WEST SYSTEM: Building a Whilly Tern with marine epoxy
Nick Wunderly always wanted an opportunity to work with his hands but it wasn’t until a chance conversation that he decided to use them for boat building. Further research led him to enrol onto the 38 week course at the Boat Building Academy, enabling him to personally craft a boat to perfection.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself.
I was a Civil Servant for 13 years working at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice but, at the age of 42, I decided to change my career.
I had always wanted to work with my hands and a chance conversation led me to start looking at boat building as an option. After further research, I decided to undertake the 38 week course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis.
How did this particular project come about?
The course gives students the option to commission a boat and I knew what I wanted to produce, having done some research into the type of boat I wanted to build before starting the course.
It was important for me to build something I could launch and sail myself, with the added option of taking additional people when required. Having discussed the options I decided on Iain Oughtred’s Whilly Tern, a 15ft double ended beach boat, which I named “Just Ballast”.
Which WEST SYSTEM® or PRO-SET® epoxy products did you use? How did they help?
I used the WEST SYSYEM 105 Epoxy Resin® and 205 Fast Hardener® as I needed a strong marine epoxy which would enable the boat to withstand varying amounts of stress. I had decided that I wanted to use cold moulding as the construction method, rather than the traditional clinker set out in the plans.
Given the amount of marine epoxy that was required for the cold moulding and lamination of the stems, aprons and tiller, a strong epoxy was crucial. In addition to this, the calibrated pumps made measuring out the correct amounts a lot easier.
What was the most rewarding part of the project?
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the boat grow and develop over the period of the build, but the highlight of the project was definitely putting her in the water on launch day. Observing my hard work on the water was certainly a proud moment!
What’s your top tip for boat builders looking to start a similar project?
Expect everything in the build to take longer than you think! You might be overambitious with your time-planning, so don’t be disheartened when stages aren’t finished as quickly as you’d hoped. It’s worth the wait.
Find out more about the Boat Building Academy and the variety of courses that they offer.
To explore the WEST SYSTEM epoxy products Nick used in his build, click here.