Building a Duck Punt, Week 4 and a 1/2

The Duck Punt is finished and ready to transport to our river property.  I am looking forward to sailing.

Duck Punt

I have lots of photo’s of the finished Duck Punt with some close-ups of how I did my rigging, the building of a transport dolly, and to erase any doubts about my “brilliancy” a few photo’s that will show that I did not try particularly hard to make a “perfect boat”.     The building of Alice Gale was a two year project so the Duck Punt was indented to be a fast and fun build.   I only sanded enough to look good from 10 ft.  I figure it will be banged up and patched soon enough anyway, and I am not looking for any awards for my construction skills.   This boat can be built easily within a month of relaxed effort and pace.

Kayak seat

It goes without saying, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, this boat is one fun boat to build.  No centerboard, no rudder,  a three piece hull and  strips of  1 x 2’s .

Tied on a long painter to both bow and stern, also a grab handle

It goes together very fast and I believe it looks really good for the effort and money spent.   If you can track down a used Optimist Sail and a few oars, you can make this boat pretty inexpensively.    I of course splurged on a new Optimist ‘club sail’ and spar set from Intensity Sails ($250.00).  I also had a left over bronze fairlead that I used for the bow painter.  I would have made one from oak if I didn’t have this on the shelf.

I also found a pretty good deal for 25 yards of 4 oz cloth from ($100.00)  I only used 4 yards so I have plenty left for my next boat project.   I purchased my wood from Home Depot (3 sheets of 5.2 mm SandePly, 1 sheet of MDO for building frames,  6  8 ft  2×4’s for jig, and cedar fencing that I ripped for finished bulkhead framing and gunwales.  All told I think I spent less then $150 for wood that I needed.  I found enough left over Oak and Douglas Fir for the misc pieces requiring strength.  I also had a few feet of odd sized 10mm marine ply that I used for framing the floatation compartments, and mast thwart.   I used left over oak for the mast step, bow stem, and gunwale rubbing strakes, and douglas fir for the row chocks.    I also needed a new gallon of West System Epoxy  ($150), using about 3/4 of a gallon on the punt.  A gallon of gray porch paint from Home Depot ($25.oo), using about half a gallon on the punt.

Initially I was interested in the minimum cost and weight method for building this Duck Punt but now that the boat is finished I would like longevity too.   To obtain longevity you should purchase marine grade plywood and this will likely add another $100 plus to the cost of wood  based on availability and quality.    I didn’t have any problems with the Sandeply, no voids on any of the cuts, and no weird warping issues either.  But I believe this will be my only boat build with a lower cost plywood.   In the end, your time is the big expense, and after epoxy, fiberglass, sails, paint and other misc expenses, the wood is just a part of the expense, not the whole expense.     Since my punt will be stored in a garage in the desert and not left in the water for any length of time,  I believe I will get away with using inferior wood that has been encapsulated in glass and epoxy.   Time will tell, and I will be the first to report my bad choices when the boat starts to delaminate.    It is easy to work, but be warned in advance, it does not use waterproof glue and the 5.2 mm size I used was only three ply and pretty thin.

Did a bit of  hull smoothing and noted the few spots needed additional paint.

After viewing punt video’s on YouTube I added oak rubbing strakes to the oar chocks to protect the soft edged gunwale.

To transport from my garage to the launch ramp I build a PVC trolley.   I watched  a You Tube video for the idea, and simply copied the design.  Wheels came from Harbor Freight  ($12.00), and the PVC and axle material from the Hardware Store.

trolley cart

Finished trolley cart

The oars I picked up from a local fisherman who advertised them on ($40.00)   I also grabbed a camping sleep pad from the garage storage to lay in the boat for comfort.

Building a Duck Punt, Week 4

I was out-of-town for the majority of the week but I had a few days to sheath the hull.   A few days more to sand and paint and she will be ready to sail.

The 4 oz cloth laid out smoothly but required darts cut along each side.  This left a few high spots for sanding but filled nicely after sanding the high spots and then spreading another coat of epoxy to fill the weave.

Building the Duck Punt, Week 3

It has been 1o days since my last post.   Gail and I attended the Havasu Pocket Cruiser Convention in Lake Havasu CA.   It was very fun!   We and another 195 boats had a grand time sailing the lake.   I will be providing the details of the trip on my “Building the Ebihen 15” blog.

The duck punt build has progressed again once we returned home.

Gunwale added

1/2 frame being shaped

Have plenty of clamps

Rowchocks added

Holes drilled

Added a stern cap

A single deck beam installed

I added additional height to the mast step

A good look

Stern View

4 oz fiberglass cover for stern seat

Bow got a fiberglass cover too

1st coating of paint

Duck Punt Building, week 2

Another week of working on the Duck Punt.

The frame was separated from the forms and turned right side up.

A floatation compartment is build into the bow and stern.

All the seams are strengthen with 4 0z cloth

A mast step is built.

Floatation area of stern is framed.

and covered.

The mast step and thwart is installed.  Notice red laser alignment for centering the step.

I have also taken videos of the build, plus time lapsed photo’s so when the boat is finished I will edit and include a complete video build sequence.

Dylan made me do it, Week 1


If you don’t follow Dylan Winter’s Keep Turning Left video diaries you need to start.   Dylan is slowly circumnavigating the coast of Britain and has dozens of video logs of his journey.   Very entertaining.   Read more about Dylan and Keep Turning Left.   Recently Dylan has built a duck punt sailboat and his building videos and sailing adventures have given me the bug to build a similar duck punt too.  I just completed building Alice Gale and was looking for a sailboat for use on a shallow stretch of the Colorado River below Parker AZ.

My first job was to clean the garage and build a new storage cabinet to store my tools and supplies.

Wood to build cabinet

Now that the cabinet is finished and loaded with tools and supplies it is time to start the duck punt.   This duck punt is based on the plans for the West Mersea Duck Punt by John Milgate.   Free plans are available here as posted on Keep Turning Left.     I have maintained the general lines of the boat and assembled a building jig as specified in the plans.

Details of building jig and temporary frame

Next I will be removing the duck punt from the building jig,  install interior frames,  sheath the hull and build out the floatation spaces.   The duck punt is looking more like the stitch and glue version designed by Flo-Mo as I am using lightweight 6mm plywood and cedar frames along with other design cues shown in Flo-Mo photo’s.