Punt Progress

Punt Progress

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.

Check out our other stories on punts. I am pretty enthusiastic about them right now! I’ll keep you updated as the build progresses. Plans here.

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.

Above: I used 2 x 2s for the inner chine on the center section. Probably overkill. The build is a fun one, so far, easy, affordable, doable!
Above: The bottom is in place for the center section. The clamped in 2×2 is temporary, just to be sure all is aligned properly as I finish the build.
Above: In rainy weather my shop is an old fashioned single car garage with too much “stuff” in it. It works, but it is awkward. Here I test the bend for the front section of the bottom.
Above: The bottom applied and the front section cut away, which went without a hitch. Actually, I cut it away before adding the bottom. Worked fine. I didn’t trim the length of that bottom piece until it was all glued in place, giving me more leverage for the bend.
AC plywood. The C layer is inside. Compared to some, this C isn’t bad.
Inside the curved portion of the end section. I am in the process of adding fillets. I added inner chine pieces in the end, as well.

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 5th:

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!

Hmm. What would the boat be like with a very lightweight/thin cabin? Windows would be flexible plastic held in place with velcro type material.

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.

4 thoughts on “Punt Progress

  1. The plans actually call for a center stiffener. Hope it goes well for you. I am debating this build or going ahead with my ‘big build’ next.

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