Archive for the ‘Boats’ Category

How to Build a Raft

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

How many times have you walked a nature trail near a stream or river and thought how much fun it would be to build a raft, but then thought that it would be too much work. In actuality all you need is some type of cutting tool. The following instructions will help you build a raft without rope or nails.

Step One:

First of all you want to choose a location to build where the water is calm but still deep enough to be a suitable raft launching spot. You don’t want a spot that gradually drops off to deeper waters but not one that drops off too quickly either. What you are looking for is a miniature continental shelf. Ideally you are looking for a spot that drops into the water abruptly but then be only about 2´deep. When you are finished, it will be much easier to board your raft.

Raft How to Build a Raft

Step Two:

Now you need to gather up enough suitable logs. The logs should all be about 8 feet long, and depending on how heavy you and your supplies are you will need 5-6 of them. You will want to get two of the slightly curved to act as stabilizers.

Step Three:

Once you have the logs that you will need, find several strong sticks. You won’t need any rope to hold it all together because you will be laying down the sticks crosswise to the logs. If you lay them down perpendicularly to the logs it would be impossible to sit without falling off. You might want to gather another stick, longer and thicker than the rest, to use as a paddle.

Step Four:

Let´s put everything together now. Arrange the logs in a way so they will not roll out from under you. To accomplish this place the logs into the water and test each one, rolling it over, and check the direction of the roll. Find two logs that are the most unbalanced. These are the ones that you will use as crosspieces, to hold the raft together. Lay the sticks that you gathered perpendicular to the logs. You will need to find the perfect point of balance for this so try placing one stick and putting your weight on it. If it doesn’t push the logs down evenly correct the location of the stick until you find the best, most well balanced spot. Once you’ve located it, lay down the rest of the sticks on either side of the first.

Step  Five:

Now you’re ready to jump aboard and shove off. Stand above your raft with a leg on either side and slowly sit until most of your weight is on the raft. Have your paddle ready. If the raft is balanced, pull your legs up on either side and get as comfortable as possible. Slowly push off from shore.

How to Build a Sailboat

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Sailing can be one of the most relaxing, fun activities that can be done during the hot summer season. Wouldn’t it be great to not only have the fun of sailing but the self satisfaction of knowing that you built your own boat? Building your own boat also means that everything is exactly where you want it to be because you put it there. Below are a few easy steps that will lead to a sailboat that you have built yourself and the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with it.

Step one:

First of all you are going to need building plans for the type and style that you want to build. There are many available, from the free, basic sets, to the commercial variety that is sometimes quite expensive. Regardless of which you chose, they all will serve you well otherwise they would not be available to the general public. There are also a number of books available that will assist you in your building.

Sailboat 1 How to Build a Sailboat

Step two:

Now it is time to move to lofting. This means that the plywood that you are using will need the markings set for cutting. This are marked clearly on the plans. Once you have completed the marking, cut your plywood. A Jigsaw or circular saw is most often used.

Step Three:

Now that you have cut all of your forms, the fore and aft halves have to be assembled. Assembling these accurately, along with the other pieces that form the basic structure of the boat is extremely important. Take your time in making the form as accurate as possible so that the final product does not suffer.

Step four: The next step is bringing the joint edges together with epoxy. Once you have brushed the epoxy on and sealed the edges tightly, using clamps until the epoxy dries, make sure that you have put epoxy on any fiberglass tape used at the joints. Once dry you can now seal the hulls seams. You can use duct tape to plaster the outside seams, while epoxy resin should be used on the inside seams. Once the inside is dry, however, use duct tape to cover its entire surface.

Sailboat How to Build a Sailboat

Step five:

Now that the hull is dry and set the next step is to do the other details such as seat, tiller, deck, storage area, among others. Once you have finished these items to your satisfaction, use a maritime paint to paint both inside and outside of your new sailboat.

How to Build a Wooden Boat

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

There are literally no intricacies involved in building a wooden boat. It can easily be done at home, provided all the requisite materials and tools are in place. Here is a stepwise procedure that will make the job simpler.

The first thing that needs to be done is to select the design for the boat. The different resources of design are internet, books, magazines, movies and television. The materials and tools needed for building the boat depends upon the design. For a simple wooden boat, the following materials would be required.

Wooden Boat How to Build a Wooden Boat

  • Four pine boards of dimensions 16’x1’’x10’’
  • Two spruce boards measuring 16’x2’’x4’’ and 2’x2’’x4’’ respectively
  • Two 16’ spruce boards, 7/8’’x2’’ and 1/2′’x1/4’’ in girth respectively
  • One more spruce board measuring 120’x3/4’’x6’’
  • Two 16’pine boards measuring 7/8’’x10’’ in girth

Beside these different kinds of lumber, outboard motor, 2-inch long wood nails, 4-feet long scrap board, and metal sheet measuring 11/4’’x10’’would also be needed. Hammer, chisel, heavy drill and saw are some of the tools that would be needed for building the wooden boat.

Transom is the first part of the boat that should be made. For it, 16-feet long spruce board should be used. With the aid of the saw, cut the board in such a manner that the top of the board is at least 8’’ shorter than the bottom. At the top, carve out a groove that 2-inches deep and 4-inches long.

 How to Build a Wooden Boat

From the 16-feet board, the keel should also be made. One end of the board is narrowed down so that it is 6-inches in length and 1-inch in width. The other end should measure 15.5’’x1/2’’x4’’. Another spruce board is used to make the stem. Place the board such that it is 4’’ in height.  On the left side carve out a groove that is 1/4’’ long and 2’’ deep. On the right side, crave out another groove that is 4’’ long and 2/16’’ deep. For the sides of the wooden boat, 16’ long planks are used. On each plank, cut a notch that is 1/2-inch deep and 1 1/2-inch wide.  Affix the two planks together with the help of nails.

Now that all the parts are ready, assemble them together. First attach the sides to the stem; after that fix the transom, and lastly, affix the bottom. Attach the keel to the stem, transom and bottom of the boat. Finally fix the outboard motor, and sand and paint the wooden boat.

How to Build a Model Sailboat

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Model sailboats ignite a certain memory or forgotten passion for many. Whether you long to be the captain of a ship or enjoy travelling in a boat, having a beautiful replica to look at is pleasing to the eye. These days, there are many miniature replicas of the real-size items. They include trains, cars, boats, and airplanes. Though they are kits available conveniently in many stores, there is no greater satisfaction than to be able to build a boat from scratch. Even models differ by designs and complexity. If you cannot find one that meets your preference, why not draw up a plan, purchase the materials and build one yourself today? Here are some ways on how to build a model sailboat.

Depending on what you want, there are a few types of boats. Some are simple enough for beginners to tackle; some can go on water while others are for experienced or professional builders. The simpler ones are more suitable for kids or first-time builders, while if you opt to build one that can withstand water; you will need a remote control installed with it. For advanced builders, their passion requires many hours of confinement and dedication to perfect that boat. Some of the materials needed include plywood, epoxy, fiberglass cloth, filler and paint.

Model Sailboat How to Build a Model Sailboat

Firstly, you need to mark the plywood with areas to be cut. Measure accurately because the parts have to fit in perfectly later on. To give it a good cut, use a circular saw. That way, you don’t have to bend the wood to cut it. After you have all the parts, you can start assembling. The rule of thumb is to assemble the front, rear and sides of the bottom. The sequence of assembly for the other parts depends on your layout design. To seal joints, apply epoxy on fiberglass tape and wrap it around the respective joints. Let dry before proceeding. You can also cover the seams using the same method.

After sealing, you can now add seats, storage and deck. The other parts to include in this process are rudder, mast, and boom. After these steps are completed, give it a fresh coat of paint. Opt for a high quality paint to give it an excellent finish. Remember to apply sealer as well. You can now attach the sail to the mast. To fasten the sail, you may need a more detailed plan.

These are the basic steps on how to build a model sailboat. You will surely be delighted at the completed work and marvel at the beauty of the boat.

How to Build a Boat

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

If boating is an interest of yours, then you would surely have tried out boat design kits that only need you to assemble the parts like a jigsaw. For those who prefer a challenge, the process of how to build a boat means doing everything from scratch. This includes buying your own materials and measuring, cutting and joining them to build a vessel worthy of the high seas.

Boating enthusiasts generally use one of two techniques when building their own plywood boats. The first method is the more traditional play-on-frame. This uses wooden frames, also known as ribs. Ribs are usually straight-sided, but can also be curved in older boat designs. Curved ribs tend to complicate boat construction. Ribs are usually positioned with a construction jig and the boat is built in such a way that the hull is actually assembled upside down.

Build a Boat How to Build a Boat

Learning how to build a boat with ply-on-frame construction is extremely labour-intensive. After the ribs are positioned correctly, longitudinal frame elements are attached via notched slots. The first frame element attached is the keelson, and is attached running down the center of the ribs. A vertical piece, the stem, is attached to the front of the keelson, forming the boat’s prow. Two sheer clamps are attached longitudinally along either side of the upper edges of the hull. Two more frame elements, chine logs, are attached to the curve of the ribs that marks the transition from hull bottom to hull side, or chine. Sometimes, additional pieces may be needed to complete hull framing.

Joints in the frame used to be glued, screwed or bolted together. Nowadays, newer adhesive such as epoxy and polyurethane adhesives are available to modern amateur boat builders. These are better for bonding joints as they are capable of filling gaps and attaching joints together even if the joints are improperly matched. Once the frame is completed, the plywood planking needs to be leaned against it, cut slightly larger than the final size, and assembled. The glued, screwed or nailed-together planking is then trimmed to fit the frame before the boat is finished with fiberglass or epoxy for strength and water-tightness.

Build a Boat 1 How to Build a Boat

A second method of boat construction is the stitch-and-glue method. Frames are not used when people learn how to build a boat in this manner. Instead, panels are cut out from plywood planking to form the shape of the hull. All the pieces cut out are based on a template either obtained from a designer or one that the builder drew.

Adjacent panels are attached via a row of small holes drilled close to the each. Nylon tie-wraps or copper wire are used to “stitch” the panels together this way. The “glue” part comes into play when an epoxy compound that has been thickened with microspheres or silica is applied to the “stitched” joints before fiberglass tape is used to tape it over.