Building Sea Dreamer – TotalBoat

Building Sea Dreamer

As you know, we’re suckers for backyard boatbuilders taking on these massive boat construction endeavors. Many of these builders are blogging, photographing and filming the whole process for us on YouTube. So we were thrilled to find a kindred spirit to Steve and Alix from Acorn to Arabella, with Scott Smith, a talented hobbyist woodworker who is building his own 41-foot Diesel Duck trawler in his own backyard shed.  These ambitious backyard builders are popping up more frequently, and we think it’s a worthy way to spend your idle time – sawing, laminating, building and dreaming in your backyard boat shed.  But until you get building your own, you can dream about it while watching those already in process – like Scott Smith and the Sea Dreamer Build. 


As Smith’s blog explains, “This is the story of a complete boat building novice and his family with no previous nautical experience constructing a 41 foot Diesel Duck in the backyard of an Upstate New York home. This George Buehler designed trawler yacht is a blue water cruiser designed to cross oceans. Built mostly of home center lumber, epoxy and galvanized hardware, this boat is within the reach of an average person.”

Scott Smith took some time selecting the design he wanted to build, and his wife encouraged him not to skimp on his dream boat. Why not go for it while you’re going for it? Smith is armed with the space to build (he too built himself a boat shop shed out back), all the tools and then some (he’s got a few tricky high-end tools up his sleeves), and he’s obviously a skilled craftsman.

Scott is a Jamestown Distributors customer and a TotalBoat Epoxy user. In his blog, he shares his materials with us and says about TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy:

Every epoxy is different and each manufacturer has their own proprietary blend.  I believe you get what you pay for, so I’ll keep buying brands that I’ve heard of and just live with the slightly larger cost. It’s a great adhesive but it’s not perfect.  I buy my epoxy from Jamestown Distributors and have been satisfied with my purchases.  I have used System Three Silver Tip epoxy and Total Boat classic 5 to 1 epoxy with good results.


Scott’s video work is a joy to watch. It’s stable and unmarred by too much commentary. He’s a one man show, but he goes to great lengths to set up multiple camera angles and shot, making it appear as if he has his own video crew at work with him.

Tune in and check out Scott’s work. Interestingly, he is at approximately the same place that Acorn to Arabella is – working on Keel timbers and preparing himself for the next big stage – the fun part: construction of the hull! Check out the playlist below of Scott’s 26 videos so far on Sea Dreamer. We think you’ll agree that he’s another worthy YouTubing boatbuilder to add to your watchlist!
SeaDreamer Project



12 responses to “Building Sea Dreamer

  1. and here I was under the impression I was the only one working under perilous conditions and find it fun

  2. I look forward to Fri to see what great stuff Jamestown has send to my inbox. Thank you for showing us the Sea Dreamer project. I have great respect and admiration for men like Scott and the guys on the Acorn project you are not afraid to dream big and have the will and determination to make it happen. Great stuff Thanks

  3. Mad skills Bob! Looking forward to following your build.

    As for that jib install – Kids – don’t try this at home!

  4. I am 72 years old and am building a 28 foot cabin crusier in my backyard and am glad to watch these videos for some timely help. 85% frame done and just waiting for the weather to co operate. I do not know how to video my progress but I do have pictures.Keep up the good work because they are helping me.

    1. Daniel – send us some photos of your project. We would love to see what you’re up to!

      Email to:

  5. ‘You get what you pay’ for is not a logical measure of the quality of the parks. Epoxy has many characteristics and some are good for one application and different blends are intended for some other application for example the 5 to 1 make discussed here is supposed to be equivalent to West System blend and West will tell you their blend was made with working with wood projects as the primary intent. That epoxy is too soft and not Considered suitable for laminating in conventional layup. what they do make is pro set epoxy which is exceedingly good for that layup purpose and comes in different cure characteristics , mix ratios and so forth. I know from past experience that at least a few people are confused with this and I’ve actually tried to do way way up using Wesr system and come out with a flexible piece of garbage that was a waste of time and material. I think Jamestown should clarify this in their website also.

  6. some people binge watch netflicks. I see I have some catching up to do. Between you and Lou and the Acorn boys, I am glad to see that I’m not the only crazy person out here and this makes for some nice TV viewing now that I have a smart TV and can cast YouTube right onto my television. I’m in the middle of building a Haven 12 1/2 and so I watch and learn as much as I can from other builders

  7. Hi Scott!
    My Wife and I built our own boat – 3 ½ years in Burnaby B.C. and one year in Mexico. We subsequently sailed around the World over a 12 ½ year period. Watching your YouTube build videos we noticed several similarities. We are very impressed with your facilities, equipment, energy, ingenuity, resourcefulness and perseverance. If you are agreeable we would love to email you directly about our experiences both building and exploring the World. In any case good luck to you if such does not appeal to you. Looking forward to many more of your YouTube videos and other offerings. Many Thanks! Kris & Sandra Hartford s/v Nomotos

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