Boat building in plywood

In Brazil, the first boat to be built from the Tewantin plans is taking shape. The builder is Marco who has also just finished building a “Noosa” boat which was featured in another post. Noosa was the first boat he had built and now he is already onto his second. Go Marco, you certainly seem to have gotten the taste of boat building.

Here are some photos that he has kindly allowed me to share, of the build progress so far.  The frames are in 9mm plywood and the hull plating is from 6mm ply. Marco has scarfed the plywood differently to the last time. 


boat building - in plywoodThe typical method of scarfing is to join the two sheets of plywood together before marking out. Cutting the parts out full size from the one big sheet. But this time he cut the parts without scarfing the sheets first. Allowing extra length to cut a toothed scarf, similar to the way it’s done using a CNC router. Like the “Noosa” boat being built by Andre in Australia using his CNC machine.


A clever idea, you can see it clearly in this picture. The fit doesn’t have to be perfect either as epoxy with filler can fill quite large gaps without loss of strength. The ply seems to bend well, looking at the pictures of the bow with the hull assembled. It is an alternative way to scarfing that I had not thought of.


Stitch and glue method

boat building - in plywoodAs with his first boat, Marco has used the stitch and glue method to hold the plywood parts together before bonding them.  Assembling the boat right way up. The last picture shows the hull looking forward with the forward frame and under seat frames wired in place. The only pieces missing in this view are the 3 bonnet plates and forward seat. Framing will also be added to the tops of the sides, under the seats and around the bonnet. The engine mount also has to be completed.  Tewantin is taking shape!

Thanks for your photos and feedback Marco, much appreciated. It is always great to receive feedback and to see the progress of someone building a boat. And to see everything lining up as it does on the computer ?.


PS – if you are interested in building boats, download the Building Guide. It’s free.Free boat building guide

It is a companion to my first book, “Small Boat Building”, building small plywood boats. The techniques inside for using epoxy apply to larger boats as well. And my second book, on the building of Tokyo Express is nearly here.