18 foot microskiff build

Old 12-02-2020, 07:29 AM
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Default 18 foot microskiff build

Hey everybody!

This is my first post so I'm assuming I'm in the right forum. I'm building an 18 foot microskiff. It is 18ft LOA, has a 54" beam, and a 3.5" draft. The hull is complete and I'm getting ready to tab in the stringers and bulkheads. After the motor well is cut out and the rear deck is built, I'm going to start thinking about a poling platform. I know they can get pretty pricey and I'm sparing no expense on the build but I'm getting hung up on the $800-$1,000 price tag. My question is do you think it would be cheaper to buy the materials, bend the metal myself, and have everything in place to take to a welder and have professionally welded? I understand the importance of structural stability and I believe with the proper resources I might be able to get past that. I live inland so I'm not somewhere I can find a custom platform fabricator within a day's drive but welders are everywhere. Any knowledge of the cost of materials, things to consider, and any input would be greatly appreciated!

Old 12-04-2020, 10:26 PM
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I would think almost, read almost, any welding shop would be able to do what you're looking for.

It wasn't a poling platform, but my father had an aluminum fuel tank made 20+ years ago. Built for the bed of a pickup truck. It was done by a shop on the mainland who's still in business; Homestead Welding. About 3 years ago, I noticed a crack in the tank. Took it to them, they remembered the tank from 20+ years ago and fixed it better than most other places would.

Also, had the poling platform on my boat need a crack fixed. Took it to a more local shop, down here, who has been in business for years; Cottrell Welding. Those master craftsmen fixed the crack and even took it upon themselves to fix other problems they saw...without charging me extra. Those two welding shops will have me coming back everytime.

Said all that to say this, find a reputable shop like that, local to you. People that offer incredible customer service with skill and knowledge of their craft.

As far as you bending the material yourself, ask you have the proper tooling to bend the aluminum? Do you trust your skills to do that? If so, go for it and then find a shop like I spoke of. Ask your friends and neighbors who they recommend.

Lastly, is this a one-off you designed or did you buy plans from someone? Get to 10 posts and show us some pics!
Old 12-05-2020, 07:02 AM
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Post some pics when you reach 10posts! We all like some good boat porn!!

Old 12-05-2020, 09:43 AM
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If you live in South Florida, call Ralph at Aim Welding. He can build anything you can imagine. 954.581.7630.

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