WEST SYSTEM: Building a wooden boat that shines in the sun
When Sweden-based carpenter Paul Allsop first laid eyes on a cedar strip boat in Hawaii, it captured his imagination and he knew he had to build one of his own. It took him a further seven years to start but once he did, he couldn’t stop. Paul gives us an insight into his passion project.
“From my first encounter with a cedar strip boat I was mesmerised.”
As a carpenter of 25 years, I’m always on the lookout to build something strange and interesting and to push the limits of my abilities. From my first encounter with a cedar strip boat I was mesmerised and had to build my own.
It was on holiday in Hawaii that I was paddling in the water and I came across this thing of beauty. It floated on the water as if it was a painting hanging in a gallery – it was a work of art. It had lovely contours and an incredible shine to it and it’s fair to say this cedar strip boat dazzled me.
I had no prior experience or knowledge of boatbuilding but that wasn’t a problem for me. Everyone has to start somewhere so I bought books and searched online for information on materials and techniques.
The cedar strips were purchased from Canada and I sought professional advice from local boat supplier HF Marine of Sweden. They recommended I use WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin® with WEST SYSTEM 207 Special Coating Hardener to ensure I got the double effect I wanted – a structurally sound boat that would shine in the sun.
To my mind, there was no point in having a perfectly constructed wooden boat that did not shine. It was the glistening in the sunlight that had left such a child-like impression on me in Hawaii. I’m delighted to report that thanks to WEST SYSTEM® epoxy I was duly rewarded with a glossy shine and smooth contours on my finished boat. The champagne flute holder? In my opinion, when you’re out on the open water that is also a vital necessity.
Now that I’ve built my first boat I want to build another, better one. If it goes well and I’m able to sell the boats I produce then it may turn out that I spend less time in the building industry and more time doing what I love – creating these beautiful boats.
“My advice to anyone who is thinking of starting something similar would be to do your homework.”
My advice to anyone who is thinking of starting something similar would be to do your homework. Read the relevant books and contact people who have made mistakes and can impart their wisdom. I would also really recommend using WEST SYSTEM epoxy and familiarising yourself with the WEST SYSTEM user manuals. It pays off.
Paul Allsop is the owner of Woodwork Creations Sweden, specialising in wooden boats and custom-made furniture. See more photos of Paul’s amazing boat build by visiting his Facebook page.