View Full Version : Built first wooden boat

Thin water
06-29-2006, 01:20 AM
I have nearly finished building my first wooden boat. It is a mini max hydroplane. I see from reading the posts in this forum I made many mistakes in my choices of materials but it will be interesting to see how it works out. The first problem may be that I used 7/16 exterion ply instead of 1/4" marine grade. This added about thirty five pounds to the little 8' boat but it may be a good thing to hold my 230 lb. The second is I used polyester resin to coat the inside and outside for waterproofing instead of epoxy. I have a peice of the same plywood I painted with resin and left out in the rain for the last year and other than some small cracks in the resin it is like new. I made the compartments water tight and poured in two part foam. I put in a little to much in the front and it came out the pour hole like a volcano. I heard the deck pop a little just as it stopped. I glued all seams with gorrilla glue. It is amazing stuff and foams into gaps sealing them. The outside will be painted with interlux boat paint. I am keeping the boat inside when not in use and don't anticipate it's being used more than two hours at a time a few times a month.

What are the problems expected with the above build? Any idea on rot if I repaint it every year and keep it inside? Any other observations/opinions are welcome.

I may build another one scaled up 50% due to my size (6'06") if this one works out OK. I have more of the same wood and polyester resin, both left over from other projects so the cost is already paid.


Thomas Williamson
06-29-2006, 07:00 AM
Got any pictures?

Steve Hornsby
06-29-2006, 07:43 AM
ahh yes, the MiniMax. I use to run in one with a 7.5 merc on it. From my recollection it was built out of standard ply, held together with steel screws and painted a zillion times. That was thirty years ago and its still in one piece under my cousins cottage. Watch for cracks and open seams, keep it painted and dry and it should last. I'm not familiar with that plywood.

With your size, you will probably need some power to get out of the hole. A 9.8 would really go and a 15 would be scary. The first time you get the Max over its bow wave and onto true plane is unsettling - you swear you are going to submarine - but you don't and then the fun begins. Have a great ride.

If you are looking for a slightly bigger boat, but still in the smallish category, you might want to look at the TNT from Glen-L. It is 11ft and has a bit more V. Great with a 15hp. You can also get a small seat in it.
Have fun,


Thin water
06-29-2006, 08:45 AM
I will carry it out of the shop for photos this afternoon. I still need to add the comings and motorboard, then paint it. I heard of these going submarine when driving into a tall wake. That had me concerned some and is why I sealed the rear compartments and foamed them. As built in the plans the rear compartments have holes drilled in them to make the boat lighter (About 6 oz by the looks of the holes, big deal). When it goes under (as in the plan built version) the bow sticks up and the motor goes down about 4 feet. With the rear sealed you can completely flood the cockpit, sit in it and drive it around until getting your bailing cup, AKA Big Gulp from 7-11, and clear it.

This is the link to the site with the free plans for several small hydros including a three point. I considered one of those but I have read they are very dangerous


06-29-2006, 09:01 AM
I remember building a mini-max when I was a kid. It planed off nicely with an old 5hp motor but then I only weighed about 60 lbs. Fond memories indeed. Love to see some pics of yours.

It does seem like maybe it will be a little small for a person your size. Perfect excuse to build another boat!

Regarding materials: It will probably outlast your interest in it as long as you don't leave it outdoors. Back in the 50s & 60s no backyard built boats used epoxy or even polyester, just exterior ply, Dolfinite and paint. They lasted fine with some regular repainting. The fir ply checked of course but the boat didn't sink.

Thin water
06-29-2006, 09:22 PM
i tried to post pictures but it says " exceeded quota by 13.5 kb". That is hard to do when I have never posted anything before. I reduced the file size to 32 kb and it still won't upload. Anyway, it is in bondo and the comings are cut with four of the six peices on the boat. It rained most of the day so I did not get to much done. I have to work the next three days (12 hrs each) so progress will slow to a crawl until Monday, when I hope to get it painted. I am looking for a good short shaft motor for it if anyone has one for sale in Central Florida.


06-29-2006, 09:26 PM
I tried to post some pics too earlier today,had the same problem ,too big to upload ,even tho I downsized 3 or 4 times.

06-29-2006, 10:02 PM
Maybe you already knew this but the picture files have to be stored someplace else on the web. I use Imagestation.com.

When composing the post click on the little yellow button second from the right end that has a tiny picture of two mountains. Thats the graphic for a picture. When you click a window opens where you paste in the address (URL) of your picture. If your pic is in Imagestation right click on it and then select 'properties'. Its URL is listed. Copy <crtl>C and paste <crtl>V into the box on your post.

This is a lot easier to do than to explain. Search this forum for 'Imagestation' and you will get other's explanations for this process.


This picture of my lofting set up is located at:


Good luck.

Thin water
07-04-2006, 12:00 AM
Thanks for info on posing pictures on this site.

Thin water
07-04-2006, 12:02 AM

07-04-2006, 12:29 AM
Cool. It came out nice. Looks like it goes pretty good too.

07-04-2006, 01:43 PM
Fun, fun, Fun. :D