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How Do You Build A Peapod Boat
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How Do You Build A Peapod Boat?

Are you a seafaring fisherman or a thrill-seeking adventurer but can’t afford to buy a boat of your own? Well, fret no more as you just stumbled across the perfect article for you.

We all know that buying a boat that can safely sail across the ocean can be pretty expensive. With just some basic woodworking skills, you can easily make a peapod boat of your own.

All you need is a set of essential resources and a bit of patience and craftsmanship. This article will provide you with all the necessary details about building a long-lasting and admirable boat to wander every nook and cranny of the ocean.

What Is A Peapod Boat?

A peapod boat is a traditional boat of the North East United States. It is said to have been originated from the seafaring canoes of the Passamaquody Indians. These boats are sturdy and usually sleek in design.

Although, compared to their shape and size, they might seem a bit overweight. A regular old peapod boat can weigh up to a whopping 300 pounds. This extra weight adds to its advantages as it helps to withstand the cruel winds and unpredictable waves of the ocean.

This small boat is ideally used by fishermen to explore the shallow areas near the coast. They usually consist of a fishing trap that can be hauled down to catch large amounts of fishes at a time.

They can also be used to travel in deeper waters, and lighthouse keepers can often be seen using it to sail to and from the lighthouse. It is capable of sailing at high speeds with the help of a gentle breeze but can also stand strong against dangerous gales.

Regardless of its various capabilities, the sleek peapod boat can be carried easily to the shore. It’s relatively lightweight for its type and can be carried almost effortlessly from the shore to the sea and vice versa.

How To Construct A Peapod Boat?

To properly construct a peapod boat first, you need to acquire the necessary materials and resources. For the planking, you need three pieces of marine plywood, each measuring 8’x 4′ x 8mm.

You need one sheet of half-inch plywood for building the station molds as well. For the rest of the parts, you just need some lumber, epoxy resin, and some essential hardware. Next comes the step by step building process.

Building The Base

First, set up the molds on a strongback, which is approximately waist-high. A backbone is to be placed on top of the molds and fitted with screws for the time being. The backbone consists of a stem and sternpost connected to a 1-7/8 inch keel.

Make sure to draw the molds inside the frames so that the ribbands can fit perfectly inside the notches in the mold. The frames should be made of white oak, which is ½ inches thick.

Steam-bend the oak frames over the ribbands and fasten it to the backbone with ring nails made of bronze. The first for frames act as half frames connect to the stem and sternpost.

They must be accurately placed 5-1/2 inches apart. The rest of the frames are supposed to be bent fully over the keel from end to end. To bend the frame and zip-tie them to the ribbands, you need one guy on either side.

The Planking Process

The middle station consists of 10 strakes that need to be placed symmetrically. Keep in mind that the plank widths of the middle station need to be uniform. Spile each plank using strips of 1/8 inch plywood, and you swing arcs using a compass.

Unlike the ancient plans used to build peapod boats, you can use modern epoxy to make the planning process simpler and prevent it from leaking over time. Apart from the sheers, each of the planks needs to be backed out in a concave shape to formulate the curved shape of the frame.

To make sure the peapod boat is more durable, you can use mahogany to craft the garboard. Next, clamp the shaped plank to the frames and carefully wrap the ends in a trash bag.

This is to steam-bend the hood ends so that it bends and twists into the stem rabbet. After creating a pouch with the trash bag, pour some boiling hot water on it and wait for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, remove the trash bag, clamp the plank into place and wait for about 12 hours.

Modifying Traditional Methods

Although the original designs consist of a sheer oak strake, we recommend using mahogany to build the sheer strake. This makes it look admirable, has a shimmering finish, and also enhances its durability.

To nail the planks to the frames, nothing works better than those reliable copper rivets. When all the planks are set in place, it’s time to set the roves. You need an extra pair of hands for this process as well.

While one person methodically bucks the rivet head, the clipped rivet end should be peened over the rove by the other. This step requires the utmost precision and synchronization, so be extra careful.

Regardless of the traditional methods, try to contort yourself and peen as many rivets as you can with the hull still upside down. Leaving the hull in the strongback will let you work on it more effortlessly and save a lot of time and hassle.

Constructing The Centerboard Trunk

Another important factor to keep in mind is that the centerboard trunk must stay a bit offset. This is required for the board to emerge precisely along the edge of the keel. The centerboard is an integral part of the peapod boat as it is connected to a thwart right in the middle of the boat.

It is then connected to both the sheer and the riser with the help of steam-bent knees. The superior stability of the hardwood garboard offers you extra strength for the base of the trunk.

With the help of a keelson, try to caulk the garboard to the keel, to reduce risks of leakage. Moreover, a garboard made of mahogany will not swell up on the keel as much as any other type of wood.

For the next step, glue the garboard around the edges of the keel using epoxy resin. Also, attach the trunk to the garboard and backbone using epoxy. This prevents the boat from leaking as it grows older.

Edge-gluing using epoxy resin will seal the trunk in place and leave no room for any leakage in the future. This process is ideal for keeping the boat intact for a long period.

Installing The Thwarts

If you have built a boat before, you might know that the peapod boat contains four thwarts. Having four thwarts placed accordingly will allow you to rest your feet while you row the boat.

You should connect the two aft thwarts to the side sheets for proper maneuvering. You can use the forward thwarts to set up two rowing stations. You can also add two teak soles to keep your feet from touching the planks below.

If you’ve constructed the boat using the provided method, it shouldn’t weigh that much. It is now capable of carrying a lug rig with a boom, a yard, and a 12-inch mast.

Finishing Touches

Considering you have followed the aforementioned instructions, your boat should now be ready for sailing. All that’s left now is coating it with paint. To reduce maintenance issues, you can consider painting your boat with a workboat finish.

The top should be painted with a marine enamel while the bottom is to be painted using semi-ablative paint. The interior should be covered with a homemade mixture that consists of turpentine, linseed oil, and a little bit of pine tar.

You can easily apply the mixture using a piece of cloth. The oil will change into a natural black hue, which will mask any dents caused by regular use. The spars are to be laced with the same mixture using the same process.

Final Words

This fine piece of art is capable of withstanding unrelenting waves, and also keep the passengers stable. Whether in shallow or deep waters, you can row across long distances on this sturdy peapod boat.

You can also lie back and smoothly sail across this ocean in this trusty craft. Although this boat is durable and sturdy, it’s wise not delve into further across the oceans where the waves are more unpredictable. Remember that it’s limited to a certain purpose and use it accordingly.