How to Build the TotalBoat: A Work Skiff – Chine Logs (Episode 6)


Tips from a Shipwright *Star,* Louis Sauzedde, is back to explain how to cut and bevel the super important chine logs for the work skiff. As Lou explains in Episode 6, they are some of the most important pieces of lumber in the boat, as most of the lumber attaches to it and therefore it must be stable and solid and seaworthy for years. Lou explains the different bevels needed for the top and bottom of the chine log and some pretty good insight into why the top of the skiffs chine is at the particular bevel he has chosen.

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Boat Building with Waterlust at CLC

Hopefully you’re familiar with the marine based video geniuses at Waterlust. (Check out their website and their YouTube page of great videos). If not, go watch a few or read a few of the blog posts we posted about them.  We are big fans as they cleverly use boating, foiling, snorkeling, kiting, boats and all things water to make top-notch videos with a spin on science and conservation.

So, when Pat Rynne and his Waterlust team came to us with their latest idea and it involved boat building – we knew that somehow we had to be involved. The Waterlust team is set up for this week and next, in the shop at Chesapeake Light Craft where they are constructing 2 sail powered wooden boats that they plan to take from the Chesapeake all the way to Miami via the ICW.  Their idea was hatched from the Race to Alaska, which required that all boats be human or wind driven with no auxiliary power.  And rather than haul out to the West Coast for another R2AK, they decided to build their own boats (design TBA with the help of the masters of design and kit boats: CLC) inside of 2 weeks and head south back to Miami.

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How to Build the TotalBoat: A Work Skiff (Episode 4) Cutting the Transom

Louis Sauzedde is building the TotalBoat Work Skiff in his driveway and has been busy cutting the lumber he has hand selected for the sides of the skiff. In this episode, he gets busy working on the transom, which is arguably one of the most important pieces of the boat. With the side planks cut, he finds a board that will fit his transom and explains how and why he cuts the board with extra room for fitting. A specific angle is needed for mounting an outboard and Lou has some tips about how to best cut this very important angle without removing too much wood.  Continue reading

TotalBoat Show: Boating News & Lifestyle Delivered To Your Inbox

If you’re reading this, then most likely you already know how we try to tailor our content in this space to be many things for many boaters….namely: newsworthy, informative, helpful, enlightening and entertaining. There is so much you need to know when you own and maintain a boat and we try to be a helpful resource for the parts and knowledge you need to get your jobs done.

We hope you have subscribed to this blog so it comes right to your inbox with every post – and we will help you if you have yet to – just click the image below and enter your email address. (THen please verify that you want to get the email!) And you’re in!

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How to Build the TotalBoat: A Work Skiff (Episode 3)

Finally Part 3 of our series on skiff building is here!

Follow the Tips from a Shipwright star, Louis Sauzedde, back to his workshop where he is sawing the planks for the TotalBoat Work Skiff he is building.  Lou has a great tip for cutting the adjoining planks so they align perfectly when fit onto the skiff.  Continue reading

How to Prep Your Boat For Varnish (Without Stripping)


The mantra of any wooden boat owner (or boat owner with wood to varnish) is typically: coats, coats, coats! The idea with varnish is to build up to a thick coat for the best protection from UV rays, salt, use and abuse and, of course, the harsh marine environment. But there can be such a thing as too many coats of varnish, and in this case the thought of stripping it all to bare wood and starting over can be too much. Continue reading

How to Build the TotalBoat: A Work Skiff (Episode 2)


We are not surprised at the resounding celebration following the first video we released from “Tips From A Shipwright” star, Louis Sauzedde. His JD/ TotalBoat sponsored series “How to Build the TotalBoat: A Work Skiff” was an immediate hit! When you watch Lou at work, it is clear he is a masterful carpenter, a sage boatwright and a character you want to know and learn from. His hands tell the story of many banged nails and shaved planks. His beard holds the sawdust from a forest of trees and his accent and unscripted, yet simple explanations seem to please boat builders and dreamers alike.  Continue reading

Building The Totalboat Work Skiff

Louis Sauzedde, the expert shipwright from our sponsored series of How-To videos, “Tips from A Shipwright,” is in love with the classic work skiff. So much so that he is building one from scratch in his driveway.
“It’s easy,” promises Lou.  And in this new video series, Lou will show you exactly how to build one of your own with ease.  In this first episode, Lou breaks down the lumber needed for each part of the boat, as well as some history of the heritage of the Rhode Island work skiff and how to go about best constructing a boat yourself at home. Continue reading

How to Scarf & Connect Wood to Repair or Replace a Plank

Here is our Video of the Week with Lou from Tips from A Shipwright. Watch as Lou masterfully shows us how to scarf in a new plank on an old wooden boat.

When a plank needs replacing on the topsides of an otherwise beautiful wooden boat,Lou doesn’t get discouraged about taking a saw to the hull! And if you have similar issues, this video will help you replace it with ease.

In this video of the week, Lou shows us how to get to that plank without removing the whole thing, and how to cut it, leaving room to create a perfect scarf to a new plank. Continue reading

Launching Day! Time to Go Boating!

Ladies and Gentlemen – start your engines, raise your sails, point your bow towards your home port and GO! Boating season is upon us and here in the northeast, we have been off to a slow start. This past weekend, when many of us planned to launch, Mother Nature blew up a steady 20+ knot front and whipped up the harbors into a frothy and unwelcoming scene. Continue reading