In the cut

Two Boats Cut from One

To cut two boats from one, a boat of your own construction no less. That’s what I did during the big “storm” earlier in the week.

In the life of one who tinkers with boats there comes the time where one has to do something that is difficult if not impossible to undo. Sometimes it is drilling a hole below the waterline, or cutting something to find out what is behind it … alway an interesting mystery in a previously owned boat.

In this case, to build a nesting dingy, one has to take one boat and make it into two boats.

Marking the cut

Shane intently marking.

This involves marking the cut. Which involves marking the cut. Shane did the initial marking, then we drilled holes down through the cardboard separating the the bulkheads to test the marking. A connect the dots sort of thing.

For the record my son did a great job. Our test holes went right through the center of his cut line. It was very encouraging.

Making the cut

Then came the scary part. I was not happy with my stiff backed saw so I ended up using a Japanese pull saw. To create the initial kerf I clamped a piece of extruded aluminum to the blade of the saw to make a rigid assembly. Once we had a kerf, the saw followed it beautifully.

Cutting through the rails created the one scary moment, two actually, one for each rail. The wood in the railings was bent, clamped and glued into place and with each stroke of the saw tension was removed with crackling, groaning, and at least one high pitched scream (quiet scream) no sounds you want coming from a boat, particularly during surgery. And once that was over, it was over.

The pull saw turned out to be a good choice. It cut through the skin of the boat with ease and because of the shallow cut angle this saw works at avoiding the through bolts was easy.

After the Cut

After the Cut 1 After the Cut 2  After the Cut 3


p.s. The boat would have fit down the stairs without the cut. Though it will be much easer in two parts. Anybody who has wrestled a plywood dingy will understand.