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Thread: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

  1. #1
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    Question First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    I am planning to build the duckworth 14 foot motor skiff this winter. I do not have access to reasonably priced marine plywood so I will be using Exterior grade. I have been through this over and over and since this is my first build, I have decided to use the cheaper grade. I know it wont last and I know about the voids in the ply.

    I do however have a few questions i would like some advice on.

    • Should I waterproof the plywood with an outdoor waterproofer l(like used for a deck) before I paint (i believe I will be glassing the entire outside)? ANSWERED
    • The build calls for 1/2 and 1/4 (bottom/sides) can I use 1/2 all around? ANSWERED
    • I plan to use external chine logs, is there any reason not to to do it this way? ANSWERED
    • Based on the design (http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/le...kiff/index.htm) whats the best way to setup my building base? ANSWERED


    Please feel free to add any and all advice regarding this build. I have experience making things from wood but I have never built a boat.
    The tools I own should suffice, anything else i will need (other than lots of clamps) I have:
    • circular saw
    • sawzall
    • drill
    • impact driver
    • orbital sander
    • May be purchasing table saw for this project.
    Last edited by adiastra; 09-13-2017 at 09:58 AM.
    - Alec
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Did you buy the plans package? It seems to have some sort of building guide? That should help.

    Don't use external chine logs. They are just as much work as internal, but have many drawbacks.

    If you plan to glass the ply, that should go onto bare wood.

    Peace,
    Robert

  3. #3
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Really no such thing as reasonably priced marine ply. You're just building a lumber yard skiff if you don't use marine ply. Why bother glassing cheap ply. Go with painted MDO or glass actual marine ply.

    spurce in your town: http://www.sears-trostel.com/product...goods-118.html
    - John

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    John,

    I have called all the lumber yards (mowsen, sears trostel, southerland, etc) and found that the prices are all over the place. While I understand that there is no 'cheap' marine ply, the availability is less that you see online and the prices are in the $125 a sheet range (Colorado does not have a big marine plywood market so its a specialty item). That combined with the use case for this boat (dry and covered during the week, probably only in the water a few times a year) guided my decision. If i like this boat, I will build a second using what I have learned. The second boat will be done with higher grade materials.

    ------

    Robert,

    Yes i have the build guide and have a bunch of plans for similar boats. I am going to be using the concepts I have learned through research along with those plans and the guide to assist me.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Also i just found this https://s3.amazonaws.com/plan_downloads/PoorBoy.pdf which may be a better choice (basically the same boat but smaller)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    I think you should go the route of MDO then. Smoother surface, good durability. Use epoxy fillets, then prime and paint without glassing the boat. If you think you need some abrasion protection, then do a 4 oz glass only on the bottom up a few inches above the chine at most.

    One consideration people seem to overlook when building a small boat is that a lot of time goes into the project regardless of cheap or expensive materials. Spending that time on cheaper materials means a boat with more limited lifespan and possibly little or no resale. Time is money too that can be lost.
    - John

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    John,

    I understand that, but i love to tinker. I build RC helicopters which i then crash. For me its not about the time to payout ratio (though I do like to enjoy my projects) its more about the process. Boats are new to me (building anyway, i grew up on the Chesapeake) so its OK if the first project ends up not being perfect. I really would like to learn and for me that is more about the process, not the materials. I am bound to make mistakes and would rather do that on cheaper wood. In the end, I have confidence that it will float and that i will get a few seasons out of it. I can use that time on the water to think about the processes and what I may want to do differently with the next build.

    I think painted MDO will be how I go, and I will build the smaller version since the processes are the same. That way i can learn the process and build a second 'better' one later that I will keep longer.

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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    A friend has an exterior-grade spruce plywood skiff that he built in 1985 that is still going strong. The key is to keep the paint in tip-top shape to keep the water out, and to store it properly in the off-season so that the hull is off the ground, not stressed nor full of water and dead leaves. A boat built this way will not likely win awards at the local boat show, but with reasonable care and maintenance, it should give you years and years of good service.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Is there a difference between "exterior" and MDO?
    - Alec
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Also does someone have an example of how to frame out the building base that the boat will sit on while building it?
    - Alec
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

  11. #11
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.



    What you need is a long, fairly narrow very flat surface. I used the straightest 2x8s I could find and used a plane to get the tops as straight as possible. The top is 3/4" particle board screwed to the frame for easy replacement (I am currently fitting out the third boat built on this particular top which has also served as a base for a number of birdsmouth spars and have yet to replace it). The legs are braced and bolted to the frame with four leveling feet to compensate for any variation in the actual floor.

    My shop is reasonably temperature controlled, the table has been very stable; you could also frame it out of a manufactured wood product and be fairly certain nothing would ever warp.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  12. #12
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    so basically a bench, as flat as I can make it with a way to adjust it to make sure its level (im thinking plastic shims or something similar will work just fine)
    - Alec
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

  13. #13
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    That's it. If you can secure it to the floor so much the better.

    In terms of using 1/2" plywood where the designer calls for 3/8" or 1/4", I would stick to the plans. The boat is going to be heavy enough as it is and 1/2" is a lot harder to bend than 3/8"
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  14. #14
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Some worthwhile resources:

    strong backs https://www.google.com/search?q=stro...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    e-book by Russell Brown http://ptwatercraft.com/ptwatercraft/EPOXY_BASICS.html

    Sam Devlin stitch and glue video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wuoy1dGOxFI
    - John

  15. #15
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    In terms of using 1/2" plywood where the designer calls for 3/8" or 1/4", I would stick to the plans. The boat is going to be heavy enough as it is and 1/2" is a lot harder to bend than 3/8"
    +1.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: First boat (14 foot skiff) build questions and advice.

    Well i think I have what I need to get started (information wise) I have to order the MDO from sears trostel and i should be able to get started sometime in the next week. I picked up 2 29inch saw horses (they were on sale) which will be used as the base of my base. Thanks for all the help, I will start a build thread and hope to get more input as needed.
    - Alec
    “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

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