View Full Version : Newbie Q's

Brian Gray
07-10-2001, 03:01 PM
Hi All...

First time on this forum...looks like a cozy place...

Thought I'd ask a few questions...

I'm a somewhat experienced sailor, I race J24's, eventually would like to get into a laser...

I also have been a very serious woodworker for the last 7 years...mostly furniture...just finished up a Mission Style couch.

I would like to build a boat this winter.

I am most impressed with Shell Boats, and their plans, but I haven't been exposed to much else. I really like the Swifty 13.

I'm pretty sure that I have the skills to do everything from scratch. Once I have the plans, I'll know whether or not I'm in over my head, and then make a decision as to whether or not I should buy the kit.

The question is this...for someone with plenty of ww'ing experience, plenty of tools, etc. What would be an ideal first boat plan? Kit or start from scratch? Opinions on Shell Boats?

Thanks, and I look forward to lurking around this forum....

Brian Gray

07-10-2001, 03:13 PM
Welcome Brian.
I think it's pretty much up to how confident you feel about yourself. If you are doing a mission style sit me down you should be able to work from scratch. The swifty is a nice boat, a friend build one from a kit.

07-10-2001, 04:24 PM
A lot depends on how you want to enter the boat building experience. Different construction methods to choose from..plywood, strip, cold molded, carvel or lapstrake. I purchase shell boat plans years ago but never started the project. Scott Rosen just built the shellback dingy and is very impressed with the sailing and handling capabilities of this Joel White design. It is constucted of marine veneer and you can either order the kit or build it from scratch. This might the a good one to start with.

07-10-2001, 05:11 PM
Go for it Brian. By the sound of it, you have the basic skills and equipment so you should be able to tackle whatever you want.
Mind you, its a bit like building a house - when the shell is finished and you look like you have a boat, you are only a third finished!
Welcome to one of the best forums around.

jeff pierce
07-11-2001, 10:33 AM
Just wanted to add a word of encouragement here. You know boats and are a hardcore woodworker and yet I sense some uncertainty. You are very qualified to embark on your boatbuilding adventure. I personally think all you need to start is self confidence, patience (big time) and a willingness to learn. I am still a newcomer myself and am 1 year into my first boatbuilding project, a 16' runabout. I started with minimal woodworking and boating experience and no knowledge of wooden boats. Heck, I still don't even own a table saw. Still, its coming along just fine. It ain't perfect, but good enough for me to be proud of. That's all that matters isn't it...well, maybe it matters if it floats too...hmm, I haven't tested that yet. LOL
Anyway, go for it.

Paul Frederiksen
07-11-2001, 10:49 AM
There are some questions you need to answer before choosing your boat. For those who have been around a long time I sound like a broken record, but here goes.

Build the boat which suits your wants and needs the best. These vary widely from person to person. Will the boat live in the water most of the time or will it be on a trailer? What size space will you be working in? How much money do you intend to spend (multiply by three for a small boat, five for a large one) http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif? Is it important to you that the boat authentic traditional construction using traditional methods?

The variety of plans available is staggering so finding something that suits is reasonably easy. The difficult thing is knowing what you want, and not getting sucked off track by dreams or distractions which don't really apply to you.

07-11-2001, 12:24 PM
Yes, money. Don't forget that.

And, where are you going to keep it when it's not in use.


John Weigandt
07-12-2001, 12:23 AM
Uh.. Norm... you may store any unused money at my house.

Storing boats not in use.. that's another ball game.

Just sunk another cardboard one on the 4th, so I don't have to store it..


07-15-2001, 02:05 AM
You have the necessary shop skills, no doubt about that. What you probably will want to come up to speed on is the technique of lofting. Basically, before building a boat full size the plans are lofted full size in order to confirm dimensions and make minor adjustments. Also to make full size templates. Lofting is usually a necessary first step when building from scratch. When it isn't essential to loft first, the designer will say so in no uncertain terms (this means that the designer has already corrected the Offsets and is probably also providing full size patterns with the drawings). Best/cheapest way to learn lofting is to do some research at the local library or, as long as you're here, pull the thread here at Woodenboat.

One of the big advantages of lofting is that a boatbuilder will usually build one or more models first to check how it all looks in 3D. The first models are usually crude -just put together quickly out of cardboard and hot glue (use a scale of about 1"=1'-0").

07-15-2001, 10:59 AM
Re. "It" and "...you may store any unused money at my house."

Dang! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif As my ole pappy used to say, ya gotta take a Dutchman by what he means not what he says.