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Boat Builders Projects


Thanks. I’m actually okay with it. Since I was contacted for a quote, we sold our house, meaning we’ll have to move and I’m sure there will be a whole brand new “Honey Do” list for the new place (e.g. the place we looked at yesterday needed about 1,000 ft² of new flooring to put in). Besides, that just means more time to finish my Passagemaker and take my son sailing! Plus, I’m about to start teaching week-long sailing classes and they are a lot of work.

So between looking at houses, I’m still working my way through the build manual. The interior is glassed. Last night, I was able to fillet the long, interior seams between the planks. This is for comfort and to shed water. This afternoon, when we get back from another trip to Camano Island looking at houses, I’m going to do the first of two coats of epoxy to the entire interior. They will fill the weave of the glass and give me enough thickness to sand the entire interior smooth in prep for non-skid paint.

In the mean time, I am working on the sailboat parts. I glassed the interior of the daggerboard case. I will also be adding a few coats of graphite epoxy to that for wear resistance. I also get to shape the daggerboard and rudder to give them that cool profile. Once I know the thickness of my daggerboard, I get to determine the thickness of the daggerboard case logs that determine the width of the slot. Then the case assembly gets glued up, which then attaches to the center thwart assembly.

So, hopefully by this weekend, I’ll have the interior ready for paint and possibly the bulkheads in place permanently. I’m 80 hours into this build and should be past the half-way point. I’m actually starting to think about ordering the sails to start working on those so I’m working on the boat in parallel instead of serial, which would drag out into the summer more.

Sorry for the lack of pics. Once I’m gloved up and gooey with epoxy everywhere, it’s difficult to take pics without encasing my phone in epoxy.


Quick update: My wife just informed me we have plans for July 4th on a lake, so the countdown has begun. I put several reminders in my calendar, starting today being 8 weeks out.

So yesterday, I was able to put the first full coat of epoxy on the entire interior of the boat. This is to fill the weave of the fiberglass and seal all the fillets on the lap joints. I was also able to put two coats of graphite epoxy over the fiberglassed interior of the daggerboard case. This will give it strength and abrasion resistance.

One of the most fun parts is to shape the blades. I was able to get the rudder shaped using my Shinto saw rasp. The layers in the plywood act like a topo map for shaping the airfoil shape into the lamination.

Today is the second coat of epoxy on the interior and assembling the daggerboard case so I’m in position to install the bulkheads tomorrow. They can then cure over the weekend while I’m teaching an overnight Basic Coastal Cruising class.

The reason why I bring this up is that not only can the profile of the blades be cut out with a Maslow, but with proper Z-axis control, the tapers could also be machined. Some programs use gray-scale gradients to do tapers like this. Since the tapers are all geometric, it would be very easy to generate a cut file with gradients.

This might entail a switch-over to a ball end bit, but it’s still very doable. I’m not worried as much because I’m planning on painting my blades, but you could easily showcase the precision of your Maslow by finishing the blades bright by making the perfect layer lines visible.


A thing of beauty! I see what you mean about the topographical lines and the potential for the Maslow to do this kind of work.

Enjoy your evening out on the water, I am on the last few days at home before heading back to my ship :frowning: need a new career!


Hey @Dan.gerous21, the daggerboard will be even more dramatic. I just did the rudder first since it’s smaller. These blades are laminated with two layers of 6mm plywood, which has 5 layers at minimum, so there are plenty of reference lines. I was able to get the trailing edge less than 1/8". I will be using CPES to turn the edges into brown plastic before coating them with graphite epoxy.

Here’s a cool video I found that’s a perfect example of what I’m envisioning. Keep in mind that you may have to build a set of shims around the work so that the sled is supported. You can even get digital files for NACA foils! Another technique is to cut the cores out of foam and then fiberglass over that. If you don’t want to do double-sided machining, which is a bit tricky to zero, you can cut the two halves separately and then laminate them afterwards. If your finish pass uses a ball-nose bit with a 10% stepover, you practically don’t even have to sand it.

Behold, the future of Maslow…




Moved here from another thread as requested…



There are many ways to break down boats so they fit in your vehicle instead of on a dedicated trailer. Chesapeake Light Craft offers a Sectional Shearwater Sport kit that breaks down as shown above into three roughly equal, yet manageable parts.


As you can see, it’s made on their industrial-sized CNC machine, but there’s no reason why a Maslow couldn’t handle it. One challenge is that CLC doesn’t offer digital files, so you’d have to do the whole measure the drawings and load it into a CAD program thing. Once you’ve gone through that though, all subsequent boats are relatively easy to crank out (make sure to pay CLC royalties for each boat produced).

Another challenge is that CLC’s technique to get a true, straight, fair boat is to build the whole boat as one piece, then cut the boat at sandwiched bulkheads. This is better than building each part separately and hoping they line up. This means that you have to have to start with panels that are over 14’ in length. This requires the old puzzle/scarf joint trick. It also means having to tile your cuts, which means hanging a 16’ sheet of plywood on your 8’ wide Maslow. All totally doable.


@MidnightMaker That is exactly what I’m imagining building!

I would really like to do the design myself so that I can post the files in the garden for everyone to use rather than building and existing design that I can’t share…I might just get plans and build one as a learning experience anyway.



I actually just stumbled across a W17 trimaran kit on sale on Craigslist in Port Townsend, WA. I took a minute to look it up and it’s got some serious promise. First, it’s a kit cut out by Chesapeake Light Craft, so you know it’s a quality product. Second, it’s got a footwell, so it’s much more comfortable for geezers like me than your standard beach multi-hull.



While doing a little research for this post, I stumbled across an image that states it’s the cut file for the W17. Regardless of whether this is an actual faithful representation of the real boat’s parts or not, it’s still a pretty cool concept that 9 sheets of plywood/cut files later, you’re ready to start building your own trimaran. A Weta is the closest thing I know of and they start at around $15K (they’re awesome, I was lucky enough to test sail one for a magazine article).


Another pretty cool feature is that the akas fold inward for docking and trailering. All in all, a pretty interesting package. This might make me rethink the catamaran…



Here’s a new design that just popped up on my radar. It’s John Harris’ (from CLC fame) take on the Peapod, a classic dinghy. He’s actually teaching the class where a few lucky bastards will get to build their very own under his direction. It’s a classic LapStitch™ design with some very nice touches.

First, it’s a double ender. For Valiant 42 enthusiasts like myself, it’s a very seaworthy design where the stern parts following seas. Second, it’s got a centerboard, which considerably complicates the build, but the payoff is that it’s very rock and beach friendly (it will swing up out of the way) with weight down low where you want it. No more trying to pop the daggerboard up out of the slot before you hit. Also, I’m assuming it uses a free-standing/unstayed lug rig based on the partners.

Third, the classic features are amazing. Besides the centerboard, it’s got spacered inwales for attachment points and good drainage. The frames make it look much more old-school. The addition of floorboards also a nice touch aesthetically but will be able to handle a lot of use & abuse/abrasion from all that gravel you inevitably track into the boat on a PNW beach. The long rubstrake on the whiskey plank is also a very nice touch for docking.

I’m still looking for the plans and brochure site for this boat to learn more about this amazing design. Once I have my Passagemaker up and running I’ll be able to build additional boats on a much more relaxed schedule.



looks like they have DXF files for a number of different designs, cheap too!!

BTW, My GF and I won ‘best small craft’ @ CLC Boats OkumeFest '18 for our Nor’easter Dory ‘Aquarius’ (picts above), so please, please, only address me as ‘award wining boatbuilder’ from now on. =)


Yes, I love his Ilur design. Maybe someday. Wow! That’s a pretty serious accomplishment to win at an Okoumefest! Congrats!. I bow to thee. I don’t think my Passagemaker will be that pretty.


I have to concede to my girlfriend and partner, Gina, she was the one that put it over the top, fancy wise. I just like sailin’ boats and can lift heavy stuff. =) It could have been battleship grey and I’d be happy.

I’m loving these french designs (its a new find for me) and it looks like the designer’s recommended builder is CLC Boats french distributor. that’s a cool full circle I’d say. The ‘Gabian’ barquette design shows a lot of similarities between it and like almost a ‘tiny gaff cutter’ of the sort you can find on the ‘my classic boat’ youtube channel…

It just doesn’t get better than a ~1900 era british gaffer/cutter, they’re just works of art and as seaworthy as anything…


protip: Wet sand with 220g ( removing-clearing the slurry often) on yer 2nd and 3rd coats of epoxy, and again after 2 coats of primer, which you treat like filler, taking it back down to epoxy >25% or so of the surfaces as needed. if leaving natural, do the same with yer varnish +1 coat of build up and just before final coat, and you’ll get a nice smooth finish.


I’m not fond of lateen rigs, probably due to my experience on Sunfish in the 80’s, but they are pretty to look at.

Thanks for the info. I’m trying to get this done for the 4th on the lake, so I’ll be initially going for a “fisherman’s finish” instead of a “museum finish”.


There was a lot of talk early on in this forum about rights. Only in the last few years have you been able to copyright hulls in the US, and in practical terms you aren’t going to get chased down on it, there have been very few cases. You probably can’t copy files, or certainly plans, but most designs can’t be patented. And as mentioned copyright is a dead end.

The bigger issue to me is that I make stuff because i want to make things that are custom to me, or not available. Why would you copy someone else’s design? Do you have identical needs? Particularly with small boats, they need to be fit to people like a suit of clothes, and to purpose. For instance I weigh 250, my wife weighs 100, that is a pretty tall order in a standard canoe. Ideally, you probably wouldn’t even design a canoe, for instance a transom would make a lot of sense. We actually have a pretty nice double ender I designed around 1980, but a transom would be better still.

So yeah, most stuff you can copy, what was unique about CLC was/is not the boats for the most part, it is the method of assembly. They got started copying left right and center, and still do. But a good boat isn’t someone else’s boat.


I am planing to get a maslow, in the next few days if they still have them. Does anyone know how much of the surface you can cut. I have been designing boats in cad for 20 or so years. Since they came out with the 486 computers. It is really frustrating to then have to convert it all to co-ordinates and plot by hand. But it is also not clear to me from the pictures I have seen of the Maslow that it could make good use of plywood. Normally I cut parts to the full length of the sheets, with the design extending by 8 feet a sheet, with a bit off for the joints. Most of the Maslow projects I see don’t use the borders of the sheet much. Even if I can’t make hull parts using the Maslow, I could make a lot of other parts, and do them in fancier ways, it would still be worth it. But I am not sure I believe you can make 1 off kits on it. Has anyone made nearly full width parts and puzzle joints, and everything came out clean? That seems to be a tall order for CLC’s million dollar machines. If it could cut patterns out of doorskins that one could transfer to preassembled full length sheets, that would be more practical, maybe.


The plans there are an interesting example

Can something like that be cut on a Maslow, with the parts going all the way out to the ends of the sheet?


I don’t like flat bottoms on trimarans and catamarans. It isn’t how they kill speed, or sometimes pound at anchor. The worst thing is if you just pull them up ashore there is tremendous pressure on the thin hulls from just a pebble. A boat like that could be 4mm ply, and 6mm would be heavy. So you would have to use something a lot heavier on the bottom. Newick, on his wooden tremolino, ply version, used 1" solid wood, in glass epoxy. And the bottom of that 23 foot boat was pretty narrow.

You can have flat dingies and such, because you can baby them, or they don’t weigh much. But a tri is the heaviest boat, for the lightest construction, you are likely to find.

By the way, if you are looking for DXF cut files for trimarans, and cheap plan prices, by someone who actually knows what he is doing (in his most recent designs) consider Team Scarab trimarans.


you can go off the top of the sheet, but at the bottom you need to add support
below the sheet or the sled starts tilting when you get within 4-5" of the
bottom (it depends on the balance of your sled)

on the sides, you can go almost to the edge, some people have gone all the way
to the edge (depends on sled balance and chain height on the sled)

if you add a couple inches of support past the edge of the workpiece, you can go
all the way to the edge.

there are some people who are adding 9" wide ‘skirts’ around the entire
workpiece to be sure that the sled has full support, that’s overkill.