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Tom Michelmore and Ben French build a Dillon Mini Vee

Tom and Ben are a couple of sixteen-year-olds from England. "We our from Devon (county) in the UK and are building the boat in Exeter (city)."

Here they use paper templates to mark boat parts onto plywood.

Tom gets in a little early testing.

Ben takes on the sanding. Sometimes boatbuilding is an exercise in sensory deprivation.

"Bens Grandpa was a pro boat builder," Tom reports, "and it is his boat yard, called 'Tremletts,' that we are building in. The mini vee will be the first boat built in many years at the yard."

Bulkheads cut out.

Bulkhead #1 and the stem.

The coaming laid out, with cleats attached and some bulkheads.

"Ben and i have attached part of the hull today."

Starting to look like a three-dimensional structure.

The shear clamps partially attached. The keel in place.

Tom does a little fine fitting.

The shear clamps pulled together to the stem. Bottom plywood going on.

Boat right side up, always a big milestone in a boatbuilding project.

Obviously planning on placing the fuel tank in the bow.

"She is coming on nicely and we cant wait to get her in the water."

"You may be woundering what the structure behind the seat is," Tom says. "Its largley for asthetics, but will also be hinged at one side and protect the battery from the British weather. It is now waiting to be coverd by the ply. We are hoping it will look like the air intake on an F1 car."

"We have managed to find a bucket racing seat on Ebay which we plan to install soon."

"Sadly the summer holidays have come to an end and we are now back at school, so progress will slow."

A few months go by, then...

"I thought I would update you with some pics of how the boats coming along!"

Coming along just fine, the deck pieces cut and fit.

And then the forward cowling.

Before installing the deck, you gotta finish the interior.

And add some flotation. About three cubic feet of foam is enough to float approximately 180 lbs. But a little bit more won't hurt at all.

And finally the deck gets installed.

Pre-finishing the lifting strakes.

Lifting strakes installed.

"The boat is now finished!" Tom reports. "It has been a long process due to school, but Ben and I will finally be launching her tomorrow and are very excited indeed!"

The motor is a 40 hp Tohatsu. That's a rather powerful motor for its size and weight, and it should easily push the Mini Vee over 50 mph.

Tom uploaded a video.

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The Evolution of the original Dillon Mini Vee
Building the new Mini Vee, 2009
Bringing back Mini GT racing, 2010
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