Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 42

Thread: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Hey everybody, I'm Quinn, 18 years old and new to this forum. I also built a boat with absolutely no experience.

    At the start of last summer, we moved to a new house in a new city. I knew absolutely nobody in this neighborhood, so I was looking at a very boring summer. I did, however, have a new roomy backyard, so I decided I wanted to build a sailboat. I had no sailing experience, no woodworking experience, and obviously, no boat building experience.

    I had met a kid in the neighborhood who also had an interest in building a boat, and he had a wood shop in his garage, and a claim to woodworking knowledge. So we decided we'd build a boat together. We found William D Jackson's Sea Skiff plans online, and began construction. I soon discovered that my friend's woodworking knowledge was in the neighborhood of pinewood derby cars and fidget toys. Shoot.

    But, we built! I'm proud of my boat, because for absolutely 0 experience, she's quite a looker. I have no idea if this is a "good score" for a wooden boat like this, but she cost $600, everything included. Everything but the sail and epoxy was bought at home depot. I scored a used $50 sail online (It's actually a really decent sail) and used total boat's penetrating epoxy.

    There's quite a few mistakes (and frankly stupid things) that happened, though.
    First, I thought that the floorboards should be seamed together. This has resulted in 3 pencils rolling around in the hull. It also meant that when we epoxied, we couldn't get to the bilge.
    Our transom is angled off center. This is due to the forms falling off of our stands during a storm, and us not thinking to realign the transom when we propped it back up and put our plywood on.
    Leaks in the hull. Fixed with window caulk. Genius.
    2x4's for a mast, gaff and boom. Trimmed to be 2x2 2x3. Not rounded, not epoxied. Just 2x4.
    Main Sheet Line leverage at midpoint of the boom. It was meant to be part of a pulley system, but I simply didn't finish this. "How hard could it be?"
    Rudder was unweighted, and held on by eye screws. It got ripped off a minute after putting her in.
    No oarlocks.

    It's a really goofed up sailboat. But I still love her.


    All those goofs aside, I brought her out for the first time in early October, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy it, after spending so much time and money on it, but it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
    We put her in at Utah Lake, and I sailed her with my dad. My buddy had bailed about halfway through building it due to school starting up.

    She sails pretty well despite the angled transom. The rudder got ripped off about a minute after putting her in the water, so my dad steered with an oar. Due to the poor leverage, I was holding on for dear life to the main sail, but I hear it's good for the muscles. The wind began to pick up after a couple hours on the water, so we had to drop the sail in order to keep my fragile 2x4 spars from snapping. We rowed back, which made me realize the importance of oar locks. (They're important.)

    Here's a picture of my boat being tested for leaks in the pool, and me smiling like a goon as I watch my boat come to life.


    This spring I intend to fix all the things I can, and go sailing a lot this summer. In two years I intend to build another boat, but until then, I plan on learning a lot about boat building.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    42,780

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Do it cheap, learn a lot, is a good way to go. Congratulations on completing your build.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    12,058

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Excellent. If the inside is just epoxied, put some varnish over it. Epoxy has no UV protection and will break down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    42,004

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Good on ya! Yes, cover up any naked epoxy. Varnish or paint. Pale gray, or warm beige. Not white.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    13,634

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Nice!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Shoreline, Washington
    Posts
    2,235

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    That's a great story and you are a pretty darn good writer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    22,220

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Good work! The sail will work better if you lace it to the mast.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    It's worth noting that the inside of the boat isn't epoxied, but varnished, and the outside hull is what's epoxied and painted with UV resistant fence paint.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Good work! The sail will work better if you lace it to the mast.
    I'd like to do that, but the sail only had the 3 points. Would I be able to punch holes along the luff, or would that reduce the sail's strength?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    22,220

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Looks like it has a bolt rope for the luff, probably it was intended for a mast with a slot. There are a couple ways of attaching it to the mast. Probably the simplest would be to get some whipping thread and sew some bits of line to the bolt rope. Maybe parachute cord, available at any hardware store, about a foot long so you can tie the sail loosely to the mast at several points. That way, you can raise and lower it easily, and still have an efficient sail.

    You could by a grommet kit from the hardware store and put them in the luff of the sail, but you'd need to sew it in as well.




    Then you could lace the sail to the mast, the way it's discussed here:

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...99-Sail-Lacing

    Hope that helps!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Armada, MI, USA
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Well done, Quinn. Congratulations. A good story to hear.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    7,714

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Great job. That's the absolute best way to get into sailing. Everything else is details.
    -Dave

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lynden, Wa
    Posts
    3,120

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Love it Quinn! I wasn't much older than you when I joined this bunch of old guys, but it's a wealth of knowledge!

    ask questions, listen to the advice!

    Its quite heartwarming to see young people (am I old enough to say that?) still getting into wood boats.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,878

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Welcome to the club Quinn. You're probably addicted already. There's no cure, but don't worry, it's worth it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    You're probably addicted already.
    "Addicted" might just be the understatement of the year!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,878

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Here's a good book for you.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    13,429

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    The babes will be lining up to go yachting with you now!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    5,271

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Good for you! You have a great story there, and there is no better way to start 'messing about in boats'

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    10,707

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Would that I had started with boats so young. At 18 I was building wooden skateboard ramps and bowls, though, which are basically inside-out boats.

    Build all kinds of stuff before your next boat, so you can improve your basic woodworking skills. Maybe by making improvements for your boat. Make a bench and some horses and practice making joints and gluing techniques and all that jazz.

    This is a most excellent tale. I wish you many fine adventures, and I hope you share them, too.

    Aren't you guys going to build another skiff so you can race them?

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Best WBF post in months!!

    However, take John W's recommendation and find a way to attach the luff of the sail to the mast at 6-8 points. It will sail immensely better. Aside from that, pfffft. It's a boat. It floats. It goes in more or less the right direction when the wind blows and you waggle the tiller. You haven't died, yet, and in fact in one photograph you appear to be smiling. I know that sort of smile, myself..

    It's all good!
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.
    Posts
    3,423

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post

    pfffft. It's a boat. It floats. It goes in more or less the right direction when the wind blows and you waggle the tiller. You haven't died, yet, It's all good!
    My nautical philosophy entirely!

    Well done Quinn, that is awesome. Nothing like sharing a build with a mate, then going for a sail on her.

    Most excellent!

    Carry on Sir.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,041

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Thanks for this thread - I can use some brightness these days! All kinds of good advice here & don't be afraid to ask questions. Yeah, a few folks here can get a bit crusty at times, but the wealth of knowledge is quite amazing.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Zealand's Far North
    Posts
    7,458

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Congratulations, well done!
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    The babes will be lining up to go yachting with you now!
    *Looks both ways* this may or may not have been my motive.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    23,566

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Many years ago there was a song called Mighty Quinn. Well done and welcome to the forum.
    My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.

    John Welsford

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    44,877

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    I'm 74, and I am still sailing the boat my cousin and I built in 1963, albeit after an extensive restoration.
    Congratulations and more power to your arm.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Utopia
    Posts
    2,838

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Welcome to the forum. You happen to be in the same state as me. In fact only 50 miles from me.

    Getting started:

    - Take a look at the Facebook site called "Utah Wooden Boat Rendevous" because there's a group of wooden boat builders/owners active on the Front (see https://www.facebook.com/search/top/...t%20rendezvous).

    - The Utah Lake Yacht Club. The ULYC runs a great Sunfish program. Jim Daniels can answer your questions. And it's not hard to get out on a bigger Catalina with a couple of the members once you make a few friends. (See https://www.facebook.com/UtahLakeYac...676563/?type=3)

    - Park City Sailing. This group of people are amazing -- well organized, active, super-helpful with a nice fleet of 420s, Elliots, J22s, and other boats. If you really want to get into sailing and don't mind driving to Jordanelle, getting to know them is highly advised. (Visit https://www.facebook.com/ParkCitySailing/.)

    - One of the ULYC's members is a builder and a darn good sailor who could help you on both counts. If you're OK with it I can forward your email address to him.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lindon, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Those are some amazing contacts, capefox. I'll be sure to get in touch.
    Also, this summer I plan on joining the Sea Scouts. I know they have a couple boats, too.

    Oh! I almost forgot. After we had finished sailing, one of the ULYC members actually saw us sailing and told me about the group. I forgot about that part until now.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Admirable effort and will lead to mucho fun. Wish my first effort had been so pointy at the front

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    5,983

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    A great story. Well done and welcome aboard!

    -M

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    9,633

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    Good job! I built my first boat at age 18 back in 1971. Self designed and built with no experience. But, it did float and provided me with lots of fun.
    Enjoy!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    AK & AZ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    I am stunned, jealous, and in awe!

    Do it again, and take pics to share....please.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    WOW! Well done Quinn. Another congratulations to you.

    Have you named her yet?

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,554

    Default Re: An 18yo's attempt at a wooden boat with absolutely zero experience

    I think we see a budding Naval Archtect here!
    Jay

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •