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Thread: Simple Plywood Boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    QLD Australia
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    2

    Default Simple Plywood Boat

    Hello everyone,

    In a few days me and a few buddies are planning to build a (hopefully) simple 2.7m (9') skiff that we designed ourselves (plans are below). All three of us have basic woodworking experience but have never worked on boats of any kind before. Our only real design criteria are that it floats and is dirt cheap (about $300 AUD). We have no expectation that it lasts longer than a couple of uses and we don't have a viable way of storing it for very long so it will likely get turned into scrap/fire wood before the end of the season. Our main concern is about bending the chines and the plywood sides. We are planning on using 7mm (1/4") ply for the sides and 40x40mm (1.5 x 1.5") pieces of radiata pine for the chines. The question we have is if the materials we've chosen will bend (ideally dry bend) to our plans or whether we will have to use other materials/dimensions or even steam bend the chines in order to get a good bend? Also, if you could point us to some sources on bending or designs of similar boats they would be much appreciated.


    IMG_20181202_154942.jpg
    Table of Offests.jpg
    Imjur links for photos:
    Plans: https://imgur.com/a/WoNRCq1
    Table of offsets: https://imgur.com/a/Vo2yaMK

    Thanks for any advice you can offer
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,609

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Welcome aboard!
    Designing boats is fun, I have a bunch of sketches. I've built a few boats too, but usually to existing designs. The one build I did "design" was a simple pine flatiron skiff. That followed basic rules for the type, and was built following decades of reading about boat design and building. I think it is smart to experiment with inexpensive materials.
    Test bend your chine logs, if they won't make the bend, try flipping them, they will often bend easier one way or the other. You can also split them lengthwise and glue them back after bending. Be careful, have fun, report your results.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia - USA
    Posts
    2,040

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Welcome!

    My first boat, self-designed in almost total ignorance, was identical (in all but dimensions) to your hull shape. It worked acceptably, and I taught myself to sail on it, but of course it could have been better.

    What John said. Alternatively you can try soaking your chine logs for a day or two (a plastic tarp can make an ad hoc pool), then use weights to induce a bend. Let them dry for another couple of days.
    Keel.jpg

    As for similar designs, there are many, many simple plywood flatiron skiffs out there.
    Here's an older design that is about the same size as yours, and can be built from the same pile of wood you already have - "The Forest and Stream Skiff"


    Here's another by by Jim Michalak, "Toots": http://www.duckworksbbs.com/product-p/jm-toots.htm


    and another, Phil Bolger's "Elegant Punt"


    For many other designs, take a look at the Duckworks list, here: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/r/p...dex/skiffs.htm

    And, you can only help yourselves by getting a copy of one of the Instant Boat series by Harold Payson, or even simpler, Jim Michalak's own book "Boat Building for Beginners and Beyond." Libraries often have them, if you guys aren't too far out back. Interlibrary loan - or Amazon - could get you a copy, even if your local library doesn't have one.

    Good luck and have fun. And I hope you catch the boat building bug like I did.

    Cheers -
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    41,871

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by CrashDive View Post
    Hello everyone,

    In a few days me and a few buddies are planning to build a (hopefully) simple 2.7m (9') skiff that we designed ourselves (plans are below). All three of us have basic woodworking experience but have never worked on boats of any kind before. Our only real design criteria are that it floats and is dirt cheap (about $300 AUD). We have no expectation that it lasts longer than a couple of uses and we don't have a viable way of storing it for very long so it will likely get turned into scrap/fire wood before the end of the season. Our main concern is about bending the chines and the plywood sides. We are planning on using 7mm (1/4") ply for the sides and 40x40mm (1.5 x 1.5") pieces of radiata pine for the chines. The question we have is if the materials we've chosen will bend (ideally dry bend) to our plans or whether we will have to use other materials/dimensions or even steam bend the chines in order to get a good bend? Also, if you could point us to some sources on bending or designs of similar boats they would be much appreciated.


    IMG_20181202_154942.jpg
    Table of Offests.jpg
    Imjur links for photos:
    Plans: https://imgur.com/a/WoNRCq1
    Table of offsets: https://imgur.com/a/Vo2yaMK

    Thanks for any advice you can offer
    Try drawing an oarsman sitting in that boat to see if the geometry might work. Personally, when you compare it with it looks far too deep.
    There is this for consideration, from our sponsors https://www.woodenboatstore.com/prod...bson-island-14 It will give you an idea for proportions.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Santa Fe NM
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Welcome to this Forum, The soaking method as mentioned earlier can work nicely. I know you are asking about bending stock and not design questions. But I am throwing some of that in with this l anyway, just as a suggestion. I wonder about your dead flat bottom. I like rocker to allow the boat to move in a gentler and safer motion through chop and waves. I also like side flare for this and secondary stability. Below is just one example of a boat similar to yours. Designed by someone with experience in the craft. It might be worth modifying your plan to copy some of these other designs.

    On my first build I sccewed this up myself. I did not have enough rocker in my run, as I was modifying a design into something that I couldn’t get plans for. I have since altered that vessel so it has a proper run. One that just comes out of the water when loaded. It is much more efficient than before.

    Enjoy the build and the use!
    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Dinks/Carryme.html

    D70716AD-1CF9-40DD-83EA-7B60F14AE801.gif
    Last edited by Matt young; 12-03-2018 at 11:27 AM.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    it is so fascinating, how one skiff looks beautiful and elegant, while the next one with some different lines looks clumsy and awkward

    and to be honest, your design is not on the beautiful side. dont get it wrong please, i dont want to offend you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    582

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    They should dry bend. Some tricks to help are to put towels over them and pour boiling water over the towels. Another is to build a bending jig and pull them down a bit each day with cargo straps. Or a combination. Also the chine could be cut into thin strips and laminated into shape with epoxy or waterproof wood glue.

    6 mm plywood will make this turn.

    P14 planks 5.jpg

    P14 first epoxy 03 feb waldo.jpg
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 12-07-2018 at 08:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    QLD Australia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Unfortunately our build time was shorter than I would of liked so we didn't get the opportunity to use all the great suggestions everyone provided. We had an absolute blast building it though and are already excited for version two where we will no doubt add some rocker and side flair as well as find more time to build it in. Luckily for us, we had always intended for the boat to be temporary so our mistakes (and admittedly poor workmanship) won't be around to haunt us for too long! She hasn't taken her maiden voyage yet and we still don't know if she's watertight but with the amount of bedding we used and a coat or two of paint that we still have to put on we are hopeful she won't sink. So without further delay here are some pictures (fortunately they're taken far away so you can only see the most obvious flaws):
    IMG_20181207_172011.jpg

    IMG_20181207_171957.jpg

    For anyone that's interested in some of the construction details our biggest concerns were cost and time which obviously means we took the hit on quality. The boat was made for around $250 AUD and built over the course of four days. As for the bending that needed to be done, it was much easier than I thought! We wound up choosing some very green timber (cheap fence palings) for the curved sections and they took the bend easily. They would be entirely unacceptable for a boat intended to last (the warpage and shrinkage on those palings will be incredible) but at only a dollar per meter and the ease of bending they seemed perfect for our boat. Probably the largest problem we had was joining the chines and gunnels to the stem and transom. We had seriously underestimated the amount of bearing surface required to make a secure connection between those parts and had to make an extension to the stem where it met the chine logs and had to add a large breasthook on the gunnels too keep the boat from tearing itself apart. The seats are also placed much too high due to a simple miscommunication on which side of the mark to place them on. Rowing the boat will be somewhat uncomfortable and we expect the boat to be very tippy.

    We're quite excited to launch the boat and would certainly welcome any advice/comments/feedback you guys have for the boat as well as for version two.

    Cheers, thanks for reading

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Lexington, MA
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Very Boaty! Congrats.

    You might be surprised about how long it lasts. I started with a Summer Breeze in 2010 and it's still around somewhere living a great life as a kid's fishing boat.

    Hope you and your friends keep up with the crazy.
    Almost everything about boats involves so much more time and money than one anticipates that rational and accurate planning will deter even starting. Ian McColgin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Santa Fe NM
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    You certainly get a Cheers for getting after it!
    Kepp us posted about the sea trial, and your next projects.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    582

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Looks nautical! I'd go around and round off/rub down the sharp edges of the tops of the frames and edges of the seats. She looks a little like the work boat SHE PAYS that showed up on our beach for a few weeks, the marine construction crew built her quick and put her to work, no time to even put the seats in! They used 2x6s for temp seats and floorboards. There were also plans for a foredeck to keep some spray out.

    IMG_2001.jpg

    IMG_2087.jpg

    Attachment 27661

    Attachment 27663

    So maybe V2.0 has an angled bow, a little flair to the transom, an inner gunwale to make a place to tie things off, and a chainsaw.

    Cheers,
    Kent and Skipper
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 12-07-2018 at 09:19 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
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    3,609

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Looks like fun. If you find her tippy, add ballast. I've used gallon bottles of water, concrete block, or beach sand in plastic bags. My most sophisticated is a shot bag of lead shot. As above, you may find she lasts a while. The flatiron skiff I built was lumberyard pine, the few pieces of hardwood were from a cast off pallet. That boat lasted years, even on a freshwater lake, winter stored on a lawn.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Simple Plywood Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    Looks nautical! I'd go around and round off/rub down the sharp edges of the tops of the frames and edges of the seats. She looks a little like the work boat SHE PAYS that showed up on our beach for a few weeks, the marine construction crew built her quick and put her to work, no time to even put the seats in! They used 2x6s for temp seats and floorboards. There were also plans for a foredeck to keep some spray out.

    Attachment 27661

    Attachment 27663

    So maybe V2.0 has an angled bow, a little flair to the transom, an inner gunwale to make a place to tie things off, and a chainsaw.

    Cheers,
    Kent and Skipper
    Linkies no worky

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