A lot of boat building involves the thinking through of your next step. Sometimes you even need to embark on the next step not knowing where it will lead. Rarely you stuff it up completely, but you do find a better way in the process.
Thankfully the process is quite repetitive, so you get a chance to hone these methods, and when you have finished that first boat, you really should start another one to use that hard won information.
I spent (with a smile on my face) the extra money to have my NIS kit laser cut, and this has meant a considerable speed up in the process, and it changes the order with which you must do things. It has been suggested that you pre-coat the sheets when they are flat and then pre-coat the cleating timber (hoop pine), join the bulk heads, then attach the cleats.
After bumbling around with it for a month, it seems as though the order should be; cut out the pieces from the sheets, butt join them, attach cleats, sand and epoxy coat.
I found that each bulkhead will take about 2 hours to butt join and cleat (it can be done in one sitting), then leave it to dry over night. Then the sanding and epoxying (3 coats), I could never organise to re-coat when tacky, so it took me 3 nights to do this. However, if you cleat up enough to fill up your building space’s flat areas, you can coat many in one session. I found four at once took 2-3 hours, a perfect evening’s entertainment.
Boat building uses both your physical skills and your little grey cells. Our world is sorely missing jobs that challenge both of these, it is a treat to fall into bed both mentally and physically tired.