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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Embarking on a fun little project/challenge. Started today with a 17’ glades style skiff. Bear with me as I didn’t buy plans and am doing the design as well as building. The goal is sub 5” draft, 250lb hull, and here’s the biggie, under $1500. If it lasts five years I’ll be happy. Build will be 1/4” exterior ply, poly resin and left over 6 and 10oz cloth from surfboard building scraps. I do not care about speed, the neighborhood has a ramp and all the fishing I need will be within a couple miles of sheltered running. Planning for 15hp power. I also build surfboards so I understand composites, water flow etc. I’m not a pro but giving this a shot.

Ply and resin should weigh out at 185-200, so add some stringers, rub rail and foam and I’m thinking it’ll be right at 225. Guess we’ll see.

heres today’s progress.

priced some materials

- 1/4” exterior ply, $16/sheet $96
- rub rail, stringers, $100
- floatation foam $120
- poly resin $130/ 5 gallons
- cloth- no cost, all scrap
-2x4’s for strong back / stations $60
- lights, rigging, tank, etc. All used $150
- found a scrap trailer for no cost, looking at $300 to rebuild
- paint $150
- misc supplies, sand paper, fairing, etc $300

looking at $1,406 right now but hoping a can trim cost with some scrap wood finds from local builders.

boat specs are 17’loa X 44” center X 36” stern. I’m starting at 18” gunwales but know I’m going to trim. Kinda working off the lines of a fs18.

I’m going to do my best to follow through with this project so hang tight, I’ll post receipts along with build photos starting soon.
 

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I would save money and not bother fairing it much, you don't need perfection on a skiff that will break apart in 5 years. The 1/4" bcx ply I tried to use in the past was so stiff it cracked when I tried to bend any real curves in it, so I used luan instead. But I'm not sure it would last with poly and light cloth. Adding rail, cleats, bulkheads..... I think 300 is a more reasonable weight to shoot for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why floatation foam? Or rather, you're going to use cheap ply not meant for marine uses, and polyester resin not meant for wood construction, so another words a throw-away hull... why waste the money on floatation foam at that point??
Epoxy is relatively new so to speak, what was used prior?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would save money and not bother fairing it much, you don't need perfection on a skiff that will break apart in 5 years. The 1/4" bcx ply I tried to use in the past was so stiff it cracked when I tried to bend any real curves in it, so I used luan instead. But I'm not sure it would last with poly and light cloth. Adding rail, cleats, bulkheads..... I think 300 is a more reasonable weight to shoot for.
300 would be fine. For me surfboards are disposable. I use them a few years and they are done. So why not a hull? That’s my reasoning. I’ll tie up $550 in a longboard, so why not a little more for a hull. Good to know about the ply cracking.
 

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Epoxy is relatively new so to speak, what was used prior?
I'm not sure what you're asking me here?? Are you asking what materials were used for boat building prior to epoxy? I'm not sure there were many years in between the invention of epoxy resins and polyester resins... all relatively recent in the span of boat building - they are both products of the oil industry essentially. Prior to all that, pitch (tar) was used in conjunction with planks of solid woods (not plies), and the wood would swell up and tighten in the joints to make more waterproof (think of wine/liquor barrels).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not sure what you're asking me here?? Are you asking what materials were used for boat building prior to epoxy? I'm not sure there was many years in between the invention of epoxy resins and polyester resins... all relatively recent in the span of boat building - they are both products of the oil industry essentially. Prior to all that, pitch (tar) was used in conjunction with planks of solid woods (not plies), and the wood wood swell up and tighten in the joints to make more waterproof (think of wine/liquor barrels).
you made it sound like the only way boats were ever built have been epoxy/marine ply. It’s not the case and this is just a fun project that I can knock out quickly, cheap, and be on the water. I’ll hit the ignore button once I post and those who don’t mind me building with exterior ply and poly can follow along.
 

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you made it sound like the only way boats were ever built have been epoxy/marine ply. It’s not the case and this is just a fun project that I can knock out quickly, cheap, and be on the water. I’ll hit the ignore button once I post and those who don’t mind me building with exterior ply and poly can follow along.
I did? you're absolutely correct, boats have been built lots of different ways
 

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Poly can be used and will be fine if...

You have to pre saturate the wood and let it completely dry before putting glass on. It’s good to thin the poly a little so it soaks better into the pores of the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Poly can be used and will be fine if...

You have to pre saturate the wood and let it completely dry before putting glass on. It’s good to thin the poly a little so it soaks better into the pores of the wood.
exactly, a cheater coat. That’s the plan. It creates a binding surface for the unwaxed resin and cloth to adhere.

it’s a good idea to use a cheater with epoxy as well, especially with foam cores. Creates the same bonding surface as with poly. I made a couple high performance surf paddleboards, same lam schedule, shapes came off a cnc, one I did a “fill” or cheater coat and one without. The board with the fill came out 16oz less which is huge for hand lamination.

Travis, what are your thoughts on luan?, since it’s a throw away and really only focused on shallow draft, low power, do you think I would be fine going that route. It’s considerably lighter and less expensive than exterior 1/4”. I have a roll of aerialite X that I got as a second. It is 30” wide 6oz with innegra woven every other strand. Thinking I could run this along the keel.
 

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You are pretty ambitious! I'm building a Salt Boatworks FRS-14, actually just started. Before I made the first cut I had $3.5k invested and that is not counting the outboard or trailer. While in the planning phase I set a total build budget of $3k. I'm not saying you cannot do it but I will say on paper vs real life are often very different.



Michael
 

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I also say go for it. Years ago my dad and I built something like the lumber yard skiff from 1/2” Home Depot ply, poly resin, one layer of cloth on the outside Galvanized deck screws. I laugh at it now but we fished all over Florida with it, towed it to the keys and Bahamas with our sailboat. Flat bottom, 18’ long and super stable. After 5 or 6 years we gave it away. Sure it wasn’t perfect but it did everything it was asked and more. 15 outboard pushed it great.
Under a grand and endless smiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the encouragement. I have also my stations plotted and hope to template them Sunday and get started on the strong back next week. Finishing up some projects with work and should be moving with a quickness once I get going
 

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You are pretty ambitious! I'm building a Salt Boatworks FRS-14, actually just started. Before I made the first cut I had $3.5k invested and that is not counting the outboard or trailer. While in the planning phase I set a total build budget of $3k. I'm not saying you cannot do it but I will say on paper vs real life are often very different.



Michael
No doubt it almost seems like whatever you write down, double it
 
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