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We recently received some photos from Bill Levien in Pleasant Hill California. Bill’s photos are an excellent illustration of building the frames for a boat.

Bill is building our Flying Saucer, a 12′ classic runabout and one of our most popular designs. Here are a couple of photos of finished Flying Saucers. The first is built by Bob Ellis in California with a painted finish and the second by John Korte in Alabama with a mahogany finish.

Flying Saucer Runabout Flying Saucer Runabout

As you can see, same boat … totally different look. But both are examples of great craftsmanship.

Okay, back to Bill’s excellent boatbuilding adventure … here are his comments about the project:

“It’s been a year since I first saw your plans online and have not stopped thinking about building this boat. I did not have any space in a 1 bedroom apartment, so I got hooked on building scale boats in a corner of my living room. I just got married and moved into a house where my wife is kind enough to let me take over the garage. Now I have the plans, bought some lumber, and dove in with the help of some great people on the forum. I am hoping to get the boat in the water by late this summer, but it’s a stretch since I work full time. Thanks for providing the great plans and a great forum full of knowledge to help connect the great people that are on this forum today!! Here are my first pictures of rough cut frame members, since I wanted to build the whole thing myself (lots of shaping and sanding to come)” – Bill L


This photo to the right shows the patterns for two of the frames. Bill has re-drawn these himself from the full size patterns he received from Glen-L. full size plans & patterns
Here you see the frame pieces that Bill made and has placed on top of the pattern for assembly. He will then make the gussets which attach the pieces together. frame
Here’s the other frame, also being assembled on top of the pattern. frame over full size pattern

Seeing how it’s done makes it seem easier, doesn’t it? In my next post we’ll talk about the building form which is the foundation for the entire project.

If you’d like more in-depth info on building your own boat, Boatbuilding with Plywood is THE textbook on building a boat–it’s really interesting and easy to read too.

“I’ve never built a boat (in progress), so the first book I bought was the Glen-L Plywood Boatbuilding, as well as a couple of other plywood boat books, and a book on designing boats. I promise I am not on the Glen-L payroll when I say that the Glen-L plywood book is the best of the books I bought, and worth the money. ” Aaron B., Washington, DC

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