5 Useful Boat and Ship Building Techniques

Each boat building enthusiast has their own way of doing things however if you read on you might just find some methods that you never have thought of or come across yourself.

1. Keeping your battery rechargeable to avoid problems out on the water

No matter how good the quality of your battery is or how new it is there can always be problems regarding the holding of charge. For example I was out on the lake recently and my battery which was only 3 months old and had worked without problems in the past, stopped working completely. After carrying out several test when I got back on land I concluded that the battery was completely discharged and would not be rechargeable via a normal charger but instead required a very powerful manually controlled charger. This situation is of course not ideal since if it were to happen out at sea there would be very little that one could do about it.

After doing a little research I found out that the best solution is to never let your battery go under around half its capacity. This means that no matter what in theory your conventional charging units should be able to always charge your boats battery. The problem here is that you might not know how much charge the battery has left. If no gauge is present then the best method is to work out how much energy you are using, of course these will be approximations but since you are aiming at only using half the charge capacity there is a lot of room for error and you will get better with time.

A second technique to keep a battery healthy is to recharge it for double the amount of time that you are supposed to. For example if your sailing boat battery usually takes 5 hours to be fully charged from 50% capacity then charge it for 10 hours.

2. Making a boarding ladder

For those of you that are building a small boat such as a dinghy constructing a boarding ladder is not necessary. However for bigger sailing boats and yachts a very cheaply created boarding ladder made out of rope and wooden rungs is very practical. Little additions such as these will usually not be included in boat plans therefore you will need to make things up as you go along. For those of you who like to be better prepared then I suggest to check out YouTube videos as there are many other boat building enthusiasts who are willing to share their methods and ship building techniques.

3. Beach legs to keep the boat upright

Depending on where you keep your boat between sailing or fishing sessions you might need to install some beach legs. These allow the boat to be kept upright when water is drained away usually because of tides. Depending on the size and weight of the boat you need two planks of wood on either side of the boat. These can be fitted using a variety of methods and should be done so with the ability to be removed quickly as it might be a daily process.

The actual legs need to be slightly shorter than the height of the boat as this will allow the boat to be on its side. The other leg is then made redundant, however it is important to have them both since you do not know which side the boat will tilt to when the water is swept away. Ideally they should be about 6cm shorter than the height of the boat. For bigger or longer boats you might need 4 legs if there are any problems, the last thing you want to find is your boat in the morning on its side or even upside down in the water. For attachment of legs to the boat you would ideally be using a nut and bolt system because it will take a small amount of time to install and remove the beach legs, also the level of stability will be more than sufficient.

4. Storing a small dinghy in the water alongside a sailing boat or yacht

Most sailing boats and yachts do not have the space incorporated into their design for storage of a small dinghy boat. Therefore you will need to store a dinghy, should you have one alongside in the water. This would not be a problem if the wind or currents are strong as it would ensure that the dinghy will be pulled a safe distance away from the main boat. However when left to float in calm waters the dinghy can constantly crash into the main boat causing damage to the hull and rudders which can become a very expensive problem.

To solve this problem you need to extend a boom which can be wooden or metallic away from the edge of the main boat. Then tie up the small dinghy to the far end of the boom. Now if you have a boom that is long enough and is tied up correctly to the dinghy then you will never have a situation where contact is made to the side of the sailing boat or yacht.

5. Bending a length of timber

Every boat builder needs to be able to bend wood in order to have a wider selection of methods to choose from. There is a way to do this using clamps, absorbent cloths and boiling water. What you do is get a hog which is basically a curved length of wood and then clamp your straight piece which should have absorbent cloth wrapped around it. Now pour boiling water over the area that is to be curved and move the clamps along the length of wood. The frequency with which you move the clamps depends upon how effectively the bending goes. This method is particularly effective after several trial and error sessions because it needs some practice before it becomes useful.