Build­ing a Mi­na­houët from a kit

Practical Boat Owner - - Practical -

1 A flat-pack boat. The kit ar­rives with ev­ery sin­gle part pre-cut. 2 The first step is to set up the jig in­clud­ing bulk­heads and frames, which slots to­gether and en­sures ev­ery­thing is cor­rectly lined up. 4 The in­ner stem is made from sev­eral lay­ers of ply epox­ied to­gether and bev­elled to take the hood ends. No need for a com­pli­cated lam­i­nat­ing jig. 7 The first strake is at­tached. Planks come in two parts with pre-cut fin­ger scarfs which are glued to­gether be­fore fit­ting. Note the lower land has been bev­elled to re­ceive the next plank. 3 The cen­tre­board case is also as­sem­bled and fit­ted at this point. The in­side sur­faces are sealed with epoxy, as they’ll be dif­fi­cult to ac­cess once they’re in place. Note the slots for the cen­tre­board pivot. 5 Once com­plete and cured the in­ner stem is epox­ied to the for­ward bulk­head, the jig hold­ing ev­ery­thing cor­rectly in line. 8 The tran­som, frames and bulk­heads are pre-cut to re­ceive each plank. Note how the aft bulk­head is at­tached to the jig, to hold it square. 6 The bot­tom panel – al­ready epoxy coated on the in­side, is held in place while the epoxy cures us­ing clamps and shores wedged against the ceil­ing. 9 Tem­po­rary screws with wooden and me­tal wash­ers hold the strakes in place while the glue is dry­ing. They’ll be re­moved once the glue has cured, and the holes sealed with epoxy.

10 With three strakes fit­ted, the Mi­na­houët be­gins to take shape. The hood end screws can be re­moved and the holes filled with epoxy, or they can be re­cessed and filled over. 13 This builder has strength­ened the bot­tom panel and bot­tom strakes by sheath­ing them with fi­bre­glass and epoxy be­fore ap­ply­ing the up­per strakes. 11 Rather than fit a back­ing block in­side the bul­warks, this builder has screwed a tem­po­rary block on the tran­som to hold the sheer­strake in place. An epoxy fil­let was ap­plied in­side later. 14 The outer stem is lam­i­nated from hard­wood sup­plied with the kit, us­ing the in­ner stem as a jig. 16 This skeg is made from a sin­gle piece of hard­wood, glued and then screwed through from the in­side of the hull. There is also an op­tion to have a lam­i­nated skeg. No outer keel is fit­ted. 12 Tra­di­tional wooden clamps were used to hold the sheer­strake in place on this Mi­na­houët – sim­ple, ef­fec­tive, and cheaper than me­tal clamps. 15 The outer stem is glued and screwed to the hull, seal­ing the ends of the planks and mak­ing an ex­tremely strong col­li­sion bar­rier! 17 Once as­sem­bled, the whole hull is sanded down and sealed with epoxy. Note small slot in the stem which is used to lash the boat to the trailer. 18 Un­der­coated and ready for a top coat of paint. The un­der­wa­ter shape re­veals a rea­son­ably fine fore­foot, promis­ing good up­wind per­for­mance.

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