How to use plastic replacement frames for wooden boat building with Louis Sauzedde

Tips from a Shipwright - Watch Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde explain why he uses plastic replacement frames instead of oak while working on his latest wooden boat repair project in Tiverton, RI the 47’ FINAST KIND II.

Although he doesn’t claim to have invented the concept, Sauzedde is also the go-to guy for plastic framing in traditional wooden boats, whether in new construction, repair, or restoration. He knew a lobsterman who had sistered some frames with plastic, and that gave him the idea to frame entire boats this way. He uses high-density polyethylene sources directly from plastic manufacturers, and his frames have been proven to be flexible and unbreakable. They hold screws well, require no paint or finish, and most important are 100 percent impervious to rot. “I’ve been subject to tremendous amounts of ridicule over the plastic frames, but some boatbuilders and owners who initially ridiculed me for it have since been doing it themselves.

- WoodenBoat Magazine (no. 239) July-August 2014

DONATE to Tips from a Shipwright with Louis Sauzedde to help fund future wooden boat building videos

Help fund future ‘Tips from a Shipwright’ wooden boat building videos. 

DONATE HERE (via Paypal) to support Louis Sauzedde & Fish Hawk Films to continue to produce traditional wooden boat building videos for FREE on Youtube.

     For the next project we would like to build a 23’ Rhode Island V-bottom work skiff designed by Louis Sauzedde. The skiff incorporates a “truss” bottom - a vee-shaped underbody built into a flat-bottomed hull. Read more about the skiff in WoodenBoat (no. 239) A Modern Traditional Boatbuilder - The long and innovative career of Louis Sauzedde

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     Share this link to our Tips from a Shipwright DONATE page with anyone interested in supporting our cause. All money will be put back into materials and video production costs.

Tipsfromashipwright at gmail.com for any comments or questions.

Video: Making with Modern Materials Roundtable


Mastering the Craft 2014

On August 15, 2014 IYRS held Making with Modern Materials, aroundtable in Newport, RI, the final event in the summer Mastering the Craft lecture series.

The roundtable was moderated by innovator & author Richard Saul Wurman and featured Ping Fu (3D Systems), John Barnitt (MouldCAM USA), Richard Downs-Honey (Gurit), Matt Dunham (Clear Carbon & Components), Henry Elliot (IYRS School of Composites Technology), Ben Hall (Hall Composites) and Steve Nolet (TPI Composites).

Rocking the Boat - Bronx kids tap potential through boatbuilding

Bronx, New York (CNN) — It started with a challenge Adam Green accepted almost 20 years ago. During a semester off from college, he was volunteering at a middle school in East Harlem.

"The teacher there said he’d had this dream to build a boat with his kids, but had never had the time to do it," Green said. "(He) wondered if I wanted to take on the job."

Green, who grew up in New York, knew nothing about building boats. But, armed with a set of plans and a bunch of salvaged wood, he and a group of students set out determined to build one. [CNN]

Canoeroots Magazine - Nick Offerman | Inside the mind and woodshop of the A-list’s only canoe builder

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Canoeroots Magazine

When asked how important facial hair is to being a good canoeist and outdoorsman, Offerman replies, “Incredibly important.” without missing a beat.

"On the left hemisphere of my mustache I store beef tallow, which can provide calories if I should get lost or I can fashion a small cradle out of it. It’s great survival item," he deadpans, "On the right ride, I store a few ounces of epoxy resin, in two parts, so that if I am fishing for marlin and it should puncture my hull, using the whiskers and the resin, I can fashion a quick little fiberglass patch.

Aerial video of STILETTO a Classic Wooden Torpedo Boat on Narrgansett Bay

Fish Hawk Films was lucky enough to get some footage of the legendary STILETTO (1978) on Narragansett Bay. At 48’ long and with a beam less than 7’ wide, Stiletto is capable of running at up to 25 knots. This classic wooden rocket is based on the proportions of early US Navy torpedo boats. In 2011, Herreshoff Designs modified Stiletto for cruising on the East Coast and now she can usually be seen on the ICW between Bristol, Rhode Island and the west coast of Florida. The 250 BHP Yanmar engine burns only 4 gal/ hr at cruising speed so long distance cruising is very economical.

Produced by Halsey Fulton [Fish Hawk Films]

[Herreshoff Designs]