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Old 03-01-2014, 14:55   #16
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Just don't mention Brent Swain to Bob Perry.
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Old 03-01-2014, 15:35   #17
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

I am sorry for this late reply and out of order, but I was away. I will do my best to give the proper answers and comments according to the subject matter.

1. As said, my idea is to select the project and designer and hire professional builders (either a group of individuals or an established company) to build it from ground zero. I will be part of the team, because I need to develop the skills and know the details of the place I will call “home”. I believe this is the safest approach possible in various aspects, not mentioning the learning. It will reduce building time, improve risk management, assure quality and allow me to control the budget. As an experienced project manager myself, I believe I could do a good job.

2. Since I live in Brazil, where import taxes are very significant, buying a new boat is out of question. Just to give an idea, if I decide to import a new boat, 100% and higher taxes may apply. One can say, import a second hand boat. I wish I could, importing of used boats are not allowed in my country.

3. Refitting/remodeling is also problematic. First, I need to find a boat that fits my needs, and in Brazil steel hulls are not easy to find. Second, the price (although it is second hand) will be high if the boat is imported. Third, the overall condition might not be good. Even if I am able to overcome all those on time, what I doubt, there is still the task of getting someone to do it. So, why not save time and money (and in this case a lot of frustration) and assume that it has to be done from zero? It seems the most logical and efficient solution.

4. One might argue that I could buy (a new or used one) outside Brazil and bring it to the country or even start my new life from somewhere else. Well, this is not practical. First, if I bring it to the country without importing it, I will only have up to 6 months to do everything necessary to bring it to my taste. Second, I might need to move to abroad to stay close to what will be done. Since I still have to pay for it, so working is necessary and for that I need to be in Brazil.

5. There is no main reason to dive in such a project, but I would it is a part of a long process and it is not easy to explain. A few years ago, I read about an interview with a famous climber. He was asked why he climbs mountains and takes the risk of doing it. His answer was simple: because the mountain is there. Well, in my case, I can say that it is partially this. But the main driver isn’t. There is at least one point in life when you have the chance to put things into perspective, revalue what you have done so far and what you would like to do for the remaining years you have. I believe I have reached that point. And why leaving all behind and start over? My answer is, why not?

6. Van de Stadt boats seem to be a very good option. What is your experience with yours so far?

7. I wish I could go back in time and change “just” a few things. I would have started this project much sooner…

8. I will browse around for Maurice Griffiths. Thanks for the suggestion.

9. I have read a lot about how time-consuming building a boat from zero could be. Some say it is a life project for their retirement, others that took at least 4 years to have it ready. A minority say that a boat, similar to the one I intend to call home, can be built in much less time, between 1 and 2 years. Well, I am not an expert in boat building (far from it!), but I have been trying to imagine the reasons behind those statements. In 1 year, a small group can build various complex things, a big house for example. Comparing a house with a boat, I believe a house is much more complex and involves much more details. Perhaps someone could give me an example about the obstacles in the way and the most time consuming tasks that could justify such length of time.

Best,
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:11   #18
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

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6. Van de Stadt boats seem to be a very good option. What is your experience with yours so far?
Our experience with van de stadt has been absolutely excellent. The boat is terrific, the designers were easy to work with (we mostly built a "standard" Samoa model, but had van de stadt design a custom keel and rudder for us), and they have given us good service (when we ask questions or need drawings) even now 16 years after we paid them.

I will note that we had already sailed around the world on a production plastic boat. So we had a decent amount of experience and knew exactly what we wanted, and that helped a lot. It's harder to get exactly what you want if you do not have enough experience to know what you really want.

It took us two years to build the boat (from contract signed to setting sail) and that includes just my wife and I doing all the interior and systems at the same time that I had a full time day job running a GE business unit. But . . . . I will note here that I am a professional project manager AND we intentionally built a very simple boat . . . . . strong, and exceptionally good sailing, but without many of the systems others think are "essential". It sounds like a small semantic difference, but in fact makes a big difference as you make all the small decisions that are required while building. You can say: "fine, that will do very well", rather than "no, that is not perfect".

I believe one if the keys to success is to have as an objective: "to build a very good cruising boat". This is achievable, and satisfying, and gets you out on the water in an excellent boat. We have had several friends who's objective was: "to build the perfect boat", and this seems to always end in tears and too much money and too much time, because the perfect boat does not exist and cannot be built, and you will never get sailing if you try.

We have good friends who built a 46' catamaran in Brazil. It turned out well, but importing some of the specifically sailing equipment was a pain.
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:21   #19
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Thanks.

What was/were your most time consuming task/s? What could you have done to reduce the building time?

I also have project management experience, and sometimes the time lenght and over budgeting people mention when building one from zero really scares me. I really want to understand where are the issues.

Living is Brazil is not easy! Very expensive, very Bureaucratic and you don't get anything in return! This is one of the reasons why I decided to sail around the globe.

Best,
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:31   #20
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

The biggest time over run was the hull welders . . . They were suppose to take 4 months but took a year. That was in part my fault . . . I squeezed them too hard on price, and when they got other jobs they did them before mine. I did have late penalties in the contract, but I never applied them, because I wanted the welders to like the job and do their very best work and not cut quality. In the end it was ok . . . The welding was excellent, and I managed to build quite a bit of the interior in modules while the hull was still being built, so when I got the hull we could work very quickly just glueing the interior modules in. You do have to make sure each piece can fit down the hatch if you do this
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:34   #21
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Where did you build it? How many working hours (not including yours) to build it?
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:45   #22
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

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Where did you build it? How many working hours (not including yours) to build it?
Metal work was done in Florida. Interior and systems in Maryland (chesapeake bay). Both USA.

I do not know how many hours in total. When we subcontracted jobs I usually contracted and paid for completed stages rather than by hours.
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:46   #23
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2014, 17:23   #24
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

You should look at the dix 43. It has pilothouse version. Google odyssey yachts to see example build sequence. Google dearden marine and look at namo for another example. Odyssey website mentions pre cut available. Examples are aluminum but I think it also has plans for steel. Google blue pearl dix 43. That one might have been steel. I forget.

For centerboard design, you might want to check out caroff. He is a french designer. There is a chatam 47 on yachtworld right now that looks pretty nice. If wanting bigger, check out seal and sister ships by paine / joy. Lifting keel and rudder.

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Old 03-01-2014, 17:26   #25
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Thanks, I will check on them.
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:07   #26
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

I'll go along with the recommendations for Van de Stadt. I built their 6.5m centrboarder in New Guinea quite a few years ago and found the plans were easy to follow and made a great boat.

I have a 44' steel Roberts now and while it's a good boat there are better designs out there.

That said I'd also have a look at the designs of Dudley Dix.

What I'd look for most in going for a new steel build design would be a near plumb bow and sugar scoop stern with the accompanying increase in beam.

As to your specifications a centre cockpit is most likely only going to be practicable at the upper end of your size range. I've never built or sailed a centre cockpit but I've found that aft cockpit yachts are very serviceable and (as far as yachts can be) straightforward to build.

I'd also suggest reconsidering a centreboard. I found the one I had was a potential weakness in the middle of the boat but very useful in a small trailer sailer.

On Boracay I went with a hard dodger and cockpit cover as I brought the boat as a "completed" shell. It's a very flexible practicable arrangement.

Rather than going to the trouble and expense of centreboard and centre cockpit (The two may not go together..) why not spend the money on a bigger, beamier boat with a shoal draft keel?

A few other pointers that smack me in the eye as I look at Boracay:-
* stainless steel work makes or breakes a steel yacht. If paint can chip off it it needs to be done in stainless.
* dodger, bimini/cockpit cover needs to be done in the design stage for a steel boat. Again stainless may look good for much longer and be more durable.
* Davits, solar panel mounts, radar poles, arches and the like also are best done in the design phase and again stainless steel may be best.
* A fully welded stainless steel plated bilge with switches mounted well above pumps is highly desirable.
* The three key trades for a steel boat are welder/boilermaker, stainless steel worker and cabinet maker. They need to be engaged in the design phase.
* 45' in steel is going to be 10,000 hours or more.
* a big engine (like my John Deere 4045D -85hp) and an open interior are great on a big boat.
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Old 07-01-2014, 15:19   #27
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Hello

I have a 36' Brent Swain steel bilge keeler and it is the perfect design for me, I am a live aboard and a boilermaker/welder by trade though. I bought this boat cheap but I wouldn’t hesitate to build another if needed because then I know exactly what I have. If you could find another boat with everything you need to complete your boat including mast rigging sails and engine to use as a donor then custom build your own boat, why not build your own, this is pretty much what I was looking at when I bought mine but the hull is ok.

The boat was in pretty bad shape but I benefitted and when finished should for less then 50k have the boat I want to go where I want with confidence, in June or July she will be on the hard long enough to replace the deck and cockpit. I have been on a Swain with a 24” deck instead of the 16” deck that I have and consider it to be worth the effort and expense even if I didn’t have a lot of rust to deal with, I had Acuren UT the hull for me so I know exactly what I have below the water line. Due to their origami design the Swain boats go together really fast and most who sail with me are surprised at how well she sails. She does weigh over 10 tons dry but I am ok with that.

The Bilge keels really do work for me, I can and have beached her to check my zincs and clear my prop. I have a lot of confidence in the 3/16th hull and the beauty of steel for me is that I can cut out sections and replace them if needed, paints from companies like Ameron if applied correctly will protect Steel in a marine environment for a long time. The interior when finished will be exactly what I want and the friend who is going to redo it for me does really nice work and I look forward to seeing what he can do, if I didn’t have him to do this I would probably get it roughed in then learn to do the finishing myself while cruising.

Cheers

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Old 07-01-2014, 15:51   #28
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Mark Smaalders Yacht Designs

George Buehler Yacht Design Home Page

http://www.capegeorgecutters.com/ read somewhere a guy bought a bare hull 31 CGC and it was $26K or so. A 36 or 40Ft maybe be double but a very very good starting point for a world cruiser.

why not consider a bare hull Westsail , there are still quite a few around and build from that... seems to me to be more cost effective and more importantly quicker. You would have a very stable and proven world cruising hull you could configure any way you desire.

Good luck
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Old 07-01-2014, 17:59   #29
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

Dear grafare,

please, let me for the first congratulate You for the homework well done before comoing here for some additional advise.
I understand, that You decided to built new boat in the way of self managed project. You also did present all the reasoning behind this decision, and I'm sure that all this reasoning is as well tought out and thorough as a part presented to us. I understand that there are other factors upholding Your decision, not practicable to be presented here.

As You did Your homework really well, so You came with a short list of designers widely known for their off-shelf designs, suitable for one-off building on the basis of small yard contract or self manager project or DIY home built.

From Your list I personally do prefer Van De Stadt design office, for several reasons:

1. Estarzinger built one with success. It is really good reason. You know for sure, that it is really possible to built fantastic boat in reasonable time, by reasonable resources, to the Van de Stadt design.
2. Van de Stadt off-shelf designs are prepared with self managed project way of building on mind. It was not necessary for them to be oversimplified in order to enable the DIY home built in the barn.
3. You can choose the design not only according to Your needs and other preferences, but also according to the resources available for You. For example, the Samoa 47 has its round bilge steel, multi-chine steel, round bilge aluminium, multi-chine aluminium and round bilge wood core composite versions. Estarzinger built round bilge aluminium - surely he had chosen the one well suited to the resources available. If I would try to built one here, in Poland it had be wood core composite, not so much a difference in preferences as more difference in available resources.
With Van de Stadt design You can find the best compromise taking to the account Your preferences and Your possibilities.
4. It is only MY OWN, PERSONAL, BIASED OPINION. With Van de Stadt You do not need to built steel boat. With Bruce Roberts and some other (mentioned in this thread) designers the steel boat shall be inevitable. You see, my country has really great tradition of steel boatbuilding. And I grown to really dislike steel boats. For me the only proper reason to built a steel boat is going to the Arctic or Antarctic for long time, to live between ice, penguins, polar bears and so on... Do You want to cruise mainly in the ice? If not - do not be Iron Man
5. This is also my own, personal, biased opinion. I dislike Bruce Roberts designs. They are well suited to the building in the barn. I do not like barn-built boats. But I know the people who like. Two my colleagues own Bruce Roberts boats and are sort of happy with them. So it is really personal inclination.

All the best with Your project

Tomasz
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Old 07-01-2014, 18:23   #30
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Re: Help Choosing the Project and the Designer/Naval Architect.

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You should look at the dix 43. It has pilothouse version.
If you ever want to buy one completed to perfection, I know one that is coming to market next month. It is an amazing boat!

Matt
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