Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: The Gunwales

Follow Lou out back to his lumber stack to check on the remaining boards left for the Work Skiff project. With only a few remaining pieces, Lou has the few boards he needs to create the gunwales. As in the past with the breast hook and the knees, Lou sought pieces of wood that had a grain that would complement the curve of the skiff sides. His last few boards seem to be perfect for the job and he of course has the tools and techniques to perfectly fit and attach it. With his planer, some bedding compound and TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Resin, Lou expertly attaches the gunwales getting us one step closer to painting, completion and launching! And you can come meet Lou and see the skiff at the Jamestown Distributors Tent Sale on April 22 at our Bristol, RI HQ.  More info to follow!

Until then, you can continue to ask Lou questions in the space below. We always pass along your comments to Lou and enjoy reading about what you are enjoying in the series and what questions remain about the build and the process.

Thanks for watching – catch all the episodes 1-30 here on our YouTube playlist.


26 responses to “Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: The Gunwales

  1. Great presentation. Very professionally done. Can’t wait for the finishing part and the start of the new boat build.

    1. The boat will be on display at the Jamestown Distributors TENT SALE on April 22nd in our Bristol, RI location (17 Peckham Dr. Bristol 02809). The skiff will be sold to the highest bidder! Details will be announced upon completion!

  2. This whole series is really a nice reminder that all “professionals” do not have degrees from law, medical or graduate schools. Lou is an amazing source of knowledge and skills sets to implement the knowledge. Nice work Lou and many thanks for sharing.

  3. Excellent series! Lou is clearly a man of great experience and expertise. I find these videos insightful and take away many tricks of the trade that I apply to my own skiff building project. Keep up the good work.

  4. I have certainly enjoyed each segment that Lou has produced. His easy going rap coupled with a lot of useful information makes each segment better than the last. Are there plans for making a CD which will encapsulate all of the the segments? If so, I would like to buy one.

  5. Hi Lou,
    Love the whole series. Your segments really light up my Friday! I’m very excited you are going to do another boat. How about a carvel planked sailboat with steamed ribs?

    Thanks for sharing

  6. This has been a very enjoyable journey watching the building of the skiff and listening the the knowledgeable comments of Lou throughout the series. I have gained a much better appreciation of the boat building process. It may even help me build better model boats.

  7. It’s been a real joy watching you at work. It must be gratifying to know that your work will live on for generations. Thanks for sharing your art with us. I am looking forward to your next project.

  8. Glad that the interior will be oiled, she will be beautiful boat with that wood gain popping out. Thanks again for a wonderful video.

  9. Congratulations, Lou. The boat looks fantastic. It has beautiful lines, looks rugged and strong, and is a piece of art. I think of all the wood work I’ve done, and realize it would take me a lifetime to get in your league. I just smile and shake my head in amazement when I watch these videos.

  10. Thanks I learned a lot. I have a question why are the lift rails square cut at the bow? seems like that would create a problem? ( Seems like a knerf would soften that area?). I am just asking!

  11. Wonderful to see a craftsman like Lou at work. My 4 years of college and law degree give me no skills whatsoever toward building a work skiff and I know what looks easy on the videos comes from a lifetime of knowledge and practice. Hope Lou can mentor the next generation of craftsman, so these skills can continue into the future; we need them more than ever.

  12. +2 about the lift rails and the same question about the cap rails. Seems the square ends would snag lines, flotsam etc. What transition shape would you use and how would you protect the end grain?

  13. They should show these episodes in schools across this nation and let the boys and girls see what great woodworking and communication is all about. I’m afraid we will not have people like you coming into the crafts as we keep moving into all the tech stuff. Thanks for sharing and keep it going.

  14. Lou brings back memory’s of when I would go see Alton Wallace build boats. Building wood boats with this type of method is a lost art. I can only hope Lou has a few kids in the shop learning from the master.
    Great work and I would take that boat in a sea over any fiberglass cork.

  15. Lou,
    Really enjoyed this series. You make me believe that I could build one myself. For your next project, my vote would be for a small sailing tender in the 10-12 .range . Lapstrake with some nice bright work on the interior would be icing on the cake. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  16. Lou,
    I have a design question for you… why are the gunwales higher than the Breast Hook? It seems to me that it would look nicer if the cap rails were all the same height. Is there any way to shorten the frames so the gunwales could sit an inch lower?
    Really enjoying the series. Keep up the good work!

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