So, what is the answer to whether or not you can build a boat? Consider what I shared with the nice client who called to express his confusion about the Barrelback …
“I am an architect and woodworker, so I think your plans are excellent. Many years ago I built an 18′ daysailer from your plans and later the TNT. Two years ago we built the TNT again since we liked it so much. This boat is in your picture gallery. Since we now have moved to a waterfront house on the Chesapeake Bay, we plan to build the Outrage 16′ ski boat and sell the TNT. The TNT with a new 25hp Merc will do almost 35 mph, but it does not like the chop on the bay. We are hoping that the deep-vee on the Outrage will give us a better ride. We still believe your plans are the BEST! Thanks”, John C. Wilmot – Edgewater, MD
One way to get your feet wet is to read books that are specific to the type of construction used for the boat you plan on building. The Barrelback is built using “Cold Molded” construction, so get “The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding” and “Boatbuilding with Plywood” books. They’re easy to read. Visualize the process as you read about it – let yourself dream a little about the satisfaction you’ll feel as you see the parts of your boat come together in your own hands and how much you’ll enjoy cruising in and showing off your completed boat. Next study the plans for your boat. Don’t just “look” at them … study each page. It helps me to focus on about a 6″x 6″ square of the plans at a time and just pore over everything in that square. Then move on to the next square. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to try to take in the whole sheet at once, so take it one piece at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! The Barrelback or similar designs are more difficult boats than some of our other plywood designs. If you’ve ever built a piece of fine furniture you’ll have a leg up on the classic mahogany boats, but that said, most who build even these designs have never built a boat before. If your heart is set on taking on a project like the Barrelback or other cold-molded classic mahogany runabout, check out the photos on our website. Most of these boats were built by people just like you. The results are remarkable, but not surprising to us, because quality begins with the design experience reflected in the plans you choose. If you can handle ordinary woodworking tools and stick with a project through to completion, it’s quite likely that one day you too will be posting pictures on our website of your new boat. After finishing the conversation with our Barrelback builder, he said he was encouraged. He was either going to find something a little smaller to start with, or just dig in and learn more so that he could build the Barrelback. He described how amazing it would feel to have a beautiful mahogany Barrelback boat that he built out on the water. He was already imagining the pride he would feel from having created that beautiful boat with his own two hands … I think he’ll build the Barrelback because it’s what he really wants … until next time… Happy Boatbuilding, Gayle Brantuk PS The client described above asked if he could return the Barrelback plans if he decided on something else and I told him he certainly could. Our plans are guaranteed, so if you decide you chose the wrong boat or one that’s too difficult, you are welcome to return them or exchange them for something else. By the way, I don’t know of any other boat plan company that does this–most do not accept returns on plans… FYI. PPS The books mentioned above can be found in our online store. Also, you will find details on the Barrelback online as well.
“When you began school it was probably confusing and you didn’t understand a lot of things. Building a boat is far easier than school but it’s a brand new skill to learn . . . there are new terms, a new language to become familiar with. Just like anything you haven’t experienced before, you just need to get your feet wet and discover some new talents you didn’t know you had.”