The construction went quickly. Every major project I’ve ever begun has a hidden “gumption trap”—a difficult and unrewarding challenge that sucks the will to persist right out of me. This skin-on-frame boat was an exception. Each evening or weekend hour brought visible progress. In the end, I finished the boat in about 75 hours over three months, while also working a full-time job, raising a toddler, and making a pair of oars. A more experienced builder could probably finish the boat in 40 hours.
Like many of Welsford’s small-boat designs, the Sei combines a relatively narrow and flat bottom panel with three strakes of glued lapstrake planks over 1/4″-plywood frames. The hull is built upright on a simple waist-high jig, a feature that will be appreciated by anyone who has ever crawled under a boat to clean up dripping epoxy while planking. Unlike other popular Welsford designs like Walkabout and Pathfinder, the Sei doesn’t use permanent stringers along each plank edge—the plank laps themselves produce adequate strength and stiffness, as well as a lighter boat