For those who don't know me my name is Danny, I have decided to have a go at this blog thing, to record my progress on building one of Paul Fishers Mandarin 17' Thames skiff's! Like many budding home builders I've spent many hours reading and researching the right boat for me. A few years ago I built my first boat, a 9ft hard chine I designed myself as a CAD exercise and enjoyed many trips up and down the Thames between Maidenhead and Marlow. Experiencing the back waters were made easier using the oars but the outboard motor was a bit of a drone to say the least, I would always go upstream just in case I either ran out of petrol or broke down knowing that I could always row downstream home.
As my Sons grew older, we no longer could all fit, so she had to go to make space for the second build. I have decided as a Maidenhead boy spending many hours by the Thames that the correct craft should be a traditional clinker styled craft. After the usual forum chats with other budding builders I was introduced to Selway-Fisher designs and especially this lovely little craft below.
This drawing below shows one half built to take two rowing positions and the other half a a single rowing position, note the oarlocks and you'll get the idea!
Not sure which way my skiff is going yet on this point, I'll wait until I have the shell built me thinks!
This is my workshop, it's a little tight for a 17 foot rowing boat but I aim to keep all my tools up high and out of the way. I have also started on the main jig which I have on dolly wheels so I can wheel the main construction from one side to the other.
As you can see I am sharing the garage with a tumble dryer and large chest freezer so I had to cut these planks before constructing the main jig. Note: these planks were cut in pairs. There are five planks per side.
This is a CAD drawing of how the moulds are set out, as you can see the main hull construction is built upside down. You can see the curved stem post in the foreground and transom at the back , they are the only parts that are staying the other shapes are purely for forming the planks round.
I have already cut the main planks in pairs ready for laying over the moulds. This is 6mm marine ply. Made from 2.2 8x4 ft sheets that were joined prior to cutting out the patterns.
I am using West System Epoxy resin for all the glueing up and laminating. Note the handy pump dispensers, well worth the extra investment, it saves measuring out the correct ratio of hardener to resin, just one pump of each dispenses the correct mixture.