Brewer aluminum design?

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by qwerty, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    I love my boat (Vancover 27, fibreglass) but my family is growing (one has become two) and I need to grow up, too. The more I read about aluminum, the more I think this is the way I will go.

    I am quite fond of Ted Brewer's Millie J for a variety of reasons.

    What is your opinion of Brewer's aluminum designs generally? Is this design relatively simple (cheap) for a yard to build?

    What is the best way to proceed once I have decided on a design in terms of getting quotes and deciding whether a yard is capable of quality work?

    Some have recommended that I bypass local yards and get a European yard with much more aluminum experience to build it. What do you think? Where should I go?

    cheers, thanks
     
  2. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    phew!
    yes for her size she would expensive, esp. all that stuff, bustle, skeg etc, that design is very dated now It is actually possible to build a fluch decker at this size with headroom, and that saves heaps, long coachroofs cost, and finishing the int of such is expensive
    I did a 36 footer sailed like a witch, and I put a tiimber deckhouse on, this saved huge money

    If you want to talk seriously(and I am sure your enquiry is serious) then look at my gallery, and I will quote you, or help you get quotes and generally advise(thats free ) I do not want to go into this in forum,
    But my email address is hearnyacht@iprimus.com.au
    Cheers
    Stu
     
  3. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    Curious why you view it as a dated design, Stu. Dated as a boat to build or boat to sail? Or dated because with a coach roof, it ignores the smart way of doing things in aluminum? I know that it is not going to be that fast, but trade-offs are the essence of boats.

    I'm not committed enough to that particular design to begin looking for quotes. Don't want people wasting their time. But curious how much money in rough figures we are talking about for such a coachroof vs a flush deck, or hard vs radius chine.

    Is there a particular designer who you think is doing safe, smart aluminum designs? I have looked at the Van de Stadt 34 (much smaller boat), and others of that ilk, but my untrained eye tells me nothing about whether they would be efficient aluminum builds.
     
  4. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    First radious means nothing, that is an amatuer way of thinking: and truly is a compremise not worth even thinking about Its either true yacht round bilge as they say or chine
    The lines of a yacht change all the way longtitudaly, so one cant roll a radious in,and expect to have a pleasant looking boat
    I like 2 chine yachts, allthough all of mine have been round bilge It takes about 160 hours more to plate aboat round bilge, 4 runs x4 plates each side, that is for a 36-50 footer say and for close frame awthartships building, it takes one whole day to shape and build one frame, ic deck beam, side frames, the floor and floor flange .Frame spacing is 400mm or 16 inches in Imperial measure With a complex design properly designed with good sections forwards and no ventral line, in other words the fore sction come to a U and not a vee, then using awthartsip framing is the only way as far spaced frames and stringers will not give you enough control of the shape the designer laid down Setting up for this type of build is not hard, but requires thought, see my gallery , there is a pic of a 40 footer framed this way.
    The cost of the coach roof is in the int finish, making good joinerwork inside is very time consuming, may add 320 man hrs at 50---16000 k,
    To build that boat without skeg and bussle with the coachroof, for be would be 1800 hrs and the 2000 hrs to make a good fitout Also the engineering, with a modern clean underbody, one can drop in a Volvo drive, stead of a propshaft system
    having a spade rudder makes the boat turn and steer beautifully
    the list goes on and on
    there are many 100,S of good designers, you are thinking inside a square of stock plan designers
    I do not sell plans but Alan Mummery in NZ has a wonderful yacht 36 foot called Marimba, well proven in alloy,
    Yes we all have own ideas of whats pretty, but stay inside the main line of what is and what is not, and when you come to sell , you,ll not limit the field of buyers
    I guess summing up, that Brewer will sail just below average, well below what these days is considred to be acceptable Fast boats are not dangerous boats, neither are slow boats safe boast, if you get my drift, but fast boasts get you there, why wallow around like a drunk pig, when you can sail there?
     
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  5. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    sorry bout typos, in hurry,
     
  6. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    Looking at aluminum designs, I've seen lots recently without a skeg -- and admit that it made me a little nervous because my whole life reading about (fibreglass) designs they repeatedly say that you need a skeg to protect the rudder... Oh well, things change... My boat can't steer in reverse in anything but a slack tide, and if losing the skeg will improve that, I might accept less protection in a grounding.
    Haven't been able to find info about Marimba online, but will keep looking.
    I would certainly like a faster boat :)
    Grateful for all your help.
     
  7. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    you wont find Marimba online, the designer still designs the old way, I,ll try find some photos
    With all my yachts I put on SS rudders with 2205 stocks, I use a rudder tube machined from 6 by 6 6061 solid bar, with massive brackets, strength is as good as it could be
    I use Zeca primer and copper antifoul
     
  8. winters
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    winters Junior Member

  9. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    Koopmans has designed many lovely boats, not so many it would appear from aluminum, but some.

    I will keep them in mind.
     
  10. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Hi querty,

    I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss Ted Brewer. We have built a number of his designs in aluminium from 38 to 65 feet and they have all worked out well. He is a real 'builder's designer' and it's great to work to his plans.

    Here's a few comments to help your search: As you are probably looking for a boat for the long term, you need to imagine your family in the future and plan for their needs then. I have found that kids really like having their own 'space' on board, and for some siblings, having identical space on board is also important.

    In 35 feet LOA, you are going to have to compromise on your layout. One arrangement that works is to have two quarter berths (P&S) for the kids, and the double v-berth for the parents. This usually requires the galley to go for and aft along the starboard side, with a U-shaped dinette opposite. People will decry the lack of bracing for the cook when doing the full Sunday roast whilst beating into the teeth of a nor'easter, but only you will know if that's an important part of your plans rather than having a more livable arrangement the rest of the time. Many of us can manage during rough spells on sandwiches and flasks, or even boiled sweets!

    The only arrangement that preserves a wrap around galley, is to have two single V-berths forward and a double quarter berth. You can elevate one of the v-berths so their feet cross, and although this may work for single sex siblings, it is certainly a compromise as the quarter double is frequently rather tight on a 35 footer, unless it has a really wide (Beneteau-esque) transom.

    Don't be tempted to go with pilot berths outboard in the salon. In a 35 footer they really intrude into the living space, don't provide kids with somewhere to retreat to when they wish, and impact on the parents enjoying their time after the kids have gone to bed.

    Don't worry too much about radius chines. Designed and done well they are fine. This picture of the Brewer Amoretto looks good. http://www.tedbrewer.com/sail_aluminum/images/Amoretto-hull.gif The only issue with the type of chine, is on the secondhand market. There, single or double chine means amateur construction, whilst radius or true round bilge means professional. And the prices reflect this. In fact most people don't know the difference between radius chined and round bilge and most can't spot the difference. But they can tell a chined boat from 100 paces. On a dark night. With the power out.

    The water flowing passed the hull doesn't care much either. Dudley Dix's radius chine boats have a fine racing record (Black Cat, Didi26) and one of mine was 2nd in the TransAt. The next generation of America's Cup boats being built at the moment are as close to radius chine as I've seen for a while. And don't worry about V-sections forward. There are plenty of designers who choose these rather than being a constraint of a particular construction method. The new Dutch Standfast Yachts have them, and they are built in Carbon fibre.
    www.boatdesign.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=9054&stc=1&d=1158051818

    To some degree, your construction method will be dictated by the yard you plan to use. I should think you will have plenty of choice up in your area. If you get a good quote from a yard you like, but they would be happier building radius chine, then that's your best bet. With lots of commercial yards round you, remember you can split the project up in to stages. One place might be happy to do all the metal work but not have the skills to do the interior. But a wooden or GRP boatyard might be happy to have work for their joiners finishing up a hull. A 35 footer is no big deal to have trucked, but also with an engine (and even rig) they can go between yards on their own bottom.

    Having an experienced designer local to the project can be a big help. (Brewer?)

    Skeg hung or spade rudder ? Well, the books are full of the arguments, but done well, they are both fine, Pick the one that you will have most confidence in. A spade is not a guarantee of good handling under power in reverse, but with logs in your area, would you be more confident with a skeg? Your call.
     

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  11. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    Great post, Mr Cay :)

    Your notes about privacy/interior design are well taken. We will give them a lot of thought. My wife is enamoured with the interior of a Van de Stadt design, the Forna 37 -- http://www.stadtdesign.com/images/products/459-7-0.jpg ... She figures we could have company in the aft stateroom and the kids would get settee berths in the salon. But what would probably happen is that the kids would get the forward berth (maybe staggered elevations, never thought of that) and we would get the settees... It's fun to talk about. My UK-built Vancouver sleeps three max (if you don't count the cockpit cushions) and it's perfect for limiting guests to daysails -- funny, being able to have company along is the main reason my wife will be happy to see the back of the little Vancouver. I always saw the lack of guest space as its main advantage.

    I haven't dismissed Ted Brewer's designs. Some of your comments about his designs being easy to build have also been mentioned elsewhere.

    I know someone who built a Van de Stadt design (Samoa 47) with a spade rudder. He was concerned about the absence of a skeg. Then he hit rocks in Iceland that he believes would have destroyed a fibreglass skeg and rudder, but his rudder emerged virtually unscathed. He no longer worries about it.

    I gather you are right about going with what a builder is comfortable with. I am away from home for an extended period, but when I get back I will begin visiting yards to talk. I don't mind the look of single or double chine boats at all, but I know to many people it says "rusting homebuilt steel". I do expect this would be a long, long term investment, but I'm not going to readily give up resale value.

    cheers and thanks
     
  12. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Hi querty - Your wife clearly has impeccable taste. The Forna 37 is a fine boat as are all the Van de Stadts that I have seen.

    But you do need to be a little careful of 'mission creep'. You originally posted that you were interested in a 35 footer, now you like a 37 footer... and you also mention your friend's Samoa 47 ...? ;)

    I think the layout would work well for you. Personally, with a family, I would use the aft cabin for the kids. The bunk will easily split into two singles with a board to separate their feet that can be removed and a fill in cushion added for your guests. Although it seems to be a more spacious double than the fore cabin, there is less standing / changing room aft, and one of you does have to climb over the other to get out. I don't know how old you are, but eventually 'getting up in the night' comes to us all.

    Aft is the best location for the heads, as it can be used in wet weather gear without dragging water into the 'dry' salon. But there is an issue of privacy that can be addressed at the building stage. If you ever plan to use a dodger (pram - hood) you must find out some way of ventilating the heads compartment that doesn't involve having a 10x10 hatch opening inside the dodger. This arrangement doesn't work for either those below using the heads and certainly not for those on watch. But that doesn't stop it being the most common arrangement on production boats. It's easy to solve with either a Dorade vent or forced extractor forward of the dodger. The ventilation 'ducts' can encroach on the headroom over the nav station.

    I would also prioritise more showering facilities in the head. Unless you plan to go from marina to marina, a family takes a lot of washing. I would ditch the sink in the heads compartment (there's one in the galley two steps away) and have a shower seat there. If necessary you can gain a little more elbow room by loosing the locker just aft of the chart table and moving the heads bulkhead forward. You should then be able to get a shower area that is completely enclosed by easy to clean, wipe down plain surfaces.

    Finally, you need to think about the function of the nav-station. We all like to sit at the command post and control our destiny, but the days of having to sit for hours with a pencil in the vain hope of reducing our 'area of uncertainty' are now over. The nav station is located in a 'prime real estate area' which may be better developed into something more useful! My preference these days is to have the same work top but up at about 36 to 38 inches above the sole. At sea you lean against it and use it as the nav station, but it allows all the 'knee room' underneath to be used for storage, in an area that is well located within the balance of the boat and convenient to the galley. I have also designed underneath to house the freezer and even a front opening washer / dryer on one boat. At anchor the area can be used as an additional work surface. People will cry 'what about all the electronics?', but I would retort by claiming that, apart from one multi readout repeater instrument head, (depth, log, gps) there is a better place for nearly everything else, especially if you are short handed in crowded coastal waters. You need information up on deck.

    Was your friend's Somoa called 'Hawk' ?
     
  13. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    And she has impeccable taste about most things, if not men... Well, yes, I am getting a little loose with length, but with an eye on the weigh scale. Actually, Brewer's Millie J. is the stretch, because I had originally set a limit of 15-16k*, but Millie J. is over 16k#. The Forna is about 1,000# lighter. I have read that a 15k# aluminum hull will cost about the same to build whether it is 35' or 40', but perhaps reality will set in when I actually look for rough quotes, nevermind when I begin to price rigs and whatnot.

    I wouldn't presume to call Evans a "friend" and it was a stretch I guess to say I "know" him, but he has been kind to me elsewhere in virtual reality, commenting on my interest in the Millie J. design, on his personal experiences with Ted Brewer before he bought Silk and with building from aluminum.

    I have never sailed on a boat with an aft head, but like the idea. I had thought of its double function as a wet locker, but never considered the privacy/ventilation issue. Thanks for that. I will certainly keep it in mind, and pay more attention generally to ventilation, no matter which design we ultimately choose... Also excellent advice regarding making room for the shower. We are not big fans of the latest electronics -- chart plotters, windspeed indicators and the rest of it -- but one of our first concessions to comfort and battery consumption was an agreement that our next boat would be blessed with a hot/cold pressure shower. Your suggestions complement our hedonistic tendencies -- we only have to make sure we leave enough room for the paper charts :).

    Your points about the nav station are well taken and to a point I agree. My particular situation is that the nav station must double as a work station, my office on the road. I lived aboard my little boat for a couple years (yes, as a single man) and without my chart table/desk I would have gotten nothing done. What's funny about this is that when I see designs with chart tables with separate swing-out chairs, rather than the ubiquitous end-of-quarter-berth-seat-with-no-back-support, I spend too much time dreamily imagining creating the most comfortable chair -- did I mention hedonistic tendencies?

    But you know, now that I'm thinking about it, I only use a desk while in a slip/at anchor, and really don't need space on the desk for more than a laptop and a pile of notebooks. You have me thinking of a small chair and desk arrangement that could pull out or fold out for work at anchor, but which folds securely and invisibly away while at sea. Perhaps I could find a good compromise between my needs and extra storage space... I currently have little need for electronics below. VHF and radar detector is about the extent of it, everything else (depth, compass) faces the cockpit or is in my pocket (GPS). While I have promised to install a fixed GPS below, so I am not the only one in the know (and promised she will never become an SSB widow), there is little chance we will be crowded out by electronics. It would also be nice to have the electrical panels in a convenient location near the nav station.

    One thing that I like about Millie J. is the hard dodger, which seems to me to make so much more sense than replacing a fabric one every few years. Perhaps someone has designed a hard, removable dodger for the Forna that I haven't seen. The key to an attractive hard dodger I think is to not make it look like it's part of the boat, but to make it appear as if its made out of fabric.

    cheers
     
  14. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    I agree entirely on both the desirability of a hard dodger and the need, on smaller boats in particular, to make them look just like the canvas versions.

    Amongst their many advantages is that you can stand on them, for example when flaking the mainsail.

    Here's one that was made out of aluminium exactly as you said. I think it would have been better if it had been a contrasting colour - to match the sail cover ?

    Either way, don't forget to put a couple of 10 x10 hatches in the top. It keeps them airy when it's blistering hot. Afterall, there's no taking them down!

    [​IMG]
     

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  15. qwerty
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    qwerty Junior Member

    Interesting look. Couldn't agree more the colour should match a sail cover or bimini or curtains or even the sacrificial cloth of the furled genoa.
    cheers
     
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