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Old 01-01-2009, 10:02   #1
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Old style stringers/beltlines

I hope I'm in the right place. Classic late 19th/early 20th century cruisers often have stringers or beltlines on the outside of the hull - chine, waterline, midway and gunwale. I happen to really like that look. And, from a construction point of view, not having to notch stringers and frames to fit together would be a good thing insofar as ease of construction goes. (I know that scrimping on materials or cutting corners in construction is a bad thing. That's why I'm asking.)

The boat will be used primarily as a houseboat, with some summer lazy-cruising in protected fresh water lakes, rivers and canals. Assume construction is plywood, hard chine, full width cabin, shallow draft, light to moderate displacement, LOA ~48 feet, beam ~12 feet, powered by outboard.

So, ignoring cosmetic concerns, as in you don't like the look, are there any practical reasons not to put longitudinal reinforcement on the outside of the hull - topsides and bottom - instead of inside?

Thanks...
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Old 01-01-2009, 13:29   #2
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External stringers had a dual purpose.
1) It served as a hull guard (fender) for wood hulls.
2) As a water break to help redirect the waves from climbing the hull in rough weather or while motoring.

On a house boat it would be cosmetic, I suppose.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:51   #3
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delmarry - thanks, I know about the fender and spray guard aspects. What I was wondering was about the structural reasons for moving the stringers from inside to outside... whether it was a bad idea or a good idea.
The idea is to replicate the look of an nineteenth century motor cruiser in a hosueboat. Hope this helps clarify what I need...
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:23   #4
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If your replacing inside stringers with outside then you are loosing strength in the hull. Pushing against the hull with a stringer on the inside would distribute the force evenly. Pushing against the hull with a stringer on the outside would cause the hull to buckle and pull the fasteners holding the stringer.

One would have to epoxy the stringer to the ply and then it may attempt to de-laminate especially if hit at a single point (docking or large debris).

And the "nineteenth century motor cruisers" had planks which are a much stronger construction then ply. With plywood you'll need internal stringers to form the hull unless you're going for a stelth looking design.
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