building my own boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by alley123, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    Before I address the question about the amount of epoxy needed, I'd like to repeat advice I've heard a number of times. Saving money is not a good reason to build your own boat. In my opinion, there are only three legitimate reason's to build your own boat. One: what you want doesn't exist. Two: the satisfaction of seeing something, built with your own two hands, launched. Three: because you built it, you can fix it. I might also mention that it will be a miracle if I dont' have some long term heath problems from this build. Don't skimp on safety equipment.
    I just built a row boat that is 14.5' by 5'. I would estimate I used four galons of laminating resin, a half gallon of structural adhesive, and maybe half a gallon of fillet compound. Then, of course, there is paint and varnish, etc. I used System Three for everything. One advantage of System Three is that they do make everything you need, so you know if it is compatible. Read their epoxy manual. My single complaint is that I think their Silver-tip laminating resin could be a bit thinner (lower viscosity). I've had a little trouble getting it to penetrate really tightly woven fabric.
     
  2. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Point 3, more in that you know the faults and weaknesses... :eek:
    Point 4 use those disposable white jump-suits with a hood (saves on washing?) and spend $65 on a quality face-mask with replaceable cartridges and buy several spare cartridges... I react to Epoxy-hardener and it shuts down my pancreas - a sure method to die prematurely...
    I used West System... If you are using similar, you will need (peel-ply) 'polyester-taffeta' to roll the wetted-out-cloth in place and release the 'amine-blush' as it cures... There is HEAPS more you need to learn and know...
     
  3. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: USA

    BATAAN Senior Member

    I know we all love laminates, but as a successful builder I know my boat would never have been completed if I had taken any other approach than the cheap wooden work boat build I did.
    The reason I built it myself was I couldn't get the boat any other way. By sticking with old industrial tech the build was very quick and efficient and easy.
    Any more hours or dollars and it would not have happened and I'd still be dreaming and drawing pictures, but by choosing something humble and achievable I've been sailing basically for free since 1985 instead of paying off bank loans and fuel bills.
     

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  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I agree wholeheartedly with the above two posts. There are *serious* health issues to contend with building a boat.

    Aside from normal accidents (nearly lost my eye - glasses damaged, cornea scratched), there is the matter of the chemicals.

    A lot of people talk about epoxy being nasty. It's kind of bad, but the foam you use to build with is far more toxic if handled improperly. I overheated some of my foam and ended up spending the night in the hospital with cyanide gas poisoning.

    I didn't read the MSDS and didn't know foam could produce cyanide gas. I had no respirator on and overheated the foam, releasing cyanide. It was the sickest I've ever been. Pulse was like 120. Extreme gastro issues, shortness of breath.

    Also, fiberglass dust is very irritating in the respiratory tract.

    Full fledged OV/AG/P100 carbon filtered masks can't remove cyanide from the air. For this reason, I use a forced air respirator at all times now. It actually ends up cheaper to use forced air if you're building a boat because those cartridges on the regular masks are very expensive over the life of a project. Much cheaper to just pony up the <$500 for a forced air unit.

    I don't use the jump suits too often because they are so very hot. I overheat badly in them and half the year they are unusable in Florida.

    So, I take my chances with materials contacting my skin but take care not to breathe bad stuff, eat it at lunch, or get it in my eyes.

    You must read all MSDS sheets and become very familiar with the chemicals you will use. If you don't want to be expose to epoxy, learn to infuse your boat. Since I've started infusing, I have had several weeks now without epoxy on my skin. I was literally swimming in the stuff before this doing hand laminations.
     
  5. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Oh I forgot, I used so many surgical latex gloves the supplier asked if I was a very busy "proctologist" to which I replied the other side :D and the jumpsuits are of very light weight material so CatBuilder, why not vent the air from your forced air face-mask into the protective suit as a cooling system?
     
  6. Chase_B
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: mo

    Chase_B Junior Member

    I built my own boat,..first one I ever built,..a small one ,..12 foot long by 6'10" wide flat bottom pontoon boat,..it has a 10' by 6' deck,..all aluminum,..it has retractable trailer wheels and hitch so I do not need a trailer,..and here in MO,. that means I do not have to register it as a trailer ,..just as a boat,..so I also do not need to find a place to park a truck with trailer,..and if I'm doing a down river float ,..I don't need 2 trucks with trailers,..just any vehicle with a hitch on it capable of pulling 300 lbs will do
     
  7. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    PICTURES? please......
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    41C is not an uncommon temperature with humidity well into the 80%-90% range.

    It's hard to stay cool even naked.
     
  9. Chase_B
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: mo

    Chase_B Junior Member

    a photo of my boat that I built specifically for shallow water "River Pirate"
    it has a 50lb thrust trolling motor on the front and a 4 hp gas motor on the rear
    PS; yes I am getting a patent on it :)
     

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  10. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: USA

    BATAAN Senior Member

    You must read all MSDS sheets and become very familiar with the chemicals you will use.

    After years and years in boat shops I must strongly agree. This is not something you can un-do if you do something wrong.
     
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