Top Ten Boatbuilding Supplies & Tools of 2015

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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.

Fiberglass Cloth1. Fiberglass Cloth - From $7.25

In addition to the fiberglass that's standard in our boat kits, we shipped almost 100,000 square feet of fiberglass cloth in 2015, or 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.

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

Folks building strip-planked kayaks and canoes ordered over 25,000 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.

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.


4. 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.

 5. Foam Brushes -  from $0.90

Foam BrushesAnother mundane but indispensable shop tool. Foam brushes are how we get such smooth, glossy finishes with varnish and 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 by the case in our own shop.

7. C-Clamps - $3.00 - $6.37C-Clamps

You can tell how serious someone is about boatbuilding by the number of clamps in their shop.  While there are some nifty tricks to avoid the expense, ultimately it's hard to build boats in the 21st century without clamps.  Lots and lots of clamps.

Interlux Schooner Varnish8. 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.

Spring Clamps9. Spring Clamps - $3.99

Epoxy, thank goodness, needs only 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.  We have bins and bins of them here at CLC.

MAS Epoxies10. MAS Epoxy Resin - from $20.99

The adhesive that binds the boatbuilding universe left our shop by the truckload in 2015. WEST System epoxy is lapping at MAS's heels, however, helped by their absolutely excellent 207 hardener.

Almost made the Top Ten:

11. Mixing Cups - Quart

12. Brightside Paint

13. Fillet Tools

14. Cypress Marine Lumber

15. Okoume Plywood

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