July 28th Update Added at the End of this Page.
My Michalak punt build is progressing nicely, in spite of Spring rain showers.
The first build of this boat:
I’ve made some changes to the design. I am sure this sort of thing can frustrate designers, but so it goes. First off, my biggest concern was that hassles mean a boat doesn’t get used. Especially with a shoulder injury, the idea of launching this thing by myself, especially from a car top, is out of the question. Unless, maybe, I break it into three pieces, which I will be doing at the doubled frames. A long center section, then two ends. I also planned to put the chine outside, as designed, but for whatever reason, the remaining plywood was too narrow to fit, plus, a builder of this boat or a similar one said the boat needed a bit of stiffening, as I recall, so I put in two beefy internal chine logs… so far. I may add a third down the center. These changes required some framing changes. Just to be clear, I am sure the plans were fine as drawn, but I wanted a few changes. Speaking of the plans, well worth the price. Very affordable, both for the plans and the build itself.
I am thinking of getting a bit fancier than the first build, though I don’t want to lose the first builds practicality. Dark green paint with cream trim, perhaps? Varnish is beautiful, until it isn’t. No varnish for my purposes.
UPDATE – May 27th, 2020
I’ve kept at it, making slow but steady progress. If I was in a hurry it could be floating this coming weekend, in 3 or 4 days. I’m not, though.
May 28th, 2020
The boat is now in three pieces. Below you’ll see: Apart. Together. Nested.
The great news is, so far, I can carry the center section myself, though a bit awkwardly given its size. But making it in three pieces was done so I, alone, could carry the boat to the water.
Great news: Both ends nest within the center no problem.
June 4th Update:
JUNE 12th Update – I grab a quick clear weather window amongst all the Seattle rain.
The build continues, mostly with painting and final details. I used a thick undercoating, 123. Worked wonders for filling in the various gouges and the grain on this thin AC plywood. Launch isn’t that far off!
July 3rd Update
July 18th Update:
I did my first test launch a couple of weeks ago. Success! There is a small leak somewhere, which could be caused by how low the boat sinks in the water when it is just me aboard. I moved the seats toward the ends a bit and the boat drops down at the one end a good 4 or 5 inches. Water may be coming in the screw holes for the support straps, or perhaps over the 9-inch bulkheads at the breakpoint. It’s just a quart an hour or so, maybe half that.
The boat tracks well and moves along great with the homebrew electric trolling motor/mount. I am pretty happy.
I launched it at Sammamish Slough near Seattle. In a shot you can see a square hole in the far seat. That’s for a commode. My wife will appreciate an emergency option. I used wheelchair wheels to make a dolly to move the boat around the launch area. Works well. Bought it used on Craigslist.
I will continue today and keep you updated. I live in a big city and find this project a perfect Covid project.