The kit boat has always been popular with those who want the experience and satisfaction of building their own boat. Back-yard boat construction was quite common back in the 70’s, particularly with cruising sailors and with the smaller IOR classes such as the quarter and half tonners. However, we have seen resurgence in amateur boat building within the last ten years, ranging from simple plywood dinghies to more complicated metal or fiberglass structures.
The primary reason for this growing trend is the economics of it, where you can save approximately 40% to 50% on the cost of building a boat by providing all or most of the labor. That’s not lightly said as it takes a significant commitment of time and energy, and a skill set appropriate to the type of boat being built. Another reason for the kit boat popularity is the number of choices available to the want-a-be boat builder. These kits are available in every type and size from dinghies, kayaks, power boats, and sail boats, most of which can be found on the internet.
The kit-plan-packages offered by VGYD are the perfect boat building projects for the skilled amateur or professional boat builder alike who wants a performance race boat. The VG30 Mk2 (one sailing in Canada and two under construction in the US), the Open30 (one under construction in Australia and a production version just launched in South Africa), and the 35XS (just launched in Hungary) are now available. In the near future, the 2XS-7000, and the new VG-6.5 Mighty Mini, will be added to our portfolio.
These comprehensive packages come complete with full size templating of hull, deck, keel, rudder, and internal structure (provided in either Mylars or CAD files). There are step-by-step detailed structural plans covering every facet of the boat i.e. lines, general arrangement, sail/rig plan, deck hardware placement, laminate schedules and detailing, custom metal work details, systems, keel and rudder construction details, plumbing arrangements (over 50 detailed drawings)…it’s all there!
To complement the drawings there is a construction specification that, again, covers every facet of the boat as well as listing materials, material specifications, the construction sequence, hardware schedules and catalogues, etc. In addition, we provide detailed hydrostatic, stability, and weight studies of the boat along with a complete VPP analysis. In addition, there are add-on options for specific designs, such as a canting keel and dagger board arrangement, a wing mast configuration, twin rudders, and a high-tech structural package for those owners/builders that want to take it to the next level (see the individual kit-plan-packages for details).
One of the key ingredients that turn these kit-plan packages into a manageable do-it-yourself (and a few good friends) project is the use of the “Bead and Cove” method of foam core sandwich construction. The “Bead & Cove” Planking System is ideal for one-off construction and originated with Andre Bilodeau who has written a comprehensive “how to” manual (supplied as part of the kit). Andre features the Core-Cell product, now under the banner of SP Systems, and details how it is planked over a grid of erected frames, which is then easily faired and skinned to create a smooth surface.
It really is a complete custom design for a fraction of the cost.