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HOME - Dream Catcher Model Sailboat  Kits Ready For Christmas!

sternsailart3S.jpg (49905 bytes) Summer Breeze! - This is the story of an 11'8" long 50" beam 16" sides, 500 lb capacity skiff from two sheets of 1/4" 4x8 plywood. Award winning - She won the 2001 Duckworks design contest. 
   Getting Started:
Getting started
Quarter knees
Mast Partner
Mast & Spars
If you're already a boat builder you probably recognize an easy build when you see one, so you don't need any encouragement from me. Have fun. If you're new to boat building or haven't built a boat before you've found a good place to start with Summer Breeze.


This is the most important ingredient in creating anything. If you have a vision you're set. If not, try making the paper model. Imagine how you'll feel when you launch your new boat you made with your own hands. Imagine they way you intend to use your boat. Dream a little.


If you can read a tape measure, saw near a pencil line, drill a hole and hammer a nail you have all the skills you need. As you'll see, none of it is as mysterious as it sometimes looks.


  • Measure & Mark: tape measure, straight edge, pencil - bevel guage
  • Cut: hand saw, saber saw, circular saw
  • Drill: hand or electric drill (cordless is nice)
  • Sanding:  block & paper, electric palm sander, hand belt sander
  • Finishing: foam roller & tray, roller covers, foam brushes, bondo or exterior filler
  • Clamps - the more the better, but you can make some of PVC too.


      2 - 4x8 sheets of 1/4" exterior plywood. (I've used Marine grad, AC, BC & Luan)

     The solid wood pieces can be of fir, spruce, yellow pine, cypress or whatever you can find.


Being a "belt and suspenders" kind of guy, I like to use glue and fasteners. The theory being if you use nails or screws sufficient to hold the boat together by themselves, plus a modern glue that could hold the boat together by itself, you have a built in safety margin. Either can fail and you can still be afloat. On top of that when using fasteners, you can often continue on with building while the glue continues to cure.


SSscrews2.jpg (35147 bytes) Stainless steel deck screws are available in most hardware stores. I like the square drive heads myself, but philips is fine. I use them to attach the (optional) inwales through the spacers into the rub-rails. Also, where the frame pieces overlap, and attaching the seat risers. I used to use little 3/4" SS screws to glue on the sides and bottom, but partly for economic reasons I have grown fond of bronze ring nails for that purpose. They both hold as well, screws are removable, but getting the heads flush and filled well is a challenge.
drywall.jpg (15377 bytes) Screws can be used temporarily like you would clamps. Drywall screws with little pieces of plywood are great for this. The ply keeps the screw head from pulling down into the boat piece you're holding which minimizes the hole you will be filling later. I try to keep a bunch around in different lengths.


bronze14_75.jpg (9078 bytes)  Bronze ring nails are sometimes called "boat nails" and are a great invention. They hold as well as screws, are relatively cheap and easy to use, and if you hit one with a tool, say a hand plane, it doesn't damage the blade. Bronze is softer than steel and so steel will cut it. They are available in many sizes my favorites are #14 3/6", 7/8" and #12 7/8", 1", 1.25".


PL Premium, Titebond II, Epoxy


HOME - Dream Catcher Model Sailboat  Kits Ready For Christmas!