How To Build Your Own Boat
Do you want to know how to build your own boat? Sailing is a good way to find a quiet place where all that counts are your decisions and sailing in your own boat boosts the feeling of freedom and accomplishment. However, there's a lot of hard work that needs to be done before you can even get on the water with your boat.
Things you'll need:
- A quiet place. The physical place where the building of the boat will take place or the "keel placement" must be quiet, comfortable and large enough to accommodate the boat itself, your tools and materials. Energy and water availability are mandatory.
- A lot of time. If you will build the boat yourself or hire someone else to do the hard work, there's going to be many decisions you have to make.
- Hand tools--Most of the finishing and the small piece-mounting will be done using hand tools. Make sure you invest in safety by buying good quality tools, as a low price tool may end by being dangerous.
- Power tools. Go for quality. The power tools you will use most are sanding machines, power saws, drills and painting guns.
- Ladders. Once the hull is mounted you will need a ladder to access the hull. Having more than one ladder will save you some time.
- Kickstands. The hull must be properly set and stable, so you'll need a good set of kickstands, which can either be commercial yacht kickstands or barrels depending on the size of the hull. You will also find old tires particularly useful when it comes to placing the hull without damaging it.
- Find the right place for the job. Some nautical clubs or ports offer dry docks where you can work on your project. Working at a yacht club will add the advantage of counting with some advice and having hands available for hire in place.
- Place the keel. Of all the decisions involved in building a boat, this is probably the one with most consequences. From this angle, a boat can be straight or bent, so place the keel carefully and check the angle several times.
- Start building the boat from bottom to top and from general to particular. In a general basis, bigger parts will be connected first. But sometimes you have to anticipate moves. For example, you have to prepare maneuvers like engine or toilet removal.
- Some parts require paint before installing. Cabinets, inside walls and insulation plies must be treated for better conservation and longer lifespans.
- Check for hull cracks or holes periodically, using a powerful light from the inside in a dark environment. This way you´ll save time and efforts by finding out about problems ahead of time.
- If you are building the boat at home, leave the rigging for the port. Building a boat at home is a bad idea because you'll have to take the mast out before moving the boat. You can place all the iron fittings in the hull, but leave the final maneuvers for the port.
- Leave sailmaking to sailmakers. Common sense will take you far in boat-building, but sails are the exception. Generations of sailmakers have learned their trade and they do it well. Don´t try to sew your own sails unless you want your boat to look like a parade carrousel.
- As part of the boat-building process, pay special attention during the first hours of the boat on the water. Not only are water ways are a problem, but an unwanted bank angle or material defects can be detected during that period. Solving those problems right away minimizes their impact and costs.
Remember that building a boat is not a weekend pastime but a full time job sometimes taking years to be completed. Start only if you intend to finish unless you want to waste time and money.