Building a new boat “The Crackerbox”

By: Sean-Nós

It all began with a few planks of wood two of douglas fir that will be used as the motor stringers and one of mahogany to start making the frames. This is my second build, and since this is an inboard it throws up a few more problems than just putting an outboard on the back. However, I do like a challenge and a bit of head scratching to keep me occupied. I had already been searching eBay for all the fittings like the windshield brackets and bow light at a good price. I’d set myself a limit for each item and would not get into a bidding war on them as I do like a glass of wine at night and I could end up losing my shirt.

Since this build is on a very low, to none, budget I used quite a bit of reclaimed timber along with what I could find in skips. I also went around to local woodworking shops for extra pieces of wood. Here, I have the frames cut out and put in place using the motor stringers as part of the building frame. As you can see I’m very tight for space on each side, so this is about as big of a boat that I can build.

Next step is the keel, battens and framework, instead of going with the flat back transom I decided to build a barrel back not only for the look but as I was going to use a gearbox instead of direct drive every extra inch would help me get the angle of the prop shaft down another degree without upsetting the centre of gravity to much.

The first skin of marine ply was glued on with thickened epoxy, then screwed on first to hold it in place, and just before it is fully set I removed the screws and fill the holes. At this stage, it’s nice to see the boat finally taking shape.

After putting up a few boats and engines to sell on classified websites, I was able to get enough money to buy a donor boat. I was hoping to use all the running gear, trailer and engine, and I couldn’t believe my luck when the engine started right up this is too good to be true, the boat was immaculate. I stripped down the engine, and it turned out to have a cracked block, some choice words were said as this left me up ****’s creek without an engine.

After a bit of saving, I was able to buy a new 5.7 long block, and once I had the engine rebuilt I was able to built up a copy of the hull of the boat and work out all the angles, and point to drill the shaft hole.

Back at the boat the planking was done and a coat of 6oz fiberglass cloth.

For the paint, I went with interlux pre-kote primer and top coat applied by the roll and tipping later to be fine sanded and polished.

Boat flipped and at last somewhere to sit and make engine noises it’s a bit daunting having this big lump of an engine in front of you maybe it makes up for my shortcomings.

Once the engine, fuel tank, dash, plumbing and wiring were complete I then covered deck with 1/4 marine ply and then planked it with 1/4 mahogany leaving a 1/4” gap between each plank for caulking.

If you don’t like sanding stay away from wooden boats I had no finger prints for a few weeks getting the finish down to where I was happy, and this is only the start of the sanding I still have to add a few coats of epoxy and then build up the varnish sanding between each coat.

After all the varnishing, I made the seats fitted the windshield, and she was ready for the first dip in the water to check for any leaks and see how she sits. My last boat was sold to a lakeside hotel called Wineport lodge I got a few free nights thrown into the deal, so it was the perfect place to go as I could leave my wife to go and get pampered while I spent the day on the boat. All in all, everything went quite well there was a bit of leaking from the stuffing box around the prop shaft and she started proposing at around 40 MPH.

Well that’s the story so far I have now added trim tabs, and she is ready for her launch on Lough Ree here in Ireland on the 1st of march weather permitting. Full details of my build can be seen under “New build crackerbox” on the iboats forum.

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Pontoon Furniture Installation

We always want our personal items looking the best they can possibly look. For all of you pontoon owners, you know being comfortable is important. Check out this instructional video on how to install new pontoon furniture.

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Worlds Fastest Amphibious Car

Have you ever seen the Sea Lion? An amphibious vehicle that can reach speeds of 180 MPH on land and 45 MPH on the water. This vehicle is powered by a Mazda RX-3 motor that packs about 174 horsepower. Check out what other amphibious boats you can find on our boats for sale page.


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4 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Boat

It is a personal choice as to whether you will buy a new or used boat. In most cases, it is the financial implication of buying the boat that makes many a people opt to buy used ones as they are cheaper. There is nothing wrong with this so long as the person buying the boat takes the time to make sure that it is in great operating condition.

Search for new boats

To achieve this, certain factors can be used. You don’t need to have a degree in rocket science to know of these factors as simple online research and talking to boating experts will help you make the right choice. Some of the factors that you should consider when buying used boats are discussed below.

The financial implications

Buying a boat is not the same as buying a loaf of bread so you need to look into the issue of your financing options. The best way of course is saving the money needed to buy the boat. If you had not saved and you still want to buy the boat, the next option becomes to look for other financing options such as taking a loan. The importance of this is that the option available determines how much money is available and hence you can decide on the cost of the boat you will buy. Be careful as you take a loan to ensure that it has favorable rates and you can repay it easily.

The age of the boat

Since you are buying a used boat, it is very important that you take the time to consider its age. Telling this is easy as the date of first purchase is shown on the boat’s documentation. The importance of this is that once you know the age of the boat, you can calculate the depreciation and hence negotiate to get a better price based on the depreciation. In the event where the boat is very well maintained, you may not benefit so much on depreciation.

The general condition of the boat

This is generally assessing the general condition of the boat both on the exterior and interior. There are some buyers that get carried away by good looking used boats and they forget that beauty goes only skin deep. To examine the exterior of the boat, pick up and move any items that are not fixed so as to see the area in which they have been placed. In addition, every jointed and metallic area should be carefully checked for corrosion and other forms of damage.

When it gets to the interior of the boat, the engine is the most important part to check. Should you notice that the engine is dirty, it means that it has been neglected and this is a warning sign. Grime and corrosion indicate that there is a leak somewhere. The battery should be checked to see its condition and age and make sure that you confirm that the oil is not leaking. These are some of the critical things that you should inspect but there are more. To make sure that you don’t miss out on anything, you can hire a professional to help you inspect the boat and give you a report and recommendation.

 The price of the boat

Contrary to what many people think, the price of the boat is not the most important feature to consider. Once you have found a boat that has all the features you need and is in the best condition, the matter of price comes in. A used boat will not cost as much as new one but this is not to mean that it is cheap. In most cases, the condition and age of the boat will determine its price.

Sell your Boat

Most boat owners repair and repaint an old boat when they are preparing to sell it. Should the used boat be in excellent condition, expect a high asking price and be prepared to negotiate.

In the event that you like the boat but there are some issues that you would like taken care of, agree with the seller and ask if they will after sales services at their cost. Normally, these services are minor repairs and fixes that do not cost much. They can also be a good point to use to get a lower price.

These are some of the factors that you should consider when buying used boats.

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