Introduction

Did you build that? Did you buy a kit?

Did you build that? Did you buy a kit?

I build my first boat, a Bolger Teal, the Summer my wife was pregnant with Maggie. It’s a simple boat to build; all straight cuts and easy to assemble. Three sheets of plywood, a few 2x4s and a couple of weekends on the patio.

When I’d take it sailing, people would ask “Did you build that?”

“Yes, I did!”

“Did you buy a kit?”

“No, I went down to the lumber yard and bought some wood.”

“Really? How do you bend the wood?” (People ask this because somewhere back in their mind they know about steam-bent frames uses in caravel construction.)

“You just push on it and it bends. Like a branch in the wind.”

Above is a lumber bid for Mon Tiki. Unlike that first Teal, Mon Tiki won’t be built from ACX fir. It’ll be built from BS1088 certified marine ply. And we’ll be using vertical grain Doug Fir ($$$!) instead of lumber yard sticks.

But the process is more or less the same. Cut the plywood out in the specified shapes. Put it all together using the dimensional lumber to for the shape. Wood, saws, glue and screws. It’s really not any more complicated than that!