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 Seth Builds A Tortoise

By Seth Macinko: macinkos@micronet.net


About a month ago, I went to Kodiak, Alaska on a business trip.  My brother happens to live in Kodiak and he has three kids (ages 6,5,and 3) who all have birthdays in the spring. I thought I'd build them a Bolger Tortoise for a joint present.

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So, armed with a copy of Payson's Build the New Instant Boats and a tube of PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive, I set off for Kodiak where my old friend Al was waiting with a shop and two sheets of 1/4" luan ply.


I worked in the evenings after the business meetings I was attending. It stays light out until at least 11:00 PM in June in Kodiak.

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I worked mainly in Al's shop (see Al in photo 2). Splitting the side panel in half so I could cut out the two sides at once (see photo 6) is a time-saving trick I learned while building a Bolger Brick with my daughter last summer.


I started on a Monday night, took Wednesday evening off for a social event, and had my nephews and niece help me nail the bottom on on Thursday evening.

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I bought a disposable camera to record the event but didn't get one with a flash so several "steps" are missing (building the transoms and attaching the chine logs to the sides).


We couldn't do the final assembly in the shop so we were going to nail the bottom on in my hotel room until I came to my senses and we loaded up the parts for the trip to my brother's basement.

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Steven seems pretty pleased with the final outcome


Maybe the next time I get to Kodiak, we can work on the sail rig.

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One last photo that isn't part of the construction story but does demonstrate one of the nicest features of the Tortoise design--it's light and easy to carry by oneself (at least when built out of 1/4 luan). I can't do this with my daughter's Brick.

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