Boat design... I want to build one, so I did a little leg work...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by parkland, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: canada

    parkland Senior Member

    I drove 22 hours non stop to kootenay lake, BC.
    This is the place I wanted to run this boat I'd build, so I decided to rent one and get a feel for what to expect.
    This unit was 35 ft, 60 hp 4 cyl isuzu diesel, slept 4, and ran about 9 knots at 1800 RPM. It burned 4 liters of diesel / hour @ 1800 RPM.

    It worked out good, the first day we picked it up, the weather was almost as bad as it gets for that lake. Waves were about 3 ft tall, and as you drive past coves and such, the wind direction changes and the waves were very unpredictable.
    The boat handled it well, but rocked really bad if you got sideways to the waves. Driving into the waves at full speed, there are a few times I swear the bow was out of the water, keel showing. lol. And there was a few times the deck was almost chewing right into the water when coming down again.
    I took notice of a few other boats in the lake, and how they handled compared to ours.

    We spent a lot of time thinking about what we liked about this boat, and what we needed to improve, to make a good list of what we want out of a custom built boat.
    I think this was a good starting point, and this little trip has given a lot to think about when building a boat.
    Overall, I was impressed with the condition of the boat; being steel and 40 some years old. BUT, I have no clue how much hard work has gone into keeping it that way.

    Ironically, 2 things I would change are completely opposite of each other: I would like it "less fat", as in longer but not wider, and also would be nice to be a little less ready to roll sideways so easy.
    Maybe a dual hull design really will work for me?
    (Even the cabin is steel on this boat, so that might be an issue lol. )

    The power / fuel consumption is spot on for what I want, for the size of this boat, 4 liters / hour and 9 knots is good, I think. I would be very happy with similar liter/hour/ton rate of fuel consumption.

    I don't like the steel for the fact that condensation was a major issue, and covering it in insulation causes severe rust. This one fact might be the "nail in the coffin" for me considering steel as a hull material.
    These steel boats seem to last forever, but they were also all open until recently, so they could be painted and fixed if something needed replacing etc.

    Overall, we were pretty content on this boat, a little personalization would go a long way.

    I think the biggest wish would be simply more room, and a semi closed in rear deck.

    Knowing what I know now, how should I proceed with a design?
    Should I still pursue a pontoon based solution?
    A boat this big can't be towed, so simply building one just like this isn't an option, I don't think.

    I have a few ideas, but I am listening....

    Here are a few pictures of the boat we tested out:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

    Also, I wanted to add that I looked at some "off the shelf" pontoon houseboats, and talked to a lot of people about them.
    They have a high center of gravity, and would not be very safe in rough weather. (I know, we all know that.)
    Which is too bad, because man there are some really cheap houseboats for sale, ready to go :(

    It would be nice if it was simple enough to just buy a used houseboat, and tear off the old outboard and install a nice diesel, and spend a bit of time polishing, and be cruising around soon.
    For EG, if I bought this:
    http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-real-est...age-on-the-shuswap-REDUCED-W0QQAdIdZ402150839
    And then installed an engine I wanted and fixed it up a little.


    Edit:

    Pontoons *could* work, but a different design would be needed. Common designs are 8 - 12 ft wide, and almost as tall.

    Also I need to keep this road legal. I think.
     
  3. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    I'm glad you took that trip. A 35' boat is trailerable so for your needs you need a list.
    Everyone who wants to build a boat has to go through this procedure and it can take a long time for some (years). I believe it is called a Statement of Requirements. SOR.
    So start with the first question--do you only want to boat on this one lake or would you like to try boating off the coast of BC? If yes then you need to make it light and strong with a beam of no more than 8'-6" up to 10'-0" which is just a paper detail and a few bucks in US states. Then go on the 100s of questions such as sleep how many, use for fishing? Wood vs aluminum (weight ) and on and on and on. Write these down. Your not new to this forum so you can read back and learn the procedure. A Cat hull gives you the most space per $$ then a V hull. Good luck, it is a great journey
    very fulfilling and fun. Welcome and there is lots of help here. Stan PS I'm a wood man.
     
  4. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

    I am also glad I took the trip.
    No, I can't see ever putting this into the ocean.

    SOR...

    1. Must be trailerable and transportable in 8'6" wide loads
    2. Must be put together / taken apart with basic hand tools / winches. No cranes etc.
    3. Must be sturdy enough to survive rough weather (3' waves, maybe more)
    4. Must get about 10 knots for about 10 liters/hour fuel.
    5. Able to stay on the lake for a few days at a time.
    6. Last a long time without lots of work.
    7. Accommodate 4-8 people.
    8. Able to "beach" and install ramp to shore.
    9. Semi enclosed deck space at rear.
    10. Open front deck.
    11. Roof supports people.
    12. Safe.
     
  5. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    On that one, you're dreaming. We all have.

    You want something to last a long time without lots of work? Stay with a kayak or aluminium dinghy, or don't put it in the water.

    PDW
     
  6. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member


    I realise SOME work is always needed, but poor ideas / designs could leave you constantly fixing, rebuilding, cleaning.... instead of cruising.
     
  7. WestVanHan
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    22 hours to Nelson/Creston? You must be in Ontario...it's 18 from the Okanagan to Winnepeg

    I assume you'd like to alternate years between Kootenay,Okanagan,and Shuswap lakes-good plan but it would also be good to hit the coast.
    You don't need a heavy trawler for that.

    Quite a tough SOR...
     
  8. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

    No, we hit a snow storm haha.
    Next time should be faster.

    This boat's purpose will be for cruising kootenay lake only.
    We just like it there.
    The okanagan lakes are a little too touristy for me.

    Really, I SHOULD be alright with this:
    http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-real-est...age-on-the-shuswap-REDUCED-W0QQAdIdZ402150839

    There are other boats like that on the lake, but they don't drive around much in the waves. I don't like the idea of getting trapped in a cove if the weather picks up.

    I COULD buy that cheap houseboat, put new, bigger, pontoons on it, and space them farther apart, but it might be expensive enough to become a waste.
     
  9. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    If that house boat is in the Shuswap,by trailer it's an easy 100 km to Revelstoke on the TCH then down the Arrow Lakes to Nakusp. And over the top to Kaslo
    But it's 12' wide....


    Lots of great history in that area and exploring to do....bring along a gold pan.
     
  10. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    When I punch "sicamous bc to kaslo bc" into google, it comes up with 265 km.
    I don't know which waterway would connect to kootenay lake, I know the nelson direction is blocked by hydroelectric dams, so thats not an option.
    I think it would come down to paying a truck. I imagine a few thousand bucks. I don't know what it weighs, but even if I could get permits and pull it with my truck, I doubt it would be worth the hassle.

    I just talked with the guy, and he says all the decks and roofing was redone, and the interior was redone too.
    The pontoons weep a little water in the front, he figures from a few renters ramming it up the beach a little hard. He says every year theres about 10 gallons of water in there.
    That should be an easy fix if it's out of the water.

    Would it be better to do some patch welding, or just cut the front section of pontoons right off, and get brand new front sections?
    If I welded on new front sections, I could extend the front deck and have room for a future "engine pod".
    Over all it sounds like the pontoons are in great shape, except the front where they rammed against the beach, I don't think this warrants replacing the entire pontoons?
    And then the only other issue was he said a 2x6 bumper got ripped off during a storm, but that sounds like an easy fix also.

    I am considering it.

    It is not 100% ideal, but it is a fraction of what I would have spent building one, and I could buy it with cash, and spend a little money making it our own. :)
     
  11. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

    Here are some pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  12. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Reading your list of 12 SORs I really encourge you to go to a Cat Hull. Sponsons on a Cat hull are much more efficent than pontoons, safer,more fuel efficent, much more sea worthy, and on and on. Take a look at this link the Glen-L BearCat cuddy. It is 10' x 30'
    and I have drawn it out at both 8'-6" beam and 9'-0" beam. https://www.boatdesigns.com/products.asp?dept=722
    IN Tennessee and most states 10' and under to 8'-6" is a $20.00 fee extra per year--no other rules. I have drawn at least 12 or more cabin plans with full bath, kitchen, sofas and sleeping for 6 all inside. Rear deck har roof with netting on sides. Front deck had drop down (landing craft) type ramp. This will be the 2nd boat I build after the one I'm doing now which is the Cuddy Sport extended to 28' x 9" with full cabin + everything I would put it the BearCat
    Now you will have a boat for most all waters in decent weather plus the speed to outrun most fronts. Also, it can meet all 12 SORs. I'm building both our of wood and epoxy--strong, long lastinf, repairable, waterproof, light. Best to you. I will come back and post building pictures of the BearCat. http://www.glen-l.com/picboards/picboard16/pic823a.html
     
  13. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member


    That is a cool design.

    I am "contemplating" this houseboat right now, leaving the "trailerable" part of the SOR out, and weighing the costs of moorage VS the good price of the boat.
    I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with anything remotely close to my "SOR", but the houseboat is very close, and only 12,500$.
    It needs a little updating, maybe a little aluminum patchwork, engine makeover, etc, but it is close.

    Plus.. a major force at play here is that I could get that houseboat into the lake I want without even taking out a loan, which is a huge benefit.

    I don't mind pouring a little money into it.
    There is potential for me to be very happy with it after a few modifications, and it will cost a TON less than building from scratch.
     
  14. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Park:

    I never meant to try going by boat to Kootenay from the Arrows-dams are there.

    TCH to Revelstoke and south to the Galena bay ferry is fine road wise-you'd have to watch getting on/off the ferry with a long and low trailer.
    Late spring when the lakes are full?

    The road from Nakusp to Kaslo : put it this way-people come from all over the world to ride motorbikes on these area roads....pretty sure a 12' unit won't make it through but check anyways. That's where I wiped out my RZ500

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgC5d9HumX8
     

  15. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    I poded the build pictures to my 1st posting. I can build the whole hull and cabin out of wood for just under $2,000.00. No windows, no tanks,no engine(s) of electronics or seats, appliances or cabinets. A steel, double axle trailer for 7,000 lbs. good for up to 33' tires, etc will cost about the same. Moveability is a huge factor in re-sale. Give that serious thought.
     
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