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Thread: Can I build a melonseed?

  1. #1
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    Default Can I build a melonseed?

    Greetings woodboatsmen, this is my first post post. I hope it's not redundant I tried searching for an answer and I found nothing anywhere. I'm considering building a 16' melonseed as a first boat. But I have no idea if I can afford it. I have access to most of the tools I would need, so most of my building cost will be materials. From what I have read there are two methods of building, does that make a big difference? What should I expect to spend on materials?
    also, how are easy are the plans to follow? I have been reading chappele's boat building, will that plus the plans plus a fair amount of shop experience be sufficient? I'm not afraid of long projects, but I don't want to just blindly start a project.
    Thanks for the help,
    SB

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Different designers differ in their plan presentations. If you read Chappele and understand what you read you are well on your way. If you get the plans, study them and can see your way through the project, you can do it. The WoodenBoat Store sells plans for Marc Barto's 16' Melonseed, plywood lapstrake, presumably glued lap. I expect you could build it with solid wood, slightly thicker. I don't know those plans but a number of those boats have been built recently with the builds discussed extensively on this forum. As to cost, you might PM Mike Wick if he doesn't chime in. You need whatever fasteners are appropriate to your build method, backbone/frame stock (white oak, maybe), plank stock (plywood or cedar/cypress) and spar stock (sassafras, spruce?) all air dried if solid wood preferred. Have fun.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Yes, you can and should. With not much woodworking skills I managed to build and launch the WB Barto design last fall. I used John Brook's book as my bible and then asked questions here.

    The TSC site has many other links to MS builds.

    Has anyone heard of someone building and/or sailing a MS and not being in love with it? It's a great little boat, well worth your time and effort.
    Steve B
    TraditionalSmallCraft.com
    RIVUS 16' Melonseed
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    FWIW, I am building a 15' Lincolnville Salmon Wherry and I figured going in that I'd spend upwards of $5K building it, all in.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic and stop the madness. Save the country.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Barry Long documented his simultaneous builds of 2 stunning melonseeds. Have fun reading - http://www.eyeinhand.com/category/melonseeds/page/38/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    It's a challenging build, but if you take it slow, it's very rewarding. I built mine in 7 months....




  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Thanks for all of the replies. Did any of you keep track of how many board feet you used? Can I use the Ashcroft method of planking on this boat? I saw it in the chapelle book and it sounds like a good method if applied in appropriate circumstances. I have more questions but I will look around the forum to see if they have been answered. If any of you know of good reads about suitable planking methods and when or why to use fiberglass on the hull I would be interested in reading them.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    I built my 16'00 Melonseed in nine months. I bought the plans from Woodenboat . . . . . very easy to follow. Check out Dave Lucas's Melonseed building site. Strip built, no need to steam frames, glassed and epoxied inside and out. Cost to build it yourself? Materials $2000.00 Sails $900.00. Please note that Garry Sherman's Melonseed is the children's version, 13'6", known as the Lemonseed. Check out Dave Lucas's Melonseed building site. http://traditionalsmallcraft.com/Fil...easy%20way.pdf
    " Be all that you can be"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    SB, this is my 16'00" Melonseed, strip built, 3/4" x 3/4" pine from Home Depot, mast is two 2" x 4"'s epoxied together, deck is 1/4" Okuome plywood. The centerboard box, centerboard and the rudder are also Okuome plywood. The rig is actually a Beetle Cat rig and the sail is a stock Beetle Cat sail.






    " Be all that you can be"

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean Spray View Post
    I built my 16'00 Melonseed in nine months. I bought the plans from Woodenboat . . . . . very easy to follow. Check out Dave Lucas's Melonseed building site. Strip built, no need to steam frames, glassed and epoxied inside and out. Cost to build it yourself? Materials $2000.00 Sails $900.00. Please note that Garry Sherman's Melonseed is the children's version, 13'6", known as the Lemonseed. Check out Dave Lucas's Melonseed building site. http://traditionalsmallcraft.com/Fil...easy%20way.pdf
    Rich, this was funny the first 40 times you said it. Well, OK it's still funny, but I did place second in that event, so apparently the scaled down version had some merit.....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    All kidding aside, Garry's Melonseed is a fine piece of craftsmanship. The question to the builder is size, whether it be the space
    you have to build the boat or how the finished boat will be used. Hundreds of the 13'6" Melonseeds have been built Crawford Boatbuilding down on the south shore of Boston. . . . . . . and yes, Garry's 13'6" Melonseed did receive Honorable Mention in the Concours D' Elegance at the 2014 Woodenboat Show.











    " Be all that you can be"

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    SB...the answer is, YES you can build a 16' Melonseed if you can devote a reasonable amount of time and effort over a year or two. There is no need to rush the building of such a beautiful skiff. My build was started in 2007 so I could not shed any light on the cost today. It might be around 3,000 GB but that is only a guess. I ran a thread on this website which covered the whole build from start to finish with many photographs taken at each stage. They are still available on photobucket and my thread should be found somewhere within this forum Build/Repairs. That should be a great help in guiding you through and helping you to make the decision to build or not to build.

    You should be able to find my original article under the heading....16' Melonseed Skiff Don Scott c.2007

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Materials, including a trailer for my 13.5' Barto Melonseed cost me around $5000.00. Marine ply, cedar canoe strips, mahogany, ash and some white pine. Most of my fittings were cast from patterns I shipped off to a foundry in R.I., still inside that 5K final cost.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    what does politics have to do with boatbuilding?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Hi Jim, welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimgordon View Post
    what does politics have to do with boatbuilding?
    Some would say everything, some nothing. Politics here belong in the Bilge. Are you interested in Melonseed, or did you mean to reply to another thread?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimgordon View Post
    what does politics have to do with boatbuilding?
    it's ok, i just saw someone waxing political and i was responding to that... yeah, i love it... keep it in the bilge... i deleted my response because i don't want to get distracted and go down the political path. i am looking into building a wood strip melon seed... just finishing up a 20 ft wood strip canoe and i am hooked

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    I have a pile of douglas fir slabs that I bought from someone cutting up some trees near Poulsbo. They have been drying for a couple years in my garage. I am thinking about cutting strips and boards from them to turn that stack into a sailboat. The melonseed looks like a nice design. It looks like a nice boat for boating around bays and islands in the Sound where we live with family and friends.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Welcome to the forum. I love my melonseed that I built glued lap, but probably more have been strip built. There are some good links in the posts above. Let us know if you have questions or need motivation.

    Lots of 'seeds to look at here: http://traditionalsmallcraft.com/Melonseed.html
    Steve B
    TraditionalSmallCraft.com
    RIVUS 16' Melonseed
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    I owned a strip and glass 13' Melonseed for ten years and loved it. They are excellent boats for thin water. Fast, handy and beautiful, they are quick to rig and can be sailed onto and off beaches. Their only faults are that they are wet in a chop and tight for two if one of them is very tall (me).

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    I owned a strip and glass 13' Melonseed for ten years and loved it. They are excellent boats for thin water. Fast, handy and beautiful, they are quick to rig and can be sailed onto and off beaches. Their only faults are that they are wet in a chop and tight for two if one of them is very tall (me).
    I assume you are referring to the 13' as being tight for two.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    The 16' is great to singlehand, and fine for 2 adults, OK for 3, but getting you're starting to get friendly with that many.
    Steve B
    TraditionalSmallCraft.com
    RIVUS 16' Melonseed
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    i used 1/4" x 3/4" inch strips for a 20' x 32" canoe (60 lbs total) ... i assume i can use wider strips for a 4'+ wide melonseed ... should i go thicker than 1/4"?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    I am wondering if weight matters for the hull. I have built a kayak and a canoe from woodstrips and I know how to make a very light and strong boat but would it be any problem if the hull is light for a sailboat?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Weight often helps, adding stability in a breeze or when boarding. I prefer trailer boats, or especially car top boats to be light in construction, then I add inside ballast. Water or sand in bags or jugs is easy, exercise weights or shot bags are excellent.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Weight often helps, adding stability in a breeze or when boarding. I prefer trailer boats, or especially car top boats to be light in construction, then I add inside ballast. Water or sand in bags or jugs is easy, exercise weights or shot bags are excellent.
    . good idea... that way i can get the boat down a beach to the water easier and then haul weights instead of lugging a heavy boat

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    where would you place the ballast so it's not in the way?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Can I build a melonseed?

    In my 19' and 17' dories, I use exercise weights under the floorboards. In the 10' dory a shotbag on the bottom which get moved around depending on loading. In the melonseed I put a five gallon water can right aft of the daggerboard. A little weight goes a long way in a small boat, it's not hard to find space. The most compact is the shotbag, which you could store in the trunk until needed.

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