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Building your own boat can be a very rewarding experience, for some it is a goal in itself,  for others building a boat is a means to an end, a way to get on the water in a special craft, one of which they can say I built it myself.

The boats on this site make use of the stitch and glue and strip building method, or a combination of these, they are some of the simplest ways of building a good looking boat in wood.

How long it takes to build a boat varies from person to person, the boat you chose to build, your skills, the level of finish that you desire,the number of starts and stops along the way. Even the space you build in affects your timing, a small cramped space makes efficiency more difficult to achieve, as does your start point, using a kit or from plans, will you cut the cedar strips if needed or purchase them?

Covering the methods of construction used for the boats in depth would require a book, not a page on a web site. A note here is that each of our plan sets is for the boat being constructed and the method used, they are not a one book suits all cookbook, as result they vary depending on the boat, its size, and your starting point.

To help understand the building methods on our Facebook page you will find albums that contain pictures showing some of the boats  under construction.

The paragraphs below contain brief descriptions of the methods used to give you an idea of what each method entails.

Stitch & Glue

Stitch and glue building

This building method involves assembling plywood pieces cut to shape using a CNC router if you purchased a kit or starting from plans laid out using a table of offsets and/or full size patterns depending on the design that you are building, then cutting out the plywood pieces. The panels then have a series of 1/16” holes drilled along there edges which are then used to ‘stitch’ the panels together using wire stitches.

When the panels are stitched together a thickened epoxy mixture is applied to the joints between the stitches to glue the panels together. The stitches are removed when the glue has cured; the spaces in the seams are filled with glue in the areas where the stitches have been removed. Once the seams are filled and the hull sanded, it is sheathed then the bulkheads are installed, the deck attached, and the hardware installed after the finish has been applied.

The hull and deck on these boats are built using plywood, the hulls are normally 4mm and the decks 3mm all of marine grade plywood.The exception to this is that a couple of the smaller boats use only 3mm plywood.


Hybrid Construction

Hybrid boats have hulls built in the same way as the entirely plywood stitch and glue boats the difference is in the decks, these are built of cedar strips or a combination of woods to suit your creative urges. Using cedar strips for the deck allows much more versatility in deck shape and greater creativity during construction and greatly enhances the look of the finished product. While the use of cedar is normal and this is what is supplied with the kit, you can combine many woods, cut and install them in a variety of ways to make sure that your boat is truly distinctive.Even when only cedar is used it can be installed in a number of different ways, you can see some of these in these pages and on our Facebook page.

The deck is constructed using the hull and any additional deck framing as the mold from which the deck is removed, the underside epoxied then the deck is glued in place and the outside of the deck is sheathed.

Cedar Strip

Cedar strip construction

Building a boat from cedar strips is much different than building from plywood, inn place of the plywood panels you use narrow strips of wood. The strips used are normally ¼” x ¾” in size and slightly longer than the hull being built, most strips have cove and bead edges to aid in fitting the strips to each other particularly where the side of the boat curves into the bottom.

Cedar strip boats are constructed over a strongback with molds to hold all those small strips, to properly shape the hull and glue them to each other during the building process.  Strip boat also allow you to use a variety of woods to vary the look of the boat and they also allow for the addition of patterns in the wood by joining strips of different colors into a single strip and combining these to form patterns in the hull.

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Otto Vallinga Yacht Design
388 Murray St.
Corunna, Ontario
Canada, N0N 1G0

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