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Sea Library

Boat Building

Amateur or professional, fibreglass, composite, ally – there is no limit to the ways people want to build their boats, or the designs they will use to achieve their dream. This section is unashamedly about how the pros build their boats, and very often, how DIY amateurs achieve pro results in their backyard – such is the diversity, talent and skill, reflected in this section of the Library.

Building in plate alloy (privately as DIY or pro-shop commercially) is best accessed through the huge, 370 page compendium - Plate Alloy Boats of Australia (Book 7.5) "The Collector's Edition" as all of the printed copies of Books 1,2,3,4,5, & 6 have long been sold out, and will not be reprinted.

We’ve always had a very strong boatbuilding section, and yes, most of the boats we’ve followed during construction are of ally construction – but that is just the way it’s been in recent years, although we’re now seeing a resurgence in composite boatbuilding (pro and amateur) in recent times – especially using saturated strip or plywood ‘planking’ as the core material. As you can see, we are now starting to build up an interesting collection of composite DIY reports.


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Title Description Author Pages  
ABM/BMD's 2014 PIc Essay P-1 of 2

Inspirational roundup of some of Bowdidge Marine Designs (BMD) DIY projects underway in March 2014. BMD & ABM 12
ABM/BMD's 2014 PIc Essay P-2 of 2

Second half of this amazing round-up of BMD DIY projects underway in March 2014. ABM & BMD 12
All About Australia's Paulownia Timber

Anybody interested in boatbuilding in timber or composite materials needs to read this excellent summary of the timber that is proving such a winner for projects that used to require hard to get, quality western red cedar. This is actually better timber, and grown here in Oz. David Evans 2
BMD DIY 16' Gulf Explorer

This is another of BMD's latest designs - this time providing a genuine DIY alternative to the popular 470 - 490 casting platform-type centre or side console normally produced in Ally - but here in composite construction for a fraction of the cost of the productions models. ABM & BMD 2
BMD DIY 5.2m Offshore Cuddy

This is PW's pic of the many excellent designs in the BMD range - but this rig sits across just about all the GRP cuddies in the 5.5-6.5m range with a better shape, more freeboard and price point that makes it a real proposition for today's families. ABM & BMD 7
BMD DIY Flat Chat 16

Whilst most people are happy at 20 knots, in the tournament world you could get left behind . . so BMD developed a river, bay and estuary rig that is capable of blowing your hat clean off, and giving you watery eyes en-route to the fishing grounds - and back to the weigh-in. ABM & BMD 6
BMD DIY Pro Tournament 21

This is a drop-dead gorgeous 21' deep vee with a fishing cockpit set-up that will have fishos queued up to fish with you, and a hull shape and performance that will encourage you to go for a hoon in the deep, when the fish are asleep . . . ABM & BMD 7
BMD DIY Riptide XR-457

Whatever you are thinking about boat building, make sure you take a careful look at this superb hull shape - and how it has been crafted out of paulownia strips to create a sensuous deep vee shape ally boats can only dream about. ABM & BMD 8
BMD DIY Tournament 24

Awesome, state of the art, strip planked (in paulownia) composite GRP deep vee bluewater fishermen destined to get the adrenaline flowing. Mark Bowdidge & ABM 5
AUD $5.00
BMD DIY Tropic 14

This is a seriously clever alternative to the classic tinnie - and just about the perfect tiller steer fishing boat for estuaries, rivers, dams and bays. Needs b. all power to scoot along, cheap as chips to build, and so simple to build you'll be amazed - and delighted. ABM & BMD 5
BMD's DIY 5.1m Broadwater Cuddy

Beaut all-round family cuddy easily within the scope and budget of the family DIY enthusiast with some determination and desire to get on the water for the fishin', fun, tubin' and cruisin' that will follow this rig's completion. ABM/BMD 5
BMD's DIY Sea Strike 16

One of the most popular craft in the growing BMD range of DIY composite boats, this Sea Strike is built with a cunning derivation of the 1950s 'stitch and glue technique - only these days we use cable ties! Brilliant, simple, strong and effective boatbuilding technique. ABM & BMD 6
Building My 8.5m Cat

West Aussie Les Davidson decided to build his own outboard powered 8.5m plate alloy cat (and a superb ally trailer) and proved that with careful, methodical work, a superb cat can be produced. Les Davidson 9
AUD $5.00
Curran 485 DIY Project Part 1 of 2

Introducing one of the all-time most popular DIY series we ever produced at F&B when we built a 4.85m runabout Phil Curren had designed. Phil has now retired, but his kits are still available. PW 10
Curran 485 DIY Project Part 2 of 2

Introducing one of the all-time most popular DIY series we ever produced at F&B when we built a 4.85m runabout Phil Curren had designed. Phil has now retired, but his kits are still available. Note this is Part 2. PW 9
DIY 2014 BMD Composite Revolution

Not since the days of Hartley, Young, Hedges, Bowden or Roberts has there been so much sawdust and resin flying around the garages and lean-to's of so many private homes . . Editor PW looks at the reasons why. PW 11
AUD $5.00
F&B#142 Part 1/5 Building 6.4m Calibre plate

Part One - The assessment of the issues - Di Ross explains the back story to the project. Di Ross & John Batty 5
AUD $5.00
F&B#143 Part 2/5 Building 6.4m Calibre plate

Di and John become immersed in the design process, making the kit, and studying the way the hull comes together. Di Ross & John Batty 6
AUD $5.00
F&B#144 Part 3/5 Building 6.4m Calibre plate

The team are now really seeing the Calibre 6.4 take shape - hardtop structure, base, 'hot metal' fit-out and 'soft options' starting to be installed. Di Ross & John Batty 8
AUD $5.00
F&B#145 Part 4/5 Building 6.4m Calibre plate

This is where it gets REALLY interesting as Di and John move into the fitting out stage, installing the diesel, building the ally trailer and preparing the 'hot metal' for painting. Di Ross and John Batty 7
AUD $5.00
F&B#146 Part 5/5 Building 6.4m Calibre plate

Happy days, as the wraps come off, the covers go on, the painting is completed, and the rig undergoes its first and comprehensive sea trials under Yanmar diesel power. Di Ross and John Batty 6
AUD $5.00
Let's Re-Think Boat Buying

Thought provoking report by Editor PW on how we think about buying a boat - sometimes walking straight past options and alternatives that warrant careful consideration. One of the best options is to consider a mix of pro-building and DIY . . . . check it out. PW 8
AUD $5.00
PAA 480 Side Console

This is right 'on the money' for DIY enthusiasts - a kit set plate ally side console that is easily built at home by any competent handyman - or you can enrol in a week long course and learn how to do it. ABM & PAA 8
PAA 5.0m Tiller Steer Fishing P-1 of 3

Here's a really practical, DIY platey easily within the scope of the home handyman working with one of Plate Alloy Australia's excellent kits - where all the components are pre-sorted and cut for you! ABM & PAA 3
AUD $5.00
PAA 5.0m Tiller Steer Fishing P-2 of 3

In this Part, we get right into building the boat - with the stock, the nestings picked out, assembling the components - a whole, real boat is emerging in the garage . . . ABM & PAA 7
AUD $5.00
PAA 5.0m Tiller Steer Fishing P-3 of 3

This is becoming quite exciting as the boat is now upright, and the fulfilling fitting-out process is underway. ABM & PAA 6
AUD $5.00
PAA's DIY 6.2 Sportsfisherman

Extremely contemporary 6.2m plate alloy sportfishing boat that is right 'on the money' in 2014-15 for the DIY boat builder. Terrific design, more orientation to fishing (and sportfishing at that) than most, and easily handled by the larger SUVs. ABM/PAA 6
AUD $5.00
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