Cold Molded Boatbuilding Sped Up

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Greetings, fans of boatbuilding and time lapse. In the age of modern video and boatbuilding, there is no finer combo than speeding up a big, complex job to be just a few minutes. These boatbuilders at Lyman Morse in Maine make it look easy in real time, but once it’s sped up – it just takes a few minutes to lay down the layers of planking on this cold-molded hull. Continue reading

DIY & PRO Boat Painting Days – NEXT WEEK – Dec. 13 & 14


Is your boat in need of a fresh topside paint job? Gelcoat can get pretty old and tired and with a good 2-part paint, like EMC’s QUANTUM 99 finishes, you can apply a professional looking paint job on your own. It’s a big job that can be intimidating, and we get that, so we have invited the pros from EMC paints to come to the TotalBoat Workshop for a DEMO DAY.   Continue reading

Sourcing Timbers at Mystic Seaport

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Wooden boat building can be as much about the materials you have access to, as it is about the skill and labor of building wooden boats.  If you’ve been watching our Skiff building series with Louis Sauzedde, then you know a good boatbuilder will go to great lengths to find the perfect timber. The species, grain appearance and age of each timber for your boat matters greatly as it is the heart, the core of your vessel. Build a boat from balsa wood and enjoy your handiwork for minutes, not decades. Select the right timber for the project and you’re good for a lifetime.  Continue reading

“Doris” Can Come Alive Again – Saving An Historic Yacht


Herreshoff Mfg Co’s largest all wood sailing vessel, built in 1905, has sat languishing and abandoned in a New London boatyard for over 30 years. DORIS, a five year documentary project, discovers the life and times of one of the great historical yachts as she’s returned to original specifications.

In this older TotalBoat Show post, we showed you Doris on her way this Fall to her refit at Snedicker Yacht Restoration in Pawcatuck, CT for what will be their largest restoration to date. It will be thrilling to watch a documentary about the refit once she is complete and to watch as the yacht is transformed in the coming years. YEs, years! And we will continue to keep you in the loop as they release other videos and updates.

Check out the history of this awesome yacht on her own blog page here,  and follow along on TotalBoat Show for more of the story.

Beetle [Cat] Mania


Hidden in the back of an industrial park in Wareham, Mass is a famous little boat shop cranking out little wooden boats with big attitude and an even bigger following. The Beetle Cat has been around since 1921 when John Beetle designed a small 12′ gaff rigged sailing dinghy for his children. The Beetle family had been busy building whaleboats for the large whaling ships and their production line build method became famous for it’s ingenious time and money saving methodology which was the basis for many other production line products.

With over 4000 boats out there, many of which race under the competitive one-design class rule, there is plenty of maintenance and upkeep to go along with these little wooden boats, so along with building new boats, Beetle Inc is also busy maintaining and upgrading existing cats.

Bill Womack, a civil engineer who was accustomed to building bridges and engineering little feats like the “Big Dig” in Boston, owned a Beetle Cat and always had interest in buying the company should it ever become available. In 2003 Womack leapt at the chance to do just that – pledging to carry on with wooden Beetle Cat boat building and to aggressively copyright the name and design which made it so famous.

Beetle Inc is a destination if you love wooden boats of any type (They build and restore many others) and if you are a Beetle Cat fanatic, then it is a MUST see. The shop, Bill Womack and Michelle and the storage racks full of Beetles are not to be missed. Every corner of the shop is full of great boat building gems and fun memorabilia from over the years.


This Beetle Cat jig is from 1946. Still front and center and a part of every Beetle being built, just as it was back then.  From 1921 – 1945 they were built right side up in a similar manner to the way the whaleboats were built.

1946 (from 1921 – 1945 they were built right side up in a similar manner to the way the whaleboats were built).


And to further the AWESOMENESS of the Beetle Inc – you can VOTE FOR BEETLE INC in the Classic Boat Magazine poll to determine the BEST TRADITIONAL BUILD UNDER 40′ – of course VOTE BEETLE!!!! Let’s help them win!

And check back for the Spring 2016 JD Catalog where we will feature Beetle Inc. as one of our Customer Profiles.

Thanks to Bill and Michelle for the tour! Now go vote! Good luck Beetle, Inc!

Thixo to the Rescue

We LOVE hearing about the different ways people fall in love with the genius tube of Thixo, our tubes of epoxy that mix perfectly with just the squeeze of your caulk gun. The mixing tips ensure a perfect concoction of resin and hardener and the various “flavors” of Thixo (Wood, Low Viscosity, Fast Cure and Thixo PRO) mean there is a solution for most problems encountered that require an adhesive.

Listen in to the voice of Mister SOS – the Aussie boatbuilder Moth fixing genius (alias: Australian legend boatbuilder Simon Owen-Smith) who came to the rescue of some beat up Moths from this past week’s Amlin International Moth Regatta? His first encounter with THIXO was a great one – and he even managed to give a great explanation as to why he found this surprise tool in the Moth Repair arsenal to be of such value.

These crazy sailors battled against big breeze and stiff chop as well as the basic Moth challenge of actually foiling and keeping the boat upright and in one piece. And as you might have read in Chris Museler’s first report from Bermuda, sailors of all abilities were in need of pretty fast and durable repairs as these boats and sailors were pretty dinged up from the challenging event. Nighttime sounded like a line up of all kinds of repair jobs to get the boat’s back on the water the next day. This is why we sent a case of THIXO to the event – to show the guys how fast and reliable this magical adhesive can be – without a mess and with little effort.

Check out SOS’s account of why he was so pleasantly surprised by THIXO and how it saved the day for a few guys and their carbon flying machines.


Moth Camp…The Video

Did you read the other blog posts (and one here) about the crazy Americans trying to epoxy, glue and jury rig their little carbon flying boats together before taking on the Super Pros at the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda?

These guys stayed up all night tweaking their boats and reshaping parts and booms and foils to get even an extra ounce of speed out of the twitchy carbon machines. We sent Chris Museler, sailor, blogger, writer for the NYT among others, to NC Moth training camp with a suitcase full of TotalBoat THIXO (fast cure, of course…speed freaks that they are) and 5:1 Epoxy to show this gang of sailors that they can save some dough and not go slow…

The THIXO was a real crowd pleaser and the 5:1 – as expected – performed as well as any other more expensive epoxy system for a heck of a lot less money. And these guys don’t want to waste money on glues and adhesives when the other components cost so much and often require frequent repair. And hey – we sent sweet TB shirts and hats, too. What’s not to love?

Read the blog posts, check out the video and see for yourself how these guys get their speed on. The question is – in a weeks time – will the Garage Band hold their own against the Big Guns of the America’s Cup and other pros loving foiling Moth down in Bermuda?stay tuned… time will tell….

Saving The Herreshoff: “Doris”

An incredible classic yacht restoration is about to begin on a boat once destined for the dumpster.  From nearly being firewood – to a voyage down I-95 to one of the best boatwrights in New England, this Herreshoff from 1905 was the largest entirely wooden boat ever penned and built at the famous yacht yard: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in Bristol, RI. After years of searching for an owner to take on this massive restoration project, a willing yachtsman stepped forward and the restoration is about to begin. Doris has been saved!

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It started by moving her from Crocker’s Boatyard in New London, CT, where they spared the abandoned yacht from her dumpster demise for many years, but could no longer keep the rotting boat around with no owners and no plans for repair. But all of that changed when a willing party stepped forward and took on this historically important (and gorgeous) project.

The boat was moved to Taylor & Snediker Yacht Restoration company of Pawcatuck, CT where they will very ably begin the massive restoration.  A great article about the move appears here (you have to answer a few questions but then can read the article) and you can follow the build on the gorgeous and very thorough website for the S/Y Doris.  There are some wonderful photos on the website and plenty of history. Soak it up and follow Doris’ progress becuase in a few years time (5 they say?) we will be able to see her out sailing against her sister ships from the same era who have already been treated to a full restoration! Couldn’t happen to a nicer boat….

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Taking a Chainsaw to Wild Oats

When you see one of these Maxi boats coming towards you at top speed – (20+ knots easy!), get out of the way. And if you see one coming towards you without her bow on…. Well that’s just one of the super machines looking for speed. What? YES! By cutting off her bow to spite her waterline, she is going to the boat shop in her native Australia on a mission to find some more speed with a redesign. See her newest competitors are less than one year old and several feet shorter. And did we mention faster?


Here is the write up from the official Wild Oats XI yacht blog explaining their strategy:

Australia’s most successful ocean racing yacht, Bob Oatley’s 30-metre supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, is 30-metres no more.

The sleek, silver-hulled beauty literally got the chop today at the hands of Bob Oatley and skipper Mark Richards.

Armed with a high-revving chainsaw, the pair took to the carbon fibre hull just forward of the mast, and by the time the job was finished one hour later, 10-metres of Wild Oats XI’s bow had been lopped off.

It was the first stage of a three month program that will see the yacht back to being 30-metres long, but with a completely different profile: all part of a plan to bring a new lease of life to the record-breaking, 10-year-old yacht and make her more competitive against more recent supermaxi designs.

In a few days the hull will be shortened even more when an additional two metres is cut from the stern. Continue reading

The New Hugo Boss: Boat Building and Aesthetic

British yachtsman, Alex Thomson, unveiled and launched his brand new IMOCA “Open” 60 foot racing machine this week with the same sponsor name emblazoned on the hull and sails: Hugo Boss. Another big name sponsor brought their brand to the boat as well, with Mercedes Benz coming to the team, also focused on winning a number of ocean racing events.

First up is the Transat Jaques Vabre which is a 5200 mile race from the coast of France to Itajai, Brazil. Thomson and a crew will race doublehanded along the route, setting out to prove that this boat can win not only Transatlantic races, but also nonstop solo around the world racing.


The hull is state of the art, the design of the deck hearkens the deeply buried honeycomb heart of the carbon fiber machine and Thomson, who most recently had to retire from the Barcelona World Race with a broken mast, is looking to set course and world records with his new black boat. Watch the video and get psyched to watch Alex and team race Hugo Boss to the ends of the earth.

And from the madman files – we showed you his MastWalk stunt which followed his KeelWalk stunt – so who can even begin to guess what kind of a stunt he will next attempt…. it will be exciting to see Alex and his team put this boat to the test.