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.
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.