Posted by: Mike Randall | June 27, 2010

Time Poor

On a Monday mornings when I sit down to solid week of work at the office I always fantasize about how much boat building I could get done in the same period of time!

As an exercise I did the math. On average I’ve been getting about 12hrs a week boat building time, this is made up of two three hour evening sessions between 9pm and 12am on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I’m usually a sleep deprived zombie by Thursday so stay home to maintain household harmony. I then get to squeeze a 6hr session on Saturday afternoons after my kids have played soccer and netball.

The sad truth is in one week of full time boat building I could get done what takes me a month of part time building… hmmm 4 months in a month etc etc! I don’t think I’ll dwell on this anymore.

Here are some more internal fit out bits I’ve achieved in my small grabs of boat building time.

Cockpit side shelves


These fitted nicely into the supports I’d cut out and glued to the bulkheads months ago before hull assembly began. I’ve left the fronts off for the minute so I can sand the inside fillets easily.

I then turned my attentions to the bridge deck. I used my favourite pattern making technique for the deck and the mini side shelf doublers.

Multipart MDF pattern to establish exact shape of the bridge deck


You can probably just make out my shape tracing technique for ensuring these multipart patterns all align again when I reassemble them on the Gaboon ply sheets.

I traced around a small metal ruler to help re-align the patterns


MIni side shelf


I made the front part of this panel oversize and use an edge flush bit on my router to get an exact fit.

Finished Bridge deck port side


None of this has been permanently screwed down yet, I want to maintain easy access for painting and sanding.

Finished bridge deck


Onto the cabin lockers under the bridge deck for next weeks time poor boat building mini sessions.


  1. Hi Mike,

    Been following your journey for a while now with all its ups and downs.

    Did you have an estimate from François on build hours before you started? Any idea on where you are of % project completion?
    Of course, it’s really hard to log your time and there are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t anyway.


    Allan C

    • Hi Allan,
      Glad to hear you’ve been following the Journey. I used to follow lots of builds online before I got my own underway, I always thought the builders were taking forever which was probably the case, but it doesn’t actually feel that way when you’re hands on and obsessing over some minor detail that no one will ever see. My philosophy on this is the time will pass whether I build a boat or not so I might as well build a boat.

      When I first started this blog Fred MOUCHY contacted me with details of his StirVen build which you can check out at his blog. He had just launched and calculated it took him 750hrs. Going on his reckoning and my 12hrs a week average that would be 62.5 weeks part time building for me. If I throw in François belief that building from plans could add up to 200hrs extra time (Fred built from a kit) that would be an additional 16 weeks total 78.5 weeks or about 19 months for me!

      From drawing up my patterns to now I think I’ve been going about 18 months therefore I should be finished next month! Hmmm either my maths is a mess or my weekly hourly rate is all wrong or someone lied to me. I’m sure I wont be launching anything next month!

      Believe it or not though I hope to have things pretty close to sorted by Christmas – 6 months, stay tuned and see how I go.


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