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Adam Parchman | Boatbuilding

The trial of getting from point A to B to create a finished product can undoubtedly be challenging; but Adam’s methodical planning throughout the semester made sure to keep his class on track. During our final meeting, Adam shared a comprehensive step-by-step look at each building process, as well as a glimpse of how end of semester looked for he and his class.

The first step the class took together back in August was picking out one of Adam’s own Salt Boatworks designs, printing it, and hanging it across the white boards in the workshop. “We review the plans and discuss what to do next,” said Adam.

In this case the next step was to assemble a strongback and jig, (strongback being the part that sits on the floor, square and level, jig being the part that gives boat its shape.) The frame is built 2x8 and leveled to be perfectly square, while the jig is CNC cut with notches and key features aligned, then assembled atop the strongback.

From there, plywood planking was applied using the cold molding method. During this process all wood components are joined using a thickened epoxy resin, which was donated by CPD (Composite Polymer Design). Cold molding is typically done with wood veneers or plywood, but in this case the class used Okoume marine grade plywood. By using multiple thin layers, the students were able to create compound curvature, indicative of the Carolina flared bow, which is not achievable with a single sheet.

After that it was time to apply fiberglass to the hull, primer, and begin fairing. (Fairing removes the highs and lows of a surface so that it’s level). Once that was competed, the boat was then rolled over upright, and the same process executed on the inside of the hull, whilst also continuing to build out the interior, floor, etc. Once rolled over, the temporary jig stations are removed while others remain to create the stringers, bulkheads, and more.

Next the class began applying glass below the floor line, as well as flotation foam to aid in the vessel’s overall buoyancy. Once in place, the foam was sealed with fiberglass to ensure everything is waterproof, and from there the remainder of the floor is laid. After glassing the inside, priming, and fairing they move on to installing the gunnel (top section). Which will also be glassed, primed, and faired before painting. All primer, fairing, and paint was graciously donated by Alexseal Yacht Coatings. Equipment used to spray those products was donated by 3M.

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