The Building of a Monomoy

by Mo

SOMIRA has been looking for a boat to add to our fleet for several years.  Faith H and AJ S were tasked with the job.  They had been following up on leads and searching online for some time, to no avail.  There was discussion about paying for a mold to have a boat made and then selling the use of the mold to other clubs who may be looking for a boat.  However, the cost of purchasing a mold is a giant investment for a non-profit.  To date, the efforts have not met with any success .

One of our women’s teams, the Rowverines, were AJ’s sounding board on the frustrations of finding a boat.  After networking by Rowverine team and family members, a private group was formed to invest in the manufacture of a mold to get a boat built.  Bids were solicited from three international boat building firms.  The firm selected, happened to have submitted the highest bid, but had more experience in building a variety of boats of varying size.  The investor group is the owner of the mold, and a contract was entered into that calls for three boats to be built.  The first boat, will be privately owned by a few members of SOMIRA's women team, the Rowverines.  The other two boats, will be sold at a price to be determined, and the funds from the sale of those boats will be returned to the original investor group, who will also retain ownership of the mold.

The boat builder wanted to have an actual boat sent overseas to them, in order to accurately duplicate the product.  This was not a practical consideration.  The first thing that had to happen was determining the best boat in the BAWRA fleet to use as a template.  After much discussion, it was decided that ITC’s boat, Iron Oars, would be the best to use. Corny agreed to allow the boat to be pulled from the water and transported to a warehouse where it was used to create an exact template, or pattern, to send to the boat builder.  It becomes a little difficult to explain and understand how the template was made, but there was a mechanism used that recorded the shape of the boat in 12-14” intervals, from bow to stern and port to starboard. That was then drawn together for the outline of the boat. Everything was measured precisely.  The original blueprint for a monomoy was sent to the boat builder, as was the template that was created using Iron Oars.  From this template, the frame for the mold was created (see pics 1-5). 



pic 1

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Pics 6-8 show the surface in preparation for the application of the fiberglass.  In Pic 8, I was told the surface had to be perfectly smooth so the application of the fiberglass would have no imperfections.  Pics 9 and 10 show the fiberglass shell. The color of the boat was chosen in order to be visibly different from the many white whaleboats that currently participate in the BAWRA races. The fiberglass is the actual color, rather than having the surface painted. This eliminates any discoloration in the event of “dings” to the surface.


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Pics 15 and 16 show the interior of the boat having been covered, and taking shape.


pic 15

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The Rowverines hope to have the boat on the water in time for the Bridge to Bridge race in June.  They have decided to name their boat, Espiritu de Jonas (“Spirit of Jonas”), in honor of a family member of two of the Rowverines, who enjoyed riding in the bow during practice, and passed away last year. 


The effort to have a boat built has been a huge undertaking for this group.  It involved massive amounts of research, copying technical data to send to the boat builders, asking everyone in BAWRA about boats, getting and modifying a trailer, making the template, dealing with delays and extra costs.  There’s been a lot of time, energy and money committed to this exciting project.

Go Rowverines!


Click here for a gallery of images.


     -- Text based upon Mo's interview with AJ  and Claudia on April 19