Although I had owned boats from 10′ to 34′ and captained boats up to 74’, I had never built one. I had experience fixing boats—mostly fiberglass repair, paint, gelcoat—and one day, I decided I was going to build. I began by researching designs and building techniques. Low maintenance and low cost of operation were my top priorities, followed by comfort, seaworthiness, and appearance. There were many designs that caught my eye, but I kept coming back to B&B Yacht Designs. Their boats all appeared to be well-thought-out, practical designs and not just something arbitrarily drawn in a computer program. It was clear to me that designer Graham Byrnes understood the dynamics and build-ability of wooden boats.I came across an article in WoodenBoat No. 211, listing the five finalists in a design contest titled, “The Pursuit of Pleasure at Two Gallons per Hour.” The winner was Graham’s Marissa 18, an 18′ center-console skiff built in plywood. It was visually appealing and looked like it would be efficient, consuming just 2 gallons of fuel per hour and seaworthy enough for me to feel safe in 2′ to 3′ chop.I contacted B&B Yacht Designs and purchased the CNC-cut kit. I went with the kit instead of building from the plans, not only for CNC accuracy but also to save time, as I would have a limited amount of it to complete the project.

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