The sad tale of a compulsive boat builder

Hi wooden boat people,

I guess there really is no cure for compulsive boat building.  (LOL)  So I’m going to build two more drift boats this fall while waiting for the ski season to start.  I'll sell one and keep the other for myself. The attached photos are of previous builds to give you an idea of what I have in mind.

Both will be built in my mold which controls the shape and allows them to be built totally without screws if so desired.  Definitively not free-form stitch and glue. They are 17’ x 54”, with either “fly fisherman” or high sides.

The goal of this build is to incorporate the best features of traditional construction with the much lower maintenance and higher resistance to rot of frameless wood epoxy techniques.  So in place of a tape/epoxy chine seam I’m using a laminated oak inner chine with a removable/replaceable outer chine.  I’ve a procedure that completely eliminates the possibility of water entering the wood through the outer chine screws, yet allows bedding with a low-strength goo so it is easy to replace.

Since all the oak we receive from suppliers anymore is subjected to the indignity of rapid kiln drying it is quite brittle when bent.   Even if steam bent it is prone to splitting once it dries back out.  For this reason I epoxy laminate all my curved oak pieces—chines, cap rails, casting brace---.  Radically increases their toughness.

BOAT  #1:

HULL:  9mm BS 1088 Ocume marine plywood:  Epoxy flow coated with UV resistant epoxy and sanded to a mirror finish on the interior. Clear LPU topcoat. Painted jade green on the outside

BOTTOM:  ½” marine fir plywood: Outside:  30 oz glass and epoxy with graphite/silica filler. Raised double bottom platforms at casting locations.  ANTISKID:  “Treadmaster” as used on high end ocean going sailboats.  No funky hot black bed liner.

TRANSOM:  ¾” Sapele finished clear inside and out as on my Chameleon pram.

SEATING & INTERIOR FIT-OUT:   Traditional rope seats. Laminated arch style aft casting brace. Mahogany cap rails with no raw edge of plywood exposed. Custom breast hook with inlay.

BOAT # 2             

HULL:   Premium grade BS 1088 Sapele marine plywood: Clear finished inside and out. Watertight compartments.  High side version for more extreme waters. I may pull the length out to 18’ as a true double ender.

BOTTOM:  CoreCell-Kevlar-glass: Toughest bottom structure possible. 5/8” CoreCell core with36 oz glass/epoxy/silica/ graphite bottom.  Kevlar inner skins for bulletproof impact resistance.

INTERIOR: Side lockers with custom wood lids and twist locking handles.  Straight side rod storage for four rods.  ANTISKID:  Treadmaster as used on high end ocean going sailboats.  No funky hot black bed liner.  Awlgrip LPU paint on the floors. Integrated YETI cooler.  Custom seats.  Open style cap rails with hand holds. Custom breast hook inlay

If you want BOAT #1 for $8,000 or BOAT #2 for $16,000 give me a shout.  If you want both it will get a lot more expensive!  Like enough more to retire to Argentina. (LOL)


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Comment by John Weston on November 22, 2013 at 6:00pm

is this all? where are the 2 new boat builds?


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