Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blue Heron

Build a small cruising boat in a month?  Hmmmm...  I thought I'd give it a shot.  I designed this boat myself and based the idea on the great success of the PDGoose.  After studying the goose for a while, I thought I could incorporate some of my own details that I have had great success with in the past.  I also studied the plans by Michael Storer for the Ooze Goose.  I drew the boat in one day on a cad program and began construction the next day.  (June 1)

This boat will be going on a seriously big trip.  Starting in the Ohio river, then on to Kentucky lake, then the Tombigbee waterway.  I generally in the past have made my boats heavier than what most people do and for the most part I have been very happy with the results of that.  This boat is built with 1/2 plywood througout, with 1 1/2 inch square scantlings for the most part.  

I used epoxy for gluing the entire boat with stainless steel screws closely spaced throughout.  There are some advantages to building with heavier plywood besides just strength.  I like the ride and stability from the heavier build and it also allows you to build with different techniques that you can't do if you build light.

The boats I build last a very long time with very little care.  I should also point out that this will be my last boat built solely with epoxy.  I will be moving to less toxic materials from here on out.  I think a great boat can be built without epoxy and the risks that go with it.  

Lots and lots of SS screws.  The boat ended up taking over 6 pounds in all.  

The bottom is covered with 2 heavy layers of glass.  The rest of the boat is covered with one layer.  This is one area where finding an alternative may be difficult.  

After glassing and MINIMAL sanding, the bottom was primed with 3 coats of latex primer and then 4 coats of latex paint.  

Flipped the boat and work continued.  This boat reminds me very much of a Bolger Micro.  

Work continues on the cabin enclosure.  Lots of time will be spent on the interior of this boat in hopes of making comfortable for the long journey this fall.  

Cockpit decked over.

Sides glassed.

Deck hatch cover installed.  I think this is a nice feature that will make the boat very comfortable while underway.

Draining cockpit.

Rear watertight compartment with cover.

Let the painting begin!  Light colors make for a much cooler boat.

Sitting on the trailer finally...many more details yet to be finished. 


  1. You mentioned you have a new 55lb thrust motor but never said how it performs or how much power it uses..What kind of batteries are you using? Golfcart 6v?.. How fast can you cruise and how far at a steady speed?... Do you think you will add a sail later for fun?

  2. Nice job. Have you any of the finished boat? Was the hatch your idea and how is it working out?