Dockbox Model  
By Steve Holley - West Columbia, South Carolina - USA

Steve Holley writes:

I've enjoyed reading Michalak's BoatBuilding For Beginners and wanted to build a smallish boat that my wife and I could enjoy on the local rivers and lakes, maybe something to camp out of or just to use to float around in. The DockBox looked like it would be easy to transport and to use. I ordered the plans on a Wednesday and got them the following Saturday. The fast delivery was great since the weather prevented me from finishing the glassing on my current boat and I could build a scale model of the DockBox now.

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I used a scale of 1.5" = 1', and sheets of balsa that were 6" wide. This was great as it mean that my sheets of balsa were 4 scale feet wide. So I cut out a bunch of 4x8 sheets, and started to mark them up. A bit of cutting and it was time to frame some of the sheets. I used 1/8" square bass wood for the framing. After the main pieces were ready I assembed the boat.

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Bulkhead 6 was glued in first, using a wall made of Lego blocks for a right angle. This was followed by the bow transom, then bulkhead 2 and finally the aft transom. The description for the lower bulkhead 2 threw me for a little while until I noticed that the plans showed it near the bottom of the boat. So it was glued in place.

The last piece that I glued in place was the aft deck. I cut the roof panels and bow deck out, but I have not glued them in place. The bottom of the boat is also ready but not glued on. I've got some questions about how the seats should be arranged and wanted to have easy access to the inside.

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With the warning on the Harmonica, I'm now worried that the DockBox might not be safe for use on the local lakes. Still, I really enjoyed putting the model together (and I'm still hoping to get the seat arrangement figured out so I can see what it looks like in the model). Would you be interested in any other pictures that I take if I finish the model? Or what the model would look like painted? Maybe with contrasting colours to show the details well? I really enjoy building models, both the scale ones like this and full sized ones that I can fish out of. :)

Later...

I've done with the model now. I think I finally understand things well enough to complete the interior but if I've made any mistakes it's in the interior. I didn't cut out the seats to scale, but other than that I think I have everything else right. I also didn't mount the deck railing mentioned in the build notes and plans. If I do build the this boat, I can't think of any reason for the railing around the front of the boat other than appearance. I'm pretty sure no one would try standing on the bow, and the bow deck should make it safe to lean out. I would have railings in the rear to help with boarding.

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I've attached another large zip with the master photos that are worth sharing. The interesting ones to me are the pictures that show the cabin view from within. That really helps to imagine what the DockBox might look like from inside. An orthogonal view in the plans would have helped me to understand where things went, so this little model is my attempt at getting at that view.