Clearing land for a boat house


This is where the decision to build Bird of Passage was taken. After a few years of discussion about different ways to change the boat we had (Lynx), we finally understood that there was no other way than to build a completely new boat. Then we met a wonderful man from Finland (Tauno) who had built a Roberts 53 by himself, and that was it. If he could, we could !


We have now decided where the boat will be built. I have worked with my friend Bettan (an old Volvo BM 600) and cleared some land close to our house. Some of the rocks were too big for us so I asked my neighbour for help. He has a really big machine and finished almost everything but even his machine had to give up on the biggest one. His advice was to get dynamite and blast it to pieces !

What to do ? Hire an even bigger machine (expensive) or call for the dynamite man (even more expensive). No, a quick look in the encyclopedia from 1930 and check out how they did it in the old times. The solution was simple. Light a big fire, let it burn for some time and then pour cold water over the rock and it will crack. (Tillmakning eller EldsÀttning pÄ svenska).

Said and done ! We lit a big logfire on one side of the rock and suddenly it cracked into several pieces. One more fire and then there were only small pieces left. The only cost was some wood for burning.

This month we have also investigated the market for drawings, kits, software and literature, mostly on the Internet but also with e-mail. We have found a lot...but that doesn't seem to make it easier. We still don't know what material or method we should use for our new boat. We seem to like boats with deck saloon. A large deck saloon is a great place to navigate, cook and socialize. The aft part of the boat could house a big cabin with bookshelves and workspace. Forward part of boat could house shower, workshop, washing machine, guest cabin(s) and so on.


Searching for information continues. We have mailed a number of boatbuilders and asked if they can deliver kits. This is the result:

Swan NO

SUN/Colvic YES

Wasa YES

What additional boat builders that can deliver 50' kits in this part of the world should be contacted?

When it comes to drawings, we have investigated the following:

Bruce Roberts (53 and 532)

Van de Stadt (48 and 56)



Build a Boat (Sonora and Windstar)

Tekno Material

Långedrag Marin (the 501)

Home boat builders page

Bruce Roberts is one of the cheaper (around 10.000:-) while Långedrag is more expensive (30.000) and Van de Stadt the most expensive (50.000). Tekno Material sells drawings from several sources but can also deliver cheap hulls or kits in steel or glass fibre from the Baltic countries (i.e. Estonia). If you want to do most of the job yourself, you can bye steel kits from Van de Stadt in Holland. All metal is then cut and formed to the right shape.

Please let us know if you have any ideas about where to find more drawings.

An alternative to stock drawings is to engage a boat designer and ask him to help us with a custom design. This may sound exclusive but need not to be. Instead of buying a complete set of drawings with many details that you might wish to change anyway, you could let a designer help you with the hull and do the rest yourself. The money could be the same. Personally I prefer a little longer and narrower boats. Most of the boats we have seen look too fat in my eyes. Rather 16X4.3 than 15X5 meter


The thoughts about a custom design continue. Maybe one should try a little at home, before asking for help. There are several shareware programs for boat design available. Here are some that I have checked into:

  End of 1997