Thursday, November 16, 2017

Excess Poxy

Where to put that excess poxy?

The stuff is too expensive to just throw away. 

I built a little dam in the bow of my kayaks and kept pouring/placing anyexcess in there to reinforce the fragile bow and to accommodate the bow loop.

Poxy with wood chips placed in kayak bow

Using excess poxy, I built up a glob in the stem of the sharpie, scull and Boat BW to accommodate the bow loop.

Poxy with wood chips placed in stem of sharpie

Completed glob in stem of sharpie. The bulge is where the bow
loop passes through

Wood chip-thickened poxy in bow of scull.
Looks like I recently poured a bit of excess neat poxy
on top

Start of the glob in the stem of the BW

The glob in the stem of the BW is growing

Read more about the infamous glob in the Boat BW at Glob Blog

Parfait Anyone?

While building the BW, after the glob was complete I started dumping the excess poxy in a wax cup. When the cup was full, I peeled the wax cup away. 

That cup is the only poxy thrown away during the building of the BW which consumed 32 gallons of poxy. Always having a next step ready for the excess poxy is the trick to avoiding waste.

Crackers Anyone?

Then I coated a couple of Saltine crackers with neat poxy and topped them with thickened poxy.

Poxy thickened with powdered silica and wood flour

Poxy thickened with powdered silica, wood flour and wood chips

For a while I refused to discard the used disposable foam and chip brushes and stacked them artistically (well, as artistically as I am capable). The residual poxy in the foam/bristles glued them all together into a glorious sculpture.

Disposable brush sculpture

If the poxy manufacturers would meet my demand for edible poxy, use of the excess poxy would not be an issue.

Bon Appetit

Photo Bucket

Butt-Block for joining plywood while avoiding scarphing

Butt-Block for joining plywood while avoiding scarphing

Hydrotek BS-1088 Meranti 9-ply 1/2-inch (12mm) Plywood.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Plans Now Available

I have created a set of plans for building the BW. These are very detailed plans complete with pages of thorough step-by-step instructions with numerous photographs, and 21 detailed, scaled, computer-drafted drawings with all the necessary dimensions.



Boat BW Specifications

Plywood/fiberglass/epoxy stitch-and-glue
Hull Type:
Planing, semi-V, 8° deadrise aft, 12° deadrise mid-ship, chine flats and lifting strakes
Length Overall:
23 feet
Beam at Sheer:
Beam at Chine:
6 inches with outboard motors up
Hull Thickness:
Bottom: ½ inches, deck: ½ inches, sides: 3/8 inches
Side flare:
Continuous from chine-to-chine. Not self-bailing
Weight (empty, hull only):
2,000 pounds
Outboard motor or motors totaling 100Hp
Maximum weight hanging on transom:
400 pounds
Transom angle:
31 knots with twin 50Hp OBs at WOT
Fuel Consumption:
1.8 gallons per hour per OB, at 24 knots with twin 50Hp OBs




How much did it cost to build the BW?

In 2016, it cost me $11,200 USD for the materials to build the BW hull with an anchor well, a forward locker, a fuel locker, a steering system and a pilothouse console with laminated safety glass windows. I used Hydrotek BS-1088 meranti plywood which is more expensive than run-of-the-mill marine plywood. 

Here is my 2016 cost breakdown for the hull only, not including a boat trailer, outboard motors, fuel system and USCG-required safety gear:

In addition to the costs described above, I paid $4,500 USD for a new galvanized boat trailer, for a total out-of-pocket investment of $15,700 USD. 

In addition to the $15,700 USD, there will be costs for outboard motors, associated fuel systems and USCG-required safety gear.  

How long will it take to build a BW?

For the hull with an anchor well, a forward locker, a fuel locker, slopwell and a modest pilothouse console, I spent 600 hours building it. Being that the BW was the tenth boat that I have built, it will probably take most people a bit longer.

The hours spent working on the boat are not the only consideration. The calendar time also matters. Due to the curing time of epoxy, it is difficult to work more than a few hours a day. After a few hours you will have something glued with epoxy that cannot be disturbed until the epoxy cures. This often ends the day’s work session. That is why even though it took me only 600 hours, it took 15 months to build the BW.

It is possible to reduce the calendar time by having several things being fabricated at the same time so that when one item is waiting for the epoxy to cure, you can be working on another item. However, this takes planning and a large shop.

How big of a shop will I need?

I built my BW in a shop that was 12 feet wide x 25 feet deep. But the width available for the boat was only 10 feet due to a 2-foot workbench that runs the length of my shop.
It was tight. I had to build all the big items and hang them from the ceiling before starting to assemble the hull. Once the hull started being assembled, the hull took up most of the shop space and I had little room for anything else.

I put the hull on a wheel dolly so I could push it to one side of the shop for working on the starboard side of the boat. Then I would push the hull to the other side of the shop to work on the port side.

How experienced should the builder be?

The BW is a big home-build project. It is larger but not much more complex than the kayaks, dories, drift boats and little runabouts that are common first-time-builder stitch-and-glue boats. Due to its size, the BW will take time, space, money and patience to complete.

Some, but not much, woodworking experience is necessary. There is no complex joinery and only a few compound angles. A little ability to read plan drawings is required. 

However, stitch-and-glue boats are amazingly forgiving since epoxy is really strong and you can use thickened epoxy to fill in and fair over carpentry imperfections then hide the faired imperfections with paint. This is why shipwrights hate stitch-and-glue boats and call them Bondo Boats. 

The instructions are well-organized with table of contents,  glossary, detailed bill-of-materials etc.

The instructions contain tutorials for each process in the stitch-and-glue and WEST system of plywood/epoxy boat building.

Every little step is outlined as needed for the beginning boat builder but still suitable for the experienced builder. Photos accompany every major stage of the build.

Included are 21 detailed, scaled, computer-drafted drawings with all the necessary dimensions.

Also included are instructions and drawings for the optional pilothouse console.


If interested, please email me through  in the upper right corner at the top of this page.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Cookie Method

So you have decided to treat yourself to a boat. You are the do-it-yourself type and you are trying to decide between building a boat or buying a boat. You have the time, patience and space to build a boat and you are wondering whether to build from scratch or build from a kit. Yet those are not the only options.

Here are some of the common options:
  • Wing it without plans and build from scratch.
  • Follow a set of plans and build from scratch.
  • Build from a pre-cut kit.
  • Buy a ready-to-go boat.

None of the options is any better than the other. All have merit and which way to go is simply a matter of personal preference. Which option is best for you?

Before you decide, you might want to factor in consideration of the future. When launching or retrieving your boat, someone may ask, “Did you build that boat?” You may feel different levels of satisfaction when answering “Yes” compared to when answering “No.” If you answer “Yes” be prepared for the next series of questions, “Did you build from a kit?” “Did you use a set of plans?” What answers would grant you your desired satisfaction?

Your decision will require some introspect to determine your personal preferences. I like to use the cookie method to provide introspect into myself. Here is the cookie method.

I have decided to treat myself to cookies. I have the time, patience and space to bake cookies and I am wondering whether to bake from scratch or buy some cookies? Those are not the only options.

Here are some of the common options:
  • Wing it without a recipe and bake from scratch.
  • Follow a cookie recipe and bake from scratch.
  • Bake them from pre-mixed batter.
  • Buy ready-to-eat cookies.

None of the options is any better than the other. All have merit and which way to go is simply a matter of personal preference.

But before I decide, I factor in consideration of the future. When sharing the cookies, someone may ask, “Did you bake these cookies?” I feel far different levels of satisfaction when answering “Yes” compared to when answering “No.” If I answer “Yes” I am prepared for the next series of questions, “Did you use pre-mixed batter?” “Did you follow a recipe?” The answers that grant me my desired satisfaction are factored into my decision.

When I bake cookies I always bake from scratch. I have never baked from pre-mixed batter. I have occasionally bought ready-to-eat cookies. When I bake from scratch I usually start with a recipe but I always wing it a bit by varying slightly from the recipe. I love it when someone asks, “Did you make these cookies?”

When I build a boat I always build from scratch. I have never built from pre-cut kit. I have occasionally bought ready-to-go boats. When I build from scratch I usually start with plans but always wing it a bit by varying slightly from the plans.  I love it when someone asks, “Did you build this boat?”

As you try to decide between building or buying a boat and you consider the different options for building, maybe the cookie method will also help you understand your preferences.

Other blogs by Mo 'Poxy:

Friday, August 12, 2016

PL Failure

Originally I planned to lay cheap outdoor carpet on the boat deck without fastening or gluing the carpet to the deck. But trailering caused the carpet to twist into a trip hazard nightmare so I decided to glue the carpet down.

After hearing lots of good things about Loctite PL construction adhesive, I decided to try the PL375 for gluing the outdoor carpet to the boat deck. 

I was a little concerned about the warning on the label “Not Recommended For Underwater applications.” I wasn’t sure if that warning meant “don’t don your scuba gear and dive in with your caulk gun and try to glue two submerged pieces together,” or, “after gluing two pieces together in the dry, do not let them get wet.” Either way, it doesn’t sound good for boating.

I checked the other PL products and they all had a similar warning. 

PL 3x and 8x - “Not Recommended For Water submersion applications.” 

PL 200 - “Not Recommended For Underwater applications or permanent water immersion.”

The stuff worked great for most of the summer while we picked only sunny days for boating and the only water inside the boat was a few drops off of our boots during beach launchings. I was impressed that it held while trailering and the swirling wind inside the boat did not break the carpet loose. Then we had our first rainy trip.

The boat hung offshore on the hook for two days in what felt like Georgia rain. Just looking at the boat from shore it was obvious she was becoming a large bird bath. When it was time to leave, I paddled the kayak out and climbed into the boat. In the aft corner where the water ponded up to 4 inches deep, the carpet was floating. The PL not only disbonded from the carpet but it also disbonded from the deck and there were pieces of PL free floating in the puddle. Outside of the puddle the carpet was still bonded to the deck.

Disbonded carpet with pieces of PL375 laying loose

My plan was to remove the carpet at the end of boating season and re-install it next season. When the PL was working fine (in the dry), I was starting to worry that I may not be able to get the carpet out. I wondered if I might have to rip up and destroy the carpet then sand PL off of the deck. 

Well, the warning on the Loctite PL label was honest and now I know that a little water will free the carpet unharmed and float the PL off of the deck. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


The completed boat BW

A Summary of Building the Boat BW

Having built nine stitch-and-glue boats, I decided to build a tenth and I decided to design my own boat using a one-quarter scale model and computerized drafting.

See Building BW Scale Model for more details

With the design complete, I compiled a list of materials. As far as wood, there are only two types of wood in the BW – Hydrotek BS-1088 meranti plywood and clear pine.

Meranti sheets layed out for matching

Hydrotek BS-1088 stamp

See this blog for more details
Meranti and Moose

The meranti plywood is not stocked locally but the quantities are easily estimated so ordering and shipping went smoothly. The clear pine is available at the local DIY store but finding pieces that are not damaged, have minimal warp and are attractive, is difficult. Instead of buying all of the pine at once, I bought a few sticks at a time so I could be picky and get just the right pieces.

One of the challenges in building the BW was limited shop space. Building an 8-foot x 23-foot boat in a 12-foot by 25-foot space was interesting. I knew that once I stitched the hull together, it would occupy all of the shop space leaving no room to fabricate the rest of the pieces. 

I fabricated the bottom panels, transom, side panels, knees, lifting strakes, spray rails and rubrails in advance. After completing each piece, I hung it from the ceiling to make room for more work. With all the pieces hanging from the ceiling, the shop looked like a scene from a horror movie - a jungle of guillotines.

See Biggens Outta Littlens and
Be Sides for more details

With fabrication of the individual pieces complete, it was time to build a boat. The first step was to build the bottom. When I fabricated the bottom panels, I stitched the keel line together. Now it was just a matter of bringing the ½-inch panels down from the ceiling, spreading them open to the desired deadrise along the length, and taping the keel line.

Taping of the keel

At this point, the shape of the keel line is defined and I can fabricate a keel. Sure, stitch-and-glue boats don’t have a “keel” so to speak. Well, this one does. I built it with 2x6 and 2x10 hemfir lumber, joined together with rabbet joints then cut to match the bottom panel keel profile and deck profile. The final keel piece looks like an Nike swoosh stretched to 20 feet long with a maximum depth of 14 inches.

Keel in place

With the keel in place, I installed bulkheads and additional structural members to create flotation chambers and additional connections between the bottom and deck. The keel and five bulkheads on each side create twelve flotation chambers. 

Bulkheads in place

After flipping, the exterior of the keel is taped and the lifting strakes are installed.

Keel tape and lifting strakes

Next step: install the deck. The deck spans from chine to chine, extending past the bottom panels a few inches to create chine flats and is made from a series of ½-inch meranti, with scarf joints. This boat requires five deck panels, plus a few scraps, to complete the deck which provides the lids for the twelve flotation chambers. I installed one deck panel each day, using temporary clamping screws to hold the panels in place until the epoxy cures. I removed all temporary clamping screws, during the entire build process so that there are no metal fasteners in the boat. 

Installing deck panels

After all of the deck panels were installed, the edges of the deck were trimmed to the final dimension, with a 20° angle to match the side flare.

Trimming deck panels

Now this boat looks like a giant surf board. 

See Another lovely bottom for more details

In order to provide support for the side panels, I installed the transom and some transom knees for extra support of the future outboard motors.

Here comes the fun part. I lowered the side panels down from the ceiling, positioned them and stitched them to the transom and deck. The side panels were pre-drilled for stitching and the stem was stitched before hanging the side panels from the ceiling. Temporary spreaders were installed to get the side panels to their final shape and the interior joints were epoxied and taped with biaxial fiberglass. Typical of stitch-and-glue - after the epoxy cures, remove the stitches.

Twenty-two knees, eleven per side, were epoxy-glued to the inside of the side panels for connection to the future sheer deck. The sheer deck is comprised of a layer of ½-inch ACX plywood covered by a layer of 3/8-inch meranti. The sheer deck was installed proud of the knees and side panels then cut and sanded flush with the knees and side panels.

I installed the inwhale and rubrail with the top edges proud of the deck. The top edges of the inwhale and rubrail were then cut and sanded flush with the sheer deck. The cut edges of the inwhale and rubrail were rounded and covered with fiberglass set in epoxy.

The spray rails were installed and the side panels and the boat was flipped.

Spray rails

See Hully Cow for more details

After flipping the boat, the exterior chine joints are epoxied and taped with biaxial fiberglass and the bottom and side panels are completed by painting the bottom and varnishing the side. The bottom cannot be finished bright because the heavy biaxial fiberglass tape at the chines is opaque. The paint extends up the side as needed to cover the biaxial tape and fairing. The rest of the side panel is finished bright with varnish.

Time for another flip

Flipping her back upright

Now the boat can be completed

Rear bench seat

Forward locker

Slop well
For more details see The Last 10%

Build the pilothouse center console, put her on a trailer and install the motors and controls

See Pilothouse Console for details

Launch her and go for a ride!

Same location...

...different build...

...25 years later

Other blogs by Mo 'Poxy