Boats can be built from a variety of materials. Typically fiberglass, wood, steel, or aluminum. This boat was built from a combination of wood and fiberglass.
Boats built from wood usually employ exotic “marine” ply or to save on cost “exterior grade” ply wood. Since I just wanted a boat that floats and knew I would be fiber-glassing it anyway I chose a high quality 5 ply 1/4″ exterior plywood available at my local lumberyard. My total cost was just under $80 for the four sheets that the bolger cartopper requires. This represents the largest materials expense in building the boat.
The rest of the boat required a small amount of douglass fir lumber, about 200 ring shank nails, 8 yards of 6oz bidirectional fiberglass cloth, 1.5 gallons of polyester resin(If i did it again I would use epoxy resin), and some electrical fence wire(for stitching panels together).
My total cost not including engine was $300
Tools that I used: Power Drill various drill bits mostly 1/8 inch or less Saber Saw Hand Power Planer(the most useful tool) Hand Belt Sander Hack Saw Miter Box Miter Saw Table Saw(Only needed twice, borrow if possible)
I am going to go over how to loft the design first, and simply reference it throughout the rest of the instructable. Lofting is just a game of connect the dots, and it is the first step in building most stitch and glue boats. The plans come with a sheet depicting the layout of all the plywood parts with numbers showing various points on each component. Thinking of the points like they are on an xy plane all you have to do is take the horizontal and vertical distances from the plans, measure and transfer them to the plywood. Then when each point is plotted drive a brad nail into each dot. Now all you have to do is connect the dots. Obviously we can't use straight lines, so we will use a batten. Which is a long, thin, straight, and flexible piece of wood. Mine was about 3/8" x 3/4" x 150". Take the batten and place it against the outside of the nails. My batten was flexible enough that I was able to attach it to the brad nails with clothes pins. At this point the curve of the batten represents the shape of the panel. Use the batten as an edge to draw the curved line from one nail to the next. Be sure to double check the measurement. Obviously if you have one available to you a shopbot would greatly improve the quality of lofting, and hopefully one will be in my shop one day to help me produce more small boats and molds for high power rockets. The plans are very detailed when it comes to laying out the panels. There are five panels, three frames, plus the transom. 1- Using the directions for lofting, loft the bottom panel, one bilge panel, and one side panel. Cut them all out then use the bilge and side panels as patterns. 2- flip the bilge and side panel onto the sheets, weight them down, and trace around them to make exact replicas. Then cut out. 3- Loft and cut out the transom 4- Loft and cut out the frames A,B,and C. However, keep the center sections in place to help with rigidity. note: If you are anything like me the lines you cut aren't perfectly smooth, so cut just past outside of them and use your power plane or belt sander to smooth everything to the cut line.