15 year old building 18 foot aluminum center console.

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by bassboy1, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. bassboy1
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Bit of history about myself.

    I am 15, live just North of Atlanta Georgia, am an avid bass fisherman, and becoming a fairly avid crappie/striper fisherman too. Also love coastal Inshore fishing, for flounder and reds mostly, in places such as the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and in various bays of the gulf. Unfortunately, I don't get to salt that much.

    Now, I have been around shops, and mostly woodworking tools since the day I was brought home from the hospital, and took a liking to such at a very young age. Recently though, I have become exposed to metalworking, and really prefer it. Aluminum especially, but I am in no way against steelwork. I consider fishing to be among my hobbies, but working in the shop as my passion. I have done many varying small projects with aluminum, and have helped dad build a few trailers for some aluminum boat restorations we have done together. I am also experienced in 2 stroke outboard work and rebuilding, and somewhat experienced in boat rigging, including but not limited to electrical (not electronics).

    My most recent project was this, which aside from some of the welding on the trailer, was done almost entirely by me.
    Click HERE

    Now, I have been wanting to make an 18 foot center console rig, to be mostly used for striper fishing, but also taken to the coast from time to time. The original idea was to restore an 18 foot aluminum hull, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make a hull myself. To save myself from retyping what I have typed already, read this thread on a different site to get a good idea of what I want, and what I am working with.
    Click HERE

    I am not looking for naysayers who are telling me it isn't possible. I know full and well it is possible. I also knew for a long time that sometime in life, I would build a hull from scratch. But, I realized that if I could do it 25 years from now, I could do it now. And, I would probably have much more satisfaction with myself were I to complete something like this at 15, rather than 40. I would just like a bit of constructive criticism, and maybe a little bit of advice.

    Thanks,

    bassboy1
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Advice

    I would be happy to give you any advice you need. However, after reading your link, I wasn't 100% sure what the question is, since there seems to be so many.

    First thing really is to write up an SOR..or statement of requirements, that you wish from your boat. Then we can take it from there.
     
  3. bassboy1
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Alright, there are a whole bunch of questions hidden in there. To start, we have a MIG setup at the house. It is the Lincoln Weld Pak 175 HD which is a 220 volt machine. I have read that with the addition of a spool gun, and 100% argon shielding gas, it theoretically will weld aluminum. Now, I am just not sure how well it will actually do that. Does anybody have any info on that. I know that if the welder is capable, I would be able to spend enough hours laying practice beads to become very fluent with it. Just need to know if the welder will do it.

    I am still way ahead of actually building it. 9 months at the minimum, due to schooling restraints, so I don't yet have a set in stone plan though. It will likely be similar to the jet boat in the Glen L link, just with a 20 inch shaft outboard.

    Another issue would be funding. I am estimating that I would need 10 - 12,000 to complete this, and that is with a late 80s model OMC V4 outboard, and some used equipment, such as trolling motor and GPS/Sonar. On that other board, one guy mentioned sponsorships of sorts. In reality, would obtaining something like that be possible/practical? Or should I start saving up quarters from under the sofa cushions?

    These are the start of, I am sure, hundreds more in the way of questions.

    Thanks,

    bassboy1
     
  4. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Hi Bassboy

    Woah...lots of info ;)

    However, you are explaining to me many things about what you wish to do, or intend to do. But sadly nothing about the boat.

    You really need to sit down and have an idea of what the boat needs to do. Forget cost, forget time etc etc. Your starting point must be your wish list, then have a rough design for the wish list. Then and only then can you tick off what you can achieve in terms of money and time.

    Without writing down your SOR, you have nothing to aim at, and as such you approach will be reactive not proactive.

    So, things like:

    how many people
    how fast
    payload (max weight to carry)
    sleeping accommodation
    galley
    propulsion system
    level of outfitting....heating or A/C for example

    You need to focus on the boat first. Once you have complied some sort of list, this then it forms the basis for your approach and what you can or cannot do. And as such what can you do with areas that are not possible, ie compromise. Good naval architecture and boat building is all about compromises and understanding them and their implications.

    For the welding, best consult an expert of welding sets etc...just ask a manufacturer, they will be very happy to assist you...especially if they can sell you some parts in the process.
     
  5. bassboy1
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Oh. I sort of hinted at certain things in the SOR without really typing them.

    I am planning on the boat to be 18 feet.

    Aluminum.

    Center Console.

    Outboard power, probably in the 90 - 115 range, but possibly more. Very likely OMC power.

    The general hull shape will probably be very similar to the red jet boat that I put a link to on the page 2 of the tinboats.net link.
    That gives me reasonable rough water capabilities, but I can still venture a little ways into the flats once a year when down at the beach.

    Needs to have a minimum of a 35 gallon bait tank.

    Will probably be around a 30 gallon fuel tank.

    Will be trailered.

    Needs to have a fairly open floor plan. The interior layout I am thinking of is a raised bow deck, for throwing cast nets and such off of to catch bait, then a low deck around the rest of the craft. Storage under the bow deck, and probably put a storage box on each side of the transom with a seat on top.

    Needs to have seating/standing (leaning post) for 6, including driver.

    Would like to see 40 mph, and am not sure what sort of powerplant would be needed for that, but I am guestimating that the 115 would get me close.

    It will have a bow mount trolling motor. Probably something in the Powerdrive/Autopilot family.

    Will also have a kicker motor for trolling, as I don't like 4 stroke engines.

    Console mounted Sonar/GPS. A Humminbird 997ci would be real nice, but I will probably end up going with a middle of the line Lowrance sonar with GPS.

    Tee top is a must.


    Does this give us a basis to start upon?
     
  6. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Bassboy

    Ok, we are getting there now. Hinting at an SOR is not enough. You need to write them all down so it is clear to all what the objective truly is.

    Ok.while you are writing the SOR, you need to draw up some basic lines, from these lines you can estimate the structure weights as well as establishing what kind of speed and seakeeping you would be able to get. Not to mention, will she have the stability. The outline of the lines will also allow you to draw up a basic deck layout.

    You need to check..does she float..does she float up right does she still float under extremely loading conditions. So the area of operation will dictate this, for your reserve stability in poor weather etc.

    Once these have been ticked off...we can go further. But one step at a time. Since you're trying to pin down details, without establishing the basics of the design and what it can really do.
     
  7. srimes
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    srimes Senior Member

    Sounds to me like he just wants to build a boat, and you're talking him through the design process.

    How 'bout just picking a good plan? If what you want exists no point in re-inventing the wheel, unless that's what you want to do.
     
  8. bassboy1
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Alright. I have [very] limited experience with any sort of CAD program. I have a copy of total CAD and Delta CAD that I will be playing around with in the coming weeks. However, it will be 9 - 10 months before I get started heavily investing time in this rig, as I am in what I am told is the absolute toughest year of highschool for students that are taking all Honors/AP classes. Also, I am going to complete my Eagle Scout project, and finish up the last few things there before I start this rig. However, I can do small things here and there before then, such as teach myself this CAD program, and learn how to/practice aluminum welding and such.

    However, to get an idea of what I want before I get done, here is a link to one somebody built using Glen-L plans. Looking at his rig, the hull design and shape is dang close to exactly what I want.
    Click HERE

    He bought his plans from this page.
    Click HERE

    That plan comes in 6 degree transom deadrise, that has a 12 degree bow entry, or a 12 degree transom deadrise, and 20 degree bow entry. Eyeballing it, I think he used the 6 degree on his jet, but I would want something a little closer to that 12 degree model.

    Having spent enough time in various types of boats, that hull shape would fit my needs almost perfectly.

    Part of me says buy those plans, follow them to a note to build the hull, then redesign the interior part to fit my exact layout needs. However, I would indeed like to be able to plan and draw out the rig myself. I think in the long run, I would wish I actually spent the time designing it myself.

    I will be doing my best to teach myself these CAD programs, and talk to some others who are familiar with it, to become well enough acquainted with it, throughout the coming weeks/months.

    Given that, is there any advice you can give me? I think I have worked back far enough to the big picture, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. Any help anybody can give would be much appreciated.
     
  9. bassboy1
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Srimes, your post actually came as I was in the middle of making mine, as I had to run halfway through typing it. Although picking a plan, and constructing it is one option, I am interested in designing a rig too, if I find that it is feasible, just to say I did it. :D
     
  10. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Hi bassboy,

    Firstly, it's great to see that you're really enthusiastic about taking on and finishing a big project. 15 is plenty old enough to build a boat- that's how old I was when I built mine, and she's holding up pretty well. (A Bolger Diablo, great boat....) You'll find that if you have your heart set on aluminum, the Lincoln you have- with the appropriate accessories to feed .035 Al wire- should be sufficient. (Although welded Al is a bit on the pricey side for a boat this size.) You'll also find in a few years that the girls love a fast boat.

    If a plan exists that is reasonably close to what you want, in the material you want, you'll save a lot of headache and money by going that way. Looking back on it, I am very glad that I built Sunset Chaser from Bolger's plans and not from one of my own designs; I look back now at "plans" I drew around that time (and that I thought were good at the time) and it is very obvious how much has been learned since then. (My next boat will be to my own design... but that's several years and an engineering degree later.)

    When trying to figure out your requirements, it is often helpful to back up a bit and look not at the boat, but at what you want to do that you need a boat for. So instead of specifics, start with something like "Lots of flats fishing with 4-6 people, in calm water. Fishing range of 40 miles from base, with 6 hours trolling." Then go from there to specifics. You may end up with some of the same specifics you already had in mind- but after this exercise, you'll know why those particulars are best for what you want to do, and what criteria might make you change your mind.

    Believe me, there is more than enough design-it-yourself in any adaptation of stock plans to satisfy all but the most rabid budding engineer. You get to customize everything to suit your specific needs, but you remain secure in the knowledge that the hull itself is a sound, well proven design that will still be worth something in ten years.
     
  11. bassboy1
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    That is where I got my requirements for what it needs from. Didn't think about posting what it would be used for on here.

    Mostly, it will be used for striper fishing on local reservoirs. For those familiar with the area, the likeliest places for it to be used will be Lake Allatoona, Carters Lake, Lake Lanier etc. Large lakes with nice launching facilities. During the summer, there are lots of ski boats, jet skis and other pleasure boaters out, stirring the water up, so it needs to have reasonable rough water capability. Also, during the fall and winter, hurricane season especially, we get a reasonable amount of wind. 5 to sometimes even 20 mph when there is a hurricane down at the coast. It will be used to troll, and to fish downlines for the most part. So, it needs a layout where two or three guys can easily get to all the rods easily. For downlines, it needs a raised bow deck for netting shad, and then a large tank to hold shad, as they don't like to live, it would seem. For trolling, a kicker motor is needed, unless I suddenly have the urge to go 4 stroke.

    From time to time, probably once or maybe twice a year, it would be taken to the coast. Usually down in the Gulf, but occasionally to the Atlantic. There, it would probably used for moderate flats fishing in the ICW or Appilachicola bay. And, it might me used for some trolling out in front of islands, probably not more than 3 miles out, and for casting/trolling for tarpon in the bays.

    Also, it would need to hold 6 people. Doesn't need to fish 6, so it could have seating that folds down, and becomes casting deck, or just flush mount bases, so extra seats could be removed. It might be used for light watersports, just pulling a tube, or someone on skis a couple times a year. But, it doesn't have to be designed to do that efficiently, as that is nowhere close to its main use. Heck, I have pulled tubes behind my jon boat just fine.

    I don't want it to be more than 18 feet at this point, as I think 18 foot should do me well for all of the above, and isn't redundant as far as size goes.

    The more I think about it, the 12 degree deadrise plan from Glen L, with my own interior layout design is looking to be the best option. In 20 years, I may just decide to design my own, but if I follow a design now, I will be able to gain experience working the materials, which will allow me to learn the ins and outs of the materials and construction methods, and thereby be better able to design one later, as I would have increased knowledge of what is and isn't practical/cost effective etc.

    Thanks for all the help folks. It is definitely helping. ;) :D
     
  12. srimes
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    srimes Senior Member

    It's totally feasible to design it yourself. But not only will it take time and energy for the design process, you are likely to dramatically increase build time, effort, and material costs. If what you want isn't out there by all means design what you want instead of settling for something you don't want. But as the hull you want is redily available, I would purchase the plans (or study plans) and study them well. Then you'll at least have an idea of what you're tasked with, and you'll have something to reference if you do your own similar design. But as marshmat said, there's plenty of customizing to do on the layout and details. It'll still be your boat. And you'll learn a lot and will be better equiped for designing your next boat.

    For a project of this time I'd rather spend more time building than answering a question that has already been answered. Don't reinvent the wheel, unless you can't find a wheel that'll work for you.
     
  13. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Bassboy
    Plenty to think about. Both srimes and marshmat make very valid points. It really does come down to what you want to gain from this, apart from a boat of course.
    If you wish to become a boat builder, or sorts, then buy the plans. If you want to be a naval architect, then design it yourself.
    But, and this is the crux, how do these options fit into your time scales and budget.
    This is exactly the same "spiral" of information that naval architects must juggle.
    It sounds like to me, that the Glen-L is what you are really after, so why not buy the plans? You can still alter them, if you wish, to make the hull "yours". But at least as noted, you can customise the outfitting etc at the very least.
     
  14. boxcall1
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    boxcall1 New Member

    boat plans & comments

    If you haven't yet found a plan checkout Specialty Marine at specmar.com.
    I used their plan to build a 20' aluminum jet boat. I used a Miller 210 with a spool gun. The welds aren't as pretty as a tig welder but they work as well (so far!)

    Here's a picture in progress.
    http://specmar.com/boatpics/hull922.jpg
     

  15. bassboy1
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    bassboy1 Junior Member

    Thanks for showing me that. I didn't find one on that site that fit my needs as well as I think the Glen L Snake Shooter plan will. Right now, I am doing a slight bit of research on materials pricing. I have a rough estimate of what I will need, and now just need to figure out how to obtain that sum of cash.:confused:

    After I get my Eagle Scout project completed, and finish up this semester of school, I will then have the time to commit to finalizing all the plans etc for it.

    Thanks for all the help. I am fairly sure I will have a few more questions once I get started here.

    bassboy1
     
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