Hey, I love wood boats. A lot. But sometimes I get distracted. Like this spring when our friend Greg Loehr brought a couple Stand Up Paddleboards along on our wooden boat regatta. I was skeptical, but I gingerly climbed aboard one and paddled it around a bit. Damn it all. It was really fun.
Then Greg, former rad surfer, rebel board designer and shaper, heretic epoxy chemist, said, “Well I can show you how to make them. Let’s make a fleet of them. It’s easy.” Double damn it.
We started out on Friday morning with a very large block of foam. Six-and-a-half cubic yards of foam. We took some scrap lumber, screw-eyes, nichrome wire, and an old extension cord and hooked it all up to Greg’s Frankenstein machine, the Variac. Using Greg’s masonite templates, we sliced up the giant block.
We jury-rigged a huge blade into my jig saw and cut out the perimeter of the slices. And then Greg showed us how to true them up with his way cool ancient Skil 100 planer–the tool of the trade for pro board shapers. Tool lust–I need one of these.
Next step was to cut symmetrical bevels–called bands–along the edges. Then break the bands into nice curves and sand them smooth.
Saturday got off to a slow start as we got fussy with our graphics, masking out cool lines, spray painting gradients, forcing my recalcitrant printer to make pretty logos on delicate curly rice paper, etc. Greg showed us how to make cool hawaiian flower patterns out of paper stencils and spray paint.
With the paint on, we rolled the boards over and put a couple layers of six-ounce fiberglass cloth.
Day four. Our team was dissipating but we kept at it. Grinding down the fin boxes, sanding them down one more time, getting ready for the flow coat. We painted a nice smooth coat on the bottoms and let them kick. A bit fatigued, we quit early.
Day five. My guess of two hours to finish them off was only off by about four hours. We cleaned up the edges of the bottom flow coat, ground the handles clean, and drilled in a few tie-downs. Then we stuck on the Seadek nonskid pads. Masked out the remaining deck, flow coated it, and put on the nonskid.
And I guess that’s about it–except for a quick sanding of the nonskid, they’re done. Many, many, many thanks to Greg Loehr for leading us through the adventure and making us want to make more of them.