Top Ten Boatbuilding Supplies & Tools of 2014

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While best-known for our boat kits and plans, for most of CLC's history the majority of our business has been supplying esoteric and hard-to-find marine grade materials like plywood and epoxy. We've sourced raw materials for every size project you can think of; the largest boat we've outfitted so far was a 45-foot ketch built in someone's backyard. Whatever you're building, we've probably got it, or can find it for you.

1. Bead and Cove Strips - From $1.80Bead and Cove Strips

Folks building strip-planked kayaks and canoe ordered over 24,000 lineal feet of bead-and-cove strips from us last year, four-and-a-half miles. Added to all of the strips we include with our strip-planked and hybrid kayak and canoe kits, we sure are glad we have "The Stripulator," our custom-built bead-and-cove strip-making mill. It stays busy.

2. Fiberglass Cloth - From $7.25

In addition to the fiberglass that's standard in our boat kits, we shipped 91,000 square feet of fiberglass cloth in 2014, almost exactly two acres. Fun fact: Did you know that the active ingredient in itching powder is ground-up fiberglass? Two acres of fiberglass is a lot of itchiness.

Fiberglass Cloth

3. Plastic Epoxy Spreader - $1.25

All of that fiberglass cloth explains why these humble but essential plastic spreaders are #3 on the list. These are just the right combination of size and flexibility for "wetting out" fiberglass with epoxy.

Foam Brushes4. Foam Brushes -  from $0.90

Another mundane but indispensable shop tool. Foam brushes are how we get such smooth, glossy finishes with varnish and paint.

5. Foam Roller Covers - $6.95 per 2-pack

These are the acid-proof rollers that don't melt when used with epoxy. We cut them in half to fit on 3-inch roller frames, and they're the perfect size for coating small boats with epoxy, varnish, or paint.

Interlux Pre-Kote Primer


6. Chip Brush - $0.90

Absolutely essential for applying epoxy in odd corners. So cheap that you don't hesitate to toss them. We go through these in our own shop by the case.

Interlux Schooner Varnish7. Interlux Schooner Varnish - $39.99

A fixture in the Top Ten. This is the varnish we've used on our own boats for 25 years, give or take. Easy to apply, yet durable, what we like most is the warm, amber glow of this varnish when applied over epoxied wood.

8. Epoxy Mixing Cups - from $1.15Epoxy Mixing Cups

There's nothing worse than being ready for a big epoxy step but finding that you've run out of yogurt and Chinese soup containers. So keep a bunch of proper mixing cups on hand. Since epoxy doesn't stick to these, you can actually reuse them by flexing the cups so that the cured epoxy waste falls out. 

Spring Clamps9. Spring Clamps - $3.99

You'll know you're in a boatbuilding shop because of the number of clamps in evidence. Epoxy, thank goodness, only needs contact between parts for a full-strength cure, not crushing compression.  So these 2-inch spring clamps are just the thing for kayak cockpits and dory rubrails and what-have-you.

MAS Epoxies
10. MAS Epoxy Resin - from $20.99

The adhesive that binds the boatbuilding universe left our shop by the truckload in 2014. WEST System epoxy is lapping at MAS's heels, however, helped by their absolutely excellent 207 hardener.


Almost made the Top Ten:

11. Interlux Brightsides Paint

12. Copper Wire Roll

13. Epoxy Mixing Cup - Pint

14. Okoume Marine Plywood

15. Fillet Tools

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