on the way to the beach it is all scenes of boat yards, used boats for sale, rv’s and fishing places. as most of around my town is all fishing…out in the sticks. the towns i go through are Astor and Astor park…which are primarily fishing towns, right on the oklawaha river…and a couple of lakes. the whole town is boat and fishing places, witha super market. finding a boat yard to work at shouldnt be to hard…ill play the fly on the wall, eventually plan on fixing boats. i learn super quick, and love making stuff. i didnt even thinking of getting a job there…great idea.i turn 16 next month…so i figure i wont be to young to hire. one of the reasons i want to do this is to just see how good i can do it, and prove it to my self. also my goal in life is to be a master craftsmen…be a good welder, make boats, surfboards…engine work…just do it all u know. also i kinda need a boat. just another possesion to have. thanks dj

Hey, Well, lots of boatyards over in the Tampa/Clearwater area, don’t do glass work if you can sweep floors and work with tools. Boatyard glassers are not exactly considered skilled labor. Avoid it. "one of the reasons i want to do this is to just see how good i can do it, and prove it to my self. also my goal in life is to be a master craftsmen…be a good welder, make boats, surfboards…engine work…just do it all u know. also i kinda need a boat. just another possesion to have. " Heh… I do commercial fishing boat work, exclusively. No yachts, no sport boats of any kind, just commercial fishing boats. Which means I have to have a working knowledge of woodworking, glassing, welding ( stick, MIG, TIG and gas, aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel), blacksmithing ( which is most definitely different than welding ) electrical systems, mechanical power systems, hydraulic motors, pumps and systems in general, electronics installations, diesel mechanics, hydraulic and mechanical transmissions, plumbing, vibration, machine shop techniques, rigging, splicing, geometry and trig and algebra( lots and lots of math in boat work, even as a boat yard ape), several different fisheries, cooking ( gotta build galleys ) and habitability/ergonometrics ( gotta build living quarters and skipper’s stations that are comfortable and pleasant to work/live in), drafting, estimating… And there’s more, that’s just what’s off the top of my head. I’m gonna turn fifty this summer, and I’m still studying for a few hours every week, just to stay current with what’s new in tools, machinery, engines, fisheries ( and the damned regulations) and what have you. It’s never boring. The people who do the boring stuff, well, I don’t pay them much per hour. It’s a good life. that’ll teah ya to ask questions, he wrote, grinning doc…