“One of the most challenging aspects of building is lofting, or scaling the real thing from the blueprints,” says Carlisle. “Some things can get lost in translation from one step to the next, so it’s important to constantly be in communication with everyone on the crew to get things done correctly.”
Lofting requires painstaking attention to detail, especially if a marina doesn’t employ the use of CAD drawings (today that’s rare, but there are still holdouts). First the build drafts are split into sections (or stations), and outlined into patterns and frames drawn up by the loftsman. Next, they’re laid out with flexible timbers on a perfectly level lofting floor, but it’s easy to lose proper placement here, so the craftsmen use splines: little weights that keep the wood curved in place, and tempers from getting splenetic. From there, measurements must be constantly checked and rechecked as they are labeled on the floor, and as curves are drawn out. This will be the outline of the boat.