Phil Bolger’s design for the Teal is a rethinking of Harold Payson’s 7’9” Elegant Punt, which Bolger includes with Payson’s permission in his book, The Folding Schooner. His intention is to use the same two sheets of plywood that could be used to build the Punt to create a nicer looking product. His result is a boat that measures over four feet longer than the Punt and sacrifices only an inch of beam, and that can use the same rig as Payson’s design, or a lateen rig of a Sunfish, which is only a little bigger than the Teal in length, beam, and hull weight. Additionally, the design can be easily modified to meet specific needs and preferences that builders have, including the possibility of adding acrylic panels to the bottom as viewing ports and the inclusion of a modified deck that allows for adjustable rowing seats to accommodate one, two, or even three people in the boat as it is being rowed. Considering the spartan use of materials in the design and the possibility of making modifications easily to the Teal, it makes for an inexpensive, lightweight, and versatile boat for beginners to build.
Materials needed to build the hull of the Teal as per design specification are two sheets of 1/4” plywood, about thirty feet of 1×2 for the gunwales, about fifty feet of 3” fiberglass tape, and about 1 quart of epoxy resin and hardener. The total cost of these materials is around $205, and accounts for nearly the whole cost of the boat, not considering the cost of a sailing rig. Paint for the hull adds an additional cost of about $35. Unfortunately, the design leaves the rudder, tiller, and leeboard out of the two sheets of plywood, so they would require additional materials expense.
With a third sheet of plywood, an expense of about $25 is added and there is material enough to fashion a leeboard, rudder, tiller, and to use the bulk of remaining plywood for a deck and rowing seats that can hang from the deck and be adjusted fore and aft or removed entirely from the boat if they are not needed. The rudder would need hardware such as nuts, bolts, and washers totaling less than $10, and the seats would need about ten feet of 1/2” round rod that costs only about $5.
Additionally, there is space in the bottom of the hull of this boat to add acrylic panels that can cover nearly the entire bottom of the boat if desired, or, more realistically, two smaller panels that measure about two feet by four feet each. The panels can perhaps be framed by excess plywood inside the hull to prevent slipping on the smooth surface, and on the bottom to prevent scratching the panels on the sand.
The best method for construction is to scale up the pre-drawn plans in The Folding Schooner onto the sheets of plywood as they are laid out with the exception that the rowing seat in the original plans would not be included, and the excess plywood would be used for a daggerboard box. The pieces could be cut out with a jigsaw, and the three frame pieces constructed by clamping together component butt straps and gussets and gluing together with epoxy. Once the frames are complete, they can be clamped to sawhorses and have sides and bottom stitched onto them with small cable ties so that the hull is firmly held together. Next, epoxy putty should be mixed to fill the seams of the inside of the hull, fiberglass tape placed on top of the putty, and unthickened epoxy brushed liberally onto the fiberglass. As the epoxy is being brushed onto the fiberglass tape, peel ply should be placed on top of the epoxy so that it covers the entire epoxied surface completely. After letting the epoxy dry, the hull should be flipped over and covered with fiberglass cloth and epoxy that covers several inches up the sides of the hull. The epoxied surfaces should then be sanded down so that they are smooth to the touch and transition smoothly from epoxied surface to uncovered plywood. After sanding, the eyebolts that serve as gudgeons should be put in through the stern and the interior painted along with the underside of the deck, then the deck should be stitched and glued onto the hull with the same method used to glue the hull. The remaining unsanded epoxy should be sanded down and the outside of the hull and seams between the inner hull and deck that were epoxied over and sanded down should be repainted.