Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks

I've been compiling this blog of boatbuilding tips and tricks, plus launchings and in-progress boatbuilding projects for over five years now. The vast majority of the questions I receive by email have already been asked by someone else, so if you take the time to read through the archives, you'll probably run across many the questions you may already have plus find answers to questions you haven't thought of yet. You also get a chance to look through many of the projects that others are building. I try to include as many of the photos I receive from builders as well, some from facebook pages.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mission Bay Stitch-and-Glue Skiff Launched in Missouri

I received this email over the weekend:

Hi Jeff,

Thank you so much for offering the Mission Bay Skiff design and for your good customer service by email. What a great webpage too.

I built our MB Skiff with my brother-in-law Ben and couldn't even estimate how many hours we spent on her construction. If we had to do it again, I'll bet we could do in 40 hours not including dry times. We added several features beyond the plans, such as skid rails underneath, an extra seat in the bow and additional rub rails. We used your recommended Loctite caulk instead of thickened epoxy to glue the seams before removing the zip ties. We coated her entirely with gray tinted epoxy, then painted the outside with Rustoleum Oil-based paints. I spent about $400 on her. The biggest expense was the epoxy resin & cloth ordered from at about $200, followed by the cost of the oars at about $60 for the set.

She handles well and as you can see in the photos, we can put 4 average size guys in there. Two can stand and cast at the same time. Eventually we'll get a trolling motor. We keep a short canoe paddle under the back seat, along with the life vests. The front seat has a dry-well for keeping our smaller stuff safe in case we swamp or it rains. We added spray foam under the back seat to increase buoyancy just in case. You can see the draft depth in the photos for both a single rider and full load. I'm the guy in the red shirt, Uncle Ben is the younger fellow. Neither of us had built a boat before, but I had built a lot of furniture and he had used fiberglass for art projects. Still I think anyone with some courage, a dream and the ability to do online research could build this boat from your plans.

We've hauled her on the roof rack, on a small 8' trailer and even shoved her in the back of a minivan with the seats out. I built a dolly from spare parts and just finished a boat lift to suspend her beneath my deck. She weighs a bit too much for me to "car-top" without help, but I can slide her into the van from the dolly by myself.

Thank you for introducing me to composite uni-body construction principles using what I'd always thought was just cheap closet-door plywood. Our next effort in boat building will be a fleet of kayaks. Passersby can't help asking questions about our unique boat and marvel that we built her in the garage with common tools. If anyone has questions I'd be happy to receive them by email.

Thank you again, Jeff,

Mike Mundy

Liberty, Missouri

Mission Bay Skiff Wooden Boat Plans

Mission Bay Skiff Wood Boat Plans

Mission Bay Skiff stitch-and-glue Boat Plans

Mission Bay Skiff easy to build Boat Plans

Mission Bay Skiff free Boat Plans

Mike did a great job, and I'm so happy he's now enjoying the fruits of his labor. If you'd like to ask him about his boat, let me know and I'll pass on his email to you.

More about the Mission Bay at: 11' Mission Bay ultralight Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Boat Building Photos

Please don't be embarrassed to send in photos of your projects. I get a lot of emails from people who tell me about their build but never send any pictures. I'd love to see them, as would all of the other people who are either building a boat or thinking about it. They need all the encouragement they can get.

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