With the development of new adhesives, such as epoxy, it became possible to solidly edge glue lumber.
Nowadays if someone tells you he has build a cedar strip canoe he likely means that he set up a series of forms, fitted long flexible thin strips of wood across the moulds gluing the strips to each other, smoothed out the hull and covered it with epoxy and fiberglass.
The resulting boat is light, strong, rigid and waterproof, and closer in behaviour and upkeep to a monocoque fiberglass shell than to a carvel planked boat with many ribs. Strips crafted for strip building are often cedar, but arguments rage hard and fierce as to the benefits of other woods. Because the strips are bent around the shape of the hull the wood has to be thin enough to bend. The width of the strips is also quite small often no more than about 3 times the thickness. Two methods are commonly used to fit flat strips around a curved form and not end up with gaps.
In a perfect world, strips intended for strip building, are long enough to reach the whole length of the boat.
Many lumber suppliers and boat kit makers will supply strips with the bead and cove already milled in.
Before the boat is planked a series of forms, shaped like cross sections of the boat, are carefully cut and set up. Since there is going to be lots of gluing around the forms, it's a good idea to cover them in plastic or packing tape to prevent the strips from sticking to the temporary forms. If you start laying down the strips at the sheer (where the gunnel is) you will have nice strips that run nicely along the side of the boat but have to be fitted at the bottom or keel area. The best marine glue for structural work is a resorcinol formaldehyde -it is like black treacle and is the one marine plywood is glued with. I used to use Aerolite, a urea formaldehyde similar to cascamite but without the fillers and with a separate hardener, for dinghy building a long time ago but these days something like the West system epoxy would do most jobs. I use PU’s a lot for general woodwork and agree it is not gap filling despite it foaming up but if the joint is well fitting works well and is quick to cure(in fact the curing relies on moisture in the timber and will work ok with damp conditions).
Show me a situation where epoxy, with appropriate filler of one kind or another, doesn’t do a better job than traditional wood glues! I am interesting in knowing what is the best glue or epoxy product to use to fasten the inside keel support to the bottom keel member along with screws.
Thanks again guys, even though this boat is already done, all this feedback and ideas will def. I agree with the comments on the placement of the vhf and fusion, but think it is one bad little boat you guys made. That 17 does look like the Chaos but only in a generic sense of a Carolina boat; flare, sheer and tumblehome. Joel, as far as the light options, the livorsi sharkeyes are much smaller than normal sharkeyes. Yes, the material cost for the core will go up but there is also a labor savings to be had using a single layer of foam compared to multiple layers of numerous plywood strips each hand-spiled and glued. Not trying to discourage the OP but the market for that type of boat is miniscule as it is.
Not sure if I missed this suggestion for the radio but how about one of the new Bluetooth radios where all you need is the microphone. If there was ever another skiff or flats boat the knowledge gained from this one will be very valuable.


In the past large boats were carvel planked with heavy boards attached to solid ribs using sturdy fasteners or wood dowels.
It is possible to assemble a hull with no significant shaping of the strips as they are fitted onto the forms. In the real world, few people have enough space to rip 16 feet of lumber even if they can get the lumber, and get it home.
It is a huge time saver not to have to rip the strips, plane them to correct thickness then cut the bead and cove. How do you attach the strips temporarily to the frame until the shape has been built up and the hull is ready to fair. Conversely if you start at the keel then it's absolutely certain that you will NOT have nice parallel strips running along the top edge.
All the staples, or hot glue, or clamps have been removed and any drip on the outside knocked off.
There are lots of different (better or worse) types of PU so I would go for one specifically for marine work. Whether you're researching a new boat, or are a seasoned Captain, you'll find The Hull Truth Boating & Fishing Message Forum contains a wealth of information from Boaters and Sportfishermen around the world.
You'll have to make the toe rail wider at the bow to mount it in since it would be blocked by it if it was down on the deck level. I can say from experience (I build jig boats both foam and plywood) the difference is actually pretty small. When you are competing with mass produced skiffs, a custom job like that isn't going to be anywhere near the price point most people are looking for. We listened and have come out with the most unique drift boat kit in the business.Now a more affordable and fun way to own America’s premiere drift boat. Caulking of tar and fibers was driven between the planks and when the boat was launched the boards swelled, came closely together and formed a mostly watertight hull.
For complex shapes and keels narrower boards can more easily be bent around the narrow curves. Gaps are filled with thickened epoxy, faired, and the hull covered with fibreglass and epoxy, then usually painted. Since the forms determine the shape of the boat great care must be taken to set up each mould at the correct distance and square to the base.
Simplest and fastest is to put a staple or nail through the strip and attach it to the frame, then remove the staples when it's time to fair the boat.BUT! Don't worry about people bashing your designs, he sounds like he's jealous that he couldn't build a boat like that. Also the forward cleat won't try to tear it off when anchoring or (gasp) towing, like it looks it could now. You will definitely have to increase the glass (kevlar) laminate schedule over a plywood hull too but your net hull weight will still go down by 15-20%. Even if you spent the big bucks to build molds, your cost per unit will still be in the same range as cold-molded unless you build many hundreds of units to amortise the costs and you won't have the flexibility of layouts a custom boat offers.
Our goal isn't to manufacture flats boat though, instead build cold molded Carolina Style boats from 30' to 65'. As the boat was sailed the planks worked and moved with the humidity level and the stress on the hull.
Juniper still builds the lightest of the three methods but it also requires frames to achieve needed strength and they take away so much room in a small boat it would be impractical.


He probably won't do it on the first couple of hulls but he should be able to get cost in line with the Chaos types once he gets a few done. The flats boat was built for a customer that wanted a Carolina style flats boat but he is one of those that doesn't believe its a true Carolina boat if it isn't wood. Estimated time to complete is 40 hours.You can keep it simple with a base kit, add options and accessories from the beginning, or add them later. HOWEVER since strip built boats are usually put together to look beautiful, in fact it is often the main reason to choose wood strip construction, few people go this route. Although strips are not subject to much stress and don't need long scarfs for reason of strength, they need to bend evenly and long scarfs do this. Of course it is possible to start both at the bottom AND at the top and fit the strips together wherever you choose to have them meet, usually near the curve where the bottom meet the side. Using a plane, or sander get rid of the edges of the strips that stick up and make the hull smooth and even. Because a jig boat you spend a lot of time refining each hull and boat because you are not dealing with molds. The truth is that any clear light bendy wood that can be worked without undue splitting and glued using epoxy can be used.
Once the outside has been glued and glassed it is rigid enough to stand on its own and the form is removed. It does not even have to really be strong because the epoxy will supply the needed strength.
It is quite possible to glue and clamp each strip using clamps and straps and thus build a hull with no staple holes.
I have experimented with many ways of applying resin on cloth and my favourite is using a piece of hard foam as a trowel to gently work the resin into the cloth but not have extra resin on top.
When I responded with my first post I did not realize that you were starting this boat as a business. After we started the build he decided he wanted a bigger boat as well and we started on a 21' boat which we are working on now. In this case the frame have convenient holes made into them to allow the clamps something to clamp against as they pull the strips in. Once this is done after some sanding, more sanding, still more sanding you are ready to varnish. Varnish (or paint) is necessary to protect the epoxy which degrades in sunlight if not protected. But I think if you want to sell any more then 1 or 2 custom jig boats you will have to look into using ATC core cell foam because most do not want wood products in a boat. That means the heavy dense Okume plywood even if its only a few mils is way too heavy for a flats boat. Others argue for Polyurethane glues.Some people have used hot glue to tack each strip thus avoiding most of the clamping.



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