Chined construction, a method that greatly simplifies hull plating, is an attractive option for amateur builders. With little more than a welding machine and good cutting and handling equipment, a steel hull can be backyard built. Once I had learned how to handle the long pieces of steel properly, I found the hull construction to be most rewarding. Sparks flew, there was smoke and grit, but in essence it was a bit like sewing: I made Masonite patterns for each strake, traced around them and cut the material to shape, tacked it onto the upside down temporary frame, then finally seamed it all together. Welding is so immensely and immediately strong that I was as convinced then of the boat’s colossal strength as I am now, 50,000 miles later. Full-strength welding meant I could carry out 100 percent corrections of occasional cutting errors.