View Full Version : Building "Huckleberry" - a 9ft micro-tugboat

Yacht Huckleberry
05-25-2018, 01:26 PM
I have started construction on a 9ft micro-tugboat "Huckleberry" for my son, Finn, to use cruising around the canals and exploring the mangrove coastline near our house here in Florida. Plans are the Micro 9 from Berkeley Engineering. This is my first boatbuilding endeavor, but it is a fairly simple design (flat bottom, vertical sides...).

Its essentially a stitch and glue design, but since all the pieces are at right angles to each other, screws are used to temporarily hold the panels together. I am varying the construction method slightly, as I am building the boat upside-down on a simple jig. I will then fiberglass the hull, inside and out, prior to installing seating and cabin components. The boat is being constructed primarily from Meranti plywood, along with a few pieces of Douglas fir for the stem and keel.

Here are some images from my first week of construction. Overall, I am quite happy with my progress. I will continue to post to this thread as construction continues. You can also follow my blog at yachthuckleberry.blogspot.com for daily updates and probably more commentary than anyone on this forum really cares to read.





05-25-2018, 09:59 PM
Looks like a fun project. Doug

05-25-2018, 10:05 PM
Cool boat, good dad. Welcome!

05-26-2018, 03:45 AM
Cool boat for a kid. "The Huckleberry" for Finn. Nice one.

I will be interested to see the finished build.


05-26-2018, 06:38 PM
Excellent! always nice to see more of the Berkely tugs being built........makes the other builders look a tad less eccentric :) seriously though, looking good.


Yacht Huckleberry
05-26-2018, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. Mermod... I think we are just the right amount of eccentric. What’s the fun of building something for yourself if you can’t make it utterly ridiculous.

05-27-2018, 05:35 AM
There's one nearby that went all out on the wow factor with a pink and yellow colour scheme!

Yacht Huckleberry
06-04-2018, 04:43 PM
This week, I fiberglassed the outside of the boat. I cut some reliefs in the fiberglass tape so they would lay flat around the curved bow section. They probably could have been a lot smaller, but now I know for next time. Still seems plenty strong.

Fiberglassing was a mess. Trying to lay big panels on a completely vertical surface proved challenging at best. I wish it came out a bit smoother, but then again, being my first boat, I am not quite sure how smooth I should expect it prior to fairing.



Yacht Huckleberry
06-12-2018, 02:45 PM
Keels attached and glassed. Fairing compound arrives today. Then the real fun begins.