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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With so many members on here building with his plans, I have to ask, how detailed are they generally? I'm asking because I have always had the strong desire to build a boat and I love the looks of his Lithium 17.10 (which appears to be new and maybe not out yet?) but have 0 experience with anything similar. I would absolutely need very detailed directions to follow. I know there is a lot of info on this forum and have seen good things about his directions, but am wondering just how detailed they are? I have experience with some wood work and general tools, but have never touched fiberglass and messed with the resins/epoxy on a scale like this. Thanks for any insight. I know I probably sound like an idiot but am very interested in giving it a go in the future.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Here are some of the sheets that go with a set of plans. There are 5 more sheets to go with just this design.
I do not provide step by step instructions yet. This winter I will build a couple of my designs and record it all for a book on how to build with all info. But between guys like BB and all the others here they have pretty much written their own book on how to build. You get as much advice as you need from me via emails as you want.
 

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... I have experience with some wood work and general tools, but have never touched fiberglass and messed with the resins/epoxy on a scale like this. Thanks for any insight. I know I probably sound like an idiot but am very interested in giving it a go in the future.
This describes me fairly well. Common sense told me to wait for Chris’s book, but I’m glad I didn’t, summer is my slow season for fishing and I’m having a ton of fun trying to figure out how these boats go together.

As for the plans, I stared at mine for days and things get less confusing all the time. For a brand new builder Chris’s plans can be intimidating, he has been super quick to respond to my questions though, I do not feel like ‘I can’t get there from here,’ though I’m pretty sure my build won’t be as impressive as some others. Having so many excellent builds in front of me really helps and these guys are ready to help. If your not familiar, Travis’s was the first and remains one of the best, here;

https://www.microskiff.com/threads/conchfish-16.51470/

I toyed with the idea of starting with something less ambitious, like a fiberglass cooler or a SUP, but decided the best thing for me was to just do it.
 

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If you can read a tape measure and have basic carpentry skills you can do it. Just be realistic about how much time you have to dedicate towards it. When I started back in October or November, I thought I'd be skimming along in my new skiff by now. Not hardly. New goal is Novemberish.
 

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I recommend building something useful, but a smaller project with the materials you think you'll be using on your boat build to get a feel for your skill level and desire to tackle a much bigger project. A cooler, a drop in live well, a storage box, etc. It took me 2-1/2 years to sand mine boat into submission. The level of finish you want will dictate some of your build time. I wanted a professional looking finished boat and that takes A LOT OF TIME. If I had just done a splatter spray on the interior and a 20 ft. level finish on the outside, the amount of time would have been significantly reduced. Also, the interior takes triple the time of the exterior (at least in my case). Hatches, rod holders, rigging, rubrails, trim tabs, jackplates, motor wells, non-skid, etc, all take much more time than anticipated.

The key is to take it one manageable step at a time and don't let it consume your life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Chris Morejohn thanks for posting those. I obviously will still be putting a lot more time into doing some research before I would get close to starting. By then, you might have the book you mentioned out and that might be a good option for me. Or who knows, by then I might go the route of others and do it on my own from what I hope to be familiar with.

Bob, that's the other thing too is I'm sure all of the additional details will be more involved than one would initially think. I do agree that starting something small first would be a good way to familiarize myself with the processes that are going to be necessary for such a project. I also need to make sure that when I move (soon), I have room to do this in some kind of covered area.

Thank you all very much for taking the time to reply, I still have research to do but I am super interested in starting this in the next year or two.
 

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What is the person/ weight capacity of the conchfish 17.5? I’m loving watching these builds and am hoping to start one before the year is over.
I haven’t seen images of builders pouring foam into cavities in the stern or bow, or under the floor, is thay being done or is it not necessary? On a previous boat I built we had sealed compartments with poured in foam for floatation. Keep up the amazing work everyone
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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What is the person/ weight capacity of the conchfish 17.5? I’m loving watching these builds and am hoping to start one before the year is over.
I haven’t seen images of builders pouring foam into cavities in the stern or bow, or under the floor, is thay being done or is it not necessary? On a previous boat I built we had sealed compartments with poured in foam for floatation. Keep up the amazing work everyone
As far as the USCG rating, I'm not sure what it would be -- I think it's a fairly straightforward calculation based off the dimensions of the vessel (not sure though). Chris lists the draft of the skiff at different weights, so he should be able to shed some light on that.

I have some calcs I did on my 17.5 design. They might not be spot on, but they should be close. At 6" draft (assuming the keel is level), the hull *should* displace around 1600 lbs of water. Although I don't plan to do so, I shouldn't have any problem safely carrying 3 people plus gear (I expect my hull, motor, and rigging/fuel to weigh <750 lbs).

Also, I don't think the sealed foam compartments are required on homebuilt boats, but I definitely plan to put some in mine. It's good to be as strategic as possible to prevent instability (rolling over), but really the most important thing is that the hull stays floating, regardless of orientation.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Flotation foam is required on all builds to be compliant.

Fiberglass will not float so foam needs to be added. But remember, this entire boat is foam and will not go to the bottom if swamped. At least I think this would be the case but I would think Chris has made these calculations.
 

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I think many that are interested in building fall in the same or similar category as you including myself. I have excellent carpentry skills and use of tools but what intimidates or discourages me is the lack of fiberglass and resin knowledge and experience.
 

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What is the person/ weight capacity of the conchfish 17.5? I’m loving watching these builds and am hoping to start one before the year is over.
I haven’t seen images of builders pouring foam into cavities in the stern or bow, or under the floor, is thay being done or is it not necessary? On a previous boat I built we had sealed compartments with poured in foam for floatation. Keep up the amazing work everyone
Bryson gives a good weight analysis. Look at the hull lines drawing and the displacement calculation for the depths is there. I go to great lengths and time to figure all this out before the skiff hits the water. That’s why when everyone is saying that these new builds float so nice is because I know how they will float in advance. Store bought skiffs will weight 250-450 lbs more depending on skiff size at the very least.
As for Coast Gaurd calculations for flotation they give you a list of all things that go aboard and what they see is a % of the dead weights, weight when submerged. From this you add up all the singable weights of the skiff and then you calculate the cubic footage of flotations that will be needed to keep the boat from sinking.
You can use foam, and air to keep the boat afloat. So air compartments can work saving weight but they cannot be a section of the skiffs hull.
There is enough cubic feet of core in theses hulls to not sink alone.
A cubic ft is 12x12”=144x12”= 1728 cubic inches = 64 lbs volume in salt water. 62 lbs in fresh water.
Just measure your stack of core before you build and use this formula.
As for working in fiberglass with builds this size it’s kinda like laying up a big surfboard. Cool thing is you can just layup what you are comfortable with at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think many that are interested in building fall in the same or similar category as you including myself. I have excellent carpentry skills and use of tools but what intimidates or discourages me is the lack of fiberglass and resin knowledge and experience.
I wouldn't say I have excellent skills in carpentry but from the reading I've done the experience I do have is adequate. I've been watching some videos on Youtube about laying fiberglass and the resins and such and am getting a better understanding of how it all works, I think.
 

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I wouldn't say I have excellent skills in carpentry but from the reading I've done the experience I do have is adequate. I've been watching some videos on Youtube about laying fiberglass and the resins and such and am getting a better understanding of how it all works, I think.
I should do the same and get some good publications to read up on fiberglass work. I'm itching to build one and with the kind of attention to detail I normally apply to whatever I do, I'm sure it will turn out just fine.
 
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