The Wooden Boat Project -ch 1



So it’s hunting season and I am thinking about fishing. It never fails. I’m never satisfied. So while I’m sitting in the stand and looking for deer I’m thinking about fishing.

A friend of mine, the guy who really showed me how to fly fish, built this boat from no plan other than a picture in his brain. . It’s really nice and pretty amazing because it easy to stand up in and can be used both on lakes and rivers. In other words it’s just what I’m looking for. I’ve done some research and it does look like other boats out there and a “Ghenoe” would be something very similar to what I’m looking for although I don’t think a “Ghenoe” would do the river and the “massive”to put some meat in the freezer and maybe a rack on the wall I’m thinking about warmer days looking for fish in water. I’ve always dreamed of building a boat and this summer I found the one to build.


Indiana rapids as well as this boat I’m planning to build. Plus my thought process finally led me to the point that I knew that I will always want to build a boat and so why not do it now. I have the space and I guess the time. Plus my friend is still alive, so I can bug him on how its done. I’m calling it project Pisces, Latin for fish (plural). I’m no expert on Latin; one class that I all but flunked in seminary does not qualify me as a Latin linguist. But I thought a boat for a priest must have a Latin name.

On thanksgiving my father and I headed over to my friend’s house to take pictures, measurements, and make some templates. I plan to do most of the work and use my Dad’s more than capable help, not to mention his tools and workshop. After all isn’t that what a fathers workshop is really for, the projects of his kids.



They are dead. Two does. One butchered and made into jerky and chopped into chunks to wrap with bacon or place in chili. One is being made into summer sausage to eat while I’m fishing. The winter solstice is at the end of the week but my mind has made the turn. No longer am I thinking of deer on a cold morning. Now my mind is on fishing. The fishing videos come out, the fly tying bench becomes a bit more active. Gear prep will slowly build. But the real build begins in earnest tomorrow as I go and buy the first of the materials to build “Pisces.” Heck I’ve even found a blessing for a fishing boat and equipment in the old 1962 book of blessings. It thinks its really meant for commercial fishing things but it really doesn’t specify so I’ll use it anyways. But first I have to build the thing. The plan is to cut the pieces out and scarf them together day after Christmas. Let it begin.





Christmas masses are over, gifts given and received and the blizzard of 2012 is in full swing. No better time than to start work on a boat. We scarfed, cut out, and sanded the pieces while the snow fell. One glitch is that we ran out of propane for the heater but the building stayed above 50 degrees and so the epoxy did set up. My Dad’s belt sander made the job very easy. I turned out to be better at the scarfing part than he did. He got super big grit for the sand paper and so it really made the bevel quick. We then glued them together and then screwed them to the table for a clamp. It worked well and the wax paper we put between the pieces came off nice and easy.

We then laid our very rough template on the pieces and traced and “modified” to get a good line to cut. Then back to the belt sander for some touch up. I then filled in the holes and valleys with some thickened epoxy. I hope to get back up tomorrow and drill the holes for start stitching it together on Sunday. And finish the other side of the boards by filling in with the epoxy in the valley and holes.




There is still snow of the ground with more falling. It is time to put it together. I finished the sides and bottom by sanding and smoothing the scarf joints. I then started to stitch them together. First I stitched the bow together. I then spread the two sides and began to stitch the sides to the bottom. This took two starts and I wasn’t satisfied with how it was coming together so I took it apart and started again. It took some help from a friend but got it stitched together. I used wire in some the more areas that have more stress and used simple zip ties on the rest. I had to cut down the transom and sand the rear of the sides to get them flush.

IMG_20121230_180831_910Once that was done I had to spread the sides to get the right shape to match the pattern I made for the ribs. This also added rock to the boat which not only should help it in the river but it also really makes the line of the boat look great. After this I then put the first of many epoxy coats on the seam. I need to get some fiber glass for the bottom and sides as well as for the seams. My father will be making the ribs during the week so I hope to get those glued in and do a lot of work the seams on Sunday.



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