When my family and I packed up our possessions and moved across the country some years ao, it broke my heart to leave behind my Dad's old boat. One year, he decided to build a wooden boat as a winter project, and my brothers and I gave it quite a workout every summer. We rowed it, fished from it, dove off it, even sank it a couple of times, but with a fresh coat of paint each spring, it was redy for another season. That boat hosted the first outboard motor I ever used, which was quite a thrill — but I got an even bigger kick out of the boat's most unusual physical characteristic: It came in two. Dad designed it that way to fit in our small utility trailer. The boat rode in the trailer wiht its front half tucked inside its back half. When we got to the lake, we would simply bolt it together and off we would go.
When it wasn't in use, the boat rested beside the garage under a leaky tarp. As time went by, the plywood delaminated and the glue let go until it was beyond restoring. Fortunately, I took its dimensions so that I could recreate it, and now so can you.
If you use the best material to build the boat, such as stainless steel fasteners and epoxy, this little skiff will last you many years. These materials do cost a little more, but the boat will last years longer. Obtain and study literature from epoxy suppliers before beginning the project. (See sources below.)
These drawings for building a wooden boat are based on dimensions that I took from the skiff my father built. The boat from my boyhood may be long gone, but its clone has proven just as enjoyable and promises to be the center of summertime memories for years to come.
1 Oak rib (3/4 inch x 2 inches x 13 feet)
4 Clear fir stringers (3/4 inch x 1 1/2 inch x 15 feet)
7 Fir cleats (seats) (3/4 inch x 1 1/2 inch x 4 feet)
1 Fir bottom plank (1 inch x 6 inches x 10 feet)
1 Plywood sheet for frames and seats (4 feet x 8 feet x 1/2 inch)
4 Plywood sheets for bottom and sides (4 feet x 8 feet by 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch)
2 Clear fir stern (2 inch x 4 inches x 4 feet)
2 Fir base (2 inches x 6 inches x 12 feet)
1 Fir base cross struts (2 inches x 6 i nches x 10 feet)
4 Fir legs (2 inches x 4 inches x 8 feet)
Screws/nails (stainless or bronze)
Determine from manufacturer's information
Wood rasps: one fine, one coarse
Four 6-inch C-clamps
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