How to Build the TotalBoat Work Skiff – Episode 7

Finally Louis Sauzedde, the master shipwright, is ready to put some planks along the sides of a single form to confirm that he really is building a work skiff. The 2 side planks alone, once joined to the bow stem and the newly constructed transom, show the form of the boat coming together and it is going to be a head turner, once completed. Check out this 7th video in the series and soak in Lou’s years of experience and confidence, that is allowing him to build this skiff without multiple forms and confusing plans.

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

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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.

Everyone seems to love Lou and his Tips videos. Do you? Let us know in the comments below – SHARE the Tips from a Shipwright playlist which has all of the videos in the list – and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for all the latest and greatest videos on boating how-to!

How to Build the TotalBoat: Episode 5 – Fitting the Transom Planks Together

Welcome back to our series with Louis Sauzedde where we are building the TotalBoat as a work skiff in Lou’s workshop. In Episode 5, Lou and Andrew show us how they use a guide to drill and connect the two large white oak planks that make the transom of the TotalBoat work skiff. As you might expect, Lou has some pretty great tricks for lining up the holes and drilling straight into the thick, white oak planks. If they don’t line up exactly right, he can add those planks to the woodpile for the upcoming winter, so he wants to be certain there are no mistakes.

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

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)

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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)

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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

Tips from A Shipwright: How to Measure & Cut a Bootstripe

Lou has some brilliant advice for how to get a new waterline stricken on a wooden boat. With some ingenious use of wood strips, a ruler and a saw, Lou is able to create a waterline on this wooden boat that will withstand the test of many coats of topside and boot stripe paint.

Another trick he employs once he has the waterline etched, is the protect the wooden planking of the stripped waterline stripe area with TotalBoat’s Penetrating Epoxy. This clear epoxy is thin and penetrates into the bare wood to protect it from years of saltwater abuse and potential rot. It’s a great solution to protecting and sealing bare wood and is a great application anytime you have stripped paint down to the bare grain. If Lou uses it, you can feel good knowing he understands the importance of adding this layer of protection. Enjoy!