Diesel Duck 382

Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Framing Up!

What a summer!

While I certainly miss my former co-workers, the additional time for boat building has allowed us to make progress that never would have been possible while working.  Additionally, being able to make my own schedule allowed us a great opportunity to help crew on a steel Diesel Duck.

In addition to all the great information the internet provides, It also put us in contact with a few Duck owners and builders.  One of them was an Australian couple who purchased a steel Diesel Duck quite literally in my own backyard.  This boat had been on the hard for 5 years about 30 miles Northwest of my home.  After corresponding via email for a few months the day arrived when we got our chance to tour the boat, hull #2 from Sea Horse Marine, a Diesel Duck 44.

It was a great experience to see a finished duck in person to get a real perspective on how ours will look.  A week or so later I helped our new friends move the Duck from it's home of 5 years to a working yard in Rochester, 30 or so miles east on Lake Ontario.  The boat performed absolutely perfectly with an extremely smooth and quiet ride.  Adjustments were needed for the hydraulic steering system but otherwise everything was great.

It was really motivating to see what was in store for us when our boat was finished.  However we were sad to learn our new friends decided the boat required to much cosmetic work to complete before their visa's expired so they sold the boat and returned home.  However we are grateful for the opportunity and learned a lot.

Back in the boat shed work progressed well.  We began setting frames with gusto.  The process is repetitive and time consuming but not that difficult.  The use of the gantry crane is an indispensable tool, particularly when working alone.  Even with help, the frames are so large and need to be placed so high above our heads that it would be very difficult to do without the crane.

With the use of the crane and a chain fall, each frame can be lowered carefully into rough position, adjusted and evaluated for fit.  Additionally, marks must be made on each floor timber for cutting and the drilling of bolt holes.

Part of the fitting process involves the use of string line down the center of the boat shed, perfectly in line with the keel.  It runs from the center of the stem to the center of the transom.  With the string in place a plumb bob can be hung from it to help determine one of the 3 conditions that must be met to ensure each frame is installed level.

Once the frame is lowered into position, the first condition of correct installation is that the bottom of each frame member is sitting on the bearding line.  The second condition is that a straight edge set on each side of the frame at the sheer line should be level.  The third and final condition is with the previous two conditions met, the plumb bob from the string line should strike the sheer line straight edge perfectly in the middle.

The process then repeats for each frame.  However it's important to note, and the designer concedes, it is unlikely each frame will be absolutely perfect.  Therefore I want to make it clear, particularly if you are attempting something similar, that while our frames are very close, they are not perfect.  The reason that is ok is because a fair amount of fairing will occur when we move on to chine and bilge stringer installation.  Being off an 1/8" here or 3/16" there will not be noticeable to the human eye, nor will it affect the boat's overall strength.

This is a very satisfying part of the build as dramatic changes happen each day.  I work mostly alone and I did not find the process to be overly taxing.

We also did some other work on the transom and framing for a structural bulkhead at station 26, but we'll get into that next time.  As of this writing we have 5 more stations to install before we can begin chine installation.  While frame installation is satisfying work, I'm ready for it to be over so we can move on to the next step.

Be sure to check out our YouTube series as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages for more content.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Better late than never

I'm so far behind here!

For the sake of brevity I'm going to break up this update into two parts.  I'm also going to try to be a bit more concise.  There is of course a more in depth explanation of all these phases on our YouTube channel.  So......

Before we could get in to setting frames at full steam, I really needed to set a string line down the center of the boat.  This string would allow us to hang a plumb bob off of to help ensure the keel was straight and when the time came, the frames were centered.  However in order to set the string, the bow stem had to be in place.

Setting the bow stem was another job I had been dreading.  Like many of the other times I felt the same way, this apprehension was un-warranted. 

First up was installing the stem knee.  We laminated these pieces up from dimensional Douglas Fir months ago.  Installation involved securing them with epoxy.  Once that cured 3, 5/8" galvanized bolts were installed.  We used our drill guide again to keep the holes straight.

I estimated the bow stem weighed a couple hundred pounds.  Unfortunately it's placement location put it out of reach of the gantry crane.  The solution was to hang an eye bolt from the ridge beam and attach the chain fall to that.  I built a temporary support table and attached it to the keel to help support the bow stem as the epoxy set.

With the help of my father we used the chain fall to hoist the stem into the air and maneuver it into position.  We carefully centered it on the stem knee and then used our 6' level to ensure she was plumb.  Things could not have gone better.  We used Totalboat high performance epoxy and clamped the assembly in place.  Once that was cured we went back and installed 3, 5/8" galvanized bolts just like the transom knee.

A little work with the chainsaw along with a sanding disk and turbo plane attached to our angle grinder made quick work of shaping the bow stem assembly into a fair curve.

I was really pleased to see how well the rabbet line aligned with between the keel and the stem.  You make up all these pieces separately and hope they come together in the end.  Luckily they did!\

We then moved on to frame setting, but we'll get into that in our next post.  Like everything, there is a learning curve, but after setting a few, it's easy to get into a groove.

We had our boat name medallion made up.  Penfield trophies did a great job with their laser engraver.

We also came into some beautiful salvaged lumber from our neighbors remodel of their 1800's farm house.  I believe it's Hemlock, not a great boat wood, but it's old growth with beautiful tight growth rings.  Great for rustic furniture.

I need to make more of an effort to update this site regularly!  Stay tuned for how we installed our frames.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's in a name?

She's got a name!

We chose the name of our 41' Diesel Duck and couldn't be happier.  The Henry Red, named after the grandfathers of my wife and I.  Henry, My wife's grandfather was a World War II US Navy veteran and boater.  He lived much of his life around Annapolis, Maryland where he owned many boats, both power and sail.  He was a strong, moral and practical influence in the life of my wife and someone very special to her.  

My grandfather, Frank, affectionately known as "Red" for his red hair and proclivity to always carry "atomic fireball" candies in his pocket, is probably the reason I am the way I am.  He was a foreman at a local utility by trade, but he was a mister "fix-it" in life.  He was a carpenter, builder and welder.  He was a problem solver and hard worker who inspired my father to do the same.  My father and grandfather in turn inspired me to believe in the value of hard work.  Additionally he made me believe that given enough time and patience, there really wasn't anything I couldn't do.

So now we'll motor into the future memorializing the memory of two very special and inspirational people.  On to the build.

I apologize for the lack of content here and on YouTube recently.  In early May my son sprained his ankle playing tennis at school.  Following the X-ray which confirmed no fracture, the doctor noticed a "spot" as he called it, on his fibula. This "spot" is known in the medical community as a lytic lesion.  Something they call unknown bone tumors.  Obviously additional testing was required which involved a couple specialists and an MRI.  

Needless to say his mother and I were in a state of utter panic.  Even though in the real world of medical follow up's, having to wait 3 weeks to finally get an answer indicating whether the tumor was malignant or benign is a pretty quick turn around, it was a brutal month.  A parent can't help but fear the worst.  That fear is absolutely paralyzing.  It took everything I had to focus at work, let alone  attempt to go out and work on the boat.  However, we were so relieved to learn that the tumor was benign!

Additional follow up will be required along with potential treatment options, but nothing to really worry about.  While my immediate reaction was relief, I was quickly reminded of how paralyzing fear can be.  Whether that fear is for a loved one, fear of failing or fear of trying.  We dream of things and either put them off or dismiss them because we fear something on one level or another.  I saw how my fear for my son, completely unrelated to boat building, sapped every ounce of motivation from me to go out and work.  I have no advice to combat that paralysis other than to be aware of it.  Fight back against fear and do the things you dream of doing.  I would have been wise to listen to my own advice.

On to boat building!

With all of our holes drilled around the shaft log, installing the bolts was a breeze.  We drilled a countersink on the underside of the keel for the nut and washer to fit inside and then pounded the bolts in.  We also took the time to repair the blow out's we had when drilling for some drift bolts a few months ago.  This involved plugging the holes with some hardwood dowels of equivalent diameter.  We gave them a coating of glue and pounded them in.  Once in place we cut them flush with a hand saw.

Next up was the transom install.  The only issue with this part of the build was that the transom was just beyond the reach of our gantry crane.  This required  an eye bolt be installed through the ridge beam of our building.  Once that was in place we attached a block and tackle and used it to hoist the transom into position.  The install went surprisingly smoothly with the help of my son.  We pre-coated the transom knee and the center support of the transom with straight epoxy.  A thickened coat of epoxy was then applied and the transom was moved into place.  With the use of a level, the center support was carefully checked for plumb and then some temporary #14 wood screws were used to hold things in position until the epoxy cured.  Once the first layer of planking is in place we'll secure everything with 5/8" bolts.

The next day we got started on the first layer of planking.  If you recall this will be a composite planked hull.  That meaning our first layer will be 3/4" thick traditional planking, followed with two layers of 3/8" thick plywood.  The first piece of planking was the most challenging but really not all that difficult.  The edge of the plank had to be beveled to match the angle on the horn timber, a simple rip on the table saw.  With that dry fit in position the shape of the transom was traced on to the plank and then cut out on the bandsaw.  A little fine tuning and it was ready for install.  We again used the same epoxy procedure as previously stated and held things in position with some galvanized #12 wood screws.

Like everything in boat building, it's time consuming but rather enjoyable.  We only had time for the first couple layers, but the process will be the same all the way up.

Our next task was installing the floor timber for station 38.  We had previously prepped this piece so it was just a matter of a little fine tuning to get it installed.  We coated the contacting surfaces with copper napthenate  and then applied a coating of Dolfinite bedding compound on the keel where the floor was to be installed.  After making sure everything was still level and plumb, two drift bolts were pounded into position to secure the timber forever!

With the floor in place I got a little impatient and wanted to dry fit the frame for station 38.  With the help of my son we hoisted up station 38 with the gantry crane and then I was able to roll it into position by myself.  This is where the challenge of boat building really comes into play.  You build all these components, cut the rabbet and hope everything lines up and was built according to the design.  I was extremely happy to see the frame slide over the keel (following a little sanding) and sit on the rabbet just wear it should.  Things were level and plumb and all that was left was the application of more copper napthenate and then the application of bolts.

Things were just dry fit and held together with clamps to check the fit.  We really need to install the stem so we can install a string line down the center of the boat shed above the boat.  With that in place  we can drop some plumb bobs to ensure alignment all the way down. So before we bolt things up we'll get that done. However it was really cool to see things in position.

We picked up a few items from an ebay vendor in India.  The brass door signs and port lights came from some old ships that were broken up on the beaches of that country.  I wanted to do a smaller test purchase on these items before I considered making a larger purchase of more ship parts.  I was very pleased with the service and shipping time.

We received a wonderful care package from our friends at Jamestown Distributors and Totalboat epoxy.  These folks have been so generous with helping spread the word about our project as well as providing some pretty sweet gear.  We are so thankful for their support.  I asked for the banner just because I think they're cool, but Kristen over at Totalboat through in a few extra items in the shipment.  Awesome!

In hopes of sharpening my seamanship skills I picked up an overtime shift working on our 33' SAFE boat.  As a border county, we participated in a federally funded border security detail and I was happy to spend 8 hours out on the water with some real pro's.

Finally, A big thank you to all the readers and viewers who purchased Sea Dreamer challenge coins from Doug and Betsy over at SV Seeker.  Your generosity resulted in us receiving nearly $1000 last Friday from their sales.  An unbelievable blessing and we are so appreciative.  We don't talk much about money here.  There are ways for individuals to get involved financially at the top left of this screen if people are interested, but we feel weird asking people for money.  This challenge coin project makes things a little easier with people actually getting something in return for helping support the project.  To us, it's win-win all around and we are super excited about it's potential.

We also have to thank Doug and Betsy for this amazing act of kindness.  This was a huge project to organize and complete among several builders from all over the country without asking for anything in return.  If your interested in purchasing one for yourself you can follow this LINK.  You should know that Doug and Besty are only taking the portion of the sale price that covers their costs and sending all the profits to the various builders.  You would be hard pressed to find more generous or kind individuals.  I would of course encourage you to check out the items they have for sale supporting their project in the Junk Store.

Thanks for checking out our project and we hope you follow along with our YouTube series as well!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Threading the needle

I'm not a writer!

Writing is hard!

I have not been as vigilant with this site as I have been in the past.  I have definitely been giving more of my best efforts to producing content for our YouTube channel.  There is certainly better income opportunities when producing content for YouTube then writing a blog.  However, the purpose of this site was to document the build so others engaging in something similar could learn what to and what not to do.  I still believe in that mission and I need to make writing a priority to that end.

Sooooo.......work continues as best as time allows.  We've been able to work through some jobs, if I'm honest with myself,  that I have been putting off because I feared I would be unsuccessful.  However like most things in life, worrying solves nothing.  When it comes down to it, being afraid was far worse than the actual job.

One of the things I struggled with was the rabbet.  I went back and forth on how to cut this thing.  Router, chisel, circular saw, on and on I went considering what would be the most effective.  While the router would have given the cleanest cut, I just could not get my mind around how best to build a jig to make it work.  Therefore, I opted for a combination of the circular saw, multi-tool and chisel.

First, I set my circular saw to the flattest angle at which the frames hit the bearding line.  Then I set the depth of cut to the depth indicated in the plans.  Having the CAD version of the plans made this very easy.  I then ran the cut down the bearding line on both sides of the keel.  I then reset the saw to 90 degrees, and decreased the depth of cut. I then made another cut parallel to the bearding line approximately a 1/4" down from it.  I then used my multi-tool to make relief cuts perpendicular to the rabbet and to the slight angle the rabbet takes to the bearding line.  I was able to do this free hand and I was careful not to plunge to deeply.  Once complete, I followed that up by using an offset chisel to knock out the little triangles all those cuts had made.  I then roughly cleaned up the groove created with the chisel for a smoother finish.  I only worked up to station 30 on both sides of the keel so I could get started building floors and setting frames.

It's not hard work and actually went rather quickly.  It will only take a couple hours to complete both sides of the entire keel.  However with the rabbet and bearding lines clearly established it was time to prep some stock for the floor timbers.

Our floor timbers are 3" thick and 7" tall (at the tallest point).  Each station is at one angle or another and none are perfectly flat.  Each floor timber will have to be ripped to the proper angle so the top of the floor sits plumb and level.

The floors in this area of the keel need to be fastened around the shaft alley.  Therefore, very careful holes need to be drilled with only around 2.5" of stock on either side of the alley to work with.  Stations 38 and 36 are far enough from the alley that they will only need to be secured with drift bolts.  Stations 34, 32, and 30 will need through holes drilled that will need to span nearly 40".  If we wander to far one way we blow out the side, wander to far the other way and we blow out the shaft alley.

I used several scrap pieces to dial in the exact angle the floors needed to be ripped to in order to remain plumb.  I then machined up some rough stock and cut them to the proper dimensions and angles.  I carefully positioned them and took very accurate measurements to determine the location of each bolt hole.  I drilled holes in each floor from the underside to ensure they would hit the keel in the exact correct spot.  I then placed the floors on the keel and used them as a guide to mark the location of where the bolt holes would need to be drilled through the keel.

I went through several iterations of drill guides trying to find what would work best.  It needed to be strong and accurate.  The design that worked best for me was a combination of plywood, 4x4's and high molecular weight plastic (HMWP).  Once assembled the HMWP was drilled out to the exact dimensions of the bolts and kept the bit from wandering while not constricting the rotation.  It was secured in postion with a couple of screws.

I used a corded, high torque drill paired with an extremely long, but otherwise normal fluted bit 1/2" in diameter.  A combination of patience and regular bit extraction to eliminate chips resulted in success with no blow outs. 

With the holes drilled we needed a countersink on the underside of the keel for the nut.  We used a forstner bit along with a right angle attachment on our drill to make quick work of that.  Once complete, we drilled out a small portion of the hole to a 1/32 oversize to allow the bolt to be pounded in.  Then it was just a matter of pounding the bolt it.  Once in place we attached the nut and called it a day.

We then moved on to dry fitting the floor and frame at station 38.  We needed this dry fit so we could scribe the angle of the frame to floor.  Once marked, the shape was cut on the bandsaw.  

We then positioned the floor timber to check our fit and things came out really well.  Eventually we'll attach the frames to the floors with 3/8" bolts after we apply a nice thick coat of bedding compound to the wood between the floor and the keel.

The summer is shaping up to be an exciting time where the boat will really begin to take shape.  We are very eager to get moving on this part of the build.

If you would like to see how things are shaping up in real time check out our Facebook and Instagram pages.  Of course our video series on YouTube offers a more complete picture of how we take on these various challenges of building a 41' boat.

We are very grateful you have chosen to check out project and we hope that our efforts will inspire others to take on their dream projects. 

You can do it!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

sticks and stones

Now I would indeed be a fool if I began writing and making videos for the internet that I was not prepared to be criticized on.  Boy howdy, and critisim I do get!  That's ok, because I've made a ton of virtual friends as well.  People who have offered support, advice and even cash to help me achieve my dream.  Simply amazing!

However it's funny how humans work.  You can stand in front of a 100 smiling faces and only remember the single frown.  I do my best not to forget the smiles. But, in the spirit of never leaving ignorance, arrogance or just plain rudeness go unchallenged, I recently replied to a particularly insulting comment from someone on Wooden Boat Forum after I asked a question.

I'm going to post it here because while you may be unfamiliar with the specifics that led to this comment, I believe it represents well the spirit of our project.

If you really want to read the forum post you'll find it HERE

However the below, albeit out of context, is what I wrote in responsey.

You know Bob, your a bad human being.  A small, petty, divisive and arrogant human being.

I finished reading your comments last night before bed and I’ll admit, I was mad.  I initially composed a scathing response to your many insulting words in my head.  That’ll show’em! 

But as I’ve come to learn, never say (or write) anything in anger.  As adult men I believe our greatest strength should be to control our emotions.  So I went to bed, next to my wife with the sounds of my kids laughing and talking with a visiting friend (sleep over Friday you know).

So I’ll give you my response with a clear head.  Bob, I feel bad for you.  I truly do, and I’m sincerely sorry the path your life has taken that has made you the way you have become.  I know it’s not what your parents wanted for you and we as a society should feel true empathy for people like you.  We as a society should reach out to those who are so isolated, so bitter, so lonely and welcome them back to humanity.  

Life is good, people are good, try to remember a time when you believed that.

I get it Bob, believe me.  I’ve spent my entire adult life in a uniform of one kind or another.  While I would hate to say I’ve done it all……theres no other way to say it though, I’ve done it all!  I’ve seen humanity at its absolute worst.  Primal, base, savagery inflicted by one human on another.  I’ve also seen the depths of stupidity that could not be believed unless you were to observe it with your own eyes.  People who’s complete lack of common sense or any semblance of situational awareness led to their untimely death or the death of another.

When you work in that world it can easily consume you.  The drugs, the booze, the violence. The constant conflict, anger and rage in your workplace.  Now add to it the fact that you’re working nights, you’re  not sleeping, moneys tight, kids are needy and little and the wife wants a vacation.  It gets hard, real hard, real fast.  

It’s so easy to lose sight of all the good in the world, all the good in people.  You have to work to not to believe that everyone is out to get you.  Some guys just can’t do it, the light grows to dim to see and they remain in darkness.  Lonely, bitter darkness.

It’s not just for the people in a uniform.  Life, circumstances, even being a  wealthy lawyer can dim the light no matter how you make your living.  You can’t see the light Bob, but I assure you it’s there.

I never appreciated the quote that I’ll paraphrase from Mark Twain until I became the old man myself (sorta, I’m on facebook and that’s for old people).  About how the teenager was incredulous at the old man’s ignorance when he left the house and how shocked to see how much the old man had learned in just a few short years when he returned.  

That was me!  Not that specific, as there was no old man I thought a fool, I thought everyone not exactly like me was a fool.

In my 20’s and most of my 30’s there wasn’t a course of action, personal choice or lifestyle that I could not find fault with.  I mean it, I was a master poopooer of all things unfamiliar or different then how I saw the world.  I was the smartest guy in every room.  I fought bigger guys than me, shot guns and drove fast for a living.  Whatever you were doing, you were doing it wrong.  Trust me, just ask, I would set you straight.

But you know Bob, I aint that smart.  I aint that tough and it’s really none of my business what my neighbor does in his yard or bedroom.  I realized how much I still had to learn, how much I missed out on because I already knew everything.  

I hurt people Bob.  I isolated them, demeaned them and took them for granted because I knew it all and needed no one. 

Life always brings things into balance, it is the way of nature.  When you live as I did and as you still do, one day it catches up to you.  Nobody knows when, but it always catches you.

I almost lost it all Bob, everything I loved, everything that was truly important became instantly clear.  I won’t bore you with my all to common story, but my day of reckoning came and I had a choice to make.

So I did.

Live Bob.  Dream, Learn, Do.  

I say it all the time.  Lead people by positive example.  I tell my men and my children continually that I want leaders in the field!  Lead from the front with servant leadership.  Put others before yourself and get the job done. That is not confined to the work place.  Leadership can be anywhere.  Church, the grocery store and even wooden boat building.

Seek common ground and develop peoples interest into passions.  There is enough sun for everyone.  Cheer when people succeed, support them when they fail.  You don’t need to “fix” it, You don’t need to do it for them, you need to make them believe it can be done and they can do it!

This would not be an appropriate wooden boat post if I did not at least do a little shop talk so I’ll drop some knowledge on you.  

While on the one had it’s not fair to single you out Bob,  because there were some others who were nearly as insulting, condescending and rude.  Unfortunately you seized the prize for the most uncalled for behavior.  So as we say in my world, you caught a ballgame.

Despite what you say Bob, there is more than one way to build a boat.  The particular process I’m speaking of, has been done, is being done with hundreds of examples on the sea today.  My question was simply a materials question.  

I got some good responses about off gassing and interior appearance that I had not really thought of.  Excellent points that have led me to believe I’ll just use the white oak that is widely available in my area.  Pretty simple.

That is what I hoped this forum would be like.  A place where people with a common passion came together to solve problems and support one another.  Not a digital playground where the most obnoxious, ignorant, blowhards shout down anyone who dares ask a question.

You were not alone but among a few who spoke from a place of ignorance and assumption.  Some insinuated that I would let this craft become a derelict eye sore when I was done with her. That it will be unrepairable, not sea worthy and quickly dissolve into dust.  One even indicated I was the kind of person that gave wooden boats a bad name! 

Had any of you taken the time to ask a few more questions, or research the design or the project a little more you would know the kind of person I am.  The methodical, logical, responsible person I am and how ridiculous those assumptions were.

Many of you pass your opinions off as fact, with the scary thing being, to the uninitiated, that most of what you say is indeed opinion and just that.

But to Bob and the others; it’s not fact.  It is your opinion.  Which of course you are entitled to, but don’t think the rest of us are fooled by some keyboard tough guys who are better at writing checks than swinging a hammer to achieve their wooden boat dreams.

I tried to show appropriate respect for traditional methods because I truly do admire them, but they are just not for me.  My project is  not about trying to do it “cheap” “fast” or “easy”, it’s about a building concept that make sense to me.  It’s an approach that allows me to get on the water in an acceptable amount of time, money and effort for me.  Just me.  

I don’t know why that would be so offensive to anyone else.

Shockingly, a few hundred million of us do not live on a coast having grown up with triple masted schooners (yeah I don’t know if that’s a thing but it sounded good) in daddy’s slip at your “summer place”.  I thought I made it clear that this was simply a materials question, that I was not running out to do it one way or the other, just a question.

I get it, you may not like this construction method, George Buehler or his designs, but I do.  It also would have been fine for you to simply say, “I don’t like it, I wouldn’t do it”. But Bob, you chose to make it personal and insult me.  To question my intelligence, work ethic and my due regard for the safety of my family.

Who the hell are you?

Obviously my time on the forum has come to an end.  Equally obvious is it will be no great loss to the forum, I took more for the forum then I ever I gave.  I’ll continue my project of course.  I’ll write about, post about and make videos for YouTube because all of it is fun.  It’s fun for me and I hope it’s fun for others and gets them off the couch and out into the shop.  I hope it gets them off the computer, posting in some internet forum over 500 times a year and back into the real world. I hope it shows them the joy of building something with your own hands.  I hope it makes them believe that they can do it.

However, before I go, I’m going to leave this with you Bob, to ponder as you run out the clock on the bay.

The internet is forever.  Years will pass and we’ll both be long forgotten.  However, our words here will remain.  You may not have noticed but wooden boats and wooden boat building is teetering on the abyss between obscurity and a home building resurgence.  Which way it goes, will for the most part, be decided by us old guys.

One approach would be to encourage younger people to pick up a hammer and some coated deck screws and then scrounge around for some ACX plywood and some pallet hardwood.  Encourage them to try, to get started, to take some risks while they can afford to and welcome them to a beautiful hobby of woodworking and boat building.  Maybe that first boat they make is an ugly, hard chined, plywood boat, but it lites a fire in them.  Maybe they start to create demand for more and better materials.  Maybe the demand for boat building schools grows along with a demand for skilled traditional boat builders.  Then the next boat they build, when they have some money and experience in both building and navigating, is your idealize version of what a wooden boat should be.  

That sounds good to me.  A rising tide raises all boats.  The more people in the hobby the better.  Prices fall and access to materials increase.  Our hobby thrives and the traditional skills that we all admire don’t go the way of the dodo bird.

Or Bob we can do it your way.  Shout people down.  Insult them.  Mock them.

Because thats what you, along with a few others did in this thread Bob and here it is for all times.  For some person, potentially interested in the hobby, with maybe a similar question, to see how this forum treats people who dare attempt anything in boat building at anything less than a master craftsman.  Someone who will quickly dismiss the idea of boat building, because there are very few other resources for potential boat builders in Boise, Denver or Branson.  They’ll believe they can’t do it, that it can’t be done.  So will the next and the next and the next until their all gone.

Then you’ll sit on your rotting monument of a hull wondering where all the woods boat builders went.  Now you’ll know Bob, because you help send them there.

So hopefully, if your the new guy reading this thread and you are in fact still here and reading this, I’ll tell you some truth.

You can do it, this is not rocket science or brain surgery.  There are people in isolated corners of the world building ocean boats from pulp wood logs and caulking them with tree sap.  Your plywood, cedar stripped craft with epoxy will be just fine.  It may not be a “boat for the ages” but you can do it and you’ll learn how to do it better next time.  There are great books out there by guys like Pardey, Gerr and Buehler.  Guys who have really done it and are happy to show you the way.  

Don’t let what you have seen here and will see in other posts deter you from building your dream.  Furthermore don’t let the few keyboard commandos on here scare you away from the depth of knowledge contained in many of these pages.  Don’t miss out on the beauty that is created here by some really talented people.  It is inspirational if you can be more resilient than me! 

Finally, Bob, good luck.  Seriously, think about what I’ve said.  I mean this, if you come to NY you are welcome to stop over anytime.  I’m easy to find and you can send me an email and we’ll work out all the details.  We’ve got beautiful part of the world here in upstate NY and you’ll find plenty to do.  

Come out to the shop and take a look around, swing a hammer with me and let me remind you about that light.  It’s not the one out your window brother, It’s in your heart, it’s in there waiting for you to want to see it.  If no one else in your life will, I would be proud to help.