Project "build-a-boat" has officially commenced


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My 12 footer has proven to be tragically too small for my needs. This was proven a couple years ago on our son's first outing in a boat - when he almost launched himself over the gunwale. Wife said back then we needed a bigger boat. Most recently - out at Hagg, the wind was pushing waves as tall as the boat's gunwales and prevented launching. It's cool having a little boat that can get onto small lakes, and out into the little nooks and creeky crannies - but we need a larger, safer boat. And so I've elected to build one. This boat is intended to be an interim boat for us - something large enough to take the family out onto, something that can handle a bit of a chop without fear of swamping, and something I'd be comfortable taking into Tillamook or Winchester bays to crab and fish from.

A bunch of guys on "the other site" have built some cool boats - and a few of them have built a boat called the "Lumberyard Skiff" - and they turned out very well. So I have elected to take that route for my first boat build. Mainly because the $$$ factor - I'd like to get this boat on the water by summer. Summer of this year. So I got the plans ordered, and have procured a couple of the tools I'll need to built it. If the weather is good next week after plans arrive, I'll be making a trip to the lumber yard to procure the wood for the build.

I'll be deviating from the plans a bit in that I intend to put a level floor in above the frames (the designer has done this, as per his website) and I'll be fiberglassing the exterior of the boat, and soaking the interior in epoxy. Original plans just called for using Sikaflex glue and painting with water resistant paint - these were designed to be a cheap, working skiff for commercial fisherman. I want something a tad nicer, and longer lasting.

I've waffled on whether to build out as a center console or tiller steer - but after running numbers this morning - have a console with remote steering and throttle would allow me to use upto a 100 horse motor if I choose - where as I'd be limited to 35hp with a tiller steer motor going by the USCG power rating charts. These boats scoot pretty well with a 35hp motor and a couple guys in it - but if I found a good deal on a 50hp I wouldn't be at all sad.

I'm also thinking about an elevated casting platform at the bow to the build (which would be nice when bassing, or fly fishing from the boat) - and at some point down the road adding a bow mount trolling motor, but the bow mount electric won't be an add on this year - they're $500 alone and not in the budget this year.

At some point in the nearish future, I'll be putting my 12' boat up for sale to hopefully finance part of the rigging / powering of the new boat. I'm going to try to keep this thread alive with pictures as the build progresses.


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sweet, I am looking forward to your updates and seeing some 'in-production' pictures...cheers roger


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I am finally getting close to really starting this thing - I got my wood this morning (insert morning wood joke here) - purchased Wednesday, but the earliest delivery the yard could make was this morning. I set up a 9AM delivery. Delivery dude woke me up at 6:15AM backing into the driveway...

I'm a tad miffed - not sure if I should be miffed at him or the yard itself. They only used two supports under my stack of wood, strapped it all together, then put it on the truck. No center support. Delivery guy was in a tilt deck truck and slid it off (much to my chagrin) and when I was moving it (from my muddy driveway to the covered porch behind the house) - I discovered my bottom piece of plywood was seriously bent - as in the center was 2+ inches out of alignment from the ends. And some of the dimensional lumber I'd ordered had pretty gnarly edges - I think the stuff is still usable, but I was expecting a bit better. Of course, I couldn't hand pick the wood, so I basically got what they gave me.

I'm trying to flatten out my bowed piece of wood before I get bitchy with the lumber yard - placed another sheet of the 3/4 ply and some of the larger lumber pieces on top of it to try to get it to relax.

Also picked up 30' of 6 inch fiberglass tape and a big tube of fairing filler today. Picked up some cleats the other day I found for a good price, and did a bit of price shopping today. Found the anchor roller/cleat setup I intend to use, will purchase it when my stack of wood looks more like a boat. Still need paint and fasteners. And a trailer. And an outboard...


Just keep on keepin' on! The delivery guys have a total disconnect from the yard guys. I had a load delivered and told the yard guy to call me when it was coming so I could open my gate. No calls that day and came home to wood dropped OFF in my driveway. Oh well.

As long as the wood is usable, I'd go with it. If it isn't, just return to the yard; they are used to it.

Good luck on your build,


What an exciting project! :thumb: I hope you involve your family as much as possible, it would be a great experience for the whole family to be involved in. Please keep us up to date with pics throughout the fun times ahead. :peace: :popcorn:


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Building has finally commenced! No pix yet - was more focused on actually making sawdust and funny shaped pieces of wood.

I didn't get quite as far as I'd hoped yesterday, but a decent start no less.

Transom was cut out sides fared (mostly) and the two pieces glued & screwed together. Used exactly 100 screws plus a tube of the PL for this.

Next we ripped out the rear half of the sides, figured out how to strike the very little arc on it that it has for the bottom, and got those two pieces cut out, then got the front halves of the sides cut out. I have yet to buy/borrow a belt sander - so I did *not* get these pieces faired up yet, at least not on the curved bottom. My jack plane did work pretty well for handling the straight lines.

I didn't get the stem and stern posts cut out yet.

If I get the time this weekend, and the weather stays nice, I think I can get the fairing done on the sides, and get my side panels joined up. I'm going to do a glass/epoxy outside on the joint and the butt blocks on the insides.

If I get the chance, I'll snap some pics as things go further. I'm hoping that Thursday next, when my cousin can help me again, I'll be able to join the sides to the stem and transom, and get to work installing chines and the bottom.


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Still no pix - but I picked up a few more tools, did a little sanding tonight, fared up the edges on the forward halves of the sides. Tomorrow I'll try to get the rear halves sanded, and maybe touch up the transom and finish what the jack plane didn't do. I hope that Monday after work I can get all the side sections joined up and curing, so that Thursday when Tyler comes over to help again, I can get the sides attached to the stem piece and transom and get something truly boat shaped going.


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Teaser pix...



Didn't get home in time tonight to attach the side panels. Hoping it doesn't rain much tomorrow and the temps are at least in the 60's for the next couple days. Doubtful given the forecast. Looks like there won't be a lot more progress on the boat this week given that. I can do some sanding in side, in the utility room, but cutting using the tablesaw can only be done outside - and the cutting I've got to do now is ripping 18' 2x6's in half length ways (chines & sheer) and lopping a 12' long 4x4 into 5 and 3.5' lengths, then beveling them on the table saw.

Wish the weather would cooperate!


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Still no pix of the build process - I'm bad, I know...

After dismal weather set back my backyard build - I finally got to work on the boat again this week, and now, there is a boat-shaped object in the back yard. We didn't get as far as I wanted to - I was hoping to get the chines & sheer installed and the bottom on this week - but a few setbacks slowed things down. The table saw I'm using *almost* was able to completely cut through the 4x4 for the bevels - but almost didn't cut it (no pun intended).

The circular saw I have doesn't tilt enough to make such a cut, nor did my jig saw. The miter saw I have wouldn't work because of the top edge of that blade. Had to run to Bi Mart and get a regular hand saw to finish the cuts for the stem piece. Fared up the bevels with a jack plane and everything was cool.

Got the transom joined to the sides easy peasy - and without a huge mess from the PL - I was impressed with how clean we pulled it off.

I tell you guys - it's very rewarding and satisfying when the thing finally takes on real boat shape - rather than just being a stack of plywood, or flat panels laying on the ground. I think I walked around and admired the lines for half an hour after it was time to stop work for today.

I was also pleasantly surprised at just how BIG this thing is for a 16' boat. Staring at paper plans, scale drawings, and flat pieces of plywood simply don't do justice to how massive a boat it is for it's size. The 20' version has to be a real barge of a boat.

I am wishing that I was able to hand pick my wood from the lumberyard - as I ran into an issue of unseen knots - a few of the screws went in so far and just plain stopped going in further, despite pilot holes. Had to hand- tighten some, and there's a couple where the screw heads aren't quite flush. Might grind them down when it comes time to epoxy & glass thing thing.

I also was hoping that I wouldn't have to grind off screw tips by using 1" screws on the butt blocks - no joy. I'm still gonna be grinding so I could've used 1 1/4" screws... lesson learned!

I also came to the realization that you pro-torx or pro-square head screw guys are right. Phillips head screws are, as Bobby Buchet's mother put it "the devil." My 1" butt block screws are phillips (the only phillips in the build) and 1/3 of the screw heads stripped out, even when I was being gentle with the screw driver. I only had two torx screws strip, and none of the square heads strip. The torx strips were only because I backed off on the drill early - as a few of my screws went waaaay deeper than I thought they would while joining up the stem & stern pieces, and over compensated on a couple screws and wound up marring the heads.

I figure with forecasted weather issues - I'm probably honestly 3-4 weeks at least away from being ready to flip the boat over. Next nice weather day off - I"ll get the chines/sheer installed and get to work getting the bottom on. Then it'll be faring & sanding & fiberglass time.

I still haven't picked up my glass cloth yet, aside from some 6" wide fiberglass tape. Also still haven't settled on paint colors for the exterior. I want to do light gray or tan for the interior. Something a little easier on the eyes and easier to make look nice than white.

Also still thinking of names, still perusing Craigslist watching prices on motors and trailers. My bosses son just picked up an early 90's 15 horse tiller steer Johnson for $600 - I'm hoping I can score a similar vintage 25 or 30 for similar price.
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