Boat building FAQ part 1

During the years of working with boat building and boat plans for small boats there has been some questions repeated by my customers. I have collected some of the most typical ones together with the answers. Enjoy 🙂

What is lofting?

When you receive the plans you will find that the different elements you will have to cut out of the plywood have dimensions that describes their physical shape. Lofting is the process where you take these dimensions and draw them on the plywood sheet so the elements can be cut in real size.

When you get started with the lofting the process is quite simple, and if you are a first time builder the Boat Building Master Course will show you every step in the process in details.

How do I stitch and glue plywood?

The stitch and glue building method is a quite popular building method for small boats building projects. The reason for that is that the method is easy to use and it makes the construction process fast.

When you build a plywood boat the hull side and bottom meets at the chine. At this chine seam small holes are drilled and the side and bottom is stitched together with either metal wire or cable ties.

After the stitching the chine seam is glued with epoxy thickened with wood floor or another suitable filler. After the gluing it’s normal to apply some fiberglass tape over the seam to reinforce the joint between the side and bottom.

I have never worked with epoxy and fiberglass before – What do I do?

Working with epoxy is not difficult but like many other things in life its gets easier the more you have tried it. Normally most epoxy suppliers have some lecture of their product and how it’s used.

If you do not have any experience with epoxy and fiberglass I recommend that you start out with a design where you only need to use fiberglass tape. It’s much easier to work with fiberglass tape compared to fabric and it’s easier to get a good-looking result with the tape.

The Boat Building Master Course also describes in details the process of laminating with epoxy and fiberglass.

Where do I get the building materials?

You can get boat-building materials in every part of the world. Plywood is used everywhere and widely available in many qualities.

Fiberglass and epoxy is also widely available and the best thing you can do is asking your local boat builder where he gets the materials. Sometimes it is also possible to buy the materials from him at a reasonable price. If you don’t have a local boat builder near by surf the Internet to find some suppliers close to you.

Happy boat building,

Morten Olesen, Naval Architect
http://www.boatplans.dk/

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