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Old 12-08-2019, 14:47   #1
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Modular Ship building?

So on my way down this rabbit hole of cruising and boat building I started to wonder about tasks that at least at the moment I know I'll have to pay someone to do for me or at least help.
I'd love to build a carvel planked schooner (at least that's where my attention currently is)
One thing in particular that I think I'll find difficulty with dealing with the larger pieces that make up the frame and keel of the boat.
My question is how exact are (most) larger sailboat plans?
Could I potentially contract someone in the Philippines to make the larger wood prices to dementions or damn close and have it shipped to the U.S. for less then having it made here?
Should I just do it myself and I'm over thinking the difficulty at that stage?
If you had to pick one particular major task in a larger schooner build to leave to hired help what would it be(or top three)
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Old 12-08-2019, 14:48   #2
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Re: Modular Ship building?

Sorry I'm mad at my title of this thread and don't know how to edit it modular isn't really what I'm asking here but i think you get the idea
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Old 13-08-2019, 14:25   #3
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Re: Modular Ship building?

The reason that shipwrights are so scarce is that they need to have such exorbitant skills. Construction plans for old-fashioned ships s.a. "carvel planked schooners" are NOT accurate at all. They are not meant to be. They show what pieces the designer thinks should be comprised in the hull, but not their precise dimensions.

The dimensions of the major component pieces emerge when in conjunction with these plans something called a "Table of Offsets" is used to loft the individual pieces of the "frame" to their full "moulded and sided" dimensions by being drawn full size on a "scriveboard", a huge flat surface generally contained in the loft about the building shop, which is why the procedure is called "lofting". But again, these dimensions are not the "final, final" ones. Each piece has to be fitted against its adjoining ones via the shipwright's knowledge, judgment and skill with tools because there are no straight lines or right angles in shipbuilding.

I hope you've studied the copious literature that exists in regard to traditional ship building. If you've not, then start with the books by Howard Chapelle.

Good luck,

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Old 13-08-2019, 16:20   #4
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Re: Modular Ship building?

The answer is... Yes. You could outsource large components like that. The plans are not accurate, as posted above and you can make it fit later.

However it may be less expensive and higher quality to hire a local kid/guy to help you on the project. They should either be marine professionals with boat building experience, or unskilled laborers. Anything in between doesn't work. They know just enough to mess everything up otherwise. Laborers are great because they readily accept proper training and learn to do things the right way without bad habits. They're also cheap. I had a couple, to as many as 4 guys on my project at a time. Some pro builders from some very reputable manufacturers, some unskilled laborers. Even one ex con on probation who turned out to be my best employee of all.

Your life and possibly others depend on the structural integrity of the boat. Best not to make any mistakes. Best to use the highest quality materials money can buy. Best to have meticulous quality assurance during a build to be sure you'll have confidence in your boat.

I'd take mine out anywhere knowing it was built better than any production boat ever has been built. This is your chance to make something better that what's available to buy.
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Old 13-08-2019, 16:35   #5
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Re: Modular Ship building?

Also, I was overthinking the same way you are. Thought a lot of steps would be impossible for me given my build location. Handling huge parts of the boat seemed impossible.
However, come alongs, dollies, plenty of rope, etc... And you can do anything.

The boat I built was 50' x 25' so some big pieces there. The only outside help I needed to hire moving it was to pull it out of the building because the concrete floor was so beat up it wouldn't roll out. And I'm talking about the entire boat here. Moved the entire boat around inside the building a lot to fair/paint/etc. Had a hydraulic boat trailer pull it out and to the travel lift. Paid like $120 for that.

You'll get it. And post here if you run into problems. I suffered through figuring all that out so I'm glad to help so you don't have to.
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Old 13-08-2019, 17:50   #6
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Re: Modular Ship building?

Awesome thanks for the advice guys. Yeah I've got quite a bit of learning to do still for sure.
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