This boat actually….
“But you don’t know anything about building boats” I hear you say. Well, no and maybe you are right, but I am going to do it anyway!
There is just way too much pretty water here, not to get out on it and I don’t much like the look of the second hand boats that are in our price range (a tiny bit above bugger all!).
Taking my lead from John Wray, the Kiwi author of ‘South Sea Vagabonds’, who built his own yacht in the 1930’s from timber found floating around in the South Pacific, the scavenge is on to start collecting materials to build my very own fine craft.
It doesn’t look too tricky(!) and I have to confess to taking a shortcut by getting a copy of some classic plans from the well respected Naval Architects ‘Glen L Marine‘ in the USA.
I will also be getting a little help from amazon, as they have a great selection of books on boat building to help me with some of the more nautical woodwork skills.
It will be a little bit like ‘painting by numbers’……………
After all, the plans are designed with first time builders in mind and I am a craftsman after all, so cutting plywood, shaping timber and using woodworking tools is not new to me.
Reading the literature and looking at the photos, the boat looks a lot like a dinosaur skeleton at the framing stage. Lots of interesting techniques are used too, like wrapping timber spars with towels and then pouring boiling water on them to help then around the curves. I love the low tech approach!
Then its lots of planing and sanding to ‘fair’ (see I know all the nautical boat building terms!) the frame, making sure that the plywood skin sits tight against the frame. I will probably cover the outside of the boat up to the deck with fibreglass but this is not essential.
The Flying Saucer is a small boat (12′ 3″) and only weighs in at a couple of hundred pounds dry, meaning that a 25hp engine will provide plenty of fun. You can leave a comment below if you hear about any rumours of engines for sale on the cheap!
Then of course I will have to think about actually driving the thing. Rules of the err….sea. Amazon to the rescue again for books on seamanship.
You will have forgive the rather quaint name, (by today’s standards), I think that the boat was designed in the late 1950’s you see.
I can’t wait to get started and now that we have a house with a notional workshop, there is no excuses, although I am not rating my chances of getting into the water this summer……