Minimal Viable Boat

2016-05-13 12.45.56 (Medium) In engineering we talk a lot about the Minimum Viable Product, MVP.  The MVP is the smallest set of features that will allow a product to sell in the market place with the shortest development time.  We often list the features and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether the feature is needed.  When we are done marketing or sales throws out our list and gives up theirs.  Sometimes they are right; sometimes they are wrong.  In either case it is a valuable exercise.

So the time has come to define the Minimal Viable Boat, MVB, so I can do what is important to get the boat in the water and wait on less important items.  The bulkheads have been installed and I am working on the interior sheer clamp, knees, thwarts, bridge deck and anchor deck.  So what do I need to finish to launch Fish Taco?

  1. Cut the Transom.  I need to cut a notch in the transom for mounting the motor.
  2. Purchase and install the battery.  Can’t start the motor without the battery.
  3. Paint the bottom.  The bottom has been primed so I will need at least one coat, preferably three coats of paint.
  4. Knees.  The stern knees and forward knees need to be install to stiffen the boat.
  5. Breasthook.  Like the knees, the breasthook is needed to stiffen the boat.
  6. Thwarts.  The two stern thwarts need to be made and installed.  I could build temporary thwarts and replace them later.
  7. Bow Eye.  I will need a way to retrieve Fish Taco onto the trailer so I will need to install the bow eye.  I don’t need to install the transom tie downs since I can put a strap over the entire stern.
  8. Trailer.  Fish Taco is too big to fit in the back of the truck so I need a trailer.  Two friends have offered the use of their trailers so I can borrow one until I get Fish Taco a trailer of her very own.

Now I get to the list of items that would be nice to finish but are not part of the MVB.

  1. Drain tube for mid storage.  I have cut a piece of 1 inch PVC pipe in half lengthwise and it is epoxied into place and covered with fiberglass.  This won’t take a lot of time so I may do it while I am doing other tasks.
  2. Anchorwell Deck.  A piece of 12mm plywood that covers the forward storage area.  Not hard to make but a lot of fitting to match the shape of the hull.
  3. Bridge Deck.  The plans call for 9mm plywood but I am thinking of epoxying two layers of 4 or 6 mm plywood to set the curve of the bridge deck.  Again not hard to do but a lot of fitting and cutting out the hatch can be tricky.
  4. Interior sheer clamp.  Not part of the plans but I want them because they give you a place to grab if needed.  I have scarfed the two interior sheer clamps and are ready to be planned down to size.  A whole lot of work is involved so this task may fall off the list for now.

Here is the list of items that I dreading because it includes the sanding.  I have to fair, prime and top coat the mid storage and forward storage before I put the decks on so I will do this in sections.

  1. Sand the inside of hull.  Ugh.
  2. Put QuikFair on inside of hull.
  3. Sand the QuikFair.
  4. Prime the inside of the hull.
  5. Sand the primer
  6. Top coat the inside of the hull.

There is the Minimal Viable Boat which does not include lights, electronics, down rigger mounts and much more.


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