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Hannu's Boatyard

2009-06-17 04:54:01.080265+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

When I was a wee lad growing up in upstate New York, we lived on the edge of a pond. My grandfather built me (or perhaps it was us, but I was the oldest) a little square ended rowboat, and my sisters and I spent a lot of time out amongst the beaver lodges and heron nests and catfish and... well... no way around this... really yucky leeches, rowing around the pond.

My parents now have a place in Iowa that has a pond, my nephew heads out to visit them regularly, and we live fairly close to the flat water that is the Petaluma River, and have a couple of kids now infiltrating their way into our good graces.

I heard about the Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival Wooden Boat Challenge at a SCWA meeting a month or three ago, and have been thinking that it'd be really cool to get together with my dad and build a boat for my nephew. Or, perhaps even cooler, would be to do the major cutting to the point where the thing can be assembled with a screwdriver and a power drill and let the nephew build it himself.

And I'm thinking that if our Family Connection kids show any interest, that may be a cool thing to do out here.

Anyway, here's a resource: Hannu's Boatyard - free boat plans has a number of nice little plans, including a two sheets of plywood dory that looks like it'd hold three people if two of them were small, something on the scale of the little red and white pram that my grandfather built for us. Not the size of a surf or swiftwater capable dory, but might be fine for an acre sized pond, or the protected tidal water of the Petaluma river.

Or maybe the 10½' skiff, which would be right at home on a small pond, or, at a foot and a half extra and a little more room for two adults, the 12' skiff looks like it'd be just about perfect for a lazy sunday row past the herons and egrets.

And all of those look like they could be done with a few sheets of super cheap 3/8" ply, which may not last forever, but my attention span isn't... hey, wanna go ride bikes?

[ related topics: Nostalgia Children and growing up Boats Woodworking ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 05:10:17.55249+00 by: Dan Lyke

And, for my dad, Simplicity Boats has some small models as well as full-sized boats, and Fritz's Boats has a bunch of pictures from building canoes with grades 4-6 children.

and Rebel Cat is a $100 catamaran sailboat, and the Puddle Duck racer is a basic 8' loong sailboat.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 14:21:51.204664+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Damn.... I wish I was half as cool as you. I love the idea of building a boat.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 14:34:03.454183+00 by: ziffle

Having built a number of boats myself when I was too young to drive a car - we lived on the water in Florida and everyone had boats so they could escape the parents and pillage as it were the local orange groves, I can say that any boat should be at least one foot longer - and building a boat from 3/8 may work but I always used quarter inch plywood then epoxied with fiberglass over it. We would go through the piles of wood at the lumber yard and find the one peice that was actaully A/A instead of its rated A/C - that is the C means knots - but as for simply assembling the boat - its not that simple, in fact its the art of the bending of the plywood over the gussets and chines that is the fun part - using your mothers iron and hot water to shape the wood to your needs. Don't ask me about completely disassembling the outboard at age 12 to fix something - - ah simpler times - but shortly therafter girls were discovered and nothing was ever the same after that.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 15:01:06.506367+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ziffle, its good to hear from a voice of experience. I was looking at 3/8" 'cause it's cheap, but it looks like there are some inexpensive 1/4" luan veneered "moisture resistant" plywoods out there that kick this way into the "afternoon with the kids" sort of territory. I think the expensive bits would be the life jackets.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 17:16:22.087183+00 by: ziffle

my gut tells me to stay away from 'luan' - we used a/c exterior picked to find no knots on either side. But that was 45 years ago and ... I used weldwood and then switched to waterproof glue. Price back then was about $3.50 per sheet of 1/4 inch if I recall. Has it gone up? :)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 18:35:05.279524+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Home Despot claims "Millstead 1/4 In. x 4 Ft. x 8 Ft. Lauan(sic) Plywood Underlayment Moisture Resistant" for $11.28 at my closest store. I don't see a fir ¼ AC exterior on their web site (though they undoubtedly have that in the stores), and I should check on what a real marine grade plywood would cost, but adjusted for inflation I think it's gone down. Seems like that could get a boat that'd last for the summer for forty bucks, some exterior house paint gotten from Freecycle, and a day worth of making sawdust.

If I get really optimistic I'll order some brass screws.

I was thinking "build one to throw away", using the caulking gun compatible Liquid Nails and a good dose of cheap latex caulk to make the seams float-worthy, rather than spending lots of money on glass and resin. That way it can also be the sort of "bring the kids over in the morning, let them pound nails and such, fire up the grill for lunch, go row the thing on the river in the afternoon" project I envision.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 20:20:32.386245+00 by: ziffle

short term boats. if we are not careful the Chinese will start that; sell them to us for $23 and we throw them away after we use them.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-17 21:57:19.320775+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ziffle, I think you can already do that in the "pool toys" section of K-mart...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-18 01:52:48.74648+00 by: Larry Burton

If you really want to test your skill on a budget boat use cardboard.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-18 07:07:54.273667+00 by: spc476

How about frozen newspaper?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-06-19 00:50:32.40064+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Please remember, folks, that a boat is a hole in the water that you fill with money. Admittedly, a small boat means a smaller investment, but still...