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Boats by Platt Monfort
Geodesic Airolite Construction
A whole new way to build super light weight stuff.
 
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Imagine the pride you will feel when you say:
"I built that boat myself."

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Thousands of people find that they love building a boat. This process is so clean, it can even be done in an apartment.

 
     
 

Platts says you can carry his boats like a suitcase

What is Geodesic Airolite Construction? It is a simple, inexpensive, low-tech, forgiving system utilizing some exotic materials. The sequence consists of building a simple rugged wood framework, braced with triangulated KEVLAR® roving strands. This tough basket-like frame is then covered with Dacron. This is a first cousin to sail cloth; except it heat shrinks. It is a super-weight, airplane wing covering type of fabric, used on crop dusters.

Obviously Dacron covered boats are not bullet proof...they must be treated with some respect, but not pampered. This is a tough, resillient material that will take quite a beating from rocks and snags; however it cuts fairly easily with a sharp object like a broken bottle. This has proved to be no problem. Carry some Duct tape and DON'T WORRY! You can easily make a permanent repair at home. There is little reason for repairs; instead of dragging your boat over barnicle-studded rocks, you simply pick it up (with one or two fingers) and carry it out of harms way. There are a number of stories about how these boats have survived abuse due to the resilience of the framework.

The construction technique is fun and educational, requiring only simple tools and limited space. There are many advantages for the home builder. The materials are inexpensive, and there is no need for elaborate forms, lofting, spiling, planking, sanding and fairing epoxy, ect., associated with other boat building methods. There are no messy operations involved.

Plans include: A comprehensive instruction manual with Vendor and Material List and full size patterns, which are transfered to corrugated cardboard for the station molds (cheap luan underlayment ply is sometimes used as an alternate). These are set up on a light weight box beam strong back, made with 1x6 boards top and bottom with corrugated sides. The semi-completed project is portable, facilitating a number of boats being built in living rooms.

In an effort to tickle everyone's fancy, I've designed a whole fleet of Ultra Light Cartopper Boats testing various ramifications of this technique. Some of the boats have plywood bottoms, which adds another facet to the possibilities. Theoretically, it is possible to do larger boats; but I feel this defeats the basic idea of boats that one person can handle and carry on a car.

A first time builder can complete the simpler designs in 3-4 weeks of spare time. You will be facinated to learn new techniques (like heat shrinking). The steps are well described and easy to master. You will probably find the project so facinating that you cannot leave it alone until it is completed. On the other hand, there is no anxiety of working with sudden kick over resin with the aspect of all or nothing, if you goof the mix!

A number of highly successful school projects say that the difficulty is not too high. It is difficult to express the feeling I get when I receive photos of a bunch of kids building boats from my designs. There is a growing list of people claiming this system is a great way to learn the basics of boat building.

A 70 minute Video is available that opens with a short sequence of the Classic12™ under sail. It explains the different steps unique to this process, such as KEVLAR® and Dacron application. Partial kits are available to simplify procuring the special materials unique to this construction (they have no wood - get it locally).

To build a Partial Kit you will need: Access to a table saw equipped with a good sharp combination hollow ground planner blade. (Sears 8" @ approximately $10.00). A Black & Decker carbide, thin kerf PIRANHA blade is an ideal choice. A supply of clear, straight, grain wood, selected Spruce, White Pine, Hemlock or Fir (dimension stock will do fine). If you have small knots, cut between them and do some scarfing. You may need to get an extra board. It will still be inexpensive.

 
     
Copyright 2002-2008 Monfort Associates.
     

Aladdin Products, Inc. d/b/a
Monfort Associates
50 Haskell Road
Westport, Maine 04578

 

Phone: 207 882-5504
e-mail:
bettemonfort <at>
roadrunner.com

     
 
 
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