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Date & time Aug 13
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jkl948
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How to Construct a Simple Boat

The instructions given may, in places, not correspond to the actual boat that I made. I took several sets of instructions and used my discretion to combine them into my project. The intent of this instructable is to pass on knowledge in order that you yourself may be able to construct something of your own. I got my lumber from Home Depot. sides. 2 peices as clear of knots or defects as possible. mine were 10 feet long pine 10 inches wide. planking. (goes on the bottom) do the math, at 10 feet long you'll have to cover a little over 120 inches for this project and it's a good idea to buy a little extra. take a calculator when you buy your lumber. 6 inches seems to be the preferred width for bottom planking but 5 or 8 inches will do just as well. They should be about 3/4 of an inch thick and at least 4 inches longer than your boat will be wide. Also with these you want them to be as free of knots as possible. I bought some cedar fencing boards that were on sale, they were 5/8 of an inch thick and 8 inches wide and 6 feet long. so needing to cover 120 inches with 8 inch wide boards means I needed 15 boards. Because my boat is only 3 feet wide and tapers to 2 feet at the ends I had a few leftover boards. keelson. (this will go inside on the bottom) it needs to be longer than the sides because it will be curved. the one I bought was a pine 1x5 12 feet long middle seat. a pine board supported by cleats. you'll need a board 3/4 to an inch thick and around 6 inches wide or wider. Also two peices 12 to 18 inches long and about 2 inches wide for the seat to rest on. end seats or decks. just use leftover planking, or buy extra, to cover the topside of the ends with 2 boards each. ends. 2 peices of oak an inch thick and 6 inches wide will be needed. They should be as long as you want your boat to be wide,fake rolex lady datejust oyster perpetual, minus the thickness of both sides. You may also choose to cover these with another peice of cedar or pine. forming brace. (This is needed if you intend to curve the sides as I did. If you're just going to leave the sides straight you don't need this) Ideally use a peice of hardwood as wide as the sides and as long as the boat will be wide. I, however, just used some pine scraps that were long enough. knees. (if your boat has straight sides skip this) these are peices that will go into the corners to add strength. you'll need 4 peices of 3"x3" oak about an inch thick. Oars. a simple hand saw will work plane. you can usually find a little one at hardware stores fairly cheap hammer. 2 peices of rope. at least 6 feet long paint brush. metal putty knife or flathead screwdriver Other Supplies paint. You could go the expensive route and use marine grade and anti fouling bottom paint. But face it, this is a cheap boat. Exterior latex house paint will do just as well. Two coats of white exteroir latex primer followed by at least one coat of your preferred color is enough. for those of us that don't live in a boatyard this is actually just cotton that will be wedged in the seams of the boat. This can be procured from marine supply stores or you could just go down to Walmart and get Peaches and Creme brand worsted weight cotton yarn in whatever color you choose (it won't matter you can't see it). putty. The instructions I looked at said to putty over the seams but were otherwise inspecific about what that was. I just used some wood filer from the hardware store because I didn't know better at the time. On further research I would suggest roof calking, the black tar like stuff. you can find it in a tube or sometimes in a big gooey bucket. saw horses. three words people; convient working height. you can do all this on the ground but it's much easier on your back if you lift the boat up about 3 feet. 5d (pronounced five penny) galvanized nails. about a pound and a half should be enough. The bow is only 3 inches wide and the taper starts 2 feet from the end. The stern is 6 inches wide and the taper also starts 2 feet from the end of the board. Starting with the stern first put something, a pipe or scrap peice of wood, into the loop and twist until the distance between the two peices is just enough for the end to fit in. Check all corners to make sure they're the same. If they're different you're ends aren't square and you need to adjust it. Make sure one side is stationary and move the other forward or back until the angle at the ends are the same. There are more complex and better ways to square a box, but this will work.

First place the keelson. Then nail through the stern into the keelson to secure it in place. Bend the other end down to the bow and mark where it needs to be cut and the angle the cut needs to be. A kerf is a shallow, less than half the thickness of the board, cut on the same side you want the bend: if you want to bend it up cut on the top of the board right where the bend will be, if you're bending it down cut on the bottom of the board. Cut the board about 4 inches longer than it needs to be and nail it onto the edges of the sides, and the bow and stern for those peices that go over them. Also nail into the keelson, staggering the pattern as you go. If you don't have the proper tools and someone to help you can just hammer the nails down, or to get rid of the points you can take a pair of pliers and bend the tip about 70 degrees and then hammer the nail down back into the board.

First make the bow and stern seats, or decks if you'd prefer to call them. This is done with the same boards you used for planking the bottom and in the same manner. These should be about 2 inches wide and about a foot long. Place them approximately where you want the seat to go and then nail them in the same manner the keelson was (or just use screws). If you're not sure where you'll need the seat you can make your cleats about 2 feet long and place them a little forward of the center of the boat. Cut the seat to fit in the center as you can always cut it further to fit closer to the end of the boat.

Once your boat actually looks like a boat, it needs to be made watertight. If you made all your joints nice and tight you may not even need to caulk the boat as the wood will swell and seal everything up once it gets wet. The easiest stuff for me to get is some 4 ply worsted weight 100% cotton yarn from walmart (peaches and creme brand), I've read about professional boatbuilders that use it, so if it's good enough for them. Once you've got that some people will try to tell you you need a couple different size caulking irons and a special mallet and try to sell you some other specialized nautical boat building tools. For one small boat, especially a scow, you simply don't need any of that. You can caulk the whole thing with a thin flathead screwdriver, but since you need it for the putty anyway a metal putty knife will work better. Take a peice of yarn a bit longer than the seam and start forcing it into the gap at one end. Push it about halfway through and then move across the seam trying to get the same depth all the way. To do this get a small can of oil based paint and thin it 10 to 20% with some mineral spirts or turpentine. Just brush this into the seams with a thin, short bristled brush. Another way of doing this would be to take a plastic "Dawn" dish soap bottle,fake old rolex oyster perpetual datejust, a cork to fit it, and some 1/4 inch copper tubing and make a paint applicator. Just drill a hole in the cork for the tube, the tubing should be long enough to go almost all the way to the bottom of the bottle, put the tube in the cork and bend it about 90 degrees, then hammer the end down so there's just a slit for the paint to escape out of and file the edges down to about 1/16 of an inch thick. Traditionally this is a mixture of whiting (calcium carbonate) and linseed oil or just boiled pitch. I'd try roofing caulk, the black tar like stuff. I, completely ignorant of all this at the time of building, simply used wood putty. To fix it I tried using putty made with whiting and linseed oil. The encyclopedia britanica describes whiting putty like so:Whiting putty of a high grade consists of 85 to 90 percent whiting blended with 10 to 15 percent boiled linseed oil. Prepared putty should roll freely in the hands without exuding oil. My first mix was probablly a little too gooey, but having fixed that I decided to recaulk all the other joints just in case. I found that it's a bit easier to mix in a shallow bowl or paper plate. you'll know it's the right consistancy when you can roll it in a ball freely but if you let it sit in your hand it sticks. It may sink but after a couple days in the water the seams should have swelled up making it water tight. Then fill it half full of water (or enough to cover all your seams). It will probablly leak a bit the first few days but after the third if water is still leaking out mark where it's comming from, dry out the boat and seal those spots by recaulking them. then repeat the process until you've got a sound boat.

make some oars and attach them to your boat. Direction and tips for this can be found in step 1. If you live near any sort of marine or boat supply store just go pick up some oarlocks. I just carved them out of two 2x4's. If you make oars out of lumber like this it's best to use one long peice to cut them out of rather than two. The blades on the oars are narrow and long, while it may be rather slow to start a heavy boat they're not much different than conventional oars once you get going. who knows. Anyway, they're pretty much just a block of wood attached to the sides with a bolt in it and a peice of rope to attach the oars. The rope should have a loop in both ends and to keep it from comming off I used a fender washer near the head of the bolt. The oars should fit tightly in the rope loops, with just enough slack to allow you to rotate them, or feather, as you row. It doesn't really matter if the oars are in front of or behind the bolt while rowing, however, it's best to have them behind, where as you row they strain against the rope, because if you should need to let them go they'll just rotate and trail alongside the boat.

I finally finished a sail for this boat. The mast and sprit are both about 1 and 3/4 inches in diameter. I cut them out of a pine 2x4, they're both just under 9 feet in length. I made two small cleats for the main outhaul and the sheet, and one really small one that goes on the sprit to control the snotter. I don't have anything specifically for the brail line, for now I just run it back to the cleat for the sheet. I'll probablly make a side mounted daggerboard just to keep things simple, but for now I made a curde daggerboard/leeboard out of waferboard. It'll help decide where the daggerboard will eventually go. For now I'm just using a paddle to steer with but I'm considering a rudder, we'll see.

Eventually I did make a barndoor type rudder with a steering yoke rather than a fixed tiller, itturned out to be too small. I also added a shallow keel, a 2x4 bolted through the keelson. My original 2x4 mast had a knot in it and snapped in half one day,rolex datejust ii imitation, luckily Ihadn't put the boat in the water yet. So Imade another one, this type called a cooper's mast, it's mostly hollow, made from clear pine with oak caps. A new sprit was made from laminating two peices of pine together and rounding it, a groove secures the peak instead of a point and an extra 12 or so inches extends beyond the peakso a flag may be flown. Lastly I rigged a type of traveler to control the foot of the sail using eye bolts in the rear deck.

If you into boats like me, you love what I about to share with you. The plans are really detailed with clear instructions and step by step illustrations. It is a simple yet brilliant process to build boats quickly and effortlessly. Couldn be more excited to take my boats out this year! I saved so much money using this too!!

you havent read boat building and boating by any chance have you?When you assemble the Pieces, put "Liquid Nails" construction adhesive on all joining surfaces before fastening them. There won be any leaks at all.

DONT, i heard it sucks. use expoxy.

You HEARD, I built 17 boats with it.

I have used liquid nails as well. Don use the liquid nails. The original construction adhesive works great. I used it to glue plywood to douglas fir chines. I used nails and/or screws to make the initial hold while the liquid nails sets. Then I just leave them in. It is pliable, and have never had a leak. rbodell, building is better than hearing.

I was involved in Irish currachs tar covered lightweight boats. I was also the researcher and as such I covered (literally) ALL sorts of boats from light skiffs to a 45T Donegal double ender. I was also a painter by profession for 20yrs.

This is a project I would consider within the scope of any DIY enthusiast. Well done. Very clear concise instructions. The jaunty sail sets it off wonderfully though I suggest you use a lee board to stop yaw/drift.

One tip I give and it will settle ALL discussion on caulking. As soon as the boat is ready sink it for a few days. This will cause the wood to swell (helped if you use undercoat only on the interior as that allows the wood to breath) the swelling will seal all and it can be done more than once as the sides dry out and take in water.

A fair wind to yo lad.

One of my least favorite things in this world is hot roofing tar. It is dangerous in many ways and one drop of sweat and flying tar will hit you every time. Surely there must be some modern tar that does not require radical heat to melt and use. I have felt the bite of tar as it penetrated my flesh.

Ya,imitation rolex datejust perpetual oyster, just but roofing caulk. It pretty much the same thing but does not need to be heated and comes in convenient tubes.

Nice job on a traditional craft. Speaking of which, whilst Beard is excellent, Gardner Classic Small Craft is superb. Anyone interested in traditional boats should read it. His dory book is pretty good too.

Dig around through here for all sorts of projects, boats included. Use exterior grade for cheapness, marine grade if you can afford it. Use Payson simplified chine log method to avoid end grain problems, nails and screws don hold so well in end grain. Frame around transoms with 1by 2 or 1 by 3 leave enough proud so you can bevel it.

Could you use a large sheet of plywood in place of the planks? Seems like this would reduce the amount of caulking required. Very nice project. I have to try making a boat one of these days. I like your simple plan. Thanks!

Sika Flex adhesive caulking may be sent directly from heaven. Not only will it hold a craft together it is also paint friendly and its easy to work with as well.

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