Materials


Costs

Even the most financially incompetent would like to know how much a project like this will cost, so here is a breakdown of what has been spent on materials. Since I purchase on a "as-needed" basis, this list will be updated frequently. I am only including items that will become a permanent part of the boat. Timber for the strongback, paint brushes, gloves, sandpaper and so forth are not included. The Commissioning section shows things that were needed to get the boat to the water and to use it safely. Amounts are in US Dollars.

Wood Poplar for Various $113.35
  Aspen for Traveler Beam $9.37
  Marine Fir Ply 1/4" - 4 $141.03
  Marine Fir Ply 3/8" - 17 $807.52
  Marine Fir Ply 1/2" - 5.5 $303.09
  Milled African Mahogany & Fir $112.86
  Milled Honduras Mahogany & Fir $424.89
  Milled African Mahogany for Trim $163.65
  Ash for Oars $48.07
     
Fasteners, Epoxy, and 1" #6 Zinc Wood Screws $36.76
Fiberglass 1-1/4" #6 Zinc Wood Screws $9.11
  1-1/2" #6 Zinc Wood Screws $3.02
  3/4" Bronze Boat Nails $3.65
  System Three #1 Hardener - 1 gal. $53.00
  System Three #2 Hardener - 2.5 gal. $110.00
  System Three #3 Hardener - 2.5 gal. $118.00
  System Three Resin - 12.5 gal. $490.40
  West System 105 Resin - 1 gal. $64.53
  West System 206 Hardener - 0.8 quart $25.60
     
  Filler - Collodial Silica $122.66
  Filler - Microlite Filler $10.24
  Filler - Microfibers $16.20
  Filler - Graphite Powder $6.79
  White Paste Pigment $7.28
  10oz Woven Cloth - 35 yds $262.08
  20oz Triaxial Cloth - 6yds $74.88
  Caulk - 3M 4200 $28.18
  Caulk - Polyurethane (Generic) $11.73
  Caulk - Silicon $9.20
     
Hardware Harken Centerboard Control Blocks $89.93
  Various Nuts, Bolts, Washers, Screws $199.50
  Harken Eyestraps - 96 $109.89
  RWO Rudder Control Blocks $28.14
  Harken Mainsail Traveler System $268.04
  Harken Mainsheet Blocks $99.41
  Harken Boomvang Blocks $71.29
  Various Blocks $31.33
  Various Shackles $14.90
  Various Padeyes $83.95
  Hatch Hinges and Locks $143.64
  8" ABI Yacht Cleats - 4 $41.96
  Chocks - 1 Pair $16.31
  Centerboard Pennant $10.98
  Oarlocks - 2 $31.12
  Various Nylon Cleats $56.37
  Fairleads - 8 $7.90
  Spinlock PX Clutch - 2 $62.69
  Lewmar 6A Winch $104.49
  Winch handle $26.06
  Suunto B-116W Compass $125.39
  Running Light $20.89
  U-Bolts - 6 $28.29
  Rudder Pintles and Gudgeons $117.75
  Outhaul S-Hook $4.17
     
Rig Carbon Fiber Mast $1822.89
  Various Dacron Line $229.43
  5/8" Sail Track - 30 ft. $114.91
  Masthead Sheave $7.30
  Shackle $6.26
  Assembled Boom + Gooseneck $703.94
  Davis Windex $30.29
  S/S Ring $5.21
  Ronstan Small Blocks - 2 $12.53
  Nylon Webbing $5.12
  Sail $1392.99
     
Finishing Interlux Epoxy Barrier-Kote - 6 Qt $124.29
  Interlux Reducing Solvent - 2 Qt $27.14
  Interlux Premium Yacht Enamel - 2 Qt $31.33
  Interlux Brightside White - 3 Qt $62.67
  Interlux Brightside Seattle Gray - 2 Qt $41.78
  Interlux Brightside Sea Green - 1 Qt $20.89
  Interlux Poly Non-Skid - 1 Qt $21.93
  Boat Graphics $36.23
     
Miscellaneous Lead Pigs (700 lbs.) for Ballast - 25 $625.88
  8x12 Bomar Inspection Hatches - 5 $203.96
  6" Bomar Round Deckplate $10.96
  4" Beckson Round Deckplate $10.44
  Mast Tube Assembly $710.60
  Centerboard Assembly $668.80
  Aluminum Conduit for Various $7.24
  Portlight Glass - 2 $22.74
  Oarlock Twine $2.06
  Weather stripping $8.73
  Flag holders $17.33
  HIN Tags $10.45
     
Construction Total $12,377.85
     
Commissioning Trailer plus modifications $681.56
  Sea Anchor (Army Surplus) $22.50
  Horn $10.44
  5 lb. Folding Anchor Kit $32.10
  13 lb. Anchor Kit $68.96
  Leadline Kit $17.72
  Origo Flare/Locator Kit $52.24
  Logbook $17.75
  7 X 50mm Binoculars $62.99
  First Aid Kit $31.34
  Kidde Fire Extinguisher $13.57
  Docklines $25.02
  Fenders - 4 $20.90
  ICOM Handheld VHF Radio $139.99
  Cotter pin kit $4.17
  Sail Repair Tape $8.35
  Safety Whistle - 2 $3.55
     
Overall Total $13,591.00

Tools

Let's face it. All the boat building dreamers out there would love to have the tool arsenal of the New Yankee Workshop along with the levitated reality of showing the construction as a 30-minute exercise. Building a boat is a very time consuming process worthy of Thomas Edison's remarks: 5% innovation and 95% sheer drudgery. Since I don't have vast monetary resources, I make the drudgery part entertaining by thinking of ways I can do the job without having to make endless runs to Home Depot for yet another $60 gizmo. Think of it this way: the less you spend on tools, the more money you have to pump into the boat. To show other potential builders (and anybody else) that it can be done with not a whole lot, here is a list of tools that I am using for construction.

Hand Power Tools Jigsaw (duh!) Belt Sander - 3"x24" (R.I.P.)
  Power Planer (best $60 I ever spent) High Speed Drill - small
  Big Drill SkilSaw (rarely used)
  Orbital Sander Belt Sander - 3"x18"
     
Hand Tools Small Planer Various sized screwdrivers
  6" C-clamps - 3 2-1/2" C-clamp - 1
  4" C-clamps - 1 2" C-clamps - 3
  3" C-clamps - 1 Hammer
     

Notice that there are some things that are missing. Like a table saw. I had a beautiful table saw (an inheritance) for my other boat building forays, but I had to sell it after Failure #2. This time I decided to try to get along without it and so far I've been pretty successful. If anyone has read Annie Hill (Voyaging on a Small Income) and think that I'm starting to sound like her, I don't take financial frugality to such a masochistic extent. Since this boat will be responsible for my life while I'm on the water, I will cut no corners in quality of materials or workmanship. But I will agree with the Hills that building a smaller boat allows for extra money to lavish upon it, like a carbon fiber mast or a top-of-the-line sail.

Other Supplies

No doubt you've figured by now that I'm leaving out some indispensible items, and so I will cover them here. This is a section that is mostly my opinion and doesn't involve any right or wrong way to do things.

Brushes - I used to buy the really cheap hair brushes for epoxying, and then throw them away after one use. I found that the thickness of the epoxy frequently pulled out some of the hairs, leaving me to pick them out later. Drawing from some advise in H. "Dynamite" Payson's books I started buying the really cheap brushes with the plastic bristles, and then after each use I clean them in acetone. Surprise, surprise, they last for quite a few uses and they keep all of their bristles.

Vinyl Gloves - In my opinion an essential part of dealing with epoxy. A number of people become sensitized to the epoxy after repeated exposure (well known builder, author, and adventurer John Guzzwell being one of them). I haven't yet, but I might. Gloves are the minimum for protection. I would add long pants, especially for the men. I have had to pick solidified epoxy out of the hair on my legs and Hey!, it hurts, okay?

Epoxy Mixing Containers - Get the small plastic cups found in the paint section of most hardware stores. If you have hardened epoxy left from a job, you can wiggle the plastic enough so the epoxy pulls loose. Then you can reuse the cup. Don't forget lots of tongue depressors, too. I clean mine with a rag after each use so I can reuse them over and over. And think about it, once a tongue depressor is saturated with hardened epoxy it becomes the strongest piece of wood in medical history.

Face Mask - I just use the cheap ones, but I think they are essential when dealing with epoxy fillers. Collodial silica is similar to asbestos and flies all over the place. Apparently graphite powder is equivalently nasty stuff. Although I don't use them, face goggles would probably be a good idea also. I'll probably break down and get a pair when I start the large-scale sanding/fairing of the hull.

Vacuum - Yep! I finally succumbed to buying a Shop-Vac. But they were on sale so I couldn't resist. The major advantage of having a vacuum was apparent after I turned the hull over. When it was on the building frame, any creation of sawdust fell out of the boat. But having the hull right side up means that gravity is no longer on your side. 3 hp seems to do the trick. My son was pretty impressed with its power.

Wood

Let me make a few comments about wood. There is a lot of excellent wood out there that is tailored for boat building. You constantly hear about oak, mahogany, teak, sitka spruce as ideal woods for different applications. Other woods, on the other hand, are generally shunned from marine use. The crimes are rotting, no strength, and won't bend without breaking.

Now, the biggest problem with the "good woods" is that you never find them readily available. Like as not they are grown in some far off rain forest, kiln dried in special ovens, then packed on a leaky ship that limps around the world twice before delivering it the nearest port. The price you pay to get it to your door makes you wonder if you are singlehandedly financing a third world nation's economy. When you trudge down to your local lumber supplier, which might just be a nationwide chain, what you can get will depend on the selection and the price that you can afford.

My choices came down to pretty much the same issues of affordability and availability. But there are 2 woods on my material list that don't fit the traditional boat building paradigm. I used poplar for the stem, skeg, parts of the rudder assembly and the hatchboard rails. Poplar is a soft hardwood, if that makes sense. It is light, fairly strong, and cheap. Poplar is also unstable (meaning expands and contracts with changes in water content), can change significantly in quality from board to board, and is fairly porous on the end grain. Hence the aversion to its use on boats. Using epoxy changes the rules somewhat. My personal experience is that epoxy prefers wood that is somewhat porous to achieve a superior bond. When I broke up Failure #1, the weakest glue joints were those involving oak. Poplar's unstable attribute is solved by simply sealing the whole board with epoxy and paint, something that I'd do as a matter of course anyway. My other requirement is how well the wood holds a screw. Poplar is not great, but it's acceptable. I didn't have any trouble with the bigger screws in the stem to hold the chine logs in place. The other non-traditional wood I've used is aspen. This is another hardwood that is soft, light, and cheap. It is also weak, likes to warp after drying, doesn't hold a screw very well, and is pretty porous. But what attracted me to using it as the traveler beam was aspen's resistance to breaking. When it fails, it doesn't break at one single point but rather pulls up the fibers over a wide area. Sounds perfect for a traveler that needs strength over the entire beam. Again, the whole piece will be sealed with epoxy and painted over.

Epoxy is not a cure-all, but it does allow consideration of other woods that weren't practical before.

"Ignoranti quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est."

"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable." Seneca the Younger, c. 3BC-65AD


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