Building the Thunderbolt

by Mark Dietel

Page 2

Started out by purchasing a frame kit from Glen-L. I did not have any luck finding a marine lumber supplier locally so I had a load of Sitka spruce and okoume plywood shipped in from a nationally advertised supplier (probably not the cheapest way to get lumber).error-file:TidyOut.log The Sitka spruce was used for stringers and longitudinals. This lumber is light, strong and proved easy to work and glue; however, I would probably choose mahogany if I had to do it again. Sitka spruce is very expensive and, if not for the lack of knots, looks like ordinary lumberyard pine. When the wood arrived, felt like I paid big bucks for a load of scrap lumber. I bought both BS1088 and the lessor BS5066 grade okoume plywood for planking. If not for the stamp, it would be impossible to tell the difference. My supplier said both grades have solid cores and are glued with the same waterproof glue, but BS1088 must undergo more stringent testing. BS1088 okoume ply is nearly twice the price -- a lot to pay for the stamp! The BS5066 okoume I purchased is excellent and cost just slightly more than marine fir (from my mail order supplier).

The Glen-L frame kit turned out to be an excellent decision. It cost me no more than having raw lumber shipped in, and the quality of the lumber and error-file:TidyOut.log workmanship are top notch. The frame kit also enabled the hull form to take shape quickly during the early stages of construction -- this is a great confidence builder! Before starting construction, I purchased a table saw, thickness planer and a hand-held power planer. These are quite inexpensive at discount home stores and proved satisfactory. The only other tools required are the usual hand and power tools that any do-it-yourselfer would have in his toolbox. My lumber was shipped rough, otherwise the thickness planer would not be necessary.