Monday 3 October 2011

Building my kids a boat

I made a decision to try and build my kids a little dinghy so they could row about our local river and we might also spend a weekend on the Broads.

Some of you will be thinking this guy runs a genomics lab and that the skills required for the job don't usually include woodwork and boat building. you'd be right. But a I found out you can build a boat pretty easily with 4-6mm marine plywood, epoxy, Gaffa tape, polypropylene beer glasses, waxing sticks and zip ties.

I used the 'Mouse' boat design freely available on the web from Gavin Atkins I also bought his book  which was a good read covering most of the subject and it also includes plans for several other boats. I chose the Mouse as although it is not the simplest boat in the book to build it did look quite easy and is very boat like.

It took me about a year to build (probably four or five days in earnest) but last weekend we had some friends round for a BBQ and the sun was out. It turned out to be the hottest October day since records began in the UK and so the trip to the river was welcome. The kids all got into their swimmies, the boat was launched and we had a wonderful hour splashing around.

It still needs painting and some rowlocks but it did not sink and can be carried by one person to the car for transport. I'd heartily recommend it for anyone thinking of giving it a go. It certainly turns into a good conversation piece down the pub.

1 comment:

  1. That looks nifty! I think the kids appreciate the sweet gesture! And with a boat of their own, they will surely grow a fondness for the water and that sense of adventure all the more. A few more years, and they will be handling big boats and braving the high seas themselves!


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