Ray & Anne's

Home-Built Tolman Alaskan Skiff

Begun: June 16, 2004

The Beginning





Cruising Plans



Hull Making

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After unpacking all the cool CNC cut plywood parts I laid out the shelf and deck pieces on the porch floor and WOW it is big. This was only the first of many times I would utter those words.

With all the cut out pieces just sitting there it was easy to get started --

Shelves screwed to the floor and clamped. My first time abusing the floor this way.

Stack of scarfed side and bottom pieces with their plywood edge protectors

Required transom picture

This was my first use of screws to “clamp” large areas together where clamps won't reach, with the microfiber/cabosil goo and the famous “squeezeout”.

A truck delivered the 2”x14”x20' “superlam” and it soon became two stringers. To rough cut the stringer I used a Makita hand saw and to finish the shape my referbed Black and Decker power plane ($29.00) which made short work of the stringer. It made a bushel of chips and sawdust.

The stringers are made from an LVL beam. I located one locally and asked if it had the waxy coating on the outside. “Well no, I don't think it has a coating.”... When it showed up it looked like it was just a little weathered, but it felt kind of waxy even though not obviously. Called the manufacturer, they said it had a coating to protect it from moisture, but they didn't know about wax. They did fax me MSD sheets on the coating. They showed the coating to be perfectly safe, almost food grade but it did have some wax in it. Sooo, I spent about 4 hours scraping the coating off with a carbide scraper. I was afraid to use a sander because of the heat. Wax on wax off

Starting to scarf the bottom panels, I had only the slightest idea how to do a scarf but had to pretend I knew what was going on because the neighbors were all over to watch. One thing for sure, I REALLY didn't want to screw up all the carefully cut and scarfed plywood. Amazed that it worked. Strange to screw into the floor rather than using clamps.

Time to go over to Paul Nelson's house and get his building Jig. He was very helpful to share it with me and a great boost to my resolve to see his boat now on the trailer and looking so shiny RED and BIG. Paul has been a really important source of information with his great website and a source of inspiration for me in his selfless efforts to share his building experiences. The pictures on his website and other sites are very important to a “visual learner” like me. Seeing the real thing is even more inspiring.

Paul & Jennette Nelson and their boat at the launch of Steve Dampier's "Shirley Lamar" in Berkeley

A 16 ft Jig on an 8 ft trailer; no problem.

Update: The Jig is now at its third builder (Jesse) along with all the CNC building jig parts from my project.


©2004 Ray Brown & Anne Thompson