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Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:05 am
by Speedy-1
Hello everyone, my name is Mike I'm from Phoenix, AZ. I've been reading the forum for a while and looking at plans on the Glen L site for years. Building a wooden boat has always been a goal of mine but life seems to get in the way. I have a big concern that I just don't know the answer to. Is Phoenix the wrong place to build and own a wooden boat? The extreme heat and low humidity makes me nervous that all my hard work will go to waste. Is this a legitimate concern? The boat would be built and stored in my garage. The garage is NOT climate controlled, but it will be out of the sun and elements. I have the space to build the boat I want, and most of the tools. Before I get in too far I wanted to get feedback form the forum members. Thank you for your time and I look forward to reading your responses.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:52 pm
by Roberta
Many people have built out West with no adverse affects. There aren't many lakes out there but some are awesome like Lake Powell.

Go for it!

Roberta :D

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:19 pm
by Speedy-1
Thanks for the reply, I get worried about materials drying out in the garage while I'm working on the boat. Over the summer the boat will sit in the garage waiting for it to cool off enough to work. I could add a humidifier to the garage if need be. After the boat has been encapsulated and finish applied do you have to worry about it drying out? I would think at that point it's safe as long as it maintained.

We have some beautiful lakes out here. I live less than 30min from Lake Pleasant, and there's 4 nice lakes on the east side of the valley. Powell is an absolute gem and Mead is nice too. I spend time on Havasu with my current boat, the lower Colorado river is fun too if you don't draft much water.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:57 pm
by Jimbob
Welcome to the forum!
I would think that excess humidity would be a bigger problem. i.e. rotting wood.
I found a couple of links below that might answer your question. I built my boat in Sacramento, CA. It gets hot here in the summer but the humidity is 26% higher than Phoenix. You might call some boat repair shops back there and see if they have seen any problems caused by low humidity. A lot of the fiberglass boats you see have wood components. (motor stringers, etc.) There is someone on the forum that just started building south of Phoenix. You might send him a message.

I am planning on retiring in a few months, and we are looking at Prescott, AZ. Guess I'll have to figure out the humidity thing when I get there.

A chart showing recommended humidity for wooden boats: ... den-boats/

A chart showing average humidity for Pheonix: ... of-America

Good Luck on your build.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:25 pm
by Rich Coey
I think it would be fine. It is harder on a wood boat to have a drastically changing climate. Being inside will also help.
I am in the central valley of California. My boat is outside with a cover, it’s in rain and 100+ heat. Plus once a year we take it to Arizona for a week and it is out in the sun the whole time, the deck gets very hot.Just got back from Mead and are going to Powel next year. I revarnish every 3 to 4 years. This is our 13th season. The bottom and sides have fiberglass, not one crack or separation. The deck is not glassed and gets most of the abuse, it has a few cracks but they get touched up when I revarnish.
As far as using a humidifier I think you are better off letting the wood acclimate to the climate it is going to be stored in.


Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:46 am
by Speedy-1
Thanks for the replies, I feel better about the whole project now. During the lowest humidity months of the year the boat will be spending time in the water once it's completed so that will help. I might set a baseline humidity for the garage and aim to keep it close year round. This project is something I've wanted for a long time so I'm doing my homework before I start.

Right now it looks like the Geronimo is the plan I want to build. The Sea Knight was the boat I wanted for a long time, but I have a cuddy cabin boat currently so I want something different. The Geronimo and Sea Knight look like the same basic hull and can be built to the same length, only difference I see is the SK has a 2" wider beam. Other than that there's not much different that I can tell

All I want is a nice little runabout with an outboard. I like the look of higher freeboard boats, and they're less likely to get swamped in rough water conditions. Everything else can be built to whatever I want once its flipped over. I'm getting close to starting. Thanks

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:31 pm
by Speedy-1
Well I did it, I ordered the Geronimo plans, along with the plywood boat building, fiberglassing, and builders notebook books. Not ready to start just yet, but I have a lot of reading to do in the mean time. I'm very exited.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:30 pm
by hoodman
As far as I can tell the Geronimo and Sea Knight are the exact same hull apart from the cabin. I never compared the beams but I don't know why they'd be different.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:31 pm
by Speedy-1
While I’m waiting for plans I started one of the most daunting tasks of the entire project, Cleaning the Garage.... yikes.

I got sidetracked when I found my diamond sharpening stone and guide. Well an hour or two later I have razor sharp chisels and my grandfathers hand plane is tuned up and sharp as all get out. I hate dull tools. Btw the rest of the garage still needs a lot of work but it’s getting there.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:29 pm
by acflynn
Hey Mike - welcome to the forum! I'm down in Chandler, and I'm at about the same stage you are. I've been researching and asking some questions here as I get ready to start the process as well. In my case, I'm looking at building a Mist Miss (, which is 18'2, but has the same basic freeboard and beam as the Geronimo (and is an inboard). I'm hoping to order plans this fall, but already am immersed in the various books.

From what I've seen, the main complications I've heard from the group won't be lack of humidity (which is pretty constant) but being too hot for effective finishing of both epoxy and varnish during the build process. Even "slow" epoxy might have a very short set-up time. The good news is that it's probably a fine climate from October through mid-May for garage work (90 degrees or less), which is more than other areas in the nation have. For me, I'm hoping to stagger some of the build to avoid those steps during the summer. Some tasks can be done in the summer, such as fairing, engine, electrical, etc., and perhaps take some of those tasks indoors (like upholstery, and maybe wiring the dashboard/instrumentation). I agree with @Rich Coey that acclimation will be key - letting the lumber sit in the garage for a few weeks (if coming from an air-conditioned supplier) should help.

It likely will also be similar to automotive concerns down here. Rubber, plastics and finishes are more severely impacted from constant heat, as well as battery life. For an inboard, inspection and potential replacement of hoses and gaskets may happen at a higher frequency. As long as it's in a garage, the heat itself won't be too bad (115-120 degrees in summer), but if exposed to the sun constantly, the deck and upholstery will be quickly affected.

Charlie Kelly in Phoenix made a 24' Tahoe (mostly outdoors in a temporary tent structure) with no ill effects (and launched it at Lake Tahoe). Check out his photo gallery ( ... ix-arizona).


- Andrew Flynn

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:21 am
by Speedy-1
Thanks for the great reply Andrew, I feel much better about the whole project. I'm sure we'll be talking since we're local. Yeah the summer months aren't going to be fun, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:35 pm
by hoodman
There are ways to work with epoxy in the heat. A search of the forum should give you some ideas.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:27 pm
by mrintense
I get's nearly as hot here in the Austin area and summer's can be brutal. Epoxy work in the summer is best handled in the morning before it get's too warm. Also, try to plan the work in small enough stages that you can get it done before setup of the epoxy becomes a problem. If you can get help during the larger pieces, it will help considerably. For me the biggest problem is running out of steam after an hour or two in the heat. Frequent retreats into air conditioning are necessary.

I had a portable air conditioner for awhile (til it died) and that was nice, but in my case, most of the work I have to do has to have the garage door open because the boat is so big. So I haven't purchased another portable AC unit yet. Large fans help.

I will say this though. If at all possible, try to build your boat under cover because it will take some time to complete and protection from sun and rain will be paramount to keeping it in good condition until you are finished.

BTW, my Vera Cruise hull is very similar to the Sea Knight and Geronimo hulls, just a bit longer. Probably a bit wider too although I've never compared the measurements. I look forward to seeing work commence on yours. I know that Bob in Poway, Ca and Matt in Indiana really enjoy their Geronimo's.

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:03 am
by Speedy-1
Picked up a new Bandsaw yesterday. I’m very excited about it.
I’m gathering material and tools gearing up to get started in a couple weeks. Still need to track down a couple things but it’s starting to look good. I have a ton of ideas and a lot to learn but that’s what this all about right?!?

Re: Hello to Everyone from Phoenix

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:07 pm
by acflynn
You are NOT fooling around, sir!

My Mist Miss plans arrived yesterday! Currently doing some window shopping on tools - planer, bandsaw, table saw are likely going to be arriving in the garage this month.