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Brought up in a boating family, with historical ties to shipping and the Mediterranean, Tim Calleia has been boating since the age of 4, and has always loved the water. So after owning and operating many boats to date, from a laser to his parent’s cruiser,  Tim was looking for a boat that would suit his young family, foremost to teach his girls how to row and sail, and also for himself as an enjoyable form of exercise.

Length 4.27 m
Beam 1.38 m
Displacement 70-80 kg
Arch Davis www.archdavisdesigns.com

Design Concept

Designed by Arch Davis, Maine, USA, the Penobscot 14 was intended as a boat to be a suitable project for any builder with modest woodworking skills. “I took great care in drawing the lines, making a model to help me arrive at the prettiest, and most sea-kindly, hull form” notes Arch on his website. “I chose glued lap-strake construction because it is light, strong, and easy to care for and it also makes the best use of the inherent properties of the materials, so that the resulting structure itself is good to look at.”


Not finding anything available to purchase that could do everything that Tim required, searching online revealed some very nice traditional looking designs for timber construction.  “I've always been into woodworking, and having completed a year of boatbuilding at TAFE many years ago, I had always wanted to build a boat.” says Tim, now a licensed plumber on Sydney’s northern beaches.

After extensive research Tim ordered the Penobscot 14 plans from Arch Davis and started the build in a make-shift workshop under his house. With his shed opening up to the backyard, Tim’s daughters Charlotte and Eva, could watch the build as it progressed.

Timber selection took some thought and Tim had some inspiration from a builder colleague who is restoring a very old timber yacht, and also sailing friends who all have beautiful wooden boats.  All of these friends use WEST SYSTEM epoxy products to maintain and rebuild their boats when required, so with those references, and after reading an article featuring the benefits of 207 Special Coating hardener on the construction of a clear finished canoe in Wooden Boat magazine, WEST SYSTEM became Tim’s choice of epoxy for his project.  

Tim used plantation mahogany and hoop pine solid timbers, and also spruce for the spars. The hull planking is marine ply. The entire boat received two to three coats of WEST SYSTEM 105 resin with 207 Special Coating hardener, to seal all the timbers and provide an exceptionally clear, moisture- resistant finish, followed by numerous coats of varnish to the interior, and a white two-part polyurethane paint on the exterior, to complete this classic look.

Chareva was built upside down over temporary, and some permanent, frames. Stringers run fore and aft where the planks overlap. The planks are glued and screwed into the stringers, and are also scarffed together on the boat, in position, to make the full length of the boat. The P14 has an inner and outer stem, both are laminated. The outer is fitted after the planking is finished, along with the deadwood or keel.

“Chareva was built over a three and a half year period, mostly working at night and some weekends. I took my time and paid particular attention to the finer detail work as the interior would be varnished and any imperfections would be visible.” Says Tim “ In total I would estimate about one thousand hours of work went into the build.  I built and finished the entire boat myself with the exception of drilling the holes in the stainless rubbing strip.”

“I live close to Pittwater in Sydney’s northern suburbs and I can launch my boat at a beach ramp a couple of minutes drive away.” notes Tim  “The boat rows extremely well and is always a great conversation topic wherever we stop.”

Chareva was exhibited at the 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival and is a wonderful example of amateur construction and the finish that can be achieved with WEST SYSTEM epoxy products.

As Arch Davis states on his website “It's difficult to exaggerate the excitement and satisfaction of watching such a lovely craft come to life under your hands. The attention she draws wherever you take her, and her excellent performance under sail or oars, will give great enjoyment for years to come.”


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