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A Minahouet in NC

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  • A Minahouet in NC

    Hello - My name is Philip and I'm building a F. Vivier Minahouet. After some encouragement from other forum members, I thought I'd post a few pictures of my build progress.

    It started last year with translating the plans, as they're only offered in French. Lots of time spent with Google translate. I took delivery of the kit last summer.
    Kit Delivery.jpg

    I got started last summer by working on the spars. I resawed doug fir 4x4's to get quartersawn staves to make a birdsmouth mast. Sawing the 8 footers was easy, but the 12 footers - I thought I was going to have to cut a hole in the wall....

    Mast Const - Resawing.jpg

    Resaw 2.jpg

  • #2
    Re: A Minahouet in NC

    After scarphing the staves, I used a BM bit in the router table, and the mast was on its way...

    Birdsmouth Glueup.jpg

    After gluing in the foot and head, I got to rounding. A power planer made quick work getting close, then handplanes and sandpaper to finish up.

    Mast Round Up.jpg


    • #3
      Re: A Minahouet in NC

      I made up the boom and yard, and sanded all to 180 grit and put away for paint and varnish later. I'll make the bowsprit later as well.

      Next I steam bent laminations of doug fir around the inner stem to make glue up of the outer stem easier.

      steam box.jpg
      stem glueup.jpg


      • #4
        Re: A Minahouet in NC

        Next came work on the centerboard case, which is glued in with the building jig. After laminating the sides and gluing the cabins on the outsides, I glassed the inside and added some dynel where the pin rides for extra protection.

        centerboard dynel (2).jpg

        The plans call for floatation foam in a semi-closed compartment in the bow. On the plans, the compartment drains with limber holes, but I'm concerned about the foam eventually becoming waterlogged or inducing rot. So my plan for now is to make up one or two custom buoyancy that can be pushed through access hatches and inflated and then removed. I made hatches in the foremost bulkhead.

        fore hatches.jpg

        I then beveled the stem and epoxy coated frames and bulkheads before installing on the building jig.

        stem bevel.jpg


        • #5
          Re: A Minahouet in NC

          I've been working on setting up the building jig over the past couple of weeks. It started with the construction of the ladder frame. I plunked down the cash for a couple of LVL beams and I'm glad I did. They were nice, straight, and wrestling with warped construction lumber.

          Ladder Frame.jpg

          After the ladder frame was on it's feet, I spent several evenings making sure things were square and level. I think installed the building molds, frames, and bulkheads. Today I glued the centerboard case in place, along with the inner stem.

          Building Jig Port.jpg
          Building Jig Port Bow.jpg


          • #6
            Re: A Minahouet in NC

            Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting these pictures. I am very jealous of your shop! I'm looking forward to seeing the boat come together.

            Originally posted by plcrawfo
            The plans call for floatation foam in a semi-closed compartment in the bow. On the plans, the compartment drains with limber holes, but I'm concerned about the foam eventually becoming waterlogged or inducing rot. So my plan for now is to make up one or two custom buoyancy that can be pushed through access hatches and inflated and then removed.
            I'm currently building a Vivier Seil and share some of your anxiety about foam filled compartments. However:
            1) Plenty of people have built this way and report no problems, and
            2) I think that an inflated bag might allow less ventilation and trap more moisture.

            Have you considered creating airtight buoyancy compartments? Plugging the limber holes with epoxy is dead easy. Your hatches look so clean that, were you to rabbit in some surgical tubing and build a way to dog them down tightly, I would guess you'd have something that was at least very close to sealed.

            Keep us posted!

            - James


            • #7
              Re: A Minahouet in NC

              This is great!
              I think the Minahouet has been neglected and deserves more attention. I am going to be very interested in your build.
              I am also very impressed by your building shop, especially how well organized and clean it is.
              Can't wait for further instalments.


              • #8
                Re: A Minahouet in NC

                Hi James,

                Thanks for the kind words. I spent a year turning my garage into a real workshop, primarily so I would be comfortable building a boat (HVAC really helps make things comfortable).

                I've considered making the fore compartment air tight. I went ahead and put in grooves for surgical tubing if I decide to go that route. I plan to deflate and remove the buoyancy bags when not in use, but I'm not sure how easy that will be (I'll test it out when I flip the hull). If I decide that removing the bags will be more difficult, I'll probably seal the limber holes and go water-tight.



                • #9
                  Re: A Minahouet in NC

                  Nice. I've only seen Minahouet in pictures or video but always liked to the look, thanks for joining the fray here.

                  If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
                  H.A. Calahan


                  • #10
                    Re: A Minahouet in NC

                    Members with shops that clean and well-organized should NOT be allowed to post pics of's too depressing to untidy slobs like me!
                    Congrats on the new building start and especially on having such a great shop to work in! Cheers!


                    • #11
                      Re: A Minahouet in NC

                      Wow! Not at all envious of your workshop!

                      All the best for the project


                      • #12
                        Re: A Minahouet in NC

                        Hello there Philip! I suspect we share the same last name... although I doubt we're kin, as I don't have any in Pittsboro! (I'm up in the mountains). You do have a nice shop space, with a great design to work with, and you're doing fast work at that!


                        • #13
                          Re: A Minahouet in NC

                          Philip is a true craftsman but if anyone wants to see how not to build a Minahouet take a look at my blog - Hywel Batten (@hywel.b) • Instagram photos and videos

                          I am shamed every time I see his workshop and his handiwork.

                          Our good friend, Alain in France is also building one - HOEDIC (@alpes.g.s) | Instagram


                          • #14
                            Re: A Minahouet in NC

                            Thanks everyone for the continued kind words - I'm very intimidated to be sharing pictures here given the level of skill and craftsmanship I see in the other build threads. Hywel is being modest and I've taken a lot of inspiration from his photos (not at all to mention how generous he's been with building advice along the way).

                            Schoonerjay - you never know. That side of my family is from the mountains of Virginia.

                            I haven't made much progress since March - something called working for a living gets in the way. But I have been able to get the sole glued down, beveled for the first couple of strakes (beveling the sole was a job - the power planer I bought for the spars has been a huge help), a transom knee attached (using the blind-splined mitered knee technique) and the starboard garboard strake glued on. The port side is going on tomorrow. I used a little steam on the fore end of the garboards to help set the shape prior to glue-up (I was surprised how well the ply would bend and take shape with about 8 to 10 minutes of steam).
                            Transom Knee.jpg
                            Garboard Steaming.jpg
                            Starboard Garboard(v).jpg
                            Last edited by plcrawfo; 06-18-2023, 05:30 AM.


                            • #15
                              Work has kept my very busy over the past few months, but things are finally starting to slow down. I was able to start teasing strake No. 2 into place to check the overlap for the gains at the stem and transom.

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