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There are three main types of kits - solid hull, plank on bulkhead (POB) and plank on frame (POF). POB kits are the most common. True POF kits are rare and definitely not for the beginner.
In this picture, you see the kit contents for Bluejacket's Smuggler. This is a solid-hull kit so it already looks a bit like a boat. There aren't many solid hull kits available though, so usually what you see in the box won't resemble a boat at all.
Shown here are the kit contents for Midwest's Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiff. This is a very easy kit (Level 1) so there are few parts. Midwest is also very good about cutting everything out for you. As you can see from this picture, unlike Smuggler shown above, this hull is going to require assembly.
In most kits, you'll have to build up a structure (keel and bulkheads) that will ultimately be planked. For an example of this, see my AVS page.
Kits can be placed into two additional broad categories - those from European manufacturers (Mamoli, Constructo, Artesania Latina, etc.) and those from US manufacturers (Bluejacket, Model Shipways, Midwest, and a couple very small companies). My opinion is that US kits are far superior to European kits in terms of accuracy, quality of plans, and completeness of instructions. I almost always recommend that beginners start with a US kit.Next page - Kit Suggestions >
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Last Updated: July 16, 2018