Materials and Supplies
After studying and completely digesting both build manuals, I went several steps further and studied about all I could find about stitch-and-glue epoxy construction. I did find a few details that vary, but it appeared very straightforward and similar to the polyester and fiberglass techniques that I am quite familiar with. There also seem to be some strong opinions of the best methods, supplies and techniques, but that is to be expected.
A very significant find was the discovery of a local boatbuilding shop located in Vero Beach. I packed up my manuals, lists of materials and lists of questions and spent an afternoon making a visit to the shop of Bateau.com at Boat Builder Central. I was pleased to find a small shop of very experienced boat builders that were able to answer all of my questions, supply me with almost everything I would need and provide me with the support that I might need in the future. The have a great forum with probably the answer to almost any question that has ever been asked about wooden boatbuilding. Now I was already a huge fan of Chesapeake Light Craft, but these guys are right here in Florida and they are definitely in the same class.
One of the areas that every builder seems to have an opinion is which epoxy products to select. I chose Marinepoxy, the general purpose epoxy product formulated for Bateau at Boat Builder. It is a 2:1 epoxy which effectively has no amine blush in our climate and is less expensive than the major named brands. I also purchased Silver Tip E-Z Fillet and GelMagic Structural Adhesive as an alternative for mixing wood flour. I did however end up using wood flour for operations where I would be applying continuous gluing operations without curing, such as most of the fillets inside around the bulkheads and bottom. After some experimentation, I found that I was able to minimize sanding by using Marinepoxy with wood flour for fillets and applying a second coat of epoxy immediately.
The only materials on the list that I was not able to purchase at Bateau was the dimension lumber. They provided me the contact of a supplier in Stuart where I purchased sapele wood for the keel, rails, combing, carlins and steering wheel mount. Sapele is an African mahogany with a beautiful grain and color. Maritime Wood Products is only another hour or so drive and they were able to cut the pieces to my specifications. This also means the rails were the correct length so I did not need to splice the pieces as required in the kit.
OK, Let’s Start Building
The tools are in order, the materials and supplies are all here, the shop is clean and ready. Mmmm. The manual says to build some sawhorses. I have some sawhorses, but the ones they have are pretty sexy! Did I say that?
Ok, it took a few hours, but now we LOOK like a boat building shop.