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Old 04-05-2016, 11:05 AM   #1
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Who built a kit boat?

In recent threads about our younger years in olden days, several people made reference to kit boats.

So, who built from a kit or even scratch, growing up?

One summer, in my teens, a friend down the beach, built a "hydro plane" out of fibreglass over plywood. I helped but mostly watched and gofered for him. Thing was about 5 feet long and looked like a punkin seed scootin' around the bay. Scared all the grannies. Crazy, they said.

Anyway, after a bunch of years beating ourselves up chasing salmon in a 12' plywood job, I made a deal with the old man. I'd build a boat and he would power it.

In the summer after grade 10 I talked to my upcoming G11 shop teacher. Being the good boat, beer and fish guy he was, he agreed to my kit boat project.

Sight unseen, I ordered a 16' laminated mahogany shell. Just the hull, no transom, no ribs or stringers...nothing. Thing wobbled off the truck like a Siamese slinky. Once a week in shop, I would fabricate pieces to take home on the school bus and either fit it or take it back for redo.

We needed a steam box, so teacher put the challenge to the class to come up with one. The simplest setup was done by a native kid from Bliss Landing who was the best damn salmon smoker anywhere. Made it out of stove pipes rigged to a big old 5 gallon milk can.

Only place we could fire that thing up was the "Home Ec." kitchen. After school.

Miss Mastrodonatto was not the least bit impressed with "a bunch of buffoons turning her kitchen into a savage potlatch to cook sticks." She came around. Maybe mom's canned salmon, maybe Okeover Arm homebrew; who knows.

So, we got 'er done. Slung a couple long shaft Evinrudes on the back.

By launch time, I had turned 17 and was able to work in the mill, make more money than a small town kid should...bought my first car. A whole new world opened up and a major shift in priorities exploded... a whole 'nother book in that statement.

So, here's the end result. Pity picture taking was such a challenge back then. Mostly a camera without film...
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
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I did nothing so fancy hawgwash. My Dad and I built an El Toro in our garage when I was a kid. 8' sailing dinghy along the lines of the Sabot or Optimist.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
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By the time I am done with this Albin....it feels like all I bought was a shell...


A shell might have been easier to finish...just harder to live on while the resurrection occurs...
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
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I built a Kingfisher rowing shell from a kit about 30 years ago. Used it for a few years but Penobscot Bay is not a benign body of water on which to row such a craft. Couple that with my incipient geezerhood and the poor shell has now been hanging in the rafters of my barn for the last 20 years. It was a blast to build and fun to row, but I'll never row it again. Time to sell?

Here is one being built (not me/mine).

https://todddamon.smugmug.com/Boats/...hell/i-WdTFtpt
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:28 PM   #5
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I built a CLC kayak (no kit, plans only) a few years back. Been on the lookout for plans for a 14' or so day sailor.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:27 PM   #6
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Hi Hawgwash,
I ordered a Pelagic 28 hull and cabin shell(sd hull), with 3 bulkheads
and engine stringers glassed in. Built it into a troller.
Later bought the plans with full size frame patterns for a Bruce Roberts
PCF 36. Scratch built a larger troller for more capacity and range.

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Old 04-05-2016, 09:30 PM   #7
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I built Bolger's Poohsticks a double ended rowing boat 11'4" X 3' 10" I didn't have much money at the time, but lots of time and a pile of wood. I searched the public library for boat designs and found one that fit my pile of wood! I couldn't afford the plans but the book had the table of offsets so I lofted her and figured out the details.

In many ways that was the most fun I've ever had with a boat. I had that boat for over 30 yrs. After I got married my kids learned how to row in her and had endless hours of fun on the water.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:46 PM   #8
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I watched my Dad build a twenty something foot inboard cabin cruiser in the stores warehouse. If you're going to build a boat, a marine store is a great place to do it.

I've been building little boats with my friend Snapper for several years now. You can see the boats we've built here https://jmlynn.smugmug.com/Boats

Snapper is the real wood worker. I'm the plywood and glass guy.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar;
You can see the boats we've built here
https://jmlynn.smugmug.com/Boats

Neat stuff HopCar.
What is the Sandflea used for?
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:20 PM   #10
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Sandflea was designed for poaching alligators in Everglades National Park.

There was a fellow named Glen Simons who made his living in the Everglades before there was a park. He continued even after it became a park.

He designed that boat to be similar to a Seminole dugout canoe. Glen published a book about his life called Gladesman. When he died several of us who knew him decided to build one of his boats.

There is a photo of Snapper and me with the boat in front of a sign in the park with a picture of Glen in one of his boats.

The boat is very easy to pole and push through the saw grass.

The simple plans are in Glenn's book. The book is a good read, especially if you've ever seen the Everglades.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:38 PM   #11
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Max Simmons,
Take a look at this Sailing Dinghy Plan | Sailboat Plans And Kits | Bateau | Boat Plans For Amateurs
I built one of their power dories and am well pleased with it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Sandflea was designed for poaching alligators in Everglades National Park.
Just looking at the pictures, I wondered if there was an alligator connection.

Two of the spookiest times of my life, both in the 80s;
The one and only time I travelled east across the Tamiami Trail, sometime after midnight, narrow road, dark, misty, low on gas. We kept seeing single lights off in the swamp. Thought for sure a couple Canadians in a rental car would turn up missing. Even when we emerged at the first intersection...just a gas station and store..the big overhead lights shone yellow through the fog, like a mustard cloud. Place full of pickups with 8' tires and cannons, stacked up 4 high, in the rear windows.

Only one other time did I have a sphincter tighter than a Scotchman's fist...

Made a wrong turn in LA on the bike, again late at night. Before I could get turned around all we could see was eyes following us. We were smack in the middle of Compton.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:40 AM   #13
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Hawgwash, that would have been Dade Corners. The natives look scary but they are actually friendly.

DNT, I built a canoe from the free plans on the Bateau website. The plans were very easy to understand. I stopped into their shop one time to get a look at their CNC kits. The kit looks like it would save a lot of time and was very precisely cut.

Did you build the dory from plans or a kit? What was your impression of the plans? Kit?
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:34 AM   #14
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I'm actually toying with building a PT-11 Sailing dinghy. Light, nesting halves, simple freestanding shroudless mast, decent rowability... can you tell I'm almost talked into it?!

PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy home page
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:00 AM   #15
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Diablo, Tennessee,Brick,Big Dory and 2 Tortises all Phil Bolger designs. 1 AF4 , Jim Michilak design. 1 "Northshore" Pram. Lots of fun with plywood and fiberglass.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:25 AM   #16
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Hawgwash, if your not a writer you should be. That paragraph leaves nothing to the imagination, I could picture it just as surely as if I were there. I swear I could see the rusty dilapidated sign for the Bates hotel blinking through the fog.

Love the pair of "Weekend Wreckers" on the back of your boat. You needed two back then.

Yours is the Queen Mary compared to my first boat which was built from an old set of stairs and promptly sunk. The second attempt was a catamaran made from two 45 gallon barrels cut lengthwise and the two halves fastened with 2X4's. Back in the early 60's the big annual community event was barrel boat races, wasn't exactly exhilarating speed but was sure hilarious to watch..
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:52 PM   #17
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Built a few

I grew up in the hay days of plywood kit boats. I'd saved up enough money for a Mossberg 22 bolt action rifle, my dad suggested I buy a 14' boat kit from Sears instead.
I became the human c clamp. Well that set the die. After that I built a kayak using plans from Mechanics Illustrated, the patterns were 1/4 " squares you layed out on plywood, then an El Toro in wood shop and then lofted a 18' flat bottom skiboat in my garage. Build the trailer from formed steel tubing. The framing from vertical douglasfir and plywood. Very light and fast. I have been messing with boats my whole life. I guess I can thank my dad for that.
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:18 PM   #18
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In my high school shop class, the most ambitious project was a glass over wood boat. The kid's life centered around that boat for both semesters of our senior year. And his effort was reflected in both the quality of his work and the poor grades he received in his other classes, in fact he actually failed algebra I both semesters.
One of the last steps in his project was to fill all the voids (really, just one big void) with two-part, expanding closed cell foam. That stuff is tricky because it expands so much -- you need to use just the right proportions of both parts, and you have to end up with the right total quantity or it won't expand enough to fully-fill the void. I believe the shop teacher helped him with the math.
In any event, it was a big day when he carefully measured out and mixed up the foam and poured it into the void. For what seemed like about 10 minutes, after having added the foam mixture, he stood back proudly to admire he almost-complete project, which put the rest of our projects to shame (although the compound bow project was pretty darn impressive, and obviously very useful). Then all at once, his boat started making funny noises and quickly thereafter it ruptured. It was obvious to at least some of us (but not to either the teacher or the student builder) that the calculations were wrong and foam was expanding to the point of pulling apart most of the joints. Very tragic. Even so, I don't think he regretted not having better learned basic math.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler;
In my high school shop class, the most ambitious project was a glass over wood boat. Very tragic. Even so, I don't think he regretted not having better learned basic math.
Great story. That can be a short 1 page chapter in the book we all should write...

Chapter 13
Foaming at the Math.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:47 PM   #20
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Greetings,
"Foaming at the Math" or "Expand this equation"
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