Solarcraft 18 Pontoon Boat

>>> Solarcraft 18 Pontoon Boat


Berkshire Pontoon has a neat little solar/electric pontoon boat. Twin drives with a joystick control. Looks like it really needs more solar panel space to get full power, but seems ok.

If I go with electric, I’m planning a "remote" control setup… I know, maybe not everybody’s definition of simple, but in some ways an easy to run wire up to the control point may be easier than traditional controls. If it fails, things are small enough for an emergency tiller.

Mad Marinerâ„¢ has a "first look" at this boat also.

For full disclosure, I write some paid articles for Mad Marinerâ„¢.

Row across Atlantic

>>> Row across Atlantic

Of course, who needs a motor at all…

  • Paul Ridley, 25, rowed alone across the Atlantic Ocean
  • He is the youngest American to complete the trip
  • Ridley says the trip is to help raise awareness and money for cancer research
  • He spent nearly three months on the ocean, rowing up to 12 hours some days

Marine Carpentry

>>> Marine Carpentry

This is a nice little blog by professional boat building in England. Some beautiful work that really makes me wish I could work with wood like that.

I am Charlie Hussey and I work as a boatbuilder and marine carpenter. I use wood as the primary material to build, restore, repair and upgrade boats of all sorts.


Sorry about the quick turn time on this latest site change. I normally try not to change things (visually) quite so often, but that last experiment just really hadn’t panned out.

The "all white" look wasn’t very well received. So we won’t go back quite to all black like we used to be, but maybe we can have a happy medium.

I do notice that this change has improved load times some… hope to keep that aspect if nothing else.

I’ll try to keep things calm.


Window frames

Spent a couple of hours this afternoon routing the "groove" or rabbit (right name?) in the window frames to inset the plexiglass at some point.

Not perfect, but mostly went ok. I really wish I had a router table for things like that, but cobbled up a jig to clamp to the table saw that worked ok.

The curved section at the top was a little tricky, but I think I managed ok.

Time = 2 hours


My recent work has mostly been geared around getting the boat a little more weather tight. The side decks are sealed. The above and under-window sections of the cabin walls are in place and the seam with the deck sealed. The main sections of the cabin sidewalls replaced and sealed with the deck.

Now it rains and we see how it went.

Not perfect, but a lot better, I think. Had 1" of rain in the rain gauge. Some water in the boat, but not as bad as normal. Given that the doors and windows are still off, you would have to expect some.

Side deck sealed

Dane and Melanie were kind enough to pick me up some chip brushes before I got home, which gave me enough time to hit the side decks before dark.

Dane gave them a final pass with the sander and I wiped things down with Xylene. Then two coats of the Durabak bedliner and things should be nice and waterproofed. Looks pretty good now, we’ll see how it does.

I was aiming to get it sealed to see how it does in the rain, since we’re predicted to have rain for the next few days (which will also cut into the building time).

Spent another 30 minutes cleaning and vacuuming sawdust up. That should at least keep things a bit neater when it floods again.

Money = $8.97 + .63 (tax) = $9.60

Time = 2 hours

Side deck smoothing

Used about 45 minutes tonight doing a quick planing/sanding of the side decks and then some crack filling/smoothing. I’m trying to get them ready for a layer of bedliner material to finish them off/seal them up.

I had added a bit of non-skid yesterday by stepping in slightly soft epoxy and then tracking grass in it… messy. Got it sanded smooth, although it still didn’t look good. The next coating will fix that issue.

I hope the epoxy on that port side doesn’t cause problems. It was just about dry tonight, but something had happened (not enough hardener?) and it was still a little soft to a fingernail.