Introduction Preparation Final Rigging & Outfitting
Building the Weekend Skiff requires common tools and generally simple methods. The parts are mostly easy to make and are held together with epoxy, ring nails, and wood screws. A few tasks are a bit more demanding, but well within the reach of anyone who's handy and willing to learn.
The four young ladies of our building team have been able to do most of the work with little help from me. I've had a bit of a hand in most tasks, but usually just enough to get them started.
A few things I haven't let them do, such as working with the more hazardous power tools like the table saw, surface planer, or large plunge router. I've also done a couple of small but more complicated tasks, like shaping the knees and breasthook, that were tricky enough for me to do that it would have been unreasonable to ask of them.
That said, I estimate the girl-built fraction of the boat is still well above 75%.
Another thing you should realize is the building time estimates in the book, -- a handful of weekends -- are valid only for the basic rowing skiff, and when the kids are presented with a complete kit of pre-cut parts on the first day. If you plan to build the sailing version from scratch, which we are, it will take you considerably longer, as you can tell by looking at our Chronology.
Also, if you're an experienced woodworker or boat builder, you'll quickly learn that everything will take a lot longer for the kids to do than it would by your own hand. Plan to exercise your patience every step of the way. It will be worth it!
I'm presenting detailed construction notes with plenty of pictures so anyone who is contemplating a similar project can see what we did and learn from our experiences.
Keep in mind that this is my first boat building project, so I've had to hustle to stay ahead of the work and there have been a few mistakes made. Also, the boat's designers did not provide a detailed rigging plan, so I've had to do a bunch of research and make many choices which will remain unproven until we can finish the job and get the boat in the water.
Continue with Preparation