Updated: 04/11/03

Boat Building Information

Photo: Cockpit sides and some frame members (25K)

Photo: Boat upside down on its Jig (34K)

Flyer: Fralick Boats Sales Flyer

Building upside down on jig

The boat requires a jig to make sure it is built straight and square.  The jig is basically two 2 x 6's that are mounted on two 2 x 4 frames at each end.  Because it sometimes difficult to find perfectly straight 2 x 6's, you can also laminate two 3/4 plywood pieces to make 2 x 6's. Frames are first assembled to the coamings with screws, no glue used, then fitted boat upside down onto the jig to test the assembly and to allow for adjustments to the jig.  Then the boat frame is removed from the so that glue can be applied then the frame is reassembled to the jig, where it remains until all the framing is complete and the plywood's skins are secured to the bottom and sides.  The boat is then removed and turned upright to complete the decking and trim.

Time to build boat

The boat as designed includes all the features and details as the boats we presently race and we have been very successful with over a number of years competing in the USA and Canada. The boat can be built and finished in approximately 200 hours and is considered a nice winter project by many.  Some details of the boat such as the sponson steps, hollow transom, bottom tunnel and trim method used can be simplified or deleted to reduce the build time substantially.  Of course, the makers skill and the available tools can also add to or reduce the build times as well.


Builders report that the plans are the best they have every seen for a boat of any type and are very straight forward.  Plans area computer drawn with many full size frame details with patterns that can be cut out with scissors and traced directly on the plywood to be cut.  Plan views, elevations and most sections views showing assembly detail are 1/4 size.  The large coamings and air trap plywood members are 1/4 scale are easily laid out from a baseline on the plywood.  Simple offset dimensions are provided to develop curves where necessary. Mandatory tools would include the use of a table saw, hand jig saw, hand planes, several types of clamps, power drill, drivers, chisels and wood files.  A router would be helpful for a few hours.  The use of a palm sander, stationary disc and belt sander, use of a band saw and pneumatic stapler, although not required can reduce the effort required to build.

Short cuts

If you plan to race, I recommend you build the boat as designed otherwise you may sacrifice some handling or speed advantage.  The boat as designed will out turn any other hydroplane on the water, allowing you to take the short inside track around the race course so you can easily out distance your competitors. If you are not racing and are using a converted fishing motor, you will not obtain racing speeds, therefore shortcuts that affect handling and speed will not be as evident and they will save assembly time. 

Bill of material

The materials required for building are described in detail on the plans and in the booklet that comes with it.  Basically, use the lightest marine mahogany plywood available for coamings and decking, use sitka spruce for framing and solid Honduras mahogany for trim and transom plates. Substituting other materials may increase weight, reduce strength or shorten the life of the boat so be careful. The boat is glued together with T88 epoxy adhesive, sealed with East System epoxy resins (similar to West system but more fluid) and painted or varnished with UV marine varnishes, all available from Fralick Boats, check the price list.

Costs to build

Cost of building varies widely depending on the availability and quality of materials, and also the amount of waste generated.  The size of the boat or Class will also have a bearing on cost.  My guess will be in the $700 to $800 range including much of the hardware.  The cost would be less for every subsequent boat built because you can make use of materials left over. Purchase you fasteners in bulk boxes of 100's as they are much cheaper this way even if you don't use them all.  Fastener kits are available from Fralick Boats at very reasonable cost.

Catalogs for hardware

The plans include catalogues for sources of racing hardware. It is highly recommended that you modify any fishing engines as necessary to use the steering and deadmans throttle controls for safety reasons.  Steering bars can be fabricated and are usually attached at the back of the motor, bolted in position and shaped so that the ends of the steering bar attachment for steering cables is at the exact centre of rotation of the motor pivot.  This allows the steering cables on both sides to change lengths at the same rate when turning to the cable does not become loose when turning.  Do not use springs in the steering system. The boat plans come with a turning fin drawing to be mounted to the port side (left) sponson back.  Race boats will only turn to the left very well because of the prop rotation effect together with the prop running only partly submerged. The ASH/JH boat plans come with a drawing for an aluminum gas tank that is mounted on the back of the motor board.  This is the best place for tanks in this class as it moves the weight farther back and also allows the driver move to the extreme back of the cockpit when accelerating. Many hardware items are available from Fralick Boats, check the price list.

T88 Epoxy System - The Only epoxy adhesive we recommend.

T88 is a high performance structural epoxy adhesive used for building wooden airplanes and boats.  The joints are extremely strong and they are not brittle.  Experience shows that joints set-up extremely well at temperatures approaching freezing. T88 is thickened so as not to run out of the joints.  A and B parts are mixed in a convenient not-critical 1:1 ratio.  I have used many epoxy systems over the years, T88 is the only one I recommend for assembly joints and it is available from Fralick Boats Available in 16 oz, 32 oz and 1 USG kits.  You may use between 24 oz and 64 oz depending on your boat size and efficiency of use.  We always treat both sides of a joint with epoxy before clamping. T88 that is ordered with the plans can be shipped no extra shipping charge, just add the quantity you desire when ordering plans.