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Frequently Asked Questions

All the questions regarding plan clarifications, materials used, building time, etc will be here.

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Plan clarifications

How long should the saw slit be in the Bottom Plank
It will vary depending on how stiff the material you use is. Start at 26 and cut it an inch longer until the pieces bend up without splitting.

Transom height
There are 2 measurements shown on the plans, one at 14 inches and one at 16 inches. This figure will actually vary depending on your outboard. One way to determine the Transom height is to measure from the top of the Motor Mount (where it sits on the transom) to approx. an inch below the Cavitation Plate. Once mounted the Engine can then be moved up with a shim between the mount and the Transom so that the Cavitation Plate is even with the bottom of the Transom.
Transom Outer Frame
It is not mentioned much in the plans. It will require a 1 x 6 about 55 inches long. I will know exactly once I build the boat. :-)
The Chines should be beveled to 30 degrees along one entire side of their length With regards to the Chines and Sheer Clamps coming together, I just left them both long, screwed the Chines to the bottom deck then pulled the Sheer Clamps down to where they overlapped the Chines. - Jason Culp
Horizontal Frame Member curves
The curve on the bottom frame member should be accurately measured and cut to the specs in the plan, then the bottom deck is pulled into place. This gets you the right curve and adds rigidity to the hull - remember this is what they call "stressed hull construction" which means that the entire boat is pushing and pulling on all its own parts to make it solid. - Jason Culp

The top curve of the top piece can be derived from the dimensions shown. The curve on the bottom of the top piece is shown at a 14" radius but it is not clear where it is taken from. It needs to support the steering board and match the wheel mounting board. Since the Steering Board is approx. 7 inches wide I plan to take the radius from 14 inches up the center line.


Plan modifications


Transom support
Skip Hagerman recommends a gusset to connect the Carlins to the Transom to provide additional Transom support. pic
Cutting the Transom 15 degrees
VERY IMPORTANT - when building the transom cut the 15 degree bevel on the bottom of the plywood and framing pieces BEFORE you measure and put everything together - I put it all together first - not only was it next to impossible to get the whole transom through the table saw smoothly, but I ended up being just short of 48" across the back, so some creative sanding and epoxy work was needed to make the transom sides flush to the bottom deck - Jason Culp
Steering Board Support
Greg Marchand recommends a brace from the steering board frame to the Fore Deck Strut. This adds support when us big teenagers lean on the wheel. pic
Water proofing the cockpit
When your boat is coming to a standstill the waves tend to back wash from the rear so what I did was take a plastic moulding from the lumber yard and with a heat gun I was able to heat the plastic, which is very strong and durable, and carefully mould it to the contour of the boat. I screwed it to the side rails and epoxied all cracks. It makes a great splash guard and it works well. - Brian Cranfield  pic


General Questions


Do I need full size plans
This is a very simple boat, many people have build it without full size plans.
What does it cost
Hard to say as it depends on the materials used, builders say $300 to $800 + outboard cost

How long does it take to build

I'm sure you could whip one together fairly quickly, especially if you are someone like John Platou who has all the tools, skills and has built one before (John says 20 hours), but I'm going on 3 months keeping at it fairly steady (2-3 nights per week and some weekends). Most of us are first time boat builders looking for a project and we are going to be picky and learning along the way. My next one won't take nearly this long, but I would think still more than 20 hours if I want a nice boat that is going to last awhile when I'm done. One of the most time-consuming aspects for me has been second-guessing the plans - DON'T - all I discovered was that the plans are right. If you run into a section where you think "no way that is going to fit/work" just follow the instructions... it will work... really - Jason Culp

Are special tools needed

Some of the framing requires ripping its length and/or cutting an angle. Unless you have it done at a lumber yard you will need a table saw or radial arm saw to do this - Barry

Tools I consider a must have for construction include; table saw, jig saw, short hand saw, coping saw and wood rasp with both coarse and fine sides. The rasp has been indispensable for smoothing board ends, rounding plywood edges, beveling frame components and doing "bodywork" with the epoxy. There probably hasn't been a single day of construction I haven't had the rasp in my hand at some point. -- Jason Culp
The plan lumber sizes vary from what I can buy
I ran a whole analysis on stock sizes versus actual dimensions to see if there would be any measurement issues. I didn't run into any. Basically if you cut to fit as you go you shouldn't have any issues. There aren't any dimensions in the plans that are dependent on 1x4 actually being 1x4.... and if you look carefully at the plans most of the components are ripped down slightly anyways. - Jason Culp
Which plywood should I use
Exterior grade fir plywood is called for the in the plans and works fine. If it is not available then try marine mahogany plywood. Its more expensive but its totally waterproof.
Which framing wood should I use
Fir is called for the in the plans and works fine.

I thought because I could not find fir that pine would work however I had read about its poor nail/screw holding ability and softness. - Barry

With regards to the pine being softer, I agree, however I don't believe it makes any difference with holding a screw, a nail yes, but I used all screws. Also... little tip, if you are using epoxy to seal the joints, which means you will have a batch on hand every time you are using screws, dip the screws into the epoxy before screwing them in. Also, after you have all the screws in go back and retighten each one by hand, even go over them twice just to be sure. Pine tends to compress slightly under stress, so a screw that felt tight on the first go will need a little tweek a few minutes later. -- Jason Culp
What glue should I use
Builders have used

Gorilla glue - Glynn - Description

3M 5200 - John - Description

Power Poxy - Greg - Description

System 3 T88 - Brian - Description

Ignore the article regarding using glue/sawdust. The gap filling glues and epoxies available today did not exist when the article was written.
What paint should I use
Everything from a good quality latex exterior house paint to specialized marine epoxy paints have been used.    An article on Latex Boat Painting