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Discussion Starter #1
This is a build of a 20' Tolman widebody in a 20'6"x 13' rental garage by someone with almost 0 wood working experience. The boat will be used in southeast Alaska for Salmon and Halibut and camping/ exploring.



A little background, my wife and I moved up to Juneau, Alaska in May from Colorado for work. In Colorado we had a jeep and were 4 wheeling, exploring, and camping in the mountains just about every day off weather permitting. There’s 0 legal 4 wheeling in Juneau and the nearest trails involve a couple hour ferry ride so we needed a new hobby. The local joke is you need a boat to make life tolerable in Juneau. We had never owned a boat or done any ocean fishing and decided to buy a starter boat. When I was home in July we bought a 17’ Alumaweld Stryker, it had a newer 60hp e-tec and a lot of newer done kinda right but cheap to get it out the door work. It got us out on the water though after a trip to spend 3 nights at the cabin in Taku Harbor and heading down to see the glaciers in Tracy arm (75 miles each way) it was pretty obvious the Alumaweld wasn’t the right boat for us. The leaky top and windshield were a ton better than riding in an open skiff and the boat just didn’t have the range, power, or weight capacity for anything besides day trips. We caught some fish, had a ton of fun, and started the steep learning curve of boat ownership and handling. I learned a ton about boat work fixing all the half ass work and it will be a nicely dialed in boat for the next owner.

While looking for ideas for our next boat in September I stumbled upon Tolman’s and bought the book. After reading it a couple times, pulling the tape measure out in the garage a million times, a couple posts on fishyfish asking questions, and some deliberation towards the end of November I pulled the trigger and ordered up a stack of marine plywood and some LVL’s. We considered a lot of options. We decided we wanted a keep it 5 years boat with a hard top, more power, more range, somewhere to sleep out of the weather. We looked at new boats, used boats, and finally decided to build a Tolman. Our garage is 20’6”x 13’, it’s a rental and there wasn’t an option of building a garage extension so we settled on a 20’ widebody. Yes we’ll want a bigger boat though this boat will serve our needs a lot better than our current boat and we won't be inheriting someone else's headache. I wasn’t willing to take on the commitment of building a great Alaskan and we didn’t have the room for it so this boat will have to do. I'm really glad I'm learning on a 20 footer instead of a monster 26 footer, the mistakes are much easier to fix and it's a lot less of a time commitment.

The general plan is
-20’ widebody (7'6" wide with a 3" chine flat on each side, 8 degree deadrise)
-Shortest lengthwise possible cuddy to sleep 2 adults
-Hard top, sliding side windows, glass front windows with wipers, long enough top/ sides to fit 4 people
-115HP 4 stroke, 6hp Suzuki Kicker (all ready have), leaning towards a Mercury 115 Pro XS CT or now that the Suzuki 115B drive by wire motor is out a suzuki
-Middle of the road finish better than a 0 fairing work boat though not yacht quality
-No rear deck or built in fuel tanks the first season to dial in weight balance for a self bailing deck

-Be fishing summer of 2021

I work at a remote mine camp and am home for 2-3 weeks and then gone to work for 2-4 weeks at a time. I try to put in around 100 hours per round of days off. I got home from work December 6th, started the first cut December 7th, and headed back to work December 22nd. The following posts are getting caught up to date.

First order of business was getting the garage in order and acquiring woodworking tools. I owned almost no woodworking tools besides a cheap circular saw, a jig saw, and a couple hand tools. I did my best to get the garage cleaned up and make as much room as possible. I built a rack for grinder wheels to free up the drawer they were occupying in the tool cart so woodworking tools had a home, built a rack for clamps, turned my machinist tool box shelf / scrap metal shelf into an epoxy station, and generally cleaned up the garage. My garage is tiny so organization is key. I moved as much junk as possible including my welder into the spare bedroom with a less than pleased wife. I picked up a bunch of stacking bins and hardware for assembly fasteners and built the “I can’t find it block” for all my drill bits and router bits I think I’ll use on the build. When I got home from work I had 15 sheets Hydrotek BS1088 Meranti waiting for me. After a couple black Friday deals and a bunch of trips to home depot I had acquired most of the tools necessary to build the boat.
 

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Good luck on your build you will enjoy it! I've had my 21 1/2' CC Widebody out in some pretty good PNW seas. Always felt the boat could handle it, you picked a great design.
 

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You have the most important part of the build under your belt, the desire to do it. You'll have a great boat when your done and with it a ton of pride that you did the work yourself. Keep us posted with pics as you progress. We will be watching for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm getting caught up with posts and am somewhat farther along



I built the jig pretty close to the book though added casters, cut the legs at 30” tall, added a 7/16” OSB top, and put a couple cross braces under to store long material and assembled parts. If anyone is in Juneau and wants to build a Tolman this jig is going to need a home and I’d rather it go to a Tolman builder than someone needing a table. Having the top on it was great for scarfing and layout and putting all my 2x material and a lot of plywood under has freed up a lot of room.

Here’s some pictures from cutting out the pieces. I bought a West Systems scarfing jig and put it on a new Milwaukee M18 circular saw. I have mixed feelings on the jig and my cordless saw hates running it with the 5.0 batteries didn't work great. Scarfing kicked my butt and I had a lot of ugly scarfs and belt sander time. All the scarf joints got some fairing compound now before they were on the boat to clean them up.

I followed the book plans pretty closely just adjusting everything for a 20’ boat. For the transom I did use an LVL instead of a 2x8. I made the motor cut out 33” wide instead of 28” per Mercury’s requirements. I had thought about building a bracket for a day or 2 and then decided it just wasn’t worth the work and risk of handling issues. I made the shelves out of ¾” marine plywood and will cap them with thicker than 3/8” material when the time comes. I had almost every woodworking power tool out I own besides a jigsaw to make the bowstem. Stringers are the standard LVL speced in the book, luckily they came uncoated. Everything that was recommended to be preglassed was though I haven't epoxied all the framework yet.

The boat even had to share the garage with out Christmas tree one night.
 

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I used mostly common hand and power tools when I built my 24’ Jumbo.
A cabinet scraper is extremely useful for cleaning up epoxy runs and those nasty fiberglass edges that are really sharp. I used it constantly.
Be sure to grind down a few putty knives to a small round point. My favorite was about the size of a dime on the tip. You will be laying many yards of fillets on the joints.
A powered rotary cutter. Sort of like a rechargeable pizza cutter. Saves lots of scissor work on the hands while cutting many yards of fiberglass cloth.

Hope this helps.
 

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You have signed up on the Woodenboat forum right? It is a great forum. I used to be very active on it when I was building boats. God people and good information. Very much like this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a bunch more pictures.


I'll have to check out the wooden boat fourm, I haven't been on there though have been on fishyfishy the tolman forum.


I have started to fill up the construction tools drawer now that I've had 3 weeks of working time on it. Also my clamp collection has grown and now it's a joke every we are at home depot my wife asks if I need more clamps. I have 2 different radius putty knives and a pile of other putty and drywall knives. I bought some of the $2 putty knives from home depot to use for quick fair, I learned the hard way about using the same knife in both tubs makes hard chunks the next time you go to use the quick fair. I'll try and get an updated picture. My 2" bahco scraper is my best friend and I've got some 5" scrapers as well.



Off to go glue up the framing and hopefully set the bottom tomorrow.
 

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Love my Bahco 665, the blades stay sharp a long time as long as you avoid nail and screw heads.
I wholeheartedly recommend a shinto rasp saw as well. AMAZING tool for shaping and smoothing; bowstem, chine fillets, transom to bottom/side corners etc.
I am building a J24, have been using facebook for my build blog because posting pictures here is kind of a PITA. I am wildscottishblum on fishyfish.
Enjoying watching your build.
 

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If you need advice there are lot of guys like Tuna Dave that have built these boats and fish them every year on Ifish.
 

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looks great, watch your air and ventilation in that small of workspace !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Picking out a color scheme is the wife’s department. One day the wife and I hit up the couple local places that sell boat paint. It was really hard to find any local help in the paint stores that had a clue. After a quick call to Petit talking with a real human who answered the phone and answered our questions I was sold on Petit single stage EZ Prime/ EZ Poxy and ordered up a gallon of their fairing compound. The wife is still contemplating colors and we have samples of durbak, starboard, and Tempress seat fabrics on the way. She’s wants either Electric Sapphire Blue or Teal blue for the hull and beige, tan, or platinum for the cabin and spray rail. It turns out Petit doesn't make teal anymore so she'll have to decide if she can live with electric sapphire or if she wants something else.



It's kinda hard to see in the picture though I built a hillbilly air cleaner when I started the build. It's a 20" box fan with a 20"x25" furance filter duct taped to it and hung by bailing wire. The filters are a little big though much cheaper than the right sized filters. It's wired to a switched outlet and whenever the lights are on the fan is on. I get a couple days out of a filter. Not the greatest option though it is something
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got as far as starting to stitch up the fairbody before heading back to work and added some braces to try and keep it from sagging/ warping while it takes a month long nap waiting for me to get home. It needs some tweaking with the stitches before I start gluing and taping. I started December 6th cleaning the garage, cutting plywood December 7th, and left for work December 22nd.
 

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More progress. I got home Sunday morning, January 17th from a month of nights. My wife was nice enough to unpack and pile a bunch of boat supplies in the laundry room waiting for me. I got the bottom final stitched and tacked together before I took a nap. Monday morning I went out to the garage at 8am to do a little bit of fairing, get the bottom cleaned up, aligned, and glass lines laid out. Somehow I broke a couple of the tacks so I just used some stainless wire. Once I had glass cut and ready to go I decided to go for it. At 3pm I filleted the keel joint, glued up the shelves, taped the keel and shelves, and got the 10oz bottom cloth down before I called it at 4am.
 

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Good to see another build thread, I cut my teeth in boating with a 21' starcraft 86 with 140 i/o cuddy model. it worked, it broke down, it leaked, that all I could afford and had seen a tolman, never even though of building a boat. Then I came across tolmans, and Dave's 26'. I was originally looking for a 26' starcraft to rebuild and go OB. No such luck and northriver or such was out of my price range.
So I build the 27' jumbo. I powered it with 150hp merc. I personally would have went Suz. if there would have been a dealer close by. Now the merc. dealer is gone so that advantage left. dealer support is important. Wife and I love the jumbo, we camp in it 30 nights a year. i am upgrading kicker motor this year if it ever comes in with a 25hp Yam. Highthrust. fishyfish is a good bunch of boat building folks. Love the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I got the bottom flipped which wasn't an easy task in a tiny garage and then got the back half outside taped. Then I got the bottom off the jig and leaned up against my tool carts/ epoxy station. The garage got really tiny and was requiring a ton of boat yoga to get around.

The wife made me take a night off boat building and we went to a state park cabin. I was able to get rid of my plywood scraps so all progress wasn't wasted.

I originally built the jig with 30" tall legs, didn't add any diagonal bracing besides an OSB top and didn't add any lower bracing to 2 of the legs. It was a little flimsy and was going to be way too tall. I cut the legs down to 16" + the casters for around a 20" height, got the OSB top off and it squared up with some lower bracing for the other 2 legs/ diagonal bracing for all the corners. I cut out all the molds and got the jig ready to start assembling pieces.

I had been using phillips headed Spax screws with moderate success and a lot of wollered out screw heads. I bought a couple boxes of the torx plus headed screws, promptly threw out all the phillips headed screws, and haven't sworn at a screw since.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This post brings me up to the current status of the project.



Well life might be taking an interesting and better for the boat turn of events though progress might slow for a month or 2.

I got the shelves, bowstem, transom, and stringers on the jig. I had to move all the molds back 6" to avoid the transom hitting the jig and allow my garage door to close. It clears the door by about 1/2" and I have about 4" in the front. My parts needed a little tweaking and I was about an hour away this morning from gluing everything up when I got a phone call from the wife. We had just started looking at houses and missed out on a probably over priced house with a 26' deep garage. She sent me a house that was posted 8 minutes before with a 24x40' shop, plenty of parking, blah blah blah rest of the details really didn't matter, drove the 3 minutes over to it, called our realtor, and had walked through/ put an offer in 2 hours later. We were the first couple to put an offer in and real estate is pretty hot here right now. We are waiting to hear back on our offer and will probably know something tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath though am crossing my toes we get it. I put gluing everything up on hold till we have a decision. If we find out we are moving into a place with a decent sized shop I'm going to start cutting out/ scarfing what I can to extend the boat to some where between 22'6" and 24', probably around 23'6" since that will only require 2 sheets of plywood. Some of the glue up will have to wait till we move. I head back to work Sunday morning for a month I'm not sure how much more progress I'll have to report this week
 

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great posts, good skiff choice, and good luck with the house offer...and make sure to wear a good filtration mask when using that epoxy resin!
 
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