5 Professional Boatbuilding Shortcuts that Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Anticipation is the enemy of many boat builders. From novices to experienced pros, the excitement of finally sailing the vessel they’ve been building for weeks or months can get the best of them. This can lead to making mistakes that might impede their success.

But there are ways to cut some time from your construction schedule without hampering the end results. As a matter of fact, I have 5 shortcuts that will let you finish your project earlier than you thought, without causing any heartache.

Shortcut #1 – Minimal Space for Maximum Efficiency

Bigger is not always better. This holds true when it comes to boatbuilding workshops. While the tendency is to create a workplace that is large and sprawling, just the opposite can be what you actually need.

Unless you plan on building boats on a regular basis, you can follow in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before you and create a small workshop. A garage or shed, a tent, some PVC pipe with tarps draped over it… all are standards when it comes to boat work areas. All you really need is enough space for the finished boat, plus a few feet around the perimeter for walking, working and moving about.

Shortcut #2 – Plastic Makes the Best Fillets

Sure, there is a special tool for making fillets, but it requires some getting used to. In addition, you’ll need some patience while you’re mastering the art of fillet making. One of my favorite shortcuts involves using plain old plastic spoons to make fillets.

Use the back of the spoon to make the curved shape of your fillet. Plastic spoons are sturdy enough to handle the thick epoxy, durable enough to stand up to the resin without dissolving and make cleanup easier than you could imagine.

Shortcut #3 – Disposable Lofting Is Smart

Once you start transferring the dimensions from your boat plans to the plywood, you’ll want to make sure you stay neat, clean and organized. Getting measurements mixed up or forgetting whether you’ve already transferred some measurements can lead to disaster.

Buying downloadable boat plans is the way to go. Once one set gets cluttered with notes and markings, simply throw it away and print a clean set. Nothing could be easier.

Shortcut #4 – Know What Could Go Wrong, So You Can Do It Right

When building a boat, you should always be looking ahead. Read instructions (such as those for the epoxy you’ll use), go through processes (like fillet making) mentally or actually try it on scrap wood. These save you time in the long run because they allow you to encounter the hazards that might happen before you actually begin attempting the steps on your boat.

Shortcut #5 – Check Your Temperature

Many problems with epoxy are due to having an incorrect temperature in your workspace. You’ll want your workshop to maintain a constant temperature between 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). This way, most epoxy products will work as they should.

If need be, plan the phases of your boatbuilding project so your use of epoxy will fall during seasons that have temperature ranges compatible with the product you’re using.

By implementing these 5 shortcuts, you’ll find you can shave a bit of time off of the total project. That means you can set sail sooner with full confidence that you’ve built a top-quality vessel.

Happy boat building,

Morten Olesen, Master Boat Builder and Naval Architect

15′ Daytrip canoe maiden voyage and stability test

I got an email the other day, honestly I get a lot of email every day, but this one was special 🙂

It was from Rolando Perez who has build the 15′ Daytrip canoe from the free plans available. Rolando was impressed by the performance and it exceeded his expectations.

Rolando did a video of his maiden voyage with the canoe. Check it out here:

And here:

Rolando also did a stability test and made a video of the test. That’s really interesting to see how much the canoe can take before capsizing. Enjoy 🙂

Read more about the 15′ Daytrip canoe and buy the boat plans here:

Boat plans for the 15′ Daytrip canoe

Happy boat building,

Morten Olesen, Master Boat Builder and Naval Architect

New Booklet > Boat Building – Professional Tips for building a better boat

This is indeed a great day today since my new booklet for Kindle is now for sale on Amazon. The booklet contains articles with tips and tricks about boat building. Included is also 3 articles about how to design your own boat.

Boat Building - Professional Tips for building a better boat

You can find more information and also buy the booklet from this link:

Boat building – Professional Tips for building a better boat – Amazon Kindle booklet

And now that we are talking about books I hope you don’t mind I give you a reminder on the Boat Building Master Course.

Boat Building Master Course

This book is available as both paperback and Amazon Kindle versions. You can buy the paperback version direct from my website by using the link below. You can also order it from Amazon but when you order from me I give you a discount if you use the coupon code staten on my website. The paperback is exactly the same.

Boat Building Master Course as paperback

The Boat Building Master Course as Amazon Kindle version:

Boat Building Master Course for Amazon Kindle

Happy boat building,

Morten Olesen, Naval Architect

Happy boat building!

I would like to start this blog with my ideas of what boat building should be like. I believe that building boats should be fun and not frustrating. That’s why I publish articles and trying to hand out as much information about boat building as possible. I think information is the key to getting the building process right first time.

If you have comments please email me at mo@boatplans.dk. If you like please make a comment here. And if you want to browse for boat plans please visit my website at http://www.boatplans.dk/.

Also if you have got a taste for boat building and want to read more please try have a look at my Boat Building Master Course. It is available as both Kindle version and paperback. You can find a link to the master course at the link section of this blog.

Happy boat building,

Morten Olesen, Naval Architect