Aluminum Boat Shines
Bright On A Dead Dream

Aluminum boat and all our dreams were tied into completely finishing what we started. I want to "Thank you", for joining us on our long journey of discovering what we were made of. Being able to finish building and finding our way through the trials of designing and building all hands-on, work for this 65' custom cruising sailboat.

If someone would have told me back when I was in my twenties or even early thirties that I would be involved with designing and building and owning this sailboat, my mind would not have been able to conceive it. That just goes to show how everything you experience in life is laying the foundation for your future.

Below is Rene'e Metrik several years later after finishing the building of the aluminum boat. No more aluminum oxide clinging to my clothes and skin.

To my surprise as we where finishing up the last details and working on the interior for this aluminum boat.  Jim Flannery from Soundings magazine contacted us and wanted to write an article about our journey. He asked us if we could catch up with him at the boat show in Fort Lauderdale, Florda.

Jim Flannery from Soundings, a boating magazine did end up writing an article about us designing and building this aluminum boat. He met us at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

It was really raining hard that day, but nothing was going to dampen our spirits from having a great time looking at all the new boating and sailing products.

We met him at the BahiaMar hotel. There we were able to meet with him face to face and we enjoyed our journey walking down memory lane.

After the interview several weeks later Jim from Soundings magazine contacted me and said he still had some more questions for us. So I told him go a head and email them to us and we will answer them as well as we can.

I think in a large way this was a time of closure for Art and I on so many things in our past. The Soundings magazine finally came to print and we went to the store and got a copy.

Aluminum Boat and 2 Hearts United   For ....                    
                     A Season

Magic Dragon is an all aluminum sailboat and we have tried to go into further detail on this type of metal here. You will find answers to a lot of your questions and this article offers different boat building tips, that starts here.

If you reach the end of this page and still have aluminum questions, please find the contact form below and we will get back to you.

We used the marine grade, aluminum 5086, 5082 and parts of the boat that did not need a lot of bending 6061 aluminum alloy. This article goes into further detail of The Advantages of Aluminum in Marine Applications.

At the end of every day the aluminum oxide layered our bodies and clothes from head to toe. You could have hung a sign on us at the end of every day saying "wash me" was very appropriate and just hang us out to dry.

There was plenty of welding going on...welding aluminum tips and DIY projects.

Below is the hull of Magic Dragon as we worked on her daily. People would drop by and watch our progress. The deck of the sail boat was so high it just sat beneath the beams holding the roof in place.

Painting the hull on this aluminum boat brought its own, one of a kind challenges. One of things we had to over come was the very high humidity that Florida has during the summer months. Which meant for us dew every morning and in the heat of the day it left it's mark on you. Burns.

Direct sun not only fried your skin but the temperatures that the aluminum would become with the sun beating down on it was an instant third degree burn.

As we all know aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat. That might be fine for a frying pan but not so much when it comes to painting your boat. Here are some of our tips...


Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure

Bob Bitchin

One Of A Kind Aluminum Boat

This aluminum boat hull we towed down the road ourselves, these were adventures that you can only dream of and then you,
yourself is faced with something you didn't think you needed to be worried about.

Our journey began on the main land warehouse that we rented, it is where we finished building the custom aluminum boat,

The warehouse was located at 1190 Turnbull Bay Road, New Smyrna.

Now the aluminum sail boat was not finished at this point, but it was together enough to motor this ever evolving sailboat up the Intercoastal waterway to Jacksonville, Fl  and from there to Acosta Creek Marina, Satsuma, Florida.
These all welded aluminum boats take a while to build but in  the long run will last long after I am no longer here.

We gathered up for a... all hands on deck approach as we towed our boat down the road with an unusual vehicle. There was no semi here helping us, it turned into another DIY boat towing adventure. 

Below you can see where we are having a little fun by joining to different pictures together. Jim Herman is the man in the pictures on the dock and we trying to show you how fast we had to respond to the events of the day. Art's father is the man on top of our sailboat with the hat.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea..."

- Antoine de Saint Exupery

New Smyrna Beach, Florida is were we placed Magic Dragon in the water, from there we motored her to the center of the state. Acosta Creek Marina, Satsuma, Florida became our home for the next several years.

We met so many cruisers there from all over the world at this marina. One such couple was Bob Parnoff and his wife MeMe. One day we had finished the work on the aluminum mast and was going to place it down on the sailboat.

The travel lift at the marina made it so much easier because it did all the heavy lifting.

Below is Cathy on the travel lift helping us place the mast on Magic Dragon. Renee and Art are guiding it into place. 

Bob Parnoff was nice enough to pull out his camera and took a video of our adventure after placing the mast down on our aluminum boat. Bob is so funny and he makes sure he tells us the rules of the river.


The first video was taken when we were heading out into the St. Johns River.

This next video is when we are pulling back into the dock area where our boat slip was. Believe me it's only a couple of minutes long but Bob's comments are worth listening too!

The second video Art's at the helm, Rene'e was on the deck and we had an audience. The current can be tricky on the St. Johns River. 

Below is a picture of Bob and Meme Parnoff.

On this aluminum boat we wanted to make good use for everything we needed to store. Water proof containers you can build yourself to keep water in or out of them. Some things we cannot do without and being to find a place for the things we need from a day to day basis is important.

Such containers can store your batteries large or small, cables, c-clamps, emergency items, catch dripping oil etc.

Being able to find an item in an emergency situations when you are at sea or cruising for the day is critical. You can start by practicing on scrap pieces of plastic and you will get the hang of it in no time.

One of the materials we used for this aluminum boat called, Magic Dragon, is food grade plastic to build our water tanks and so many other useful containers on board this aluminum boat.

Space is a premium on board any boat, so to be able to create useful containers or boxes to store items in, help in a big way. Just like aluminum boat building, you do not have to go out and buy a lot of special tools just work with the sheets of plastic.

This aluminum boat page and DIY tips for building your own boat is not limited to just that, but also open your eyes to try and make other things such as tanks, comes in handy.

My goal is to get you thinking of trying and taking your imagination to a new limit. So how could these plastic holders or tanks come in handy besides being made to hold drinking water, waste water, wash water, condensation drain trays?

Thank goodness these plastic tanks do not hold the smell as other constructed metal tanks. But there are ways to clean them out if your water has been sitting around to long and the smell is too much too bear. Having the capability to have enough water on board can be a challenge.

All I can say is after a long full day of working, boating or sailing all I want is a comfortable bed to lie down on. We had a couple of bumps or lumps in the mattress with the wrong foam choice for our needs. So I went into a little more detail about what type of mattress we picked.

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