Q:

Is it hard to build your own boat from a kit?

A:

Quick Answer

Building a boat with a kit simplifies the process, but the difficulty of construction depends on the kit manufacturer, the skill level of the builder and the tools available. First-time builders working with a few tools find the process more difficult than those with experience and a fully equipped shop.

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Full Answer

Generally, kit manufacturers make the process easier by precutting all the parts using a computer-operated router to ensure a good fit. Some kits supply everything the builder needs to complete the project while others require he purchase separate items for completion.

The stitch-and-glue method offers an easy way to assemble a boat. Some of these kits require attaching just four sheets of plywood. With this method, the assembler drills holes into the wood and uses copper wire or electrical ties to hold the wood in place while the glue dries. Once it is dry, he cuts away the stitches, fills the holes and finishes the boat.

Construction using strip planking involves joining many more pieces of plywood, but results in a more aesthetically pleasing boat. Once the strips are in place, the assembler must smooth each joint before finishing the boat. Strip planking also requires the use of forms and clamping that is more difficult than the stitch-and-glue method.

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