Today for our backyard boat shop tour, we’re back inside the boat shed of Scott Smith and the Sea Dreamer Project, a home built “Diesel Duck” trawler. Like many of our other favorite YouTube boatbuilders, Scott is finishing up the keel timbers and is excited to finally be adding parts that make his project resemble, well – a boat! The transom template is a big help here, as are the few stations that Scott installs allowing him and us viewing at home to begin to see what shape his boat will have.
Scott is an experienced woodworker of 20+ years who thought he lacked the skills necessary to build a boat. But he found a friend in well-known boat designer, George Buehler who was eager for the little backyard DIY guys like Scott to catch the boat building bug. Buehler recently passed away and a nice feature about him appeared in Soundings Magazine’s May issue. They wrote, “His design philosophy was that boating should be fun and accessible to lots of people because different types of boats make different kinds of fun possible. His primary niche was cruising boats that were simple, reliable and affordable — boats that virtually anyone could build and run.”
With this philosophy in mind, Soundings editors reached out to Smith to reflect on working with Buehler and on building one of his designs as his first big boat build.
“He was very plain-spoken,” Smith says. “He removed a lot of the jargon. There are many people who want to believe that they’re really special and that building a boat or woodworking is beyond the reach of normal people, and George was completely the opposite. He was of the opinion that this was not some obscure art form that only the rich and talented can do. A DIY guy can figure it out.”
And for this, we love both Buehler and Smith. Anyone who makes boat building approachable for the common builder or tinkerer is a friend of ours. And we are thrilled to know that Scott depends on TotalBoat Epoxy Resin to help make sure he’s getting the job done right the first time. Although maybe we love Scott more for admitting to and correcting his mistakes in his videos. He’s the real deal and we find him to be a great inspiration. Check out all the progress on his Diesel Duck, including the boat name which Smith couldn’t wait to announce. We can’t tell you what it is – you’ll have to watch the video below to find out for yourself. Enjoy!