A boat’s seaworthiness is only as good as the structure of its hull. This is why construction of the hull is one of the most important boat building tasks. The hull must be light enough to float while as the same time being strong enough to withstand the elements. Well-executed hull Corbyn Construction will make a boat secure, watertight and stable.
Besides become one of the most critical boatbuilding tasks, hull construction is one of the largest. In Building Your Dream Boat, boat building expert Charles Wood estimates that constructing the deck and hull for a 40-ft boat requires up to 1200 hours of labor.
There are many hull designs to choose from and each uses a unique construction technique. These are some of the most common hull construction techniques:
· Sheet Plywood – The hull is formed from plywood sheets that are attached to a wooden frame. Instead of a frame, a stitch & glue process can be used in place of a frame. Stitch & glue uses epoxy, resign and copper wire to secure the plywood. It’s a popular technique for constructing dinghies and other small watercraft.
· Strip Planking – One of the most popular DIY hull construction techniques, strip planking uses narrow planks that can be easily manipulated by one person. Epoxy and nails are used to fasten the plank strips. When constructed properly, a strip planking hull will be strong, durable and resist water leaks.
· Carvel – This hull construction technique requires wooden planks to be shaped and attached to a frame to form a smooth hull which is then sealed with caulking. Although this is one of the oldest techniques for constructing a hull, the difficulties involved in fairing the external hull surface make it one of the hardest for novice boat builders.
· WEST (Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique) – This technique requires coating a wooden hull with epoxy to protect it from the elements. The hull is most often constructed using the strip planking technique. When it has been protected with epoxy, it can resist damage from water, corrosion and decay. This hull construction technique is popular among hobbyists who often use clear epoxy to highlight the natural grain of a wooden hull.