I still remember reading Kulczicki's book over and over and not realizing I didn't understand the building process until it came time to glue everything up. I made two compounded plywood designs using New Wave Systems' ProSurf3 for developing the panels. Compounded-plywood boatbuilding is, for the most part, limited to long, narrow hulls such as kayaks, multihull sailboats, rowing shells, and a few canoes. This page illustrates some of the boats that you can buy or have built to your specifications. I used to sail Moth and Cherub dinghies in my youth but for some time have had it in mind to get a little una-rigged dinghy to potter about in. I used to have a little thing called a Poole AB but found it was too heavy to car-top, so decided to build something lighter. After I'd looked at the available kits, and picked myself off the floor after seeing the prices, I looked at plans for soething about 9 feet long, but most were for flatties or glued clinker. Making partial slits in the ply is the other possibility, but I'm worried about going too far, and I'm not sure which way to run the slits in relation to the direction of twist.
I did a lot of experiements with torturing ply when I was first looking at designing and building a hull for my electric boat (I ended up buying a Winsome hull from Swallow Boats). What I found was that tortured ply doesn't really have much of a 3D bend in it, even though it looks as if it does.
Heres a shot after stitching these two bits of ply to shape, with a central bulkhead to give the right shape amidships. This shot shows the bulkhead a bit better and also shows the inner gunwale strips I added to give some shape to the sheer (the sheer maturally develops from the ply shapes shown earlier).
This was the finished model, with strips added for a sole (and to stiffen and flatten this area).
I'd agree with the suggestions others have made regarding the torturing of plywood, you could also try playing it any of Barry Manilow's records. Building a Fiberglass Layout Boat and Scull Boat Building From a Plaster Male Plug-A One-Off Boat You have to be passionate about designing and building your own boat from a plaster mold.
When I started designing my layout boat, I couldn't decide between a flat bottom or a slightly rounded bottom. If you wonder what the hanging metal pieces are on the combing, they are metal hangers for netting.
The truth of the matter, however, was that my second boat was the best scull boat that I ever owned.
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I've read the Gougeon Brothers book on boat construction chapter dealing with that and it suggests trial and error method. It shows stuff that is purportedly not developable in red under developability check but the program was originally written for steel plate and ship building. Like a dummy I even altered the design slightly which nearly made it impossible to attach the front deck.
It is similar to Chris Kulczycki's Yare kayak which again is similar to Dennis Davis' DK 13 kayak.
This process stresses the wood - and perhaps the builder - to the limit; hence, tortured plywood. Designing compounded-plywood boats is both fascinating and frustrating; the results are often not as you had hoped.


Because compounded-plywood boats can be beautiful, efficient, and sleek, and it is thrilling to see them take shape. I'm wanting something that will sail better than a flattie but is easier to build than glued clinker, so I decided to design a simple hard-chine boat and see what was the most boat I can get out of 2 sheets of plywood, using stitch-and-tape. It doesn't work, and I knew it wouldn't work from a previous plaster mold that I built 20 years ago. When you have finished your work of art, you will need to paint the plug with a plastic varnish. When you pull off your cured boat from the plaster mold, you will have to do some pounding with a rubber mallet. When arthritic shoulders caused me too much pain, and I could no longer sprint after geese, I sold my boat. I was forced to raise the combing from 13 inches to 17 inches, which is a whopping difference, and I have no doubts that in some conditions the additional inches will be a disadvantage. I have had some success with it for tortured areas or areas that it thinks wouldn't be doable in ply. I ignored the distortion numbers that FreeShip reported and was able to bend the resulting double-width plywood garboard but the bottom shape was horrible. Moreover, layering and shaping plaster is the easy part--waiting for the plaster to dry in cold weather is torture. Fasten your ribs with long strips of thin Masonite or paneling or any thin veneer that you can buy cheap. My top piece was a replica of an old boat that I built with a whaleback top, but their idea of a recessed bottom intrigued me.
I used four layers of mat and probably too much resin, as I worked alone, and often found that I had to slather the resin on the mat and work like hell before it set up. The most minor variation in stiffness of individual sheets of plywood can result in hulls that have differences in shape even though they were built to the same design. Once used the hose from the wallpaper stripper boiler to direct a steam jet onto an awkward piece. And finally, when you build off a male plug, your boat will be smooth on the inside and rough on the outside.
I marked a line and cut around the top piece, leaving a one-inch lip to facilitate bonding the two parts. When I met Matt Keller, a seventy year-old sculler, I knew that I wanted another scull boat, but this time I wanted to build it myself. Later, when I add a piece of aluminum to protect the keel, the screws will be going into plastic decking material and resin. The lesson here was, if the plank developments start to look weird or are difficult to bend then maybe you should reduce the plank width; long skinny planks will conform much more readily than short wide ones of the same thickness.
I decided that I would not be the perfectionist and sand and fair the lay up until it was smooth. Put your plug on a wheeled frame or wagon and pull it into your garage at night or if it looks like rain. My combing, despite my efforts to flare the inside sides out for easy release, just didn't want to come off easily. After all, I had a 16' aluminum duck boat that I designed and built, I had a 10' pram that I made from plywood, I had a 13' aluminum river pram, and most recently I had built a layout boat. Still, I figured it would save me countless hours in having to build an entire male mold from scratch.


When I met them I was on my third scull boat, but when I saw their boat, I knew I wanted one. Right now I have tri-focals, and it is maddening trying to sneak up on birds looking through my reading lens.
I carefully launched the boat one-handed and sculled out on a tranquil Wocus Bay of Klamath Lake. Under the deck I also used a track of decking to slide my old lead ingot right to the nose. I thought to myself that I was in trouble if this was only how far I could travel without discomfort. You will also probably get that kind of error in layout and cutting of the panels too if you don't CNC.
I had to use a lot of force and scrape off the plaster later when the boat finally gave up the mold.
To my great disappointment, the transom rose to high from the slopping floor to the transom piece. It is, of course, attached to a rope, and at the end of the rope is a boat bumper in case I have to chuck it overboard during rough weather. For a new design with developed planks that get twisted severely, I like to cut templates from cheap ply and check to see how those bend first before I let my saw sink it's teeth into good quality wood. I decided I wanted my layout boat to plane when pulled so I gradually tapered my bottom right up to the nosepiece. I just remember that laying down I had to look through a cut-out notch up front to track birds. On the way in I sculled on four red heads and got within good killing range, but I didn't bother trying to shoot. In the end he got a boat that worked fairly well but it never drew a following and faded away over time.
If you look at my friend Steve sitting in decaying wocus, you can see that he has a clear advantage of not hunting with a dog and keeping a very low profile. I rested awhile and then sculled twice on pairs of resting ruddy ducks getting within ten yards. I was pooping out fast, but I was impressed with how well the boat cut through the wind and rolling waves. Secondly, because the hole is higher, it tends to push the end of the sculling oar higher, which means that one bad stroke and I would flare birds with the flash of my hand.
I had Steve eyeball my simulated sculling motion, and he confirmed that I was not below the combing. I was close enough to see all the color of their plumage, as they rose and dropped in the chop. Add five inches under the flared sides and my total height from the bottom to the top of the combing is 16 inches.



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