Preview: How to Build a Wooden Boat – AROHA, Part 23 – Building the Pilot House

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September 15, 2022

Eric breaks down the build of the pilot house and shows us how he did it.


NOTE: Part 24 of this series is in the editing queue now so look for it in the coming weeks.

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35 Responses So Far to “How to Build a Wooden Boat – AROHA, Part 23 – Building the Pilot House

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    John Little says:

    Wonderful, informative video. Can you please tell me the name of the tool you use at about 3 minutes in to cut a space for thevertical post. It would be exactly suited to a task that I have in mind.


    John Little

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      Eric Blake says:

      It is a Fein multitool. Other manufacturers make them but Fein was the original. It is a triangular head sander that you can put a variety of different blades on for cutting a variety of materials.
      Here is a video on them
      Sometimes they are the only tool for the job
      Best, Eric

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    Ken Beiser says:

    Great video, Eric and others.

    I was hoping to learn what you used for the color of (some of) the epoxy. Was it fairing filler or sanding dust? I imagine it helps the glue line disappear.

    Can’t wait to pour through the rest of this project. Many thanks.
    Ken in Montana

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      Eric Blake says:

      I use a filleting blend #405 by West System Epoxy
      It has a great dark brown tone that matches the Mahogany beautifully
      Best, Eric

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    Tony Vink says:

    I loved this episode the best so far. More hands on action of fitting, scribing, cutting planing and sanding. Learned so much.

    Some of the other videos have too much after the fact explanations of how something was done. I understand that this is a proper working business and not a youtube channel so it’s not really a fair comparison. Just my feedback.

    Love your work!

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Thanks for your feedback Tony. Very valid point. In addition to the needs of the ‘proper working business’ we were working around, it was peak Covid season which limited filming. But primarily, this series was made to help give the experienced boat builder some insights and direction rather than provide newbies basic how-to instruction. We figured much of that is already covered in our other videos series so we didn’t want to retread ground for those who’ve watched the other series on building the Caledonia Yawl, ARRIBA, Fox and Off Center Skiff.

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    Bruce Bolster says:

    Thank you, that was a masterclass in thoughtful design, careful layout, and precision joinery, with time taken to review each piece in the context of the final geometry. I too am jealous of that Festool domino joiner!

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    Frederic Pichon says:

    great video with much more details of woodworking than previous episodes. It was a longer one as well. great piece!

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    Ed LaFontaine says:

    Have I missed discussion of driveshaft seals and bearings? Will that be coming?

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    Theodore Gentsch says:

    Absolutely enjoyed this video. Eric, as a lifetime woodworker and boat lover myself, I so very much appreciate your practical approach to your craft. You’re an exceptional craftsman, an artesian. Thank you so very much for sharing, can’t wait to splash day! In the meantime, please keep these build videos coming.

    Oh, also being a bit of a motorhead, I have to ask, what are you pondering for the powerhouse to move this extraordinary vessel though the water?

    All the Best!

    • Avatar

      Eric Blake says:

      We powered her with a small diesel made by Beta

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    Dave Johnson says:

    The timing was perfect for this video to arrive. I am almost to the point where I must build the windshield for the 21′ crouser I am building . The windshield is similar to the Wasque and much more complex than anything I have done before. I am sure I will watch this video many times. Thanks Eric you are a wonderful teacher and master craftsman.

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    Larry Cheek says:

    Wonderful master class and video! It illustrates so many aspects of the boatbuilder’s art and craft: intelligent planning, precise measuring, patience, prodigious tool skills, and access to the galaxy of tools that make it just a little easier.

    It would certainly be possible, for example, to build this structure with dowel joinery rather than the $1100 Festool domino joiner. Having fussed with, cursed, and suffered the nearly inevitable imprecision of dowel joinery (even on much simpler structures), I know all too well how much time (and cursing) the Festool saved Eric. Wish it were reasonably priced.

    Still, I believe it’s the interior aspects of fine craftsmanship that make the most difference: care, concentration, patience, determination, and yes, character—the drive to do it right even when nobody’s watching. And these are things we amateurs can aspire to and work on.

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    Burke Horner says:

    I don’t know which is more amazing, finely crafting a Rolex watch or building one’s own ship. It looks as if the ship wins, since you are constantly reforming and maneuvering your pieces, where the watch parts are pre manufactured. I have always been fascinated by your verbal knowledge, Eric, but shows you put your money where your mouth is! Well done video!

  • Drew Britten

    Drew Britten says:

    Another step closer to the completion of this beautiful boat! Superb craftsmanship Eric.

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    Tim Langley says:

    Inspirational work, beautifully captured on video. Thank you for the Masterclass Eric.

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    John Goley says:

    Unreal, extraordinary, and awesome! What a master craftsman you are Eric. I was just in awe as I watched you put it together. Not for this beginner, “Thank you very much!”

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    Kent and Skipper says:

    Amazing craftsmanship. And coffee cup – critical measurement, very important. Thanks for sharing your art.

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    Doug Day says:

    Wow! Applause for your succinct few words in order, like the order of the matching grain pieces, making your Teaching Words as many and few as necessary to convey the concept and see the execution. Big cheer for the pure lyrical language!

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    Jay Knight says:

    Absolutely fantastic! The thought, experience, and masterful detail Eric displayed in this video, hard to describe how much goes into this beautiful pilot house.

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    Dave Dickmeyer says:

    As always Eric, you nailed it! Great video with all the explanation needed. Thanks team for all you do.

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    Bill Bradley says:

    Eric: That was a mighty impressive piece of workmanship. Unless one has attempted a project like that he wouldn’t have any idea how difficult it was. Very nice !

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    Ed Altonji says:

    So much of boat building is line of sight – does it look right. This video truly highlighted how being patient with that philosophy while breaking down a very complex structure to manageable pieces delivers a stunning result. It probably would still take me a month!

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    Julia Graves says:

    I loved this segment! Eric explains it so well and I learned so much. I was especially fascinated by the way he had the numbers but made it work so it made sense and looked perfect. Ok to incorporate the “eye” too. Remembering how vast his experience is might be hard for a new boat builder to trust one’s eyes. It was helpful to see why he took it in steps as he explained. What a wonderful video. Thank you for making it and explaining so well the steps. All the tools and the value of using the blocks of wood to pencil the curves and camber. He is a remarkable craftsman. Genius would you say? Loved it. Can’t wait for segment #24.

  • Doug Hermann

    Doug Hermann says:

    Remarkable! I really appreciate the insight to focus on one piece at a time.

    Well done Eric!

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    Kevin Brennan says:

    Excellent video with clear explanation on how you tackled each aspect of this complicated structure. Thanks

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    Glenn Holland says:

    WOW!, and the guy who has to cut that glass may have special words for you.

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        Jennifer Read says:

        And the gently curved lines at the bottom are easy too.

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      Doug Day says:

      Yes, hopefully the guy who cuts the glass takes the time to watch the video to grok the importance of maintaining that same level of precision of attention.

    • Avatar

      Simon Houlder says:

      I have specified Lexan for my window panes, as they are not gonna have wipers scraping across them…


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