Extracted from Bruce's book
If you decide
to custom build from a hull and deck package, or from scratch, you will need a suitable
building site. Depending on where you live you may have many, or a limited number or
choices. If you live in a warmer area, then a simple shelter will suffice. If your boat is
to be built or completed in a cold climate, then you will to need to consider a heated
structure. In any case you will need some
form of secure building, in which to house your tools and more valuable supplies.
Fortunately when building a metal boat the need for security is relatively less than if
you were building in fiberglass or plywood, this benefit only extends until you start on
the interior and fitting out stage. Even if working outside, it is a good idea to keep the
more valuable items out of sight or maybe in more secure storage, until they can be
properly secured to, or installed in the boat.
Part of the advantages of having your
boatbuilding project located in a secure, comfortable and weather proof building, is
purely psychological; it will be easier to make the effort to go and work on the boat.
Also if you are paying rent on a building, you are more likely to 'get on with the job'. If you are building totally outside and exposed to
the elements then you will often have to stop work due to inclement weather conditions.
All of the disadvantages of building outside can add months to your building program.
determine how much space you will need to house your boatbuilding project, simply plan for
a space 50 percent longer and 100 percent wider than the finished boat. For instance if
you are building a 40 ft / 12.19 M by 13 ft /
3.96 M boat your space should ideally be 60 ft /
18.29 M long by say 26 ft / 7.92 M wide. This is the minimum area required. When it comes
to handling plate and other construction members, you will need s-p-a-c-e! You will need
room for tools, materials storage as well as space to move around.
To provide yourself with an efficient working
environment, plan your building site so that the minimum time is spent walking from one
area to another. The siting of benches and frequently used tools, will play a part in
making a comfortable and productive workplace.
Your boatbuilding project should not be too
far from home and this is even more important, if you are only working part time on the
project. Travelling time can eat into valuable work time and distance can be a deterrent
to getting started evenings and weekends. Make sure that your work site is accessible to
the large trucks needed to deliver long lengths of plate and other necessary supplies. If
you are working outside be sure you have a flat level site. Carrying tools and building
materials up even the smallest gradient, can soon become a tiring exercise.....Exercise,
yes, you will get plenty of that!
One obvious choice is to build your boat
beside your house. Many fine boats of 65 ft / 19.81 M, have been built to my design beside
the owners home. To make this a practical proposition, you need to live on a large lot or
in an isolated area.
Many local authorities have building
ordinances that may govern just what you can do in your own back yard. Check these before
you start building a shelter or erecting boat frames beside your house. Generally
speaking, the further you live from the
of your rented property. Best check with the landlord first and
get permission in writing, before you sign the lease.
If you start
with a hull and deck, then all you may need is a tool shed; the hull can be heated and the
outside work can be completed in fine weather. Another advantage of starting with a ready
built shell is that this may make it possible to complete the boat in your own yard.
Metalworking is noisy especially when building the hull and deck. If your boatbuilding
project is sited in a residential area, then make sure that the noise that can be heard
outside the boat is kept to a minimum.
Here are a few suggestions as to possible
boatbuilding locations: in your own yard, unused corners of marinas and boat yards, fenced
in but unused industrial sites, beside or in an engineering business, inside old
warehouses, inside or beside an old storage barn. These are just a few of the many
possibilities and these locations can often be rented at a low monthly cost.
Make sure you think ahead to the day that
the boat is completed and ready for launching. Can a low loader and lifting crane get to
your location and move your boat to the launching site? Have you surveyed the route? Check
for low overhead wires, sharp corners in narrow streets. We have seen it all; there are
hundreds of stories about boats being lifted over houses, lifted from mountain sites by
large helicopters and boats that were dragged through villages by willing helpers.
- HOME / INDEX PAGE