Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The origin of the "Boat Bowl"

A few months ago my wife showed me a picture of a wooden bowl from a catalog and asked me if I could create something similar. I had a concept in my mind that I thought I would try "someday", so this was the opportunity to use it. I quickly drew and fabricated a bowl to prove the technique. It came out okay, so I made some bowls slightly bigger, realizing that bigger was actually easier when laminating and sanding the inside. Then she asked for a longer, more flared design, and I made several of those, including for a friend who liked the design. Well, as one who enjoys designing and building boats, you may guess what happened next. I took the design for the next boat I plan to build and simplified and scaled it to create a "boat bowl".

Another year, another boat

A new boating season is beginning, and it is time to recharge the battery, refill the gas tanks and get out on the water.  However, after last season I thought of all the ways I could learn and improve from my last boatbuilding experience and create an even better design.  I wanted something of the same size but more closely resembling a classic runabout and with a better integrated sun shade.  After calculating the offsets and sketching out the results, I started drawing out full-size patterns.  At about Christmas, I started putting together wooden frames.  By themselves, the frames look like just a pile of wood scraps, but when you mount them on a strongback, align them using a laser, and start adding the keel and other longitudinal members, it begins to look like a boat.  With the experience of building something similar, I have been able to move forward more confidently this time.  Instead of searching for answers, I know how to handle the design and construction challenges at each step.  Having purchased a new table saw has been a great help also.

I am now ready to make patterns for the exterior sheathing.  The 6mm marine plywood will arrive soon.  I hope to finish the sheathing (plywood, cypress planking, glass and epoxy) and sanding during the summer months when I can leave the windows open.  Next fall will be time for an upholstered interior and other finishing details.  Changes from the previous design include a constant deadrise (12 degree) hull bottom, chine flats, a straight sheer profile with the foredeck raised 5 inches, and reduced deck camber.  This hull is meant for slightly more power / higher speed.