Framing an aluminum boat varies little from framing a wooden boat. The aluminum lobster boat shown here is in an early stage of its construction. In frame, the utility boat looks remarkably similar to a wooden boat, with longitudinal battens defining the planking. Longitudinal stringers are welded to the frames, which will help support the thin aluminum plating. The boat was made almost entirely of aluminum, including its gas tanks.
In 1975, when Paul wanted to see if fishermen would buy aluminum boats, he went to proven lobster boat designer Everett Barlow for the design and had builder J. Ervin Jones make molds. While there was interest, the boat didn’t sell, but it was a good tool on which to hone aluminum building skills.