Viking Tuija is a small boat made of plywood. It is about 3.3 m long (11 feet) and it is made of plywood according to plans by Glen L. Marine Designs. The boat design is called Bull’s Eye. The purchased drawings were good, the parts are drawn in natural size (1:1). The instructions are old-fashioned, the pictures and the text are on separate sheets. The text is probably originally written on a typewriter. This is a far cry from the instructions included with most Tamiya kits. Nevertheless, the blueprints are excellent and the rest of the material is clear enough.

The build took about 170 hours, including rigging and sails. If I would make another one it would require less time but I guess it would not be as interesting.

I used 3 m. plywood sheets instead of the regular 2.4 m. (8’) sheets. This change shifted the seam on the hull a little bit further backwards. I got the feeling that the plywood enforcements on the seam were a little bit overkill, the hull would probably be rigid enough without them.

I did use local birch plywood and pine instead of the suggested materials. The first sail was made from Biltema’s white tarpaulin. It turned out to be a good material, lightweight, durable and easy to sew. This sail was very quick to make and it gave an idea of the shape of the sail. I had no prior experience from sails so there were some things to learn before it worked as it should. The next version was made from an old sail that we got as a donation.

The sprit rig was chosen because it seemed easier to make due to the shorter mast (3 m.). For the next season I will prepare a longer, 5m., mast for a bermuda sail.

I am happy with the result, the plans were worth buying, The boat sails at very gentle winds and carries two adults with ease. The boat feels sturdier than the more lightweight plywood boats. The boat is also very easy to row. The bow works well, waves from larger vessels do not cause problems. Of course, this is not a vessel for open seas but it is good for it’s size.

The ’Viking’ part of the name was inspired from the way a Norwegian shipping company gives names to their offshore supply vessels.

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Viking Tuija, an 11’ skiff