Peter Bromwich

Refelctions on the boat build


Sun, July 08, 2012


Here are my reflections on the canoe build. The woodwork week at Lyme Regis was inspirational. The book I read by Gavin Atkin "Ultrasimple Boatbuilding" set me off on the path of wanting to build a boat, the course at Lyme Regis with Will gave me the confidence to do it.


The boat kit from Fyne Boat Kits was comprehensive, the instruction were good, but I am glad I had the video as well, it would have been impossible to describe fully some of the things the video showed very well. The kit was definitely value for money and I never regretted getting it from Fyne Boat Kits.


I bought a few extras like 4 inch inspection hatches, handles and seats, but that was my choice. There we not any essentials missing that they did not tell you about like some of the consumables (brushes, stirring sticks etc.).


I wanted my first boat to be simple with everything included, I did not want to be scratching about like a you do when you cook a master chief recipe where in the list of ingredients they have something you will never find in a month of Sundays. Here are the best things I bought as part of the canoe build:

best things I bought

The videos with Alec Jordan were priceless, worth their weigh in epoxy! Well produced and full of really useful information, tips and you can just see what he means when he says you need to thicken the epoxy so it resembles peanut butter! I watched them every time I had a new job to do, or needed a boost to get going.


The Permagrit tools, recommended on the video was just great for shaping things when I could not get to it with the plane. That was another tool I was so glad I had. Along with the chisel, they were both razor sharp and that made all the difference. Both the chisel and plane were an ebay purchase and hone up.


Not pictured are zip ties. I used them instead of the wire that had been supplied with the kit after watching the video. So easy to use and tighten, snip off if you get it wrong and just thread another one, they are just so cheap and simple. Best tips I picked up: Buy a box of 100 plastic gloves for a fiver from ebay, they are essential to protect your hands from epoxy. I used them when painting and varnishing as well, we both use them around the house now for any mucky jobs! Buy cheap 1 inch brushes from Ebay, again you use loads, so buy 30 for a fiver.


Sharpen you tools and keep them sharp. I leant this at Lyme Regis and it just makes all the difference. Use a cabinet scraper not glass paper. The scraper makes a better job and does not plaster everything, including your lungs, with dust. Scrape off as much of the epoxy as you can from the joints and use masking tape, unless you like rubbing down!


Things I wish I had done better:


Spread the neat epoxy evenly. It is quite uneven in places but I am not going to rub it all off to get is glassy smooth.


Its a boat not a piece of furniture! Rubbing down of course, but then everyone thinks that after they have finished, it like no-one on their death bed wishes they had spent more time at the office!


Seats, I wish I had thought more about them and not had to buy them. The instructions were a bit woolly about what to do as the kit did not really provide them and I left it too late to make any as I wanted to launch the boat in July.


I wish I had built her 10 years ago! Will I build another boat?  Oh yes, not sure what yet, i am just enjoying the Saucy Sioux at the moment, but another one this winter is a must.

Links to chapters


Useful links


In the boat shed, Gavin Atkin


Lyme regis boat building academy


Permagrit tools


Fyne boats - where i got the kit from


Boat building video


Axminster wood working tools