Building a Red Cedar River Launch

A repeat customer with the wooden boat disease (Those who have it will understand...) approached us to build or restore a 14 to 16 foot river launch that he could keep on a trailer and launch by himself. Trying to find a suitable boat to restore, in regard to both condition and price, is getting extremely difficult. We had a nice 16 foot hull in poor condition, so we agreed to build a new Red Cedar strip planked boat. The exciting part was that he wanted to incorporate an inboard electric motor with a lithium ion battery pack. We have had a lot of experience with various different electrical systems for this purpose over the years, so we were really excited to take an old hull shape and put into it a state of the art inboard electric motor.

As we built the boat, it became obvious that it was a sweet hull, not too big with a lovely sheer line, so the decision has been made to make a mould and add it to our vintage fibreglass hull range. Available now.

Taking the Shape

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Patrick makes a new template jig assembly to make station moulds from old timber hull.



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MDF templates are made every 400mm to transfer hull shape to station moulds.


Laminated Stem

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We hunted through the piles of grown Melaleuca knees and could not find a match. So this laminated stem was made.


Jigs and Frames

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Station moulds are set up on steel jig assembly.


Keelson, Transom and Stem

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Main backbone components are fastened together, and the transom knee and stem are fitted.


Plank Scarfing

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Red Cedar strip planking is scarfed and glued together to make up the required length.



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The Red Cedar planking is fitted around the station moulds and screwed in place to form the shape of the hull, the planks are then edge glued.


Epoxy Sheathing

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The hull core is sanded and faired and then epoxy sheathed using West Systems Resin, the hardwood keel is then shaped and fitted to the hull. The keel is then bored to take the shaft tube assembly.


Fitting the internal Structure

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The boat has been turned over and put onto a trolley. Timber deck beams and side deck frames have been fitted. Timber ribs have been steam bent and fastened into place. Hardwood timber floors have been templated, made and fitted. Bluegum Gunnels have been steam bent and clamped into position ready to be fastened. 


Fitting Deck and Finishing off

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Plywood deck is fitted and epoxy sheathed with West Systems resin. Gunnels are fitted along with Bluegum Combings. Teak slatted floor is made and fitted. Engine box and seats are made. Paint and Varnish is applied.


Electric Motor is Fitted

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Ac Induction motor is fitted with a Lithium Ion Battery pack.



For more information about your next project,

Contact Scarborough Engineering on 02-6558-2011