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Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:57 pm
by Whiskeysmoke
Hello folks! I pulled the trigger today and ordered plans for a Sabalo 15. I want to thank all of you who have posted your builds as well as those who asked (and answered) a lot of the same questions that I had. I debated for at least a month whether to build the Wadefish or the Sabalo. Then the question was 12ft or 15? The 12ft would probably be easier to navigate in the small creeks and bayous nearby. However, I am only 1 hr from Sabine Lake and the Gulf of Mexico and 2 hrs from Lake Sam Rayburn, Steinhagen and Toldeo Bend. I finally decide on the 15 and plan to install a mirage drive. I am also considering setting it up for sailing. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. I will try to remember to take pics along the way.

Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:32 am
by PiratePete
Looking forward to the build. If you need any info on fitting the Mirage Drive ask away.

I'm travelling around the Main land of Australia at the moment but usually have internet some time most days so if I don't answer straight way that's why.

Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:29 pm
by Whiskeysmoke
Numerous trips to the various lumber suppliers has not impressed me. I did see a nice "looking" virola for less than $14/sheet. The interweb google machine says that is in the luan family and it has a veneer core. I am thinking, "NO." Any thoughts or suggestions to the contrary are welcome and appreciated. The lack of reliable plywood has me looking at the numerous SS&G boats being shown off throughout this forum. I have a small cache of cypress out back and could supplement that with some cedar from the box store. That build would also require the purchase of a planer. Always wanted one of those.... I'll keep everyone posted if/when I decide. Thanks.


Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:46 am
by jem
Avoid plywood that doesn't have a solid core or that is brittle. What Lowe's and Home Depot (the ones around Greensboro, NC) sell as "5mm exterior" is not good for boat building. It doesn't have a solid core and does not bend that well before it snaps.

They also sell "underlayment" which has a solid core but the wood is brittle and doesn't bend consistently.

Unfortunately, the only way to know this is to buy a piece and cut some strips out of it.

Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:53 am
by Mark J
You asked for suggestions.

If you are willing to absorb the cost of plans, epoxy, fiberglass, shop consumables, and most importantly the amount of time it's going to take, why would you be willing to skimp on plywood?
I've gone the cheap route and the expensive routes.
I wouldn't even plug a saw in for anything but Okoume or Sapele on one of these boats.
So much lighter. So much easier to mill. So much easier to work with.
You'll have less frustration and a better boat. There is no replacement for Okoume in small boats. You give up too much going other routes.

A tip about World Panel pricing on the internet. They'll sell it cheaper. Typically 15% cheaper on Okoume.
Deal with people that supply the yachting and sportfish boat industry. Not the hobbyist, like pen makers, furniture dabblers, and bowl turners. Those places will light you up in pricing.

I'm currently in the middle of 3 boats and probably a starting a 4th shortly. But the plan from here is a Wadefish. I couldn't imagine building this boat with anything but Okoume with some of the bends in the bottom. Compound curves. Bending plywood 2 different directions at the same point on the bow. You can do it and it look good with Okoume.
Heck, when you start breaking up your scrap Okoume for the woodstove, you darn near can bend strips of it 180 before it snaps.

That's my 2 cents on plywood.

Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:24 pm
by Whiskeysmoke
Well, She floats. There is at least one leak, possibly two. I'm waiting for her to dry and then I'll start searching. No pics yet. It is cloudy and rainy today. I'll get some pics if the sun ever comes out. I expect to have her seaworthy right about the the time the first arctic cold front gets here. :cry:

Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:37 pm
by Whiskeysmoke
I managed to get a short video of the boat. I know my shop/garage is a mess.


Re: Big Thicket Sabalo

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:41 am
by Whiskeysmoke
Here is a short clip of my Sabalo finally in the water. I left all of the hatches open to check for leaks. Found a couple too.... I'm pretty sure I have located them both so maybe it will be a quick fix. I'm still playing with rudder designs.