SOF Kits?

Any one know of skin on frame kits being sold? I was hoping to build one over the winter, but would rather start with a kit, similar to clc, pygmy, etc. rather than building from scratch.

They are so simple to build that
a kit wouldn’t do much for you.

They are also built to your own personal dimensions, from what I understand. Kits might not be practical.


– Last Updated: Aug-24-09 8:32 AM EST –

There are a couple of companies out there. There is about to be a new one. I have started a company now to offer SOF kits. I expect to have my first kit available this fall.

Seems like
It would be fairly easy to make custom-sized kits.

I understand the desire for a kit, even though the assembly is simple. For a lot of folks-- think apartment dwellers – finding the right clear lumber ripping it, and cutting the scarfs seems like a major obstacle. I think folks with shop space and table saws forget that. Everything else can be done with hand tools.

A good kit is a huge confidence builder, and a great way to get started.

apartment dwellers/obstacles
“-- finding the right clear lumber ripping it, and cutting the scarfs seems like a major obstacle”

Been there, done that, and all much more easily overcome than to seems at first blush.

Clear select pine is available nearly everywhere, and most lumber places will rip boards for a few bucks. My gunnel’s were standard 1x6 ripped in half (and they re-ran one to make sure they were even). Not hard to find a 1x6 with mirror grain - so they are pretty much perfectly matched after ripping.

If you can get 16’ lengths, most folks won’t need to scarf. I was building a rather long SOF, so did need to scarf. I was concerned about that part pf the build, but it ended up being remarkably easy to do BY HAND with a jack plane - all four at once (sort of a stair step arrangement) - and even easier to epoxy them up. It’s also nice to end up with overlong pieces so you can have options of where the joint ends up.

Other than that, all the other pieces are small/easy. Also very easy to do on a little every evening type schedule. Easy to let it sit as needed too, and come back to it when you can. I did my steaming outside, sewing and coating too. All the rest inside.

Did I mention this was a 19’8+"/6M SOF built in a 400 square foot efficiency apartment?

Easy enough if you live alone, maybe not so if you have others who aren’t as fond of shavings and sawdust (unless, unlike me, you like cleaning up after ever single step - as it could be a really clean project if need be. Personally, I favor the disaster area until it’s all done approach).

SOF kit companies

limited range of models and kind of basic styles but they look like they would assemble quickly and are quite light.

email him


– Last Updated: Aug-24-09 5:44 PM EST –

Once you dive in, building stuff is often not as hard as it seemed. It's that perception of difficulty that scares a lot of folks off.

But still, starting with something you KNOW is correct can be a big boost. When I was laying out the panels for my plans-built stitch & glue, I was thinking "If I get this wrong, the boat'll be wrong, even if I do everything else right". It was intimidating. When I had precut panels, I thought "Well, at least the basic shape will be right even if I screw everything else up."

I think that's why Newfound offers precut forms and a strongback kit for their stripper designs. They're lowering the entry threshold a bit.

The biggest aid is someone looking over your shoulder saying "Don't worry, it'll work out OK", but that's hard to package...

Kudzu Craft

I guess I should have posted a link. But I am not open for business but getting close.

SOF is a LOT more forgiving process
With S&G - Panels have to be right, tweaking can work OK sometimes, or magnify problems. Epoxy is also not a very forgiving material. Anything can be fixed, but there is a more significant risk of mistakes being ball busters. Bigger level of commitment to large cut panels and do fiberglass work.

With SOF, you can literally adjust as you go (and build to plan, or design as you go), and if you screw something up it’s just one minor component to redo or fix.

Might take a look at there are very extensive instructions for building your own SOF.

Bill H.

In addition
There are lots of things that are completely mysterious about building a SOF. So what is acarfing? What are the names of the pieces and parts and what are the synonyms? What angles are appropriate for the ends of stringers? What are the pitfalls and problems that a novice would not know about? Building a kit might not result is a perfect custom boat but it will be an education. I am going through this now. I have woodworking experience. It is still mysterious. I figure the second or third one will be closer to what I want. But we shall see. People who know what they are doing commonly fail to undertand the position of the novice.

Complete novice here. :wink:
That’s why I went with a Yost boat. Pretty complete directions and no steam bending, pegging, mortising, etc!