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Old 24-11-2015, 08:25   #16
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

hmmm... I don't see anything wrong in any of the replies above, including mine. The response was profanities from the OP. For the record and in all earnestness (and may actually help a real person): I think a first time builder risks wasting a lot of time and considerable amount of money by starting from scratch on an own design, especially taking the hard route of traditional materials. Sure it's possible, but a lot of research needs to be done first. Plans for proven designs are available for a couple of hundred $, which is a miniscule amount in the whole project. Especially, when it's probably the best guarantee that you will at some point end up with something usable.

The above mentioned Buehler book is probably a good starting point for boat building and design in general, although I think he is describing plywood techniques (wanted a Diesel Duck at some point myself). If I remember correctly it even includes a set of plans for a boat.

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Old 24-11-2015, 09:32   #17
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Raven, you stated your questions are on materials and methods. Excellent starting point.

So guys and gals, what materials and methods are best for a first time build around twenty feet? For inland lake sailing I assume.

Any specific plan sets to recommend?
Marine plywood, stainless screws (or silica bronze), white oak or fir deadwood/ribs/gunwales, and sitka spruce for spars. Look at sharpie plans.
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Old 24-11-2015, 16:34   #18
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

OK Raven , if you're not a troll then I apologize for my initial response.

So some questions to establish your requirements:

What do you intend to do with this sailboat and where?
( Small inland lake in a warm climate, somewhere like the Great Lakes, a coastal bay area; day sailing or overnighting, how many people do you want to be able to carry?)

Will it be kept on a trailer or permanently moored?

Why 9ft tall? (That's absurd for an 18-20ft length).
(And even the beam at 8-10ft is extreme for that length, more like 6-7 ft would be more than enough.)

That will do for a start
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Old 24-11-2015, 19:34   #19
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

There is more to boat hull design than met my eye. My first self designed boat was stable with just me on it. I invited my friend Bill aboard and it started oscillating in pitch harder and harder until it shipped enough water to sink us. A lot of work down the drain. I would strongly recommend George Bueller 's book and plans. He is a guy who has built his own designs and lived on a couple of them.

George Buehler Yacht Design Home Page

Perhaps "Stuart Little, the schooner "Mary Read" or "Little Big Man" would be worth consideration.

Good luck.
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Old 24-11-2015, 22:16   #20
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

You'll have fun with your project. You might consider picking up a used copy of Bud McIntosh's How to Build a Wooden Boat since it's an easy book to follow and has a lot of good insights in to all parts of building wooden boats.
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Old 25-11-2015, 03:41   #21
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

FWIW there are a number of small sailboat plans available free online, Was actually surprised, went looking for plans to possibly build a 14' dingy and found free plans for boats up to about 22-23'. The smaller ones seem to be from mags like Popular Mechanics etc.
Never bothered building one, so much cheaper and easier to just buy a boat.
The hull is the cheap part of the equation, once I started tooking into masts, sails, rigging, etc I realized the reality of the project.
If I ever win the lotto I will build a boat, big one! Cold moulded, exactly what I would want to sail the world.
Good luck.
Gotta have dreams!
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Old 25-11-2015, 07:52   #22
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Thank you I really appreciate it. What I got for my original ideas came from DIY building and a few things I found on the internet which I guess was bad info. I watched a video of these ship builders doing a wooden ship and for caulking they used oakrum and tar other things I found said 2x4's could be used but as I got around to drawing somethig up and looking over everything I thought this doesn't seem like it will work I better find someone with more knowledge on this subject. I was sort of attacked on the last thread but I'm serious about trying to build I'm just misinformed. Basically I'd like to make a mini ship to sail lake Erie. Something that would be fun for the kids and family with enough room for everyone. A big part of this is also for my father in law who is a retired 20 year Navy vet. His health is so so and he loved being out on the ocean so I'm trying to get him back out on the water again. It's not the ocean but it'll have to do.
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Old 25-11-2015, 07:57   #23
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Thank you. I'm just missinformed on this subject and trying to come up with something on my own. The height was because I wanted to do kind of a mini ship with an upper and lower deck. I wasn't sure how to approach something like that so I just decided to make her tall and put two decks. My experiences have been with tugboats, stern wheelers and pontoons so this is a new area for me but one I've always wanted to try. Sailing seems more of a challenge than just firing up the engines and going
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Old 25-11-2015, 08:15   #24
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Raven,

I have always admired boat builders who make things with their hands and craftsmanship, but only if they finish the boat building project, and then only if the finished boat is proven by sailing it or proven seaworthy.

What I write below is not to discourage you, but rather to propose a different line of thinking. What prompts this is your stated reasons of wanting to get your family on the water and the goal to get your FIL on the water with you and the grandkids. I like that as a goal.

For the amount of money and time and labor you would put into building a boat large enough and safe enough for you and the kids to enjoy sailing together (multiple adults, several kids), I think you would be better off buying a small cruiser like a Catalina 22, 25, or 27, on which you can sail together as a family, even weekending on the boat. There are many boats like that available now, used, for about $4k or even less for boats smaller. If your FIL has poor health, and a goal is to get him on the water with you, while up you can, and with the grandkids to build amazing memories together, then a quick, prove, safe, solution (used small cruiser boat in fiberglass) would get you out there sooner.

Those kinds of boats can be purchased for about $4k, used for years and then sold for about the same amount. Overall, little lost and much gained.

Decent, proven, small, used, low cost, sailboats for sale all across the country, can be found at the following classifieds site. They have listing from across the country, despite the name of the site. http://www.sailingtexas.com/cboats.html

Building a similar sized and capable boat from wood is more likely to cost much much more in time, money, and frustration for the entire family.

I had a brother in law who convinced my parents to allow him to build a boat at my parents home. He pitched that it would be a boat all would enjoy later. He started construction, marine plywood, and got the rough shape done of the hull and cabin, decks. It created a big mess of materials scattered about and stored. Then he lost momentum, the boat project languished for years, and it was always an eyesore on the property. Eventually he abandoned it totally, after a few years of promises. My parents had to have it broken up and removed, as landfill, after he left the state. This is a common story.

Alternatively, you could buy a workable old wood boat, for just a few thousand, less than the cost of building, and learn maintenance of wood boats, while having a proven design that you could enjoy immediately, while FIL can join you.

Hope that helps.
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Old 25-11-2015, 08:23   #25
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Raven,

You need to start with a solid set of plans from a reputable designer. Scaling down a large ship is one of the hardest things to do well since volume (displacement) changes by the cube of the size, while length changes with the square. Static Righting Moment (what keeps the top side on top) changes with the beam, and total RM changes with the draft regardless of the size. Unlike houses boat design has to deal with a lot of dependent variables and if you get it wrong the consequences aren't just a punch list to fix, they are a boat sitting on the bottom of a lake hopefully with no one still in it.

I would suggest posting what you would like your finished product to be (a replica Navy Destroyer at 1/10 scale or so ) on Boatdesign.net and see if any of the pros know of a set of plans that would work.
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Old 25-11-2015, 09:02   #26
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Only build if you have a burning desire to BUILD. If the desire and goal is to spend time with your family consider STEADY HAND's advice in post 24. Building makes no financial sense in today's market.
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Old 25-11-2015, 14:32   #27
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

Assuming you do a year or two of hard work building and outfitting this boat, have you thought about what it may then be worth? If it is not a recognised design it will probably be nothing or maybe the strip value for its parts.

A couple of suggestions for your planning:
  1. Go and have a look at a similar sized boat and make a list of all the fittings onboard that you will need... pumps, plumbing, batteries, cables, switch boxes, fuses, electronics, windows, hatches, cushions, stove, tanks, etc. How much will these cost you to buy? If you want to do it cheap the easiest would be to buy a complete boat and strip these out ... but why would you?
  2. Call a couple of insurance companies and ask them what is needed to insure your vessel.
As others have said, my suggestion is to save money and effort and buy a boat you can use straight away. Unless of course the building project is the main attraction rather than boating .... but that's not what you said.
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Old 25-11-2015, 17:14   #28
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

The desire to build a boat need not be driven by the money involved--though topics here on CF have an unfortunate tendency to degrade into ridicule over cost/expense/income or some other aspect of another soul's financial decisions. We all have our hobbies and the last I checked nobody was giving the guy who spends thousands or more on travel, sports teams, gambling, or replacing his car with a new model every few years--we all have our wants, needs, and desires. It's a wonderful hobby to pick up--boat building--and it brings its own rewards that those who haven't built a boat may not begin to fathom. (ah, hem, check out the signature block, Rober Louis Stevenson had it right )

Having said that, sailing with the father-in-law of not-so-good health implies near-term sailing. Sailing with children, the same. The OP might consider the goals he has and research a reasonable sized boat to build that will suit his plans. It is, admittedly, really rewarding to replank/repair a worthwhile boat that someone else has built. If the OP enjoys history, he may also enjoy researching the boats that were built nearby his planned cruising grounds and find one worthy of rebuilding.

While we had the goal of living a cruising life for 23 years before we engaged in buying and rebuilding our cruising boat, we decided at some point that only sailing a pre-WWII cruising boat (built expressly as a private ocean cruising yacht) would provide the aesthetic we wanted. That led us down the rabbit hole of bloodlines and provenance to get a boat that suited and might be worthy of the time and financial investment -- and then rebuild it for 2-1/2 years before relaunching, sailing, and continuing various projects that were not part of the initial rebuild. For us the whole rebuild was rewarding and worthwhile. For someone else it might have been a nightmare. Boatbuilder "know thyself" and be true to follow your own passions not those of others.

If the OP was thinking in terms of cost all along--that materials could be less costly than purchase of an already built vessel--no, that wouldn't be correct. If the OP has a craving for a DIY project, perhaps only a rebuild or new build will do. If the OP loves tradition, perhaps it will be a carvel planked on frame boat. If he craves light weight sleek lines, maybe he'll cold mold some Okume into a wonderful modern vessel.

Don't forget to enroll others in your dream. The people you care about and the ones who can help and support your efforts. Ignore the naysayers but pay attention to the lessons they may have learned along their path.

Enjoy your boat planning, building, and sailing.
Brenda
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Old 25-11-2015, 17:30   #29
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Re: First time boat builder with questions

In terms of practical boat building--you can purchase the plans for a design of your choosing. There are many great designs out there that you could choose to build. I would stick with a well-know designer of pocket cruisers. My personal taste pushes me away from many of the Buehler designs-not because of the designs themselves but because the particular short cuts used by many who implement the Buehler designs. I believe I'd be in bad company, so to speak. OTOH, there are great small boat plans by Laurent Giles, Lyle Hess, SS Crocker, Herreshoff, and many others. Our boat is a Crocker design and so I'm partial to the numerous pocket cruisers he designed. Nice article here about building his boats/designs. The original pocket cruisers of the Stone Horse design were built in wood though now a fiberglass class, for example.

Lots of choices for a build builder or restorer.
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