Well, I decided to start building a boat around two months ago. I entertained this idea a few years back but never pursued the idea. I started fly fishing and saw the need for a boat. I could have bought a used boat for around the same overall cost, after you include a trailer. But what fun is that? No beauty in a boat like that.

I decided on the Freestone Guide. I have already modified my side panels adding a recurve. I couldnt get exact dimensions on this so I had to wing it. Who knows how she will shape up. I can always take more out if I dont like it.

Here is a photo of the work area, my dads shop. We will have to tear down a wall to get the boat out! His idea, I only obliged to it being a good one!

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Well, I cannot figure out how to add a photo and then continue typing on the bottom side of it so I can continue on. For now, Ill do it the hard way!

Josh, Click your cursor and it should appear at the bottom left of the picture so you can continue typing. This is approximately the condition of my build. I have been working on fairing or smoothing sides in preparation for spraying primer and then the finish and some more coats of clear.

Rick Newman

I decided on Raka because of the cost and I have heard alot of good things about it!

I am using 12mm Meranti Hydrotek for the floor and 9mm Okoume for the sides.

I scarfed at a ratio of 8-1. I use a block plane and a sanding block to dial it in.

I added two layers of 6oz cloth to the bottom, one to the inside bottom, and one layer to the outside of the sides. The interior sides do not have any cloth.

This boat building thing is going great and I am loving every minute of it, even all the hours behind a sander! I decided on adding the curved sides which means Ill have to steam bend my gunnels, but that is okay! Im always up for a challenge!

Thats pretty much it up to this point. Everything is sanded to 80g and is ready to be stitched up this weekend. Ill have a go at it on Sunday and snap a few pics. Im really excited about this part because I can see the shape of her for the first time.

Im curious to know how the recurved edge turns out.

The name of this beauty is Miss Sophie, a Keller James Inspiration, after my two wonderful children! Have a great weekend everyone!


That's a very good looking scarf joint.  I never tried the block plane.  I used a router, followed by clean-up with a sanding block.

Your statement: "I have already modified my side panels adding a recurve. I couldnt get exact dimensions on this so I had to wing it" is a little troubling.  At least it would be for a framed boat, but it looks like you are building a stitch-and-glue boat.  Is that correct?  I haven't given much thought to that geometric problem on a stitch-and-glue boat.

But best of luck with your project!


Yes Guy, its a stitch and glue. I was concerned because I didnt know how much deflection was needed to get the appropriate "curve" after the boat was stitched. I started small and ended up taking almost 7 inches out. I just didnt want to overdo it. Now that I have the boat stitched together, I see I could have taken another inch or so out.

Overall though, Im quite happy with the results.


That has to be the nicest scarf I have seen.  Great work.  I use RAKA too.  never let me down.  I see you are using the UV stuff.

Dave!!! Thanks for the compliment on the scarf joint. It gives me confidence!!

I have to tell ya, I was a little apprehensive in the beginning. I almost went out and bought an electric hand planer. After a few swipes with the block plane, my grandpas original, I found it wouldnt be too bad!

I hadnt used a block plane prior to that scarf, it just seemed like a ridiculous too for so much material to be removed. Boy was I mistaken. That sucker made short work of those scarfs, I hit them with a sanding block to finish up.


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