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Old 24-08-2012, 14:10   #1
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The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

It's me again, Okay, let's cut out the dancing around the catwalk and get to the truth. (LOL)

A wood boat, workboat finish, if anyone is familiar with Richard Woods Skoota, a small cruising catamaran, or a Bolger sharpie, these home built, plywood boats, so what's the negative side of them at the dock, getting to stay at a marina, locking through or up on a beach?

As you may know, I'm really shooting for the great loop for a year, if that goes well and I survive, keep all my limbs and witts I may do more. I'm not taking off to vist Seahag, as much as I'd like to, but I just don't think my skills are up to the task at this time.

I like some of the small micro cruisers and cats, they appear to be something I can build (yes if I can take a bike I would, but that may not happen now).

My real concern is that I have done alot of reading and seems there is a problem with smallish wood boats, especially home built types, that seem to draw the wrong kind of attention, from authorities to marina managers and those cruising in the $$$,$$$ yachts. So, what would it really be like? If one did this, what's the down side in stead of getting a glass boat that really doesn't fit me?

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Old 24-08-2012, 16:07   #2
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

I'm not sure why a "glass" boat would not "fit you". You present yourself as someone who is interested in independance and self-reliance without a non-functional purchase and maintainance cost. There are a tremendous number of used, sound, inexpensive fiberglass boats that can be functionally and cosmetically refurbished as liveaboard cruisers without an appearance that would make people suspect of the captain. I won't discount wood, but I would suggest that you don't discount fiberglass.
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:20   #3
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

A wood requires more upkeep(work), than fiberglass. If you do take care of the wood it weathers. Some wood evens rots. An unkept wood or fiberglass boat becomes an eyesore. A fiberglass is easier to clean up. Wood trim on a fiberglass boat takes work. A wood hull is quieter than a figerglass hull.

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Old 24-08-2012, 16:21   #4
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

It seems that you are equating "small wood boat" with shoddy, ugly, amateurish, etc. This does not need to be the case. A small wooden boat can be beautiful, much more so than the typical small glass boat. Or it can be an eyesore. It's just up to you, what you build, how you build it and how you maintain it.

I'm confident the Pardeys would not agree that this is a problem.

If you want a wood boat, then buy/build one. Do a good job of it. Quality will be apparent to those who see it.
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Old 25-08-2012, 05:06   #5
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

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I'm not sure why a "glass" boat would not "fit you". You present yourself as someone who is interested in independence and self-reliance without a non-functional purchase and maintenance cost. There are a tremendous number of used, sound, inexpensive fiberglass boats that can be functionally and cosmetically refurbished as liveaboard cruisers without an appearance that would make people suspect of the captain. I won't discount wood, but I would suggest that you don't discount fiberglass.
This is a solid response from CaptForce. If you are looking at building in ply/glass/epoxy there are several designers that offer good designs as well Richard Woods, there is Bernard Kohler, Mike Waller, James Wharram and Thomas Firth Jones, just to name a few. I believe some offer sail and powered designs except for maybe Jones and Wharram, they may offer only sail designs. But as stated above the market is flooded with fiberglass cruisers, sail and powered. Frankly you would be hard pressed to build for what you can purchase if you are seriously calculating expenses and what you will get for your money and effort. Material costs are up for building, used boat market in a slump, buyers market.
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Old 25-08-2012, 06:06   #6
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Thanks guys, Cpt. Force, you're dead on, Must be totally self-reliant, independant, the boat must have function over aesthetics, low maintenance, simple operation, comfortable berth, etc. Anyway, what seems to fit the bill is a garvey, john boat with high freeboard and cabin and open bow (bow could have canvas cover). Yes, I'm that guy that wants to put a 650cc dual sport motorcycle on a boat, landing craft. I guess that goes with the self-reliance as being able to land in some remote cove and get to a grocery store or whatever. I have seen several wood (box boats) that work, they were not "pretty" but obviously functional, just above what I might call a shanty (some shanties are pretty nice btw). So, you get the idea....

This question was not really as to the possibilities of the adventure but how well received one would be in the boating community including the authorities along the way.

I'd much rather have a glass boat, they just haven't made one like this as it would not be a marketable beast. The aluminum LCs are too expensive at the size needed.

Paint covers a multitude of sins, hopefully there won't be too many, but this will also be my first boat build in over 45 years (an C class hydro). There is some concern and I'll probably be hiring a "craftsman" but he may not be a boat builder, I am in Missouri...LOL

I'm pretty thick skined so to speak, I can take some laughing at the dock or on the water, but perhaps I have a paranoia of being targeted for harrassment, much like some poor homeless guy is by some of the boys in blue, pulled over often for safety inspections or hearing "move along, you can't anchor here". Instead of wearing my T-shirts I might wear polo (LOL). I think it's a valid concern. I won't be using tires for bumpers, but I doubt there will be another boat like it. Or, am I being too snobish, I'm not a snob but in reality impressions are made.....
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Old 25-08-2012, 06:38   #7
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Have you looked at Jim Michalak's designs. I think he has some designs that could fit the bill. Jim Michalak's Boat Designs/The Index
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:03   #8
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Wavewacker, I think you're wise to consider what might be an acceptable craft for your adventures. Although a high freeboard landing craft might serve well on the rivers and lakes of Missouri (All my relatives from the Ozarks say, "Missoura"!); for cruising coastal waters with ocean inlets and swells you well likely find a need for a different design. Moving a heavy vehicle from a boat to shore can be very difficult and shore access will not often accomodate a "landing craft". You still have many options. There's the trailerable boat towed by the truck with the 650cc beast in the truck bed. There's the sporty dirt bike that is light enough to hoist to the dock. The landing craft idea puts some great limitations on the seaworthy traits of the vessel unless your size gets very big and expensive.
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Old 25-08-2012, 14:50   #9
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Thanks again Cptforce, there is a guy in Alaska who has a wood LC he built and uses in the gulf up there, going to ilands and running rivers/inlets. He hauls a 4 wheeler much heavier than my Transalp. The cg of my bike is about 20/22" and weighs 320 pounds. If the bow door can drop even in shallow water, like 12", riding off isn't really a problem, getting back on is a greater task and accomplished with some timing of any surf, if any, as some areas further in are calm.

I appreciate the concerns about the boat and will certainly take in all advice!

While I can put the bike (even my cruiser) in my truck and pull a boat, that is not the plan. My plan is the great loop, down the muddy, on the way down I can stop along the way and do some touring. The gulf is the big one and I'd be hanging along shore, going with good weather, hopefully with reasonable speed but it's no race. The ICW is another area heading north on the inside. Then is back inland to the great lakes, another area to hug the shores. The major rivers I'm not concerned with, usually going with the flow. 12 months is set aside,if more time is needed, heck, I'm retired and that's okay. The whole idea is traveling by water and exploring areas by bike. I might put the boat up and take off for several days, so it's not all about boating.

I'm not a techie and can't post pics, but what I have in mind is an over-built sharpie, or heavy framed, 3/4" to 1" bottom, 1/2" sides and lighter cabin aft. I need 8' of floor space forward. Bolts and straps go over the wheel rims, you could turn the boat upside down and the bike won't be going anywhere. The tires are locked into a center channel and the bars strapped to the respective sides. Less weight than two men on sitting in line on pedistal fishing seats, strapped in...LOL

Cabin will take about 10', 3' for a rear cockpit, that's 21' and the bow rise of at least 6', should bring it in about 28' with an 8' beam. Amas may be incorporated as well for stability, they would fold up and attach to the cabin if not required.

Looks like another year and a half to splash. Looks like 2015 for the loop, allowing 6 months for trials and perfecting load/unload techniques.

If this could turn out with a sail rig, add another year, I'll take it to Lake of the Ozarks and pass through the HWY 5 bridge, on a saturday there are about 6' swells and turbulance from speed freaks in 50'ers. BTW, my idea of sailing would a simple gaff rig, leeboards for down wind when possible.

So, you can imagine this would be a strange looking contraption and the concern about how receptive folks might be along the way was the thought. Maybe if the saw the bike on board, they'd get it.

BTW, I have heard everything from the saltwater will disolve the bike to it flying loose and killing me. I'm not concerned with the saltwater, the bike has a good paint job and it all washes off....LOL
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Old 25-08-2012, 16:28   #10
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

We have a Colin Archer, William Atkins designed, gem. she is a 32 ft double ended canoe stern. She is teak on Yakol. She is a heavy displacement cruiser and accomodates 2 fairly well.
We spent a couple of years putting her back to her natural beauty. We use a French varnish, Le Tonkinois. We stripped all the wood down with a heat gun. Applied the varnish. Every 6 months we spend 1 day sanding and varnishing. That is only 2 days a year.
She is a heavy displacement cruiser with a full keal. She can accomodate 2 people, more or less.
What she is not is an eye sore. Everybody comments on how beautiful she is. She is easy to maintain and a joy to see.
It is all in what you want, and how well you care for what you have. There is no reason for letting boats go to hell and deteriotion. It is no different than living in a house. You mow the lawn and paint as needed.
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Old 25-08-2012, 17:37   #11
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

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It is all in what you want, and how well you care for what you have. There is no reason for letting boats go to hell and deteriotion. It is no different than living in a house. You mow the lawn and paint as needed.
Sounds like a beauty an you're right, regular maintenance anda little time makes all the difference.....

I can't build a boat like yours either.....LOL
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Old 25-08-2012, 20:04   #12
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Take it or leave it but you are correct in thinking that people will look at your boat and judge you. If it looks odd or ugly you won't be received well.
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Old 26-08-2012, 04:58   #13
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

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Take it or leave it but you are correct in thinking that people will look at your boat and judge you. If it looks odd or ugly you won't be received well.
OP will be judged. because that's what people do.

IMO a big difference between workmanlike vs looking like cr#p. boat and owner . Where you see "free spirit" others see "free loader". and both might be right!

No problem if you don't want to "fit in" with others by being independent, blah, blah, blah - but degrees to everything, too far outside the ballpark and will get the reaction from most others that merits. No problem for some, others however expect (demand?) the opposite reaction (to be embraced for being "different").
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Old 26-08-2012, 05:44   #14
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Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!



Now that's what I'm say'n! Thanks and I thought so too. I do the same thing when I see some old junker pontoon boat, but I don't take it out on the folks on it. LOL, free spirit or free loader....

Really, it won't be shoddy or an ugly water hazard, just that it will be different. Few will notice it's an LC, just a garvey bowed Bolger style box boat. I may not win a prise at a Wooden Boat show, but it won't be as bad as the Contraption Races!

It should look like a small canal boat, arched cabin with small ports, the bow could be covered with hypalon (burgandy) with arched supports just below the cabin roof lines. I'd also like a boom to load or off load along side a dock, that would be tricky on a smallish boat I'm sure.

As I said, I can hire a craftsman, so the finishing touches should be nice, but no stained wood, painted, I'm thinking a dark green and burgandy top. It will be an OB. I'm getting feed back from an NA as well.

David, thanks for the links! I'm here to learn. But I'm not on a $500 budget, still good points. I expect to eat well along the way. LOL I do plan of "fitting in", my personality will carry me just fine, if I can get close enough without being fired upon.....LOL

Thanks, just wondered what folks thought of the idea of having such a craft pull alongside....
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:16   #15
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pirate Re: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

Aaarrrrrggg. Ye gotta be shipshape, cap'n, no matter yer vess'l. Looks like there's room for the cruiser 'longside the bunk. Git ya one of them blue tarps fom Home Depot chandlery ... good ta go!
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