January 2002

The new year started with a visit to the London Boat show to scope out what was available in terms of current craft, powerplant (particularly electric propulsion), construction technique and materials. It turned out to be great venue for finding leads to kick off further research.

The Kennet slipper launch I figured there must be plans available on the web and found some courtesy of Selway Fisher. They offer a Slipper launch design in either 20' or 22'. The plans come on four A1 sheets. At first it doesn't look enough information but rest assured it's all there. I'm advised that conversion to electric propulsion should present no problems. Although their recommendation of storing the battery bank under the forward bench seat would rather preclude the Lloyd Loom chair option.

The next question is which method of construction, traditional or 'Stitch & Glue'? I have to admit that woodwork was never a strong point, the grain is always against me. So I'm in favour of any technique that cuts out most of the wood, which 'Stitch & Glue' does. There's a lot of information on this topic available on the web, although it can be contradictory, check out the links page. The best source I've found is the book 'How to build boats the stitch & glue way' by Samuel Devlin. It answers all those questions you get from reading other peoples stuff and must be the best 'Stitch & Glue' handbook around.

Late January saw the start of the 10th scale model. I figured this was essential to understanding the various steps in the construction process and give advance warning of potential problem areas. The forward section of the bottom panels will be one!