Garden Built Boat in Dublin | Season 2 – Episode 6 (Part 1)
Floats Mar 03, 2022
Retired airline pilot Damian McGlone suffered the loss of his previous boat due to fire and so decided to self-build a ‘Grand Banks’ type trawler-yacht as a replacement.
Gathering the salvageable parts from his fire damaged vessel and purchasing self-build plans for a YUKON ‘Grand Banks’ type trawler yacht from the Glen L Marine Company, Damien set to work in 2016 on his self-build named ‘Blue Marlin’.
While you may think that the Grand Banks boat design originated of the coast of Newfoundland the origins of this boat design are actually from south east Asia. It was in 1962 in what was then the British colony of Hong Kong when Robert Newton, an American expatriate began the ‘American Marine’ company with his sons, John and Whit.
By 1963 they had launched the ‘Spray’ the first of a line of 8-knot trawlers first built in wood and then in fibreglass with a raised pilothouse, high bulwarks and softer hull lines that would be universally known as Grand Banks trawler-yachts.
Many amateurs buy plans and build their own Grand Banks design trawler-yachts at home. One of the most popular marketer of self-build boat designs for the Grand Banks type design is Glen–L Marine, founded by Californian Glenn L Witt in 1953.
Witt’s stated aim for his self-build plans, ‘was to help people of average skill and income get on the water’. All of the Glen–L Marine plans were drawn up in full size so they could be laid over sheets of plywood for accurate cutting.
The Glen L Marine range of plans stretches from rowboats, runabouts, sailboats and the ‘YUKON’ Grand Banks trawler-yacht built by Damian McGlone in his garden. The YUKON design ticked all of the boxes for Damian with full walkaround decks with cabin access on either side, dual control stations, a cabin at each end with a saloon in the middle, a full-sized galley and a spacious flying bridge.
While other home builders construct a large workshop around their boat-build during the construction phase, Damian Built his YUKON in the open air. To support his build, in the side-alley of his house Damian built a workshop where he went on to learn new skills in metal, woodwork, electrical and hydraulic systems and the list goes on. He even built a wood bending frame, attached to the side wall of the house to bend wood for the deck rails and forming his own laminate. He began by building the hull in an upside down position to aid construction in a level corner of his back garden.
After two and a half years of work the hull was finished and the next stage could begin. Using a crane parked in the front garden, the hull was fitted with slings and lifted over the roof of the house. The completed hull was then set the right-way-up for the remainder of the build and hull-props were inserted to hold her in position.
Thanks to Damian McGlone
Sources of information: 1. www.proboat.com 2. www.glen-l.com 3. Wooden Boat Forum 4. Curtissstokes.net 5. Wayne Milner 6. www.grandbanks.com 7. A Brief History Of Grand Banks and American Marine by Robert M. Lane
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