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Thread: Punter

  1. #1
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    Default Punter

    Hallo iedereen!
    It's been a while since I posted on the forum, so I thought I'd do a thread on one of my current projects. And, that current project is the ideal sail and oar™ cruiser. Boomless spritsail, jib, leeboards, flat bottom, hard chines, cod's head and mackerel tail. It has crossed my mind to call her the McMullen.

    She's a "punter." Punters are small(ish) traditional Dutch inshore craft, used for fishing and about everything else.
    Punter_geroeid_en_gezeild2.JPG
    Punters come in a variety, but they all kind of resemble this one. They are built of heavy oak planks, and the boats are heavy and beyond many people's means.

    I'm building mine in skin-on-frame, of course.
    This thread will play catch-up to where I am now, and then hopefully on to the finish.

    She's about 18'6"/5.6m overall, and 4'6"/1.4m wide. That's short and wide for a punter, but I don't need anything longer. She is proportionally wider to compensate for that, and for the much lighter weight. Still likely to be tender under sail.

    First I had to work up the design, using a variety of sources. A bit tedious, as I don't have any Dutch, and the good source material is all in Dutch. Google translate is about 50% helpful, and the rest comes out as English gibberish. Apparently, maritime speak isn't what google focuses on.

    Design fleshed out, mostly, I cut out the frames and such from 12mm Okoume plywood, using up a couple of sheets with a whole lot of irregularly shaped leftover pieces.

    The first and last frames are mounted on the strongback, which is simply a flat, straight 2x4 or 2x6 clamped to a couple of saw horses.
    1031181021.jpg1030181711a.jpg ← Looking aft.

    The gunwales and upper chines are each made up of two pieces, stacked and glued together on the frame. This locks in the shape of the sheer, and laminated is stronger. I'm using cypress for the stringers in this boat.

    The lower half of the upper chines are set in place on frames 1 and 6, and held tight by straps. Then the rest of the frames are wrestled into position.

    1103181607.jpg← Looking forward.
    Cleats, as on frame 4, will be glued along the lower part of the frames, to strengthen them there. Plywood is no good for long and skinny, of course.

    The stems are slid through the mounting brackets and glued to the first and last frames.
    1103181430.jpg



    To be continued.
    Dave

    I tried to copy and paste pics here, so everyone could see, but no go.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Punter

    I see 5 pics Dave.

    Looking forward to seeing more.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Punter

    Cool idea. I'm on board.
    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Punter

    OMG! Finally.

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Punter

    Chocked on my tea with the "McMullen" comment.....

    Will be very interesting to see how this ultra light weight works out with the flat bottom, given the volume. Keep the updates coming.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Punter

    That ' Hallo iedereen' made my day.
    Most Punters are built in oak, a few in plywood, I know a steel one and a whole bunch in grp, mostly rental boats. Aluminium Punters are also around but your sof construction is unique. Dave, I hope to see you next spring during our 'Punterweekend' . Frank
    Www.oarandsail.nl

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Punter

    Deel twee

    FF, I was not aware of any grp punters - at least zeilpunters. Interesting. Please chime in with local knowledge whenever you can.
    And, I do plan to be there next spring, barring any more boneheaded mistakes.

    Stems notched and glued to the first and last frames:
    1103181556b.jpg
    The top of the stem here is clamped to a post, to keep it at the correct height and orientation. That strap along the foot is also helping.
    This was not the smartest way to do this, however, and the plans will specify attaching the keel first, and then the stems. This way there was a constant fight to ensure the correct stem angle while fastening everything else.

    The lower halves of the upper chines are beveled and fastened to the bow, then they are glued and screwed to the frames, checking to be sure that they are all square. SS screws and thickened epoxy for the joints, with excess epoxy formed into fillets on either side.

    Punters have their widest beam well forward, so bending the stringers to the stem - and keeping them there while fastening - is challenging when working alone. Cypress does not steam bend well, either.

    Once the chine has been fastened, the same is done with the lower halves of the gunwales. Then the upper halves of both the chines and gunwales are glued to their lower halves, with thickened epoxy.
    1118181630.jpg
    You can see the 6mm plywood panel fastened to the first frame, complete with traditional decor. The last frame also gets a panel, sans heart.

    Then one takes a break for a while, to relocate visitors.
    0505191955.jpg That's a skink, not a snake. Maybe he liked the matching shoe color?

    Afterwards, one must fit decks fore and aft. The area below the decks will be filled with foam flotation, hidden by them and panels attached to the first and last frames. These areas are more or less left open on the traditional boats. Some have foredecks that stretch to the main thwart, with lots of stowage under.

    I'm using 6mm Okoume for the decks, with cleats glued underneath to stiffen them enough to tread upon.
    0312191708.jpg

    The ends of the gunwales are shaped traditionally. I needed to attach extra pieces, aft, as things were bigger. Much of that will be covered by the skin.
    The ends of the gunwales were fastened to the decks with epoxy and bronze ring-shank nails (which look better than screws IMO). The decks were also fastened this way, though with shorter nails.
    0312191715a.jpg

    Meer volgt nog!
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-05-2019 at 12:55 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Punter

    More!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Punter

    20190606_093917.jpg Dave, if you don't have this book allready you should have it. Unfortunedly al pics from my cell phone fall on their back.
    Frank

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Punter

    I do have that book, and referenced it plenty. I like that old beat up boat of his.

    Meer -
    At some point I attached the lowest chines, as well.
    Punter 1a.jpg

    Then I installed the main thwart, of 12mm plywood, atop frame 3. This will also double as the mast partner.
    I was then able to take the frame off the strongback, flip it over, and attach the keel. The keel is also laminated, but horizontally, of two pieces of cypress. There's also a short section with a 6mm plywood "keelson" glued atop the keel, stretching under frames 3 and 4.
    0106191353.jpg
    You can also see the foam flotation glued to the underside of the main thwart. I try to add foam most anywhere it will be unobtrusive. To hide this bit from view, I installed a wide cedar cleat along the edge of the thwart, and gave it some decor (copied from Berk):

    0108191633b.jpg

    That cleat matches this bit, which is in the traditional location, aft.
    0328191822.jpg
    There's a wee poop deck just aft of that, which makes that little cuddy underneath for chart stowage or whatnot. Realistically, it will probably just house wasps or hornets. I tried to keep it small enough to discourage bird nests, at least. I've messed up a couple of those when pulling the odd boat out of storage - the last just a few weeks ago. No tragedy, though, as the baby bird in it just flew over to her very concerned mama, and they went on their way.

    Anyway. I also built another traditional punter feature - a three sided box for the mast, using a couple pieces of cedar. The thwart gets notched there, too, of course.
    Most of the clamps are holding the forward cleat to the bottom of the thwart until the glue dries.

    0124191650b.jpg
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-06-2019 at 08:31 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Punter

    Let's hear it for small projects!

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    Default Re: Punter

    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    I used to sail boats like that on Lough Derg in Ireland.
    They were Dutch, we called the ones we had Lili-flots, but Google has never heard of that name.....
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Punter

    Ah!

    Found them. Lelievlet......

    lelievlet.jpg
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Punter

    Ah, different forms on small Dutch boats. I was looking at a small Vlet dinghy some years ago, but did not know Vlets were also large powered craft, i believe the word had more to do with the hull form than size, perhaps Frank could chime in on that? But as far as i know, a Punter is a Punter with more of a common size range.

    Looking smart Dave, the ol doggo looks mighty impressed.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Punter

    Indeed a Lelyvlet, a boat for Scouting groups, there must be hundreds of them. Steel sloops with centreboards, gaff main and they can be sculled and rowed. Many kids were introduced to sailing, rowing and sculling who otherwise probably would not have done so. I have on 2 occasions made sails with the scouts for those boats. The boats are very sturdy, perhaps a bit to much as some groups use to park them by sailing onto a boulder instead of tying up to something else. The boats don't suffer and last a very long time, perhaps to long as naval architects design and sometimes build boats that are much faster and more fun to sail, and maybe they sell a few, but the steel boats just go on and on. But how did it end up overseas?
    The name 'Lely'comes from Ir. Lely who designed a.o. the ' Afsluitdijk' and changed our 'Zuyderzee' into the Ijsselmeer, he made our great inland sea into a big freshwater lake, thereby effectively ending the fisheries for herring under sail.
    A 'Vlet' is a boat that comes from the Norwegian Pram, and was used by Pilots to board ships. Coasters often took interesting and usefull boats home. They were built in Den Helder and on the island Terschelling in the recent past. They are considered as very seaworthy and the hullshape is used for motor launches, or in this case a sailing boat. The 'Lelyvlet' hull is a simplified, less strakes, wide flat bottom, steel adaptation. Frank
    Last edited by FF; 06-07-2019 at 04:54 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Punter

    Dutch-flag-boats.jpg
    And they all have a little sculling notch in the transom.
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-07-2019 at 11:21 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Punter

    Mast step glued together, with drain channel.
    0313191540a.jpg

    And in place at the base of the mastkoker:
    0328191832.jpg
    The step is not really traditional, but suitable for this boat.

    Another "small project" is the zwaards - aka leeboards. I opted for the high aspect ratio variety, because sometimes I like to go upwind. My understanding is that this type was mostly used in bigger waters, where a deeper board could be more useful.
    I made mine from a couple of layers of plywood, glued together at an angle to each other, so that the grain direction of the various plies would not completely line up. Each zwaard is about 1.22m long, and are assymetrical - flat on their lee sides, and shaped on the other.

    Note that there are better ways to construct foils. But plywood is perhaps the easiest, and certainly the most accessible to my builders. Quick and easy is what I try to achieve for them (and myself), assuming no short cuts when it comes to safety.

    Shaping the foils was done with my trusty pen knife. Err, I mean electric planer, block plane and electric sander.
    0515191931.jpg

    I spent a long time figuring out how I would use lines and pulleys to hold the boards at whatever angle I needed, yet still allow them to kick up if they hit bottom. In the end, I begrudged the weight, and simply poured some lead into recesses I routed into the boards. Heavy boards are how the Dutch do it, and simple is better in this case, too.

    Traditionally, the zwaards have some decorative touches, and so do mine - though to a lesser extent.
    First print a simple 5 pointed star on paper, then use that as a stencil to draw the shape onto sheet metal. I opted for copper, but most photos of the Dutch boats show brass or iron.
    0502192135a.jpg

    The center of each star is the pivot point for the boards. Thin copper sheet isn't quite strong enough to disperse point loads, so I cut out a recess for a big fender washer to fit behind each star.
    0502192128b.jpg

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Punter

    Yar, i heard the Vlet dinghy being used on pilot boats, is what peaked my interest, funny how a dinghy on a pilot boat in one place can be so different from another in the West country.

    Assymetric leeboards....fancy! Nice job.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Punter

    De zwaards
    0505191723.jpg

    Mounting gudgeons on a double ender is not too often a problem, but in this case the aft stem will be covered by the fabric. The stem is pretty wide, as well, and bolts fore and aft through it are not practical. In the end I decided to just mount gudgeons conventionally, and work the skin around them later.
    0418191708a.jpg

    The roer is also of two layers of plywood, and gets corresponding recesses for the pintles.
    0428191247a.jpg

    Punter rudders are usually of oak planks, fastened (presumably) with drifts, and also secured with various other bits. I decided not to forge my own traditionally styled pintles, but at least tried for the visual.
    0505191916.jpg

    Punter rudders have their own unique shape, as well . . .
    punter foils small.jpg
    complete with a cock's head. That's thin aluminum strapping, btw, solely to more or less emulate the traditional look.
    The little hook on the aft edge of the rudder is a toe hold, to assist in re-boarding from the water - the most I could do and still keep things looking kosher.
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-07-2019 at 07:24 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Punter

    For non-Dutch speakers: zwaard means leeboard, in Dutch the translation is sword; it slices through the water. Nice work Dave. Frank

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    Default Re: Punter

    Way cool, Dave! Looking forward to seeing the progress on this boat.

    Rubber snakes hanging about work pretty well to discourage birds from nesting in boats. You have to move them once in a while or the birds will learn that they are not real.

    Where do you get your cypress?

    Reese
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    was ignorant of the commonest
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    He could not even lie."

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Punter

    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    Mounting gudgeons on a double ender is not too often a problem, but in this case the aft stem will be covered by the fabric. The stem is pretty wide, as well, and bolts fore and aft through it are not practical. In the end I decided to just mount gudgeons conventionally, and work the skin around them later.
    Why not fit a false sternpost on top of the skin and mount the rudder fittings to that?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Punter

    I like the snake idea, Reese.
    I get my cypress at a sawmill in St Petersburg, Florida. Whenever I get down there I come home with a roof rack load of dirt cheap, nearly perfect 4/4 and 8/4 boards.

    A false sternpost would look great, but one encounters the same problem as with the gudgeons - attaching it securely enough so that the rudder won't rip it all off. Screwing it into the aft stem just won't work.
    In this case, simplest is also the easiest and strongest.

    And on to mounting the zwaards. Traditionally these are more or less hung from the gunwale. My gunwales are not really stiff enough for that, so I wanted the mount to also be supported by the upper chine, and the adjacent frame.
    0320191545a.jpg
    Glued together, the two smaller layers get sandwiched tightly between the gunwale and chine. The larger piece is glued to them, and to the inside faces of the gunwales and chine.

    Easier to show than describe:
    0607191532a.jpg The ears are acting as knees. You can see the hole for the pivot pin.

    Then I went around making epoxy fillets. Masking tape is your friend in this endeavor - as long as you remove it before the epoxy hardens.
    0314191540a.jpg 0607191528a.jpg

    Not much hardware round these parts that would be suitable, so I had a go at making a mast gate. Most of the Dutch ones seem to be beefy hooks and eyes, but I've seen a few like this.
    0607191529.jpg
    Easier to cut up a flat bar, than to hand forge a big hook. Probably not as satisfying, though.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Punter

    ^ used exactly the same mast gate set up on my old Michalak family skiff, quick n easy and a bronze mast gate does not suit every boat anyway.....

    Keep going.....

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Punter

    I love the fun details that you're adding. I'm usually too worried about making it float to get creative!
    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

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Punter

    Looking good, Dave! Enjoying this thread a bunch.

    -Trevor

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Punter

    Meer foto's:
    Punter 4.jpg
    Punter frame, more or less complete.

    Still needs some more detail work -
    Up front, punters have some more decorative/functional ironwork, designed to hold a large ring for the painter or anchor rode. The weight of all that seems excessive, not to mention that I'm not keen on hand forging components for this build. But, as with the rudder, I tried to create at least a resemblance of the tradition.
    0605191458.jpg
    Once again, that is aluminum, excepting the ring and padeye, which are stainless steel. The padeye is bolted through lots of wood, and the ring is functional. I used a wire brush to take the shine off the stainless steel.
    The finial on Dutch punters has more shape to it, but that is as far as I dared bend things with aluminum (the wings are even and symmetrical - the camera angle makes it look otherwise).
    You can see that I attached the gunwales a bit too far forward, leaving not much clear deck space for lines to run. There should also be a couple of flat bars - welded to the central one - that sprout off diagonally to either side of the stem. There's not much room for those in my boat, either, and I likely won't bother to add them.

    I used to oil the frames of my open boats, using teak oil, mostly - but only for aesthetic purposes. Oiling the frame does make it look very much better to my eye, and that's why I do it. But, teak oil, et al. doesn't last very long. So, lately, I've just been applying a single coat of cheap varnish to the frames of my open boats. Same amount of tedium, but the varnish lasts longer (if stored out of the sun).
    I do put several coats of varnish on things like the thwarts and decks. In this case, I added a bit of oil based stain to the varnish, which gives a slightly darker hue than the Okoume alone.
    0607191534b.jpg Deck and bulkhead started out the same color as that frame.
    You can see the trim piece hiding the seam there, too.

    Then comes the least fun part, for me - cutting, fitting and installing flotation. I use the rigid closed cell foam boards one can find at most building supply stores. They typically come in 4'x8' / 1.22m x 2.44m panels, of various thicknesses, and are pink or blue or green.
    The foam can be glued together with epoxy or construction adhesive, and should be cut with a specialized hot knife, or simply with a razor knife, as this leaves the fewest teeny bits of styrofoam doing our environment no favors. One should definitely not use a saw.
    Foam placed both fore and aft.
    0425191314b.jpg
    Air - and water - can circulate between the skin and frame between the stringers, so these are not sealed compartments.

    That seems to be that, so it's time to skin the boat. This step is typically the most dreaded by new SOF builders, but it is, in fact, one of the quickest and easiest parts of the build.
    0425191412c.jpg
    A couple of hours to complete a boat this big, working alone and in no hurry. It goes much faster with a friend and/or a smaller boat.
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-11-2019 at 06:37 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Punter

    Punter6.jpg
    Close observation reveals that the outside of the fabric is still white here. The interior is green because I sprayed a thin coat of paint onto it before skinning the boat. Which is far easier to do than to paint the interior afterwards. The fabric can still be shrunk with heat, and the interior will not end up a greenish tinged white.

    And then a break to take pictures of another shop visitor.
    0526182143e-1.jpg

    Afterwards, the boat gets painted on the outside. Typically I first coat below the waterline with Loctite's "PL Premium 3X polyurethane construction adhesive." This comes in a tube and is dispensed with a caulking gun, and can be found at most hardware stores in North America for about $6USD. The PLP, when spread thinly on fabric, becomes a permanent, flexible, waterproof and exceedingly tough coating, and I have been doing this for years. The PLP does need a coat of paint over top of it, however, as it has no UV protection.

    For this boat, I tried something I've been experimenting with recently - thinning the PLP with (oil based) paint before application. I did the whole of the boat this way, rather than just the submerged portions. I'm using 14oz polyester from George Dyson, and it has a very open weave. The PLP is rather thick, and better for filling the weave than just paint.
    So far, so good, but we will see how it holds up in the long run.

    With rubrails installed, too.
    Punter8.jpg

    Punter9.jpg

    So, that's more or less where we are now. Still needing to be made - spars, skeg, sails and a ridiculously long tiller.

    Dave

    Edited to say that the completed frame weighed in at 81lbs/36.7kgs. I have yet to weigh the boat as she is now.
    Last edited by DGentry; 06-13-2019 at 05:33 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Punter

    Wow, the chicken head rudder looks freakishly large, but thats how it is. Its not that heavy either, would you roof rack it or trailer?
    We wait for rigging ,launch and sailing updates. Thanks for sharing, a worthy addition to your fleet.

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    Default Re: Punter

    Hi Dave,

    does this really work? Compared to a Chuckanut for example it is so little Frames/Stringers per Fabric.
    The Frames and Stringers look a little bit flimsy. And the Boat is so big!

    Best wishes

    Christian

  31. #31

    Default Re: Punter

    I've really enjoyed your pictures and descriptions. I've been a bit intrigued with skin on frame construction for a while.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Punter

    Hey Dave. Which lines/plan did you use to design this punter? Just curious. It looks great.

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    Default Re: Punter

    She looks remarkably original Dave, well done!

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    Default Re: Punter

    Yo...

    Spill more about the precoat on the inside? You said sprayed and blah blah, I blacked out looking at your stunning new boat. How many coats, how applied, etc. I happen to know painted skin can still be shrunk (thank goodness!), but I’ve never thought to precoat the inside.

    Genius.

    Peace,
    Not A Genius

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Punter

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Wow, the chicken head rudder looks freakishly large, but thats how it is. Its not that heavy either, would you roof rack it or trailer?
    We wait for rigging ,launch and sailing updates. Thanks for sharing, a worthy addition to your fleet.
    Too much for my bum shoulder, so I won't car-top her solo. Even so, I wouldn't want to take her down an interstate highway on top of the roof - cross winds would be an issue.

    Hi Dave,
    does this really work? Compared to a Chuckanut for example it is so little Frames/Stringers per Fabric.
    The Frames and Stringers look a little bit flimsy. And the Boat is so big!
    Best wishes
    Christian
    I worried about the same things during the design process, and I'm hoping that I have it worked out OK. If not - well, that's why I prefer to build the prototypes myself . . . .

    The scantlings are relatively beefy, and the stringers are all cypress, not western red cedar. The frame by the leeboards is doubled. Sail area is low - 68sq ft / 6.32 sq m for the mainsail, about 20 / 1.86 for the jib, and the rig itself is very low.
    Lots of testing and tweaking before I would offer plans, in any case.

    I've really enjoyed your pictures and descriptions. I've been a bit intrigued with skin on frame construction for a while.
    Thanks! Feel free to email me (GentryCustomBoats@yahoo.com) if you have questions about SOF boats - mine or otherwise. SOF construction is fast, easy and inexpensive.

    Hey Dave. Which lines/plan did you use to design this punter? Just curious. It looks great.
    Hi Gary - she's more of an aggregate zeepunter/zeilpunter following the form of most of them. Not based on any one set of lines, as I had to compensate for her light weight and shorter than usual length.

    She looks remarkably original Dave, well done!
    Bedankt!

    Yo...
    Spill more about the precoat on the inside? You said sprayed and blah blah, I blacked out looking at your stunning new boat. How many coats, how applied, etc. I happen to know painted skin can still be shrunk (thank goodness!), but I’ve never thought to precoat the inside.
    Genius.
    Peace,
    Not A Genius
    Aww, shucks.
    Yes, I got tired of white interiors in my open boats (white being the color of the fabric, for those not in the know). And sometimes the white ends up pretty dirty looking, which is even worse.
    I use a cheap paint sprayer, and thin the paint pretty well. I spread the fabric out on the yard (not the driveway, anymore) and give it a couple of coats. The second coat is just to even things out and get any spots I missed. It's important to get the fabric from all sides, but one doesn't need a thick coating of paint - assuming the exterior color won't show through too garishly. The thinner the interior coat, the easier it will be to heat shrink the fabric once the frame is skinned.

    Some examples - my Great Wicomico:


    and the Indian Creek motor canoe:
    IC17.jpg

    BTW, I have a What's New page on my website, if you are interested in seeing new projects and such. There are some interesting goings on, if I do say so myself.
    http://gentrycustomboats.com/What's_New.html

    And, I do post lots of builder's boats and whatnot on my Facebook page.

    Dave

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