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I've been looking at the plans for this boat.

Outboard Dory 16 - Study Plans

It says,

"An inexperienced builder with only a few hand tools can build this hull in less than 80 hours."

Is this really true or just marketing mumbo jumbo?

If I took a week off from my day job and put 10 hours a day for 6 days in a row do you think after 60 hours I would be more than half-way done with this project? I am a inexperienced, first time builder but think this would be fun project. Do you think I should take a boat building class first before taking on a project like this?

Rod
 

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I would recommend a class or two. Then, if you have a shop or place to build, the building jig, the tools, materials and supplies and time... 80 hrs. still seems like a very short window for that boat. Paul Sykes spent 3 yrs. part-time builiding a boat like my project - Simmons 18. It doesn't take 3 yrs. but mine will be stretched over close to a year. I spent more than two weeks part-time just fiberglassing my lower hull. I know I could build another one 3x or 4x as fast. I'm only putting in a few hours per week, so your estimate may not be that far off (10x6) for 1/2 way done. Sure, you'll be at least close to 1/2 way done.
 

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The key question is building or building and putting a finish on it. I find that I spend about the same amount of time putting 3 to 5 coats of varnish on the bright work and 3 to 4 coats of paint on the hull as I do building a boat. 80 hours probably is right if you have a feel for cutting things that are not square and using a plane. I say this because nothing on a boat is square and in the end every thing needs to be fitted.

For the building part often times size does not matter (i.e. for things less than 16 feet long). For instance I spent most of this weekend mounting 12 little pieces of wood that I cut during the week and bending (i.e. forming) up and mounting 4 pieces of copper for the bow and stern of two kayaks. I promise that it was at least 12 to 14 hours worth of work total.

The key is to not count the hours. Consider it a hobby and it is done when it is done. If you were to start a boat like that in Oct. I would not plan on it being done until March or April. Then your wife will be happier and you will enjoy the effort.

Oh and one more thing. . . How long does it take epoxy to dry, etc. Quite frequently you work on it for 2 or 3 hours then have to way 12 to 24 hours before you can move on to the next step. One of the trick that I have found is to know when to use fast setting epoxy and when to use the slow stuff. Even the fast stuff takes 6 to 8 hours before you can sand it well.

Tom
 

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Tom's advice is excellent, as always. He's so right that you don't want to approach building in terms of time and how fast you can build it. Building a boat is nothing like building a deck or a shed. You don't want to rush it, you want to enjoy it. I just lost a week because I didn't order enough copper nails and burrs for riveting my strakes. I spend time learning about the next phase or wood types or epoxy or fiberglassing or fasteners. The boat sits often for a couple weeks at a time while I'm traveling and a couple months during bad weather. I would suggest that you take a class at Woodenboat School in Maine for a really awesome, life-changing experience. Check out their Website. You can stay in the (nice-clean) farmhouse on the site for $400 per week that includes 3 meals a day. You'll have the confidence to build anything and the right skills and knowledge. I will build boats and work on boats for the rest of my life and look forward to every opportunity to spend time at it. The WoodenBoat School

rrr- this forum you started by contacting Brandon is getting traction. Thanks and thanks Brandon.
 

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Rod - I don't know where you live but the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels has a nice boat-building program called Apprentice for a Day. My first choice would be WoodenBoat in Brooklin Maine but you can develop skills and knowledge through CBMM. Classes are only $15 per day if you buy a low-cost annual memebrship to the Museum, which is about $40. That's a bargain because you can bring up to 4 people to visit the museum for free at any time for a full year and you can dock at their slips for free during the day. Jim
 

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I would not say 80 hrs. For an good builder 80 but if you are just starting out double it.


My boat has taken me well over 300.
 

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rrr - The writeup on that Dory is really misleading, isn't it? They shouldn't make some of those statements just to make a buck. "No woodworking skills needed." I feel bad for people that read that stuff and get started, only to find out there more to it. Not that it's hard but that site makes it sound like you are assembling a shelving unit. Jim
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I have briefly browsed some of the other boat building forums and everyone always seems to say they have been working on their boats for 6 months to a year and still not complete. So I did think the 80 hours was misleading but just wanted some more input. However, some of the boats on Bateau.com - boat plans on line since 1993 do say they offer pre-cut package kits. But every time I click on one of the pre-cut package links to see the price, they say "out of stock". So maybe if you start with a pre-cut package kit then maybe it's possible to complete in 80hours.:scratchchin3:

The Apprentice for a Day program looks like a good way to get exposed to boat building. I may have to make a trip over there and take the class so I get a better idea what is involved before deciding to take on a project myself.
 

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rrr - The writeup on that Dory is really misleading, isn't it? They shouldn't make some of those statements just to make a buck. "No woodworking skills needed." I feel bad for people that read that stuff and get started, only to find out there more to it. Not that it's hard but that site makes it sound like you are assembling a shelving unit. Jim
I couldn't agree more. If the directions say no wood working skills needed in plans to build a boat made from wood I don't care who you are your going need to know a little something it.
 

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There are some good looking boats on that site but to build a 28' from nothing? It would be a god awful amount of work.
 

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Rod - Please know that I am in no way trying to discourage you Boat building is the best hobby I ever found. I love boats and it's fun working through the various phases of construction. You will put in a lot of hours but you keep developing more knowledge and skills, then the best part, you'll have something really special in the end. I mounted the third of 6 lapstrakes today and it took the best part of the day, starting about 10 a.m. and wrapping up around 4 p.m. One plank. I had to cut two gains on each end - four total - and there's a lot of measuring, clamping up, unclamping, drawing lines on it for mounting and riveting. If you build a boat longer than 8 feet, you have to scarf pieces together. I have two scarf joints on each plank. That takes a little time, mostly for the epoxy to cure. I have a bit of a handicap because I'm allergic to marine epoxy and have to wear an air-forced respirator hood. Today was my first day using the new system and it does work well. I was using a full face respirator without an air supply before but it's worthless when it's hot or cold outside. The fumes from uncured epoxy is what gets me and I'm fine once it dries for about 12 hours in this weather or 24 hrs. in 70 degree weather. Tom was talking about epoxy cure times and even though I can work with it in 24 hrs., epoxy doesn't fully cure for about 3 days. So as he said, even with stitch and glue, you're going to be waiting for epoxy to dry because you don't want to be putting any stress on the joints until the epoxy is cured. Keep us posted on what you decide to do and I hope you get started on one. It's smart to do a lot o reading and research first and take a day triup to St. Michaels sometime and check out the Apprentice for a Day program. For reference, I believe they spend about 4 months on an average build of a 14-16 ft. boat, with about five people working. I couldnt have doen this when I had young children at home.. Jim
 

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Jim,

I was workin on my steering today. My dad is in Ct taking the bridge off his new boat which will be here monday. Can't wait to put some pictures on here! Anyway it is very confusing and it took my and one of my buddies about 1 1/2 just to get mounted up. It should be rockin n rollin by wensday or thurs.:D
 

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rrr- yo can do it all! Good luck finishing that up. Jim
 

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The 80 hours quote is just to have the hull finished. This means wood cut, spliced together and the seams and bottom probably glassed and that's about it. Maybe paint before flipping. The decks, consoles, topside paint, wiring will require more than that.

Below is a quote from one of their VERY straightforward boats, the 18' garvey which is their version of the Carolina Skiff or jon Boat, note the claim between hull completion and finished boat.

The hull can be build in 25 hours but a finished boat will require 60 hours or more depending on the level of detail and the skills of the builder.
Complete boat at 2 1/2 times that of just building the hull, so a hull at 80 hours really equates to about 200 hours for the complete boat=5 weeks full time, probably about right for a 16' boat.

Bateau's building method is based on stich and glue. The plywood is cut with a circular saw or jig saw in some cases. then the wood drilled and either taped together or tied toegther with wire ties. Then the seams fiberglass taped and the bottom covered with glass and the sanding done. At that point the hull is built, as they claim.
 
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