Kayak builders will be interested to know that there is no fiberglass used in the construction of this skiff. None. Then how do you protect the wood from abrasion and moisture? The answer is to use high quality rot-resistant marine plywood. The finish is going to be paint on the outside hull, maybe varnish on the sheer strake. Epoxy is used in the joints but will not be necessary for the finish. It may require a coat of paint once a year, depending on use.
I got my plywood today from Edensaw, the local purveyor of fine marine lumber. It's meranti Hydrotek. I had originally asked for sapele but they said that meranti and sapele are basically the same as far as rot resistance, but sapele is darker, harder, heavier and more expensive, so I went with the meranti. They even delivered it for free!
The instructions to build this boat come from the book How to Build the Shellback Dinghy, which is essentially the same boat as the Pooduck Skiff, but smaller. It is an excellent book, written with step-by-step clear and concise instructions and useful photographs. I am also using the book How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats which is extremely detailed and a little difficult to get through, but fills in the gaps left in How to Build the Shellback Dinghy. The plans come with full size patterns for the forms and stems. Just attach the paper to plywood with pushpins and punch through the pattern with an awl, remove the paper and connect the dots. No lofting required!
Building these boats requires the construction of a lot of forms and jigs. Today I put together the form for the midships frame (that's just construction grade plywood in the pic). There is only one frame, and the plans call for it to be laminated out of several 1/8th in thick strips of fir. The process involves slathering the strips with epoxy, then clamping them together around the form. Since I have a big slab of yellow cedar that's been sitting around for a couple years I'm finally going to saw it up and use it. It should bend a lot easier than Douglas fir. I always thought it was too good to use for any of my previous projects.
Damn -- I still don't have enough clamps!
Here is a pic I found of a finished Pooduck Skiff from Pootle's Progress, a blog written about the construction of the Pooduck, including some pictures (of the interior and while sailing) of a finished boat. I love the black and yellow paint job. It'll look even better the older it gets. Shabby chic.
Unfortunately, the builder stopped writing in the middle of planking his own boat and the blog hasn't been updated since March 2006. Hey, whatever happened to that little sail boat you were building?