Our plans use two methods to build our boats, "Stitch & Tape" or "Clinker Plywood" and our plans are listed under those headings.
Almost all our canoes are built using Stitch & Tape with the exception of two which have the option of building in Clinker Plywood.
The build methods are described below.
The Stitch & Tape method.
Stitch & Tape boat building has been around for some time now and is ideal for the novice DIY builder.
This brief guide gives the basics.
Stitch & Tape or Stitch & Glue isn't a new method of building small boats. It is ideal for the novice and a relatively quick and easy way to build a boat - not just small dinghies. I helped build a plywood narrow boat using this method.
The first job is to mark out, then cut out the plywood panels or planks for the boat as per the dimensions given with your plans.
Now loosely stitch the panels together with cable ties or wire. If the wire is to become part of the boat, use copper wire. If not, then ordinary steel wire is adequate. We always use plastic cable ties now as they are easier and safer to work with however, they are not adjustable once tightened so have to be replaced during adjustment.
Tighten the stitches to pull the boat into shape and stiffen it up.
Set the boat up on a floor or across two saw horses or similar and brace into shape. Loosen the stitches to help if needed and re-tighten.
Check the boat is square and level and not twisted and adjust the braces if necessary.
Now add the fillet (epoxy glue) to the inside between the stitches. We use a fillet of epoxy thickened with a fillet additive applied to the joint first and then the fibre glass tape is applied over it later if we need the extra strength. This also takes away any sharp angles because epoxy tape doesn't like sharp angles. It would produce a weak joint as the tape would not lay flat around the whole joint once cured.
When the inside has cured or hardened, turn the boat over and make sure the boat is still in shape, remove the stitches and prepare the outside joints by rounding them off. Now apply the tape using one continuous length. Taping is using a fibre glass tape, applying resin to the joint a little wider than the area the tape will take up. Then lay the tape on the wet joint and “wet out” the tape. Basically, add more resin. Finish the outside joints by sanding down the edges of the tape and applying more resin.
Then you can "fit out" the boat which is when you fit all the seats, bulkheads, decks and trim followed by the painting and/or varnishing of your new boat.
This should give you a fair idea of what is meant by Stitch & Tape or Stitch & Glue.
The Clinker Plywood method.
A basic description of a Clinker Plywood build is:
Mark out the planks and mark the lap line on them. Cut out the planks from the plywood sheets along with the keel section, stem, mould or frames and transom. Mark them all for identification and then construct the build frame. This is a base onto which the stem, keel, mould(s) and transom are set up and secured in position.
The planks are then fitted, one pair at a time. They can be fixed in position with screws, cable tie stitches or lap clamps etc. Now you can epoxy all joints with the mixed resin and an additive to thicken it and apply in the gap between the planks.
When the planking is complete and the epoxy has cured, remove hull from build frame and set it right side up, square and level. Seal the interior chine joints with epoxy and then fit out. Add the seats (thwarts) rub rails, inwales, quarter knees and trim.
Sand and paint/varnish.
Launch and enjoy!
This is a very brief and basic explanation but all the main points are there.