Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog

Here are my latest blog posts:


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Paul Gerle Launches his 16' Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory

Paul Gerle just sent me these pictures of his recently completed Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory. He buiilt it in Georgia. He is building the sailing rig as well that comes as an option in the plans. He's planning to sail his new boat frequently this summer. Nice Job!

Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory Wood Boat Plans

Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory Plywood Boat Plans

More information and free downloadable study prints for this boat may be found at: Nova Scotian Grand Banks Dory Boat Plans

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Monday, June 1, 2020

Finishing the Inside of Ply-on-Frame Boats

I'd like to spend some time and discuss how to finish the insides of boats, ones you built of plywood over framing and have covered the outside with epoxy and fiberglass cloth. In my Ply-on-Frame Construction manual I suggest that you coat the inside with epoxy resin. Well, since I live in a very arid environment, actually a desert, and use my boats in saltwater, this has been my preferred method. I suggest it not to seal water from entering the boat, but to strengthen the inside surface of the wood so that it is less apt to become damaged, in case you might drop something on it, to prevent scarring.

I would also not recommend fiberglassing the inside of the boat because, it will be extremely difficult to get over, under and around the internal framing. It will be a mess, even if you are a skilled fiberglasser, let alone a first timer. Glassing the Outside is easy since you can reach it and if you've prepared the surface adequately, it consists of smooth, broad surfaces. Dealing with all of the Inside, corners and small spaces is just the opposite.

Where you live, this is probably not a good idea though. You cannot seal the wood from water entry, all you do by sealing the inside is to prevent the water from escaping. Epoxying or glassing the inside will make sure that the water will always be wet with fresh water, not saltwater. And wood that is wet rots. It is called "dry rot" but it is not dry - it is really fresh water that starts rot, and no matter how many layers of epoxy you use to cover the inside it will not stop water from getting through.

The secret to these boats is giving the wood a change to dry out. This is especially true in the Eastern Half of the US, or anywhere tropical. You cannot allow rainwater to sit in the bilges, you must get it out, and just pumping it out won't get there unless you live in a desert. You should drain the water out of your boat after use with appropriate drain plugs, store your unused boat nose high so that any collected water can drain, and keep your boat covered or at least stored under a roof when kept out of the water.

I would also recommend using something like Thompson's water seal, or "boat soup" oil on the wood, and finish it with either a finish oil, like Tung Oil, or polyurethane varnish, if you want to maintain that woody appearance, or something like a Latex enamel primer and paint or epoxy paint, if not. This will allow moisture in the wood to get out, and through the paint or oil, when it is warm and dry. Storing under a roof (like in a garage) and uncovered is even preferred to under a roof and covered with a canvas top, again, unless you live in a low humidity environment like I do. If you live in a humid place, and store the hull outside and covered, uncovering the hull on warm sunny days and letting it air out is also a good idea.

Wood Boat Plans Inside

Wooden Boat Plans Inside

More information and free downloadable study prints for all of my boats may be found at: Wooden Boats You Can Build

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Saturday, May 30, 2020

Taco Slifka's Oscoda Mini-Tug Completed in Hawaii

Taco Slifka posted these pictures of his recently completed Oscoda Mini Tug. He stretched it a bit and it came out great. It's being built in Hawaii, and is awaiting the OK to open boating in his state, to splash it and give it a try in the ocean.

Walden Skiff Wood Boat Plans

Walden Skiff Wooden Boat Plans

Walden Skiff Plywood Boat Plans

More information and free downloadable study prints may be found at: 16' Oscoda Mini-Tug Boat Plans

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Saturday, May 16, 2020

Anthony Remy Launches his 13' Walden Skiff

Anthony Remy just sent me these pictures and description of his recent boat launch:

Hello Jeff,
Attached is some photos of our Walden 13' motor/rowing skiff. I was inspired by your design and following of home boat builders. I choose the Walden as a first build as it could be built in my small garage over the winter months. I also liked the lines of it.
It was a great experience and some of which was shared with my children. We now take it out fishing weekly with a 9.9 Johnson for power, which honestly is a bit light, so I've been searching for a good 15 hp.
Thanks for the clear instructions,
Regards,
Anthony

Walden Skiff Wood Boat Plans

Walden Skiff Wooden Boat Plans

Walden Skiff Plywood Boat Plans

Walden Skiff Homebuilt Boat Plans

More information and free downloadable study prints may be found at: 13' Walden Skiff Boat Plans

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tony Eagle's Huntinton Harbor Kayak (Free Boat Plans)

Tony Eagle just completed this home built Huntington Harbor Kayak. He sent me this email:

Hi Jeff,
Here is a couple of pics of the Huntington Harbor Kayak I completed. With limited time to work on it it took a while but I am pleased with the results. Still need to add some accessories but I have had it in the bay and on Lake Corpus Christi. Floats and tracks great. Thank you for the free plans this was a great introduction into the world of boat building. I'm excited to start the next one, probably the 17' Tillamook. Thanks again,
Tony
Corpus Christi

Bahia Panga Wood Boat Plans

Bahia Panga Wooden Boat Plans

Bahia Panga Plywood Boat Plans

These plans are completely free. Just join the insider section and you'll receive an email with the link. Here's where you can join: FREE boat plans for Huntington Harbor kayak

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Saturday, April 18, 2020

Jerome Suggs Just Completed this Bahia Panga

Jerome Suggs just sent me an email and some pictures of his recent completion. He said this:

Hi Jeff,
I wanted to say that with some determination and attention to detail anyone can get good results. I'm in north Florida and have your 23ft panga and 27ft Bahaman plans. I know which one to build next.
Thanks,
Jerome

I love the colors and finish!

Bahia Panga Wood Boat Plans

Bahia Panga Wooden Boat Plans

More information, plans ordering information, and free downloadable study plans of this boat may be found at: 12' Bahia Panga Boat Plans

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Friday, April 17, 2020

Todd Bollick's Ixtapa Offshore

Todd Bollick just posted these pictures on the Facebook Boat Building Group after he saw my Panga Video and said this:

"Well great timing, I took my boat out today for the first time. Jeff, it was amazing. We went out 20 miles with up to 3 to 4 seas, and a little rough, but the panga did awesome. You designed a great boat!."

Really nice job on the boat!

Ixtapa Panga Wood Boat

Ixtapa Panga Wooden Boat

Ixtapa Panga Plywood Boat

Ixtapa Panga Fishing Boat

More information, plans ordering information, and free downloadable study plans of this boat may be found at: 23' Ixtapa Panga Boat Plans

Facebook Boatbuilders Group: Boat Building and Builders Facebook Group

YouTube Channel: Easy To Build Boats YouTube Channel

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Jason MacDougall's V-Bottom Hatteras Dory

Jason MacDougall just posted this great picture on his Facebook page and said this:

"7 years old... Nothing runs like a wooden boat in the water. Thanks Jeff Spira for the plans and memories."

It still looks terrific.

Hatteras V-Bottom Dory

More information, plans ordering information, and free downloadable study plans of this boat may be found at: 19' Hatteras V-Bottom Dory Boat Plans

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

Share this post:



Complete Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog Index for 2020


Boatbuilding Pictures

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.

I believe in offering you all the information you need to learn more about how to build a boat. That's why I offer free videos, free ebooks, and free reports. There's even some free plans available to insiders and some seminars I've delivered. To join, just click below:

Download Free Plans for the Huntington Harbor Kayak

Blog Contents

Archives