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The concept for this boat started when my daughter asked me for a simple light rowing skiff. She is an accomplished sailor that now lives far from the sea but close to a small lake. Simple means easy to build and easy to move around. A one person boat that can take a second person or two kids if needed.
It had to be pretty. I wanted the lines to be classic, similar to a boat plan published in Forest and Stream magazine from around 1890 and in my mind, first named the boat FNS12.
The project did not mature until, at the Plywooden boat meeting in Port Aransas TX, I saw the enthusiasm for what they called Family Boat Building. The idea is that a family or a couple of friends build a simple boat in a long week-end. Take some plywood, epoxy, start on Friday, add about 20 hours of work and launch a boat on Sunday. Bateau.com had been invited to a few of those boat building “parties” including the one organized by Wooden Boat magazine but all my designs required longer periods of time for the epoxy to cure and I did not want to take short cuts.
Most of the boats built at those gatherings are tack and tape boats. Tack and tape (T&T) is an hybrid technique, one that mixes old plywood on frame chine logs and stems with fiberglass tape and some fasteners. Instead of taping the chine and stem with fiberglass, those parts are made from wood and panels are nailed to the wood frame. I (the designer) have build a number of boats that way.
While not a big fan of the method, I thought this was the only way to build a boat in a week-end and
decided to give it a try. I revived the FNS idea, renamed her Week-end boat and designed her first for tack and tape. While working on the assembly sequence, it became clear that there was a better way. It was possible to build her in S&G (Stitch and Glue) in a 3 day week-end. That is how the WE12 (Week-End Boat 12') was born and is proposed in several building methods.
The boat plans used for the Wooden Boat family building is the Bevin's skiff. It is based on the same old Forest and Stream plans. Our version has been completely redrawn for the weight of the material and easy plywood bending. A boat built in plywood along the lines of the original FNS would float too high and the plywood would not bend. I made other changes. To be easy to build, we need a planar sheer and chine: the rubrail batten will bend easily, no twist. It does not matter for the chine in the S&G version but since the boat started its life as a T&T, that's what we have.
To build her in a week-end, we must keep her very simple: one seat in the middle The WE12 in its base version is simple and fast to build. The boat is clean, uncluttered, some could say minimalist. For those who want more features, storage and seating, the boat can be finished with optional seats, outboard clamping board, breasthook and knees, inwale etc. A very small outboard or electric trolling motor can be used.
Besides the optional layouts, there are several building options. The boat can be built in S&G or T&T (tack and tape) or even foam sandwich.
The remarks that follow apply only to the Tack and Tape version.
Since the bow sections have a constant angle, it means that the stem piece is not tapered. Plus, I designed it in such a way that a stem piece can be made of a batten cut along the diagonal. Nowhere in the T&T version do we need to bevel any batten.
For material cost comparison, in the tack and tape version, one of the plywood sheets can be 6 mm instead of 9 mm but we need a good amount of battens not used in the S&G boat. The tack and tape boat uses about 10 less yards of glass tape and almost one quart less of epoxy resin but the builder must buy a 1-1/2 gallon resin kit and a full roll of tape anyway.
The difference in cost of materials between the two methods is maximum $ 20.00 once all is taken in account and depending where you buy the supplies. In some cases, the tack and tape version will be more costly.
The builder can combine the two methods if he wants. The S&G version requires a little bit less labor but the hours worked will be spread over a longer time period since at several stages, we should wait for the epoxy to cure.
Another option is a super light boat built from thinner plywood: 3 or 4 mm. That version is ideal for those who car top the boat. It that can be built in S&G or T&T
Finally, it is also possible to build the boat in foam sandwich: light, buoyant but the materials will cost more and it can not be built in one week-end. The foam sandwich version is built from foam panels with a glass skin applied on the foam before assembly. Those panels have the same stiffness than plywood. More glass is added after assembly. No elaborate mold is required.
For all versions, the hull can be assembled by the origami method: hull panels bent around frames or, as an option, on a very simple jig made from MDF molds.
The plans give specifications for all versions and all options.
For the labor, see text above. The base version can be built in 48 man hours divided between 2 persons = one week-end. This dose not include fairing, paint or any option.
The plans include all the dimensions and specifications to build this boat with all options. in Stitch and Glue as a Tack and Tape boat in foam sandwich
The plans show the dimensions for all parts of the boat as cut flat on the floor: all hull panels and frames. Included are drawings showing an optional building jig with MDF molds and assembly details. We show the layout of all parts on standard plywood sheets..
Detailed building notes (18 pages) with step by step instructions are included.
The printed plans are printed on tabloid size paper, 11x17 (279 x 432 mm). The down loadable plans are in PDF format letter size. The purchase of the more expensive printed version includes access to the Digital Download plans.
Digital plans are available immediately.
Important note: These plans are copyrighted. The PDF file can not be copied or distributed. As for any of our plans, you purchase a license to build one boat.
If you plan to build more than one unit, for example for a boy scout troop or a school project, please contact us.
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Digital Download information
There will be a download link on our thank you page. If you need to re-download the plans, you will also receive a link in the confirmation of your order, accessible for five days. If you need access to the file after that time, please contact us, and we will send you the plans by e-mail.