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Building a new boat The Crackerbox

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  • Building a new boat The Crackerbox

    By: Sean-Nos
    It all began with a few planks of wood two of douglas fir that will be used as the motor stringers and one of mahogany to start making the frames. This is my second build, and since this is an inboard it throws up a few more problems than just putting an outboard on the back. However, I do like a challenge and a bit of head scratching to keep me occupied. I had already been searching eBay for all the fittings like the windshield brackets and bow light at a good price. I'd set myself a limit for each item and would not get into a bidding war on them as I do like a glass of wine at night and I could end up losing my shirt.
    Since this build is on a very low, to none, budget I used quite a bit of reclaimed timber along with what I could find in skips. I also went around to local woodworking shops for extra pieces of wood. Here, I have the frames cut out and put in place using the motor stringers as part of the building frame. As you can see I'm very tight for space on each side, so this is about as big of a boat that I can build.
    Next step is the keel, battens and framework, instead of going with the flat back transom I decided to build a barrel back not only for the look but as I was going to use a gearbox instead of direct drive every extra inch would help me get the angle of the prop shaft down another degree without upsetting the centre of gravity to much.
    The first skin of marine ply was glued on with thickened epoxy, then screwed on first to hold it in place, and just before it is fully set I removed the screws and fill the holes. At this stage, it's nice to see the boat finally taking shape.
    After putting up a few boats and engines to sell on classified websites, I was able to get enough money to buy a donor boat. I was hoping to use all the running gear, trailer and engine, and I couldn't believe my luck when the engine started right up this is too good to be true, the boat was immaculate. I stripped down the engine, and it turned out to have a cracked block, some choice words were said as this left me up ****'s creek without an engine.
    After a bit of saving, I was able to buy a new 5.7 long block, and once I had the engine rebuilt I was able to built up a copy of the hull of the boat and work out all the angles, and point to drill the shaft hole.
    Back at the boat the planking was done and a coat of 6oz fiberglass cloth.
    For the paint, I went with interlux pre-kote primer and top coat applied by the roll and tipping later to be fine sanded and polished.
    Boat flipped and at last somewhere to sit and make engine noises it's a bit daunting having this big lump of an engine in front of you maybe it makes up for my shortcomings.
    Once the engine, fuel tank, dash, plumbing and wiring were complete I then covered deck with 1/4 marine ply and then planked it with 1/4 mahogany leaving a 1/4" gap between each plank for caulking.
    If you don't like sanding stay away from wooden boats I had no finger prints for a few weeks getting the finish down to where I was happy, and this is only the start of the sanding I still have to add a few coats of epoxy and then build up the varnish sanding between each coat.

    After all the varnishing, I made the seats fitted the windshield, and she was ready for the first dip in the water to check for any leaks and see how she sits. My last boat was sold to a lakeside hotel called Wineport lodge I got a few free nights thrown into the deal, so it was the perfect place to go as I could leave my wife to go and get pampered while I spent the day on the boat. All in all, everything went quite well there was a bit of leaking from the stuffing box around the prop shaft and she started proposing at around 40 MPH.


    Well that's the story so far I have now added trim tabs, and she is ready for her launch on Lough Ree here in Ireland on the 1st of march weather permitting. Full details of my build can be seen under "New build crackerbox" on the iboats forum.
    Last edited by iboats.com; December 11th, 2014, 02:06 PM.
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