Classic Wooden Yacht Tender #1: Step 1 - To loft, or not to loft

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Blog entry by SemperSailor posted 01-14-2018 12:43 PM 2153 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Classic Wooden Yacht Tender series Part 2: Transferring Lines w/ Tissue Paper »

Hello Fellow Lumberjocks,

I’ve been bitten by the bug. I am obsessed with learning how to build wooden boats. I have no wood-working experience (and very few tools), and am reading everything I can get my hands on. It’s a little intimidating, but I do like a challenge. This will certainly be a test of patience for me.

I have the plans for Sunshine, a 10’ 6” yacht tender originally designed in 1914 and has beautiful lines. I actually opted to buy the lofted plan as a jump start to my project, and feel like I am cheating a bit

I’ll start adding pictures when I figure out how.

S. Fi,

7 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3401 days

#1 posted 01-14-2018 03:16 PM

If by lofted plan you mean full size patterns, it is a big jump start and will save you a lot of time.
That said you will learn A LOT about the design and boat building in general if you loft it yourself.
Lofting however is a complex and tricky process to understand and is not easy to learn without some instruction.
The best description I can think of is found in the Classic bible of wooden boat building “Boatbuilding” by Howard I Chapelle.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2775 days

#2 posted 01-14-2018 03:42 PM

Go for it. To add pictures just use the img button and select the file from you computer. Definitely want to see pictures.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View libraryman's profile


45 posts in 4348 days

#3 posted 01-14-2018 03:44 PM

You have chose a beautiful design by Walter Simmons. I’m sure you got your plans from Duck Trap. They have a book for sale which describes the build in detail. However, you must first decide which planking you are going to build with. The Sunshine can be lapstrake ( overlapping strakes glued along the edges with Epoxy), cedar planking (planks butted together then shaped and caulked), Strip planked (thin cedar strips apox 1” x 1/4” butted together then glued and faired off, or cold molded ( see Chapelle’s book for description.) I’ve also found the Building Small Boats by Greg Rossel very helpful and covering all the above choices for planking. You will also find the Wooden Boat Forum from Wooden Boat Magazine helpful for answers for when you get stuck. Keep in mind that the price difference between cheap materials and high quality materials is neglible in the long run and will last so much longer after your many of hours of building. One step at a time does it.

View SemperSailor's profile


28 posts in 756 days

#4 posted 01-16-2018 01:17 AM

Ahh, here we go. I think I have the picture thing figured out.

Libraryman, you are correct. Is that an example in your profile pic? I think I am partial to the 3/8 inch cedar planks butted together and glued.

View libraryman's profile


45 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 01-16-2018 11:18 PM

A good choice for planking….if you have a supply of clear cedar. What kind of cedar is available in your area? Yes the boat in the picture was my last boat build…a Crabbing Skiff. Didn’t need to loft it. I’m currently building a Skerry Raid as a canoe yawl. Plans from John Harris at CLC. Could not afford the kit…..but the plans are full size for all the planking and bulkheads. Has saved me a ton of work. I’m about half way done with her. Cheers and fair winds.

View SemperSailor's profile


28 posts in 756 days

#6 posted 01-20-2018 02:01 AM

Ugh, I’m off to a slow start. My borrowed band saw does not cut straight. it’s a Skil 3104 10”...3-wheel. Driving me crazy…

View jimintx's profile


933 posts in 2187 days

#7 posted 01-27-2018 02:10 PM

I think I’d cut the cross-section patterns for the stations with a hand held jig saw, and not try to use a bandsaw.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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