Saturday, 31 March 2012

Jim Michalak's Polepunt

Although I eventually want a full-length, very beautiful punt made of varnished wood, I would also like to get punting pretty soon. Jim Michalak's Polepunt might be the way to go.
Like all Michalak's designs, Polepunt isn't specially pretty but it does the job and is easy and cheap to build. The principle is that you assemble the sides on a set of frames, then pin and glue a sheet on the bottom, trim it to shape and there you are. It is only 15ft long but that makes it easier to put on top of the Focus Estate, dunnit?
Wojtek Baginski in Warsaw built one to explore some rugged streams in Poland, and now Graeme Fraser in New Zealand has built one - his report appeared in Duckworks a little while back (the pictures are his).
Some people really can't accept the chine log along the bottom, but it is speedy to build and adds a lot of strength to the hull.
I feel a Wickes special coming on - they sell quarter-inch exterior ply at 16 of our English pounds for a 8x4 sheet, so the whole damn thing could come in at under 100 quid, less if I can use the only-just-out-of-date epoxy I have been given.

13 comments:

Port-Na-Storm said...

Oh Lordy, how many build projects do you plan to have on the go at once? And which one do you expect to be finished for the Thames Raid?
At least with the punt we could probably all sleep on board.

Chris Waite said...

For the same price-ish you could get a better class of 6mm at Travis Perkins, then Polly Wee would have a friend in body as well as spirit

Cee Dubbaya

doryman said...

Too many boat projects? How could that be?
I think this design could be prettied up a bit without much fuss. That chine log would fit on the inside, for one.
For a start, the 15 footer might be a good size - a bigger boat might be ungainly. I'd want it to be set up with rowlocks in the event that the water was too deep for a pole.

Port-Na-Storm said...

And what's this about Use-by dates on Epoxy? They'll be putting them on food next!

itientsi Rfcate. (I've no idea why it asks you to do that.)

doryman said...

Epoxy is forever. It never changes composition, nor becomes out-dated. If it becomes milky or crystallized from the cold all you need do is heat it up as you would a pot of honey. Expiration dates (though I've never seen one) are a marketing tool.

michael

Brian said...

My son Edward is just cutting 6mm mahogany planking from his 6mm birch ply patterns. He was just saying the other day that he feels the 6mm birch is a higher quality product. better veneers, better surface veneers and bends better. Stronger for slightly less weight. Just over £20 a sheet has to be seriously considered. Brian

Brian said...

How about a Duck Punt Chris? Dylan winter is having a terrific time in his. Rows it, paddles it, poles it and sails it. even sleeps aboard.

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/blogs/duck-punt-against-the-tide/

Build it in a week, 3 sheets of ply.

Brian

Mayfly said...

I'd second the call for a Duck Punt, but then I'm biased, as "Quackers", my foam sandwich Duck Punt is slowly reaching completion......

Also, a Duck Punt is versatile, it can be paddled, punted, sailed or even rowed, making it probably one of the most versatile small boat designs around.

Chris Partridge said...

I really like the Duck Punt but you couldn't camp in it. So the Polepunt is still front runner.
Birch ply seems fine, and I will consider it if Travis Perkins has it in stock on the day I visit. Otherwise I will just get their cheapest exterior ply.

Brian said...

Dylan Winter camps in his Duck Punt. he has just been on a three trip. Brian

Chris Partridge said...

He can host sleepovers for all his friends and acquaintances in the thing for all I care, Brian - it's not big enogh for me to camp in. And it's not a real punt either. So there!

Brian said...

Fair enough... not sure how tall Dylan is....

How about an aquacamper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0DeaCccvM8

drphosferrous said...

wow, this looks like my first boat. It weighed over 160 lbs. It's rotting in a field now, and I have since moved to skin canoes. In my limited experience, oars can correct tracking probs that are inherent in these types of boats. Have fun on the water and thanks for posting.