Steven ToddMs. TilleryBritish Literature11 March 2012 Building a Wooden Jon Boat Have you ever experienced the way a wooden boat rides up a little river. Buildingwooden boats have been around forever, to transport people and their cargo and help catch morefish. Since I love spending so much time on the water, I decided to use some low costingmaterials and hardware to build my own boat by hand. This project was successful and fun, yet itwill test your skills with wood work. Once I decided that I would build a wooden boat for my senior project, I did someresearch on wooden boats and how they are made. The main thing was to come up with a goodbuilding plan. I did not choose building a boat because of my future. I am going to a mechaniccollege in North Carolina, I was interested in joining a marine college for boats and yachts butthere is a bigger demand in cars in this economic time. When reading about how to build awooden boat some articles will tell you what step to do first and how you can add strips of woodto stiffen the boat. There are so many different types of boat all having different lay outdepending on what you plan on using them for. When I chose my project facilitator Jim Bauch I chose him because I knew that he couldteach me how to lay fiber glass and give me advice throughout the process of building the boat.Jim works on cars and also does restoration on older car, planes, and boats. Which means Jim iswell experienced with fiber glass, bondo, painting, and wood work. Within this project Jim was alot of help and taught me many things with how to mix up the fiber glass resin and mixing up
bondo. Also how to apply them to my jon boat. Another helpful thing was if I was to not havethe tool needed then most likely Jim had one. Except a belt sander. which I bought at Lowes. When building the boat I went to Lowes and started off with two sheets of 1/4 inch of bcpine. This type of wood can be used to build boats which is a marine grade wood. On the sheets Idrew out the plans of the sides and floor. Which I then cut the sides and floor out of two sheets ofwood with a table saw. Then I took the side walls and floor and sanded one side on each sheetwith a belt sander to get a smooth equal angle. Where I then joined the two pieces together tomake two 12 foot long walls and one 12 foot 30inch wide floor. For an example a standard sheetof ply wood is four feet by eight feet. So for the floor I combined a eight foot by three foot pieceto a four foot by three foot to make one solid floor. Which is a 12 foot by three foot. Whencombining them I used an adhesive (liquid nail) to hold it together and added an extra piece ofwood for extra support across the joint. While it was drying a cut the bow plate and transom outof a special 3/4 in ply wood that has to be ordered and is round 70 dollars a sheet. Then I tookthe two sides and clamped them together and on one corner every six inches i measured anddrew a line for the shape of the bow. I then cut along that line with a jig saw so each sheet wouldhave the same curve for the bow. That is when I started to connect the sides to the bow plate andtransom. After the boat was taking shape I added several strips of wood at the front of the boat topush the sides out called cleats, which really helped it take the shape of a boat. Then I screwedall the strips on and added the seats in using 3/4 inch bc pine ply wood. I Used a four by eightfoot sheet of wood to draw my seats then cut them out with a table saw. After completing that Ilaid the floor starting at the bow, pushing it down and screwing it in place about every foot. Ialso screwed them to the cleats and ran the adhesive along the sides and floor. Then trying todecide what I would add to the bow I flipped it back over and decided that I would add a deck to
the front. I took some measurements three inches from the top and every six inches across. Idrew it out on a 1/4 sheet of ply wood then tried to cut it with the table saw since it was 1/4 woodand I was tired of the jig saw. But I almost lost my finger because trying to cut an non straightline in a table saw is a bad idea. Once I had it cut out I reinforced the bottom of the deck to holdsome weight. Then the floor where it was attached to the sides, I had to cut the excess floor offwith a jigsaw. It was a little tricky trying not to cut into the sides since I could not see where Iwas cutting. After cutting the excess wood of I went around with a belt sander to smoothen allthe corners and any wood that I missed. Shortly after I used a disc cutter and put a sanding diskon it to smoothen any screws that were not flush with the wood. I then decided I would addsome gussets to the transom to help make it stronger for a motor. So I cut the triangle out and cutsome angle out so they would match the side perfect. Then I showed my project facilitator myprogress and he was satisfied. yet Jim my project facilitator told me to go back and add woodenrails along the side of the boat and to add support under the seats. After adding the rails and extrasupport I went to Jims shop in Woodstock and Jim taught me how to lay fiberglass and then Ifiber glassed the whole outside hull of my boat. The next day I came back and used a randomorbit sander to smooth any high rough spots of fiber glass, which was pretty itchy in a t-shirt andalso added a little extra fiber glass to the corners to take the impact of underwater debris. Thenthe following day I then bondoed, which is a filler used on cars to smoothen out dents. But thewhole outside of the hull was bondoed and then sanded with a orbit sander, starting at 80gritsandpaper which is ruff to 320grit which is smooth. I brought the boat back home where Ifinished fiber glassing the entire inside of the boat with just the resin. Also I fiber glassed thedeck in permanently and fiber glassed the gussets. When I stuck the boat in the garage I got introuble for stinking the house up because the resin puts out a strong odor. Eventually I took the
boat back down to Jim and he taught me how to mix the paint and primer the boat. Once theprimer dried I went back and did some touch ups with bondo and then re primed it. Before I leftthe shop I sanded the rails and taped them so they would just be sprayed with a clear coat. Then Ibrought the boat back home where I then primed the entire inside and got it ready for paint. Imixed the paint with a 2-1-1 quart ratio and sprayed it in the back yard. The only mess up waswhen the boat feel when I had it standing up to paint the bottom. I had to take a wet rag to wipethe grass off. Then gave the boat a clear coat. I let the paint dry over night then I took bed linerand painted the top of the fishing deck and gussets. I then decided to go to Tractor Supply andbuy three black handles for the boat and put two on the back and one on the front.. The daybefore I took my boat on the water I added a transom saver and sanded the wooden rails againbecause I taped them bad and then painted the rails with a clear coat. Also I added a piece ofwood and sheet of metal because the motor is too big for the boat and so it would not rub into thewood. When I took the boat out for a test run there was one small hole leaking which I fixed withfiberglass resin. Other then that the boat ran great. Building a boat was a great project and a lotof fun. During the past few months I have learned a lot about how a boat is made and how tobuild them. This boat took 109.5 hours to build and approximately around 600 dollars just tobuild not counting any material I already had. I would enjoy working on boat as a job in life butI am going to school to be a auto mechanic and boats will always be my hobby whether I amrelaxing, fishing, or building them.