Bitten by the bug...

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Pengyou, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Pengyou
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Pengyou Junior Member

    My friend has taken me out on his Gibson a few times over the past couple of years. Now I see the attraction of the hb, and am starting to drool at the thought of owning one. I would like to build one but realize that I need to start small and get some training/instruction. I have a few projects that I would like to make, that range from pretty easy on up. Can you give me any suggestions for books, videos, forums, etc to learn about working with fiberglass?
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    A guitar ? purrlease explain ! :)
     
  3. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

  4. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I would recommend you learn the easy method(s) first.

    Stitch and glue monocoque construction or slightly more difficult strip plank and glass.

    Using fiberglass in this way is the easiest.

    Then you can delve off into foam core and sandwich construction a/o ply on frame with glass methods. Your brain will take you to ask well, how is this other way done then, etc.

    As for texts, by far the simplest boat building book I have ever read that gave me the most confidence I could build and well even was "Building a strip canoe" by Gilpatrick. The book is a little oversimplified and I recommend also reading Canoecraft by Ted Moores if you want to start with a canoe.

    Now, you might not want to build a canoe, so you might aim low and read about building a fiberglass encased plywood kayak. I can't recommend a text; just the direction.

    Another excellent book is "Epoxy Basics" by Russell Brown. It is elementary, but very good as a general primer.

    The aforementioned Gougeon text is also good.

    None of these will go too far into building a big fiberglass hull in a production environment.
     
  5. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    091624ea09f2c50b21ec99cf20053077.jpg So what is this "Gibson" ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Dejay likes this.
  7. Pengyou
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    Pengyou Junior Member

  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    That is a rather large boat to be thinking of building. How much would something like that cost to rent for a week, say ?
     
  9. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    See my recent post here: Want to know how much a restoration might cost you? Read on..... https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/want-to-know-how-much-a-restoration-might-cost-you-read-on.62104/

    What I did is a very minor project compared with what you are dreaming of. At this stage of the game, I'm sorry to tell you that it's just not going to happen. Unless you have the requisite knowledge and skills, a dedicated workforce (employees, not friends) a large building to work in and the financial resources (think in terms of multiples of $100,000.00) it's just not practical. I'd suggest saving your money, getting a second job if you're really ambitious and buying a new or used Gibson or some other boat that might better suit your needs. My goal in writing this is to simply save you time, money and heartache. Even the smallest Gibson at 37' is far to ambitious a project.
     
  10. Pengyou
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Pengyou Junior Member

    What? Have I mentioned a size yet?...I showed you the Gibson website to counter your joke about Gibson being a guitar :rolleyes: If I build a houseboat myself, it is likely to be just big enough to hold 4 people...maybe 16 to 20 feet long...that will be ambitious for me. From time to time I have seen hulls only for sale, people (like me :p) bit off more than they could chew, wanted to build the boat from hull up (hull already there) and ran out of energy or money (or both). That would probably be the best option for me. The only reason I would want something longer is so that I could get something wider. a 10' wide boat, imho, is much more stable and enjoyable to pilot than an 8'. Using pontoons, from what I've read, would make the build process faster, but seems there are too many drawbacks to consider that. My friend lucked out and got his 24' for $3,000. The prior owner had redone 90% of the cabin...just needed an inverter and other electrical stuff and about $1,000 to put in the engine - actually it was the transmission....and boy does that thing haul A$$ for a houseboat! Having a wider boat also seems to make it easier to design useful living space in the cabin.
     
  11. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Are the gipson boats barges? You looking to build a barge?

    I'd definitely would love to know what design and building choices make a boat easier, faster and/or cheaper to build. Things like finish quality, only motor instead of sail+motor. Monohull vs barge vs multihull. Plywood vs vacuum infusing panels etc. Everything on one level vs having to fit complex interior fitout into every nook and cranny. If you don't care about efficiency or speed or weight then going a bit larger could save you time.
     
  12. Pengyou
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Pengyou Junior Member

    Thanks for the input...not there yet on an exact plan, although the skills that I already have would make fiberglass a more reasonable choice. I want to hone the skills first...knock out some simple projects and then look to see if building a houseboat is a reasonable thing for me to do. I am going to network through my friend and see if I can "stowaway" on other kinds of houseboats to see what I think of that design.
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

  14. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The website bateau.com has several houseboat designs. They are fast builds and good 2nd build boats. So not good builds to learn on. You could make a smaller boat first. Most houseboaters tow a secondary vessel.
     

  15. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Large houseboats are needed to stay aboard comfortably for a group, for any length of time, and renting one occasionally seems a reasonable idea, you have none of the bother of ownership, and can easily switch locations.
     
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