How to build your own boat


A HO­BART boat builder has ini­ti­ated a scheme so that peo­ple want­ing to build their own craft can do so with ex­pert help and ad­vice at hand.

Al­lan Witt is pas­sion­ate about his de­signs for lovely-look­ing and de­light­ful-to-use recre­ational boats.

And he is equally keen to get peo­ple out on the wa­ter en­joy­ing the boats.

His work­shop pro­duces three Al­lan Witt de­signs as fin­ished boats — the 5.5m Der­went Skiff, the 4.5m Der­went Raider and the 4.2m Trout.

He has also de­vel­oped kits that make boat build­ing easy for am­a­teurs.

As he says: ‘‘They are de­signed to make quick mas­tery of key skills re­al­is­tic.’’ Witt said the Der­went Skiff was a recre­ational row­ing boat with a slid­ing seat set up like a rac­ing scull.

But un­like a rac­ing boat, ‘‘re­mained sta­ble when you let go of the oars’’.

It could be built as an open boat or decked fore and aft.

The Der­went Raider was also a recre­ational row­ing boat but had suf­fi­cient beam to carry sail if wanted.

And the lit­tle Trout was a flat­bot­tomed skiff de­signed by Witt’s brother Den­nis with fixed row­ing po­si­tions.

He said he had al­ways sup­ported kit builders of his de­signs with ad­vice and prac­ti­cal help through email, phone and vis­its and Witt boats could now be seen on the wa­ter in many parts of Aus­tralia.

The idea of the hands-on build­ing pro­ject right in his own work­shop had grown from of­fer­ing that sort of help.

‘‘The first two boats were a Der­went Skiff built by a fa­ther-and­son team and a Trout built by a hus­band-and-wife team,’’ he said.

The builders cre­ated the boats in Witt’s work­shop over a pe­riod of sev­eral weeks and put the fin­ished craft on proud dis­play at the re­cent Aus­tralian Wooden Boat Fes­ti­val in Ho­bart.

Witt also strongly sup­ports com­mu­nity group-based boat­build­ing projects.

‘‘It is all aimed at get­ting peo­ple out on the wa­ter, en­joy­ing them­selves and now they can en­joy cre­at­ing the boat as well,’’ he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit wittde­ or rowand­ or phone 6273 0254.

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