The Completed 8 foot Sailboat (More Pictures)

Our Homebuilt 8-Foot Sailboat

After my short PCT hike with Kenneth, I returned home to find that my son Tim had invaded my woodshop with plans to make a "boat". He had even spent about $350 on marine plywood and planks of mahogany. Although the project looked really fun, I was reluntant to get involved because it was the end of May, and I had lots of other projects on my plate that needed to be done before school was over in June.

However, since my woodshop is too small to work on multiple projects at once, and since Tim's enthusiasm is infectious, I agreed to help. So began our first boat project. I have attached two pages of pictures that show our progress on the boat from planning to completion.

I must say that building a boat is much different than anything else I have made. I have had my woodshop for four years now, and I have built mostly funiture. Wood for funiture is mainly cut in 90 degree angles, with an occasional 45 degree cut. Also, I use glue extensively, but funiture glue sets up in about 10 mins, and you can sand it in a hour after clamping. None of this is true for a boat. For one, nothing is cut square. Everything is angled. And the glue is epoxy resin, which takes 6 to 8 hours to cure. While the glue is drying,it drips and runs on everything. Boat building is really messy. And the other marine materials, like filler and paint are way worse to work with than normal home/funiture building products.

So boat building is much more of a challenge. But, oh boy, is it fun. And the results are so rewarding! It took us about three weeks of full time work to finish this boat. (Two weeks longer than I wanted to spend.) Some extra work was involved because Tim wanted the "pirate" look to the boat -- so we varnished lots of the parts instead of a simple paint job. Also, after finishing the main boat, we decided to add the "sailing option", because Tim's budget could no longer afford the outboard motor that he was going to buy. Not counting our time, we think we built it for about %50 of the cost to buy. (We spent about $1200.) And Tim seems really happy with it. All and all, I am very glad I worked on it.

Now, since we had so much fun on this project, we are thinking of building a 20 footer with a small cabin, sometime in the next year or two. After that, maybe we will tackle a 40 footer, and sail it around the world.

Please have a look at the two picture pages... Links are given below.