Building your own boat from a kit or plans is a satisfying and enjoyable process. You will have a clear understanding of how the boat is constructed, and easily be able to make repairs if needed.
Another significant benefit is cost. By building from plans or kit you can substantially reduce the cost of owning a quality boat. The cost of a kit boat is approximately 25-50% of a fully-manufactured boat.
How strong are your boats?
Mahogany Ply/Epoxy construction is actually one of the highest quality methods for building a boat. The sandwich of resin, glass mat, and marine mahogany ply is durable, stiff, and lighter than most types of composite construction. It is not a common commercial process because it is more labour intensive than composite construction or roto-molding.
Who can build a boat?
You don’t need to be a carpenter or have special skills to build these boats. Anyone who is practical, has a basic grasp of hand tools and is able to follow instructions can build one of our boats. We provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.
Most of the boats can be built in the space of a single-car garage, and only basic tools are required including a hand plane, drill, hand saw, tape measure, and C-clamps.
Plans vs kits?
The advantage of kits is you don't need to source the materials yourself, and you save the time required to cut the wood panels. It is often challenging finding some fo the obscure materials required, and prices can be high.The advantage of building from plans is you have the satisfaction of building the boat 100% yourself, and it is possible to save money if you purchase the materials from reputable dealers. Please check our support page for a list of worldwide suppliers to purchase marine plywood and fibreglass supplies. Scribing and cutting the wood panels is actually a very easy process with our full-sized plans, a job taking 4-8 hours.
How long does it take to build?
Construction time varies from person to person. 80 hours should be sufficient for most to complete the Expedition Model, and about 60 hours for the Cambridge Racer. Four to six weekends will usually suffice.
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The geometry of fixed seat rowing is completely different from sliding seat rowing, but equally important for performance and comfort. There are many variables including length of oars, location of rowing seat relative to the boat, position of foot brace, height of oarlocks above seat, height of oars, height of seat above bilge, and the spread of the oarlocks. Additionally, there are factors to consider with the oars, such as spoon blade vs flat and weighted vs non weighted handles.
The last few days of R2AK have included some remarkable finishes. Team Ketch Me if U Can reached Port Townsend on June 19th, finishing 4th overall and completing the race in 7 d 15 h, making them the fastest 20 foot and under boat ever to finish. Plus they now hold the $10,000 buy back cheque, as they’re the first team to reach Ketchikan willing to sell their boat for 10K. Congratulations!
The weekend brought steady progress for many boats. Two more boats crossed the finish line yesterday, bringing the total in Ketchikan to 5. That leaves 23 boats still out there including all under 20 foot boats.