The Platypus DIY Boatbuilding Project

Platypus first launch

The picture to the right shows a memorable moment, the first launch of the Platypus (and the two authors bent down to release the winch security latch). That is the result. But it took many steps to get there.

Platypus took several years to complete. Too long. I am really embarassed to tell you exactly how long (nearly five years!). But the delays were because of us, not external. We certainly wanted the boat finished and in use. But we enjoyed also building it, and as we (the proud home boatguilders) are in a regular father-and-son relationship, we had numerous discussions how things should be done, why it is better to do it my way, and so on...

Phil Curran, the boat designer and author of many excellent alloy power boat designs well known worldwide (the M56C design and the pre-cut aluminum plate kit, purchased from CDM, Computer Design Marine from Perth, Australia; Phil has since retired and his well known and respected CDM and its excellent Web site retired with him; happy retirement, Phil, and thank you for the great design that means so much to us), quotes in the specifications that about 150 hours are required to weld the hull together. Yes, Phil, of course you are right. But that must be in perfect factory conditions, where the boat kit is there, plate after plate, you have all tools, all prerequisites, and an experienced crew that knows every step of the way...

We actually concluded that the 150 hours must refer to the net time you hold down the trigger of your MIG welder and the bright welding arc lights your workshop. In the real life, especially when you are doing things for the first time, even the simplest steps take somewhat longer.

We set the initial boatbuilding jig on the floor of our home double-garage (some 5 m wide by 8 m long). The cars had to go out, we needed that space. Obviously, the size of our garage was one of the key factors in selecting the LOA of our future boat.

The moment we started welding together the two bottom plates, under the right angle determined by the jig, was a moment of great excitement. We were building our boat!

We will describe in detail every building step we made, so that you can really benefit from the experiences. There is so much to tell.

For now, until more material about building the Platypus is ready for publishing on the Web, you can review a few quick summary pages here.

Together we know more. Together we can do more, and do it better.
© 2009-2010
ver. Beta
Last upd: 19-Aug-10 F150806