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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Dream of the Fuel Efficient Cruiser
August 22, 2014
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To build the 50-foot vessel in his much shorter garage, Jim built the main hull in in 3 parts – one long mid-section and two shorter bow and stern pieces. The process looked like this: (Jim Coward photos).

xenocraft audacity jim coward construction bow framed
The bow section. The vertical plywood frames support long strips of softwood to which…
xenocraft audacity jim coward construction bow plated
…the skin is attached. The 1/8” thick strips of luan were clamped, glued and screwed to the frame work with screws. When the adhesive dried the screws were removed.
xenocraft audacity jim coward construction bow plated complete
The bow section “planked” with strips of plywood.
descriptor of shot
To move the long, main central section of hull, Jim drove his Honda inside, lowered the structure on the bumper and drove…
xenocraft audacity jim coward construction pieces joined
…to the backyard where he joined it up with the bow and stern pieces. For strength, he covered the joints with strips of fiberglass and resin. Then he coated the entire hull with additional layers of heavy fiberglass cloth and more polyester resin.

When the hull was deemed strong enough, with the assistance of friends, he rolled it over.

At this point, the hull was open, like a large dugout canoe. To close it in and add standing headroom he built a cabin house, or as Jim calls it, a “freeboard enhancement”.

Audacity was launched in March 2013.

Jim’s back yard faced Pierce Creek. When the main hull was ready to float, he set up an arrangement of greased skids, cargo straps and a come along to pull the hull in to the water. Come launch day, Audacity’s hull didn’t slip in to the water quite as easily as hoped. For extra power he says, “I gently bumped the transom with my 2002 Acura.”

xenocraft audacity jim coward construction complete
Audacity, floating behind Jim’s house. With her fresh coat of paint and streamlined hull, she appears more star ship than garage built cruiser.

Jim’s boyhood dream of designing and building an efficient power cruiser was up and floating.

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Posted Friday August 22, 2014 by Bernie Harberts

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