HOW DO YOU BUILD A WOODEN BOAT?

With computers, plywood, copper wire, a pair of pliers, and lots of epoxy. At least, that’s how “stitch and glue” boatbuilding works. Combine computer-aided design, ultra-high-quality marine plywood, and space-age epoxy adhesives, and you get elegant, ultralight structures that anybody can build in their garage. Or apartment, living room, school shop, or cargo hold.  (We’ve seen it all.)

How do you build a wooden boat - CNC Machine

It starts here, on a computer-controlled widget called a “CNC machine.” Fed the shapes of the boat’s parts, it cuts them with startling accuracy. You’re ready to start building.

How do you build a wooden boat - Stitching


This is the "stitching" part of "stitch and glue."  Just short lengths of wire that will temporarily fasten the pieces.

How do you build a wooden boat - stitching hull

The hull takes shape rapidly---in an afternoon. Bulkheads, some temporary, some permanent, help form up the hull.

How do you build a wooden boat - stitching bulkheads This is the underside of a kayak deck, a jigsaw puzzle pieced together with bits of copper wire.
 How do you build a wooden boat - glassing the deck All Chesapeake Light Craft boats use fiberglass for strength and durability. This is the underside of the kayak deck.  
How do you build a wooden boat - attaching hull to the deck Hull and Deck "clamshells" are mated.
How do you build a wooden boat - fiberglassing exterior The exterior gets several layers of fiberglass, which turns clear when saturated with high-quality marine epoxy. 
 A bunch of sanding, three coats of varnish, a round of hardware installation, and you're on the water.  The Shearwater Sport kayak pictured here took less than 80 hours total.
How do you build a wooden boat - finished kayak

 



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