We have been teaching folks how to build their own boats for years, specializing in making what at first appears difficult to be achievable. The photos sent to us of first boats are truly amazing.
The Alli8 is a bit of a departure for us, where she is not a round bottomed boat–she’s not even round sided. What she is is a plywood planked V-bottom that’s straightforward to build with readily available tools and materials. And just so you have all the information you need in one place, we’ve written a book that details her design and construction from selecting the materials to her first sail.
The book itself is 8-1/2" x 11" format and comb bound so that it will lay flat on your workbench...that in itself is a handy feature, you'll find. For those of you concerned with such things, it contains 71 pages with 54 photos and illustrations.
Now it's easy enough to say that it covers everything, but does it really? We think it does. Subdivided into 1o parts, it includes:
Section 1: The Design
Section 2: Building the Form
Section 3: Making the Keel & Transoms
Section 4: Laminating the Chine Logs
Section 5: Planking the Bottom & Sides
Section 6: Inboard Joinerwork
Section 7: The Sailing Rig
Section 8: Painting & Varnishing
Section 9: Rigging
Section 10: Time and Materials
That last section is included specifically for those who select this for a home schooling project. It includes the materials list, of course, but perhaps more importantly, it breaks the entire process down into its individual components so that it can be incorporated into a lesson plan. It even includes pages from the shop notebook showing how to best layout the pieces on plywood so as to minimize waste. The whole boat can be built with only four sheets, by the way.
This really is an ideal project for a parent and child or grandparent and grandchild. Alli and I even made the sail, and you can too!
And the best part is that after she's built you can go sailing!