Australian Boatbuilding Materials

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by PsiPhi, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Psipsi, how about buying a secondhand boat & sail it, see if you like it, heaps cheaper & quicker to have fun - keep wife happyer too, maybe something you can varnish/paint up to get a feel for the work, my suggestion would be a pacer (puffin pacer) 12' easy to sail, can be set to row too, easy to get under boom in tacks, not overpowered but but carries kite if your keen, search up the pacer website or look ebay , trading post etc. Regards from Jeff.PS:find a local club/sailschool that runs AYF endorsed lessons & enrol wife & self, sure it costs but a Good investment!
  2. frosh
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    frosh Senior Member

    Hi psipsi, There are two aspects to your initial posting. Do you primarily want to go sailing, or do you want to build a boat? Maybe you want to build the boat yourself then get the tremendous satisfaction derived from sailing your own creation. Waikikin had a good point. Sail first to see if you like it. Do a social race or two as a crew on a fairly low performance dinghy to start. Then do it, build if you have got the bug to create. Be careful of advice given by posters such as raw. He is not thinking of your situation at all.

    I like to sail something that feels like it does what it was meant to.-QUOTE -RAW. Notice he starts this quote with: "I like" -
    Regards, and good luck, Sam
  3. raw
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    raw Senior Member

    How do you figure that?

    I give three seperate examples of classes that suit his philosophy and my thoughts on each of them.

    By tapping into a class association as suggested he would get all the answers he has asked for and loads more. Perhaps I didn't spell it out, but I was pointing in this direction.

    I do not see how my advice which includes local knowledge, is not helpfull in this case.
  4. frosh
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    frosh Senior Member

    Raw, sorry if you saw my comments as a bit harsh on you. I still feel that you were not truly viewing the situation from the perspective of the absolute beginner. Performance is always relative. A Mirror planing under spinnaker on a windy day probably feels more exhilarating than an Open 60 doing say 75% of it's ultimate highest boat speed. Single handers also have a major drawback in every situation. There is no-one with you to share the experience, and from considerable personal experience, this is a very important advantage of going sailing with a close friend or partner, compared to even sailing a sailboard, which is probably the most exhilarating sailing experience. The sailboard no matter how exciting gives only an exquisite "alone" sailing experience at best, not something that suits everybody.
    1 person likes this.
  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I'll second Bergalia's view on this. A first boat--- to build or own will not be boring to sail, regardless of what a seasoned hand might think. More than anything else, a good sturdy proven design like the Mirror will be a doable project, easy on the pocket too. Sell it and move up, but wait until you feel the itch for more size, complexity, and speed.
    Plenty of other designs too, but as PAR says, get good plans (what's fifty bucks (US)?)

  6. PsiPhi
    Joined: May 2007
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    PsiPhi Newbie

    This thread has become most interesting, and I'm learning from it, thanks, and thanks to PAR for brining it back on track!
    PAR, your last post is basically what I have been going through the last few weeks, scouring the web for designs, build blogs and opinions.
    I've come to the conclusion by first priority is to prove the point, inexpensively, that I can build a boat, and also end up with a boat in which I can learn to sail. I fully expect to outgrow it in a year or two (then I'll build a bigger one for all the family).
    My use for this first boat will be to learn to sail, and to amble around the lakes and estuaries, and maybe cruise the Pummicestone Passage on Saturday afternoons. I'm thinking flat bottom, shallow draft, car topper appears to be the right design.
    I particularily liked David Beede's 'Summer Breeze' for its economical use of ply and popularity amoungst other builders.
    The plans are free and serveral people have journalled thier building process.
    I would appreciate opinions of my conclusions, this boat, and the materials to use.
  7. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Australian Boat Building materials

    Summer Breeze looks fine PsiPhi. Good starter boat. Prefer a 'dagger board' myself...but.
    One thing I would add - avoid those bloody Philips screws...curse of the handiman. Stick to 'squareheads'. The glue I swear by is - or was called Cascamite. Probably changed names by now...I tend to store in bulk. It's a two stage marine glue, resin powder (to be mixed to a thin paste) and an 'acid' hardener. Mixed with sawdust it makes the perfect 'filler'....Not that I need fillers - my carpentry is always perfect :D
    For any boat it's best not to skimp on materials. Use good quality Marine ply. Pricey - but durable. Lay out your patterns to get the best advantage from your ply sheet - shuffle them around to get the ultimate use (little or no waste). Etch your proposed saw cut with a sharp Stanley knife to avoid splintering when you operate the saw.
    Take your time. Enjoy the cutting, shaping and assembly process. Don't rush simply to get it finished.
    Ensure you have enough clamps, wedges, blocks and are familiar with the use of the 'Spanish Windlass' ready for the bext stage.
    Then make sure everything fits snug before applying screws and glues.
    While it's setting, sit with a can of beer and plan your next project...I believe 'Cutty Sark' needs rebuilding....And good luck. But remember you've been warned: Boat building is addictive.:D
  8. frosh
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    frosh Senior Member

    I would go with a simple design incorporating a dagger board rather than leeboards. It is a much better method in the long run for obtaining the required lateral resistance, and you need only build one foil. As far as glues and fastenings are concerned, I personally prefer epoxy based. I have used the Queensland manufactured Bote-Cote range of glue and resin for several projects, and can't ever see myself using anything else.
    Also modern small boats need little or no permanent screws or nails. Most of mine are fully glued only, and have been clamped during construction and the skin applied with staples, that were later all removed. The advantage is that you avoid the real risk of water ingress into the wood which will rot it out, at the point where the metal fastening meets the wood, unless you sink all fastenings below the surface, and meticulously fill, and encapsulate in epoxy resin. Bote-Cote also produces an excellent booklet regarding wooden boat building rechniques, where their products are also advertised and their exact use described. I found the booklet extremely helpful.
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, she looks like a fine little glide-about. I prefer centerboards, because they can bounce over things with no damage, daggers don't like this near as much, though they take up less space.

    For the record, leeboards are more efficient then both daggers or centerboards, given the same draft and area. I personally don't like them as much as centerboards, but they do work fine if well engineered.

    I'd also not use TiteBond II, but would use TiteBond III as it is a waterproof type I adhesive, where TiteBond II isn't, it's just water resistant. None of the TiteBond adhesives are considered "structural" so you've been warned. Gorilla glue will also make a good substitute.

    You could increase strength, water tightness and eliminate a few pieces, if the boat was converted to a true glued seam construction. This will require epoxy, which is hands down the best of the marine adhesives. Epoxy can eliminate pretty much most of the fasteners and permit you to use lesser grades of material too.
  10. PsiPhi
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    PsiPhi Newbie

    Thanks for that, I have seen a version of Summer Breeze with a dagger board and thought that was a better idea. Dumb newbie qestion: What's the difference between a Dagger Board and a Centre Board - I thought it was different terms for the same thing.
    haven't found anyone locally who sells building materials, and the only on-line place that actually gives prices is the Duck Flat people, so I may have to buy mail order, but at least they supply everything (how many postage stamps on a sheet of 8x4?)
    That might be the next problem, all plans appear to be written for imperial size ply sheets, 8' x 4' - but everyone around here seems to be metric 1200 x 2400 - about 135 sq in less board.
  11. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Centerboards generally pivot up. Dagger baords raise vertically in a sleeve. A Sunfish has a dagger.
    Daggers are usually more efficient because they lack a slot aft of the board and do not change sectionally when partially raised. They are less troublesome because they rarely catch debris, and they take up far less cockpit space. They are unable to ride over shoals or obstructions like a centerboard, however, or adjust fore and aft, and when raised, they are in the way. Lastly, daggers are a snap to remove and inspect, repair, or refinish.

  12. frosh
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    frosh Senior Member

    haven't found anyone locally who sells building materials, and the only on-line place that actually gives prices is the Duck Flat people, QUOTE psiphi

    Hey check out the link I gave you before. Pacific Boatcraft. It is located in Queensland and they have Australia wide agents. They sell resins, glues, marine plywoods, cedar, machined strip planking, plans, and quite a bit more.
    And no I don't get a commision from them, but they are really good value.
  13. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    I think Waikikin's idea of doing up an old Pacer is a good one. Pacer's are neat little boats, suitable for beginners but slightly bigger and quicker than a Mirror. If you pick an old one up, you can still work on it to get a feel for working on boats (probably need to replace some rotten ply), and at least you get the mast, rudder, rudder stock, boom, centreboard and (fairly knackered, I'd imagine) sails. These are harder to make than the the hull, so it's good to get them ready made. And you'll get all the rigging, albeit some will need replacing - but at least you'll get to see where it goes!
    You'll be on the water heaps quicker. You'll soon discover which parts of the boat you would like to change, and can then pick a design to build with a bit more knowledge.
    I don't know much about the 125 - it looks similar size to a Pacer, but lighter and therefore probably a bit more skittish (not great if you're an absolute beginner).
  14. PsiPhi
    Joined: May 2007
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    PsiPhi Newbie

    More good advice, thanks. I have been looking at e-bay, but not really knowing what I was looking at most of the time.
    Now a collegue of mine tells me he has a boat he (his wife) wants gone. 12ft sailing dingy with a slight hole in the hull due to storage, the rest of the hull and wood is supposed to be OK. He's off on holiday for a week, then I'll get some photo's and more info, maybe find out what it actaully is.

    But while this thread is active I'll ask some more dumb newbie questions because I will build one anyway, perhaps when I have a better idea of what I want.
    Newbie question: Flat Hull or V Hull. Lots of small boat plans have a flat bottom to them. What is the pro's and con's of each.
    I know, I can go and buy a book on the subject, and I probably will, but real life up to date peoples opinions (especially if they disagree) make for a lively and informative debate ;o)

  15. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    I am a frustrated Queenslander living in Melbourne. My boats have got smaller as I have moved south. My retirement project is to regularly sail back to Queensland but I have to build a boat first.

    For now I am content to build little boats and learn about boat design. I have found pedal boats to be a lot of fun and a reasonable means of getting about while keeping fit.

    Thinking a bit more laterally you might find a kayak type hull to be easier to build and get on the water. It is also more conducive to car topping. You only need a paddle to get moving.

    If you want something more stable then think about a pedal catamaran. Trials.html
    This boat was built by a boating novice from his own design. He taught himself FreeShip along the way. He has used it to get to work on a good day.

    I have made 12 pedal boats. All of my own design - one using a standard OC1 canoe. It is amazing what you can do with a few sheets of aluminium and some good glue.
    I can push this one at 11kph all day with my 1951 vintage engine.
    There are endless suppliers of aluminium around Melbourne and I suspect there are plenty around Brisbane. I use aluminium for quick prototyping. I built the hull for the boat shown in 3 days. I have done others in a weekend.

    I use FGI for glass and polyurethane foam materials:
    They have branches near you.

    I have another supplier in Melbourne for polystyrene foam and some other nice building products but they do not have an outlet near you. I am sure you can find them though.

    You do not need to go to the trouble of getting marine ply if you want something cheaper. As long as it is weatherproof it will hold up for a couple of years - longer if stored out of the weather. In my poorer days I used to get 1ft wide by 8ft long door offcuts to play with. You can make something useful with this.

    If you really want a sailboat then you will get a lot of value from buying one second hand. The hull is only a fraction of the cost. It is the fittings, mast and sail that cost the money. Generally people forget about all the money they spend on these bits so you often get a bargain when you buy secondhand. Have a go on a few before you commit. Most sailing clubs will welcome an interested bystander to have a go. In Melbourne they have open days to encourage new members.

    Rick W.
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