Wayne Farris posted a message to the Michalak discussion group, which contained the following:

...I really wonder if I didn't somehow make this Toto a bit short... Perhaps someone could measure theirs and I can compare...I think it would have been so much easier if I had just followed Jim's plans. Oh, well, it wasn't intentional...

Following is my reply:

Funny you should mention "short;" as a few who are paying attention may have noticed, I have been referring to my Larsboat as "sort-of" a Larsboat.

As is plainly stated in the description, the Larsboat is a Toto that has a 30 inch section added in the middle.

And the drawings clearly show that 30 inch spacing in the center "station," while all the other stations have 24 inch spacing.

Having already build 3 boats, I don't need to worry too much about following the plans and double checking dimensions.

Until one is wrapping the side panels around the forms and bulkheads and one realizes that forms 7 and 9.5 are not 2 1/2 feet apart, as they obviously should be; they are only two feet apart.

I spaced all the stations @ 24 inches, including the center one that was supposed to be 30 inches.

So my boat is not a Larsboat; It is a decked Toto with a 24 inch stretch.

But since I wrapped my batten around all the points and faired all the lines fairly well, the boat is going together rather well; I have the decking to do and then the sanding and painting and it's done. It actually looks pretty good.

And I noticed loosening the screws that held some of the forms in place allowing the panels to take a fairer curve.

Here's a story to make this post even longer: after the USS Cole was damaged in the suicide bomb attack, the U.S. Navy decided to bring it home onboard a submersible heavy-lift ship. In order to save time, supports and cradles for the Cole were fabricated ahead of time, using the "as-built" plans for the Cole. Since the Cole's propellers stick-down below the bottom of the hull, clearance holes where cut in the deck of the submersible ship (over ballast tanks.)

When the lift ship arrived and was submerged, and the Cole floated over it, it was found that the props hit the deck; the clearance holes were not correctly positioned.

It was discovered that the Cole was about 5 inchs shorter than the drawings showed.

Here's another story; I work with a gentleman who was the construction foreman at a shipyard that built tugs of from 50 to 70 feet in length. One day, just prior to launching a new-build, someone decided to stretch a tape measure from bow to stern, and it was discovered that tug was about 6 inches shorter than it was supposed to be.

The foreman has told me that he was able to figure out what happened; the placement of a curved transom was wrong. But it was not obvious from appearance (the foreman said no one else could figure out where the missing 6 inches went), and it certainly did not affect the performance of the tug.

So to all of you out there who dread building a boat for fear of "making a mistake"- take heart; every boatbuilder out there, from the backyard butcher battering away at a Bolger Brick, to billion-dollar U.S. defense contractors, makes mistakes.

And only rarely does it totally ruin the boat.

Max the Axe
Boat Butcher