Q: What is a kit?
A: A kit is a box
of unassembled materials, pre-cut into ‘right-sized’ pieces. Everything(**) needed
to build the finished product. A supCAT boards kit is:
- an instruction manual,
- videos that support the manual,
- the pre-cut wood for the internal framework,
- pair of bow pieces,
- pair of stern pieces,
- bulkheads, aka ‘ribs’,
- deck support stringers,
- the pre-cut wood for the external surface,
- pontoon skin,
- Titebond 3 glue,
- four ounce fiberglass cloth,
- MAS epoxy,
- a steaming jig for the bow end of the keels
- a set of clamps for holding the pieces while the glue dries
- ** the parts for a strongback and a cradle
are an option. We can provide these as part of the kit, or the builder can acquire and build these pieces locally.
A strongback is critical, so having this part of the project planned out happens as part of the discussion.
Think of this as a narrow workbench that can be trusted to remain straight and true. The supCAT will
be built on the top of this in both upside down and right side up positions. A strongback is long and
narrow, fits the length of the boat and allows the builder to walk around all sides of it AND work at
a comfortable level, most often standing. My preference is to mount the base pieces on casters, so
that the entire strongback can be moved as needed. As most builders will attest, as soon as you are
done building a non-portable object, you will need something directly behind it that will require moving
the non-movable strongback. Whether you make your own or buy this as a kit from supCATboards, put
your strongback on casters.
Is it that simple? Kind of. Each supCAT board is custom. So before supCAT boards sends you the kit, we
need to have a couple phone chats, or emails, and come to an explicit agreement on length, width, wood species,
and some design issues like the design and layout of the deck. An important part of the kit is that the
wood pieces are pre-cut, which eliminates the need for a table saw or band saw to rip the lumber into
the ‘ready to use’ pieces.
Q: What does the builder need to provide?
A: Tools. The builder needs to have:
- a couple of Japanese pull saws (large and small).
While the raw pieces are ripped into individual pieces, those pieces are sent long, such that the builder
can trim them to fit the actual length and shape of the required piece,
- a Surform. The pontoons taper and lose volume at both bow and stern. Shaping tools are needed to
shape the wood strips, that are the pontoon skin pieces, to fit as they taper to the bow and stern,
- a block plane,
- clamps. What wood project does not need clamps?
- sand paper
- Of course, a DIY kit builder is free to use power tools as they see fit. The point is that the
kit comes from supCAT boards ready for building without the REQUIRED use of power tools.