12ft Skiff Build – Day #1

img_20161205_175450While doing some running around the other day I decided to buy some of the materials I needed for the Skiff build.  By the time I got home it was pretty late so I just set them aside and figured I would get started on it eventually.  The next day I was just too excited to not get started on it.  I decided I would just draw out all of the parts on both pieces of plywood and call it a day.  But again I was just too damn excited!  I ended up doing step after step after step.  I even made an extra trip to Lowe’s to get additional materials.  Because I did this on a whim, I didn’t take any photos of the process.  It started with “I am just going to do this one part”.  Then, “OK, maybe just this part too”.  And eventually to “Holy crap!  I could probably finish this tonight!”.  However, once I got to the fiberglass, I found it just wasn’t doable in one night.

img_20161205_175505Once I drew out the one piece of the side wall, I figured it would just be easier to cut it out, trace it on the other side of the plywood sheet, and cut that one out also.  This would make sure the measurements were as close to the same as possible.  Plus it was a LOT less work.  I did the same with the second half of each side wall.  When that was done I found some extra 2×4’s laying around and decided to get started on the ribs.  After completing one and a half ribs, I decided I couldn’t just leave it like that.  I then took a trip up to Lowe’s and grabbed another 2×4 to finish up.  Now, I probably should have stripped the 2×4’s down to a smaller size in order to keep the weight down but I was indecisive about what I wanted to do.  I figured with this being my first build I would rather make sure it was sturdy and go with the full 2×4 size.  I used my table saw to cut two 25 degree angles on a 2 inch piece of wood to make a 50 degree angle.  This is going to be for the front of the bow.  Both side walls will connect to it with screws and eventually be sealed with fiberglass on both sides.

Now that most of the frame was started I just couldn’t stop.  I decided to start the fiberglass where the two side wall pieces connect together.  Since this was going to take a little time to dry, it would become my stopping point.  This was my first time ever using the resin and fiberglass.  I probably should have started with a test project to get the hang of it but I didn’t want to waste the resin as it is the most expensive part of this build.  Overall I do not think I did a terrible job.  I think I should have used more resin and may even add a second coat to that side.  I was only able to get the one side of each wall done because I was not confident enough to do both sides at once.  It is a little hard to explain but if you attempt this build you’ll likely understand it more.  I also had a little extra resin so I poured it over the screws on the ribs.  I didn’t use exterior or stainless steal so this will help protect them from rusting.  I am going to resin the whole inside of the boat when it is done so this may not have been needed but I didn’t know what else to do with the extra other than throwing it out.

– Side walls, ribs, and bow frame have been cut out
– Ribs have been assembled
– Half of each side wall have been connected together

The Plan:
Next step will be to finish the assembly of the side walls.  Since this shouldn’t take long at all to set and will take a few hours to dry, I should be able to do this one day after work.  I cannot do much until this is completed so this is the only part of the next step that I will be doing.  If all goes well, I can probably have this done by the weekend so I can test it out on the water.


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