designing a boat building facility for class, need help!

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Sandy Ewen, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Sandy Ewen
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: texas

    Sandy Ewen New Member

    I am an architecture student at the University of Texas at Austin. My class project this semester is redesigning the Austin Yaught Club and adding a boat building facility. I would like some help with the design of the boat building shop. I have already done some research, but I want to make sure I am on the right track; any help you guys can offer would be very appreciated.

    The boat designing and fabrication shop is purely hypothetical, so cost of tools etc. is not really an issue. I want it to make international 14s and perhaps some sort of a J24 knock-off (they sail a lot of J24s, Ensons, and Catalina 22s at the club, and it seems like the club is laid back enough to not mind unofficial Jboats or whatever). I want to use the SCRIMP process with carbon fiber, but is that better than PrePreg? which would be better, SCRIMP with an autoclave for curing, or PrePreg? PrePreg requires an autoclave, right?

    Also, what is a good way to make molds? Strips of wood cut with CNC milling machine? How big are these milling machines? What other tools are needed to build molds, and how big are they? Could you do the whole thing out of foam board or something?

    Basically, what would be a dream facility for creating sailboats?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. dsharp
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Freeport, texas

    dsharp Junior Member

    boat building facility

    You may want to checkout the Professional Boatbuilder site at, I haven,t used their online mag but if they archive back issues they showed Catalina Yachts facility in Vol. 35 June/July 1995. North End Composites @ shows a huge cnc mill to cut molds out of foam blocks. Most facilities that I have seen are metallic buildings divided up into the different systems, Layup, machine shop, material storage, assembly etc. Pro boat has covered a lot of different methods for composite construction such as res. infusion, vaccum bagging etc. You may can get a complimentary subscription. Sorry, I don't know how to post links to the sites. As long as we're dreaming go with cnc controlled equipment, pre-pregs, and autoclave. You may want to check out the construction of the small composite business jets. Reality is you will be building in a shed with buckets of resin and hand layup. Good Luck
  3. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    look at wellydeckhands site you may not find all that you are looking for but you will see clean professional atmospher, not that I am but if I were buying in that realm, I would look at him real hard,
  4. ABoatGuy
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: LeftCoast

    ABoatGuy Member


    If your talking about a small facility to build a couple boats a months or so here's my two cents:

    You will need:
    - A room to laminate big enough for a hull, a deck and the small parts. The fire requirements for this room may be different. Check local codes.
    - You need a room or rooms to store raw materials. Resin in drums has issues with storage (temperature, fire code, enivironmental codes). You need to store fiberglass or carbon fabric in a clean area. Prepregs may need refrigeration. You need a stock room for misc parts.
    - You need an assembly area big enough to hold the parts of the boat and turn them over. Leave some extra room. Crowded facilities are a pain to work in. The fewer times you have to move things around the better.
    - You need somewhere to store molds that are not in use. Around a yacht club this may have to be enclosed, depends on the tolerance of the members.
    - If your small you can have your plugs cut by a vendor. Don't worry about NC machines big enough to cut hulls and decks they are very expensive and you won't be keeping them busy enough to justify them. An NC router would be nice and you may be able to justify it.
    - You need some office space. Business permits. Environmental permits (probably your biggest expense!) The right zoning etc. etc.

    I'm sure others can add to this.

  5. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    :eek: :p

    Mine is an open roof two lane w winch cable, one semi traditional tide dock and one platform for building unit and push to water........ only shed dotted the place nothing fancy....... meaning no idea and start from scatch:D

    if considering quality workmanship depend on creative and background knowledge that may be provide from school, mentor, books and internet.... like these.......Boat Design Forum ( Where everybody learn).... forever....:cool:

    1.Thus would consider solid workplace like a small building or ware house where it is not to far from the water......... river or sea or LAKE(pond).:rolleyes:

    2.Foundation of the building depend on what type of sailing boat u wanna built and the size of the vessel.... composite(hitech), Aluminium(modern), Steel( pain), Glue and plaster (fun), wood (warm) and god knows what else.......... only u can control........example: open air? semi-open air? ventilated closed or warehouse with airconditioning?:p

    3.Equipment & Resource: Have u storage for your tool? using the right size power tools? Is the power in the building enough for that Russian made Drill and yet able to Ghetto Blast your neighbour with your lastest album?....... do u have wood plank and plastic, safety equipment and right ventilation or even a proper toilet for the ladies with hidden camera? Up to you..........:D

    4.Hardware and software: Ifu r rich enough to build an joint room for a fab shop would be prefect but sailing boat just need long table waist height, flat board with the picture and layout of your dream boat plus anything else stark naked :!: that would induce heavy concerntration....... u know what i mean right....:D :D :D U may need hydraulic frame for off the shelve Drill and a small baby mill machine for fun, leave heavy stuff for shop to figure. THEN u need look for good Lighting and extensive design for roll of cable hidden in man made cable trench....:idea: to ensure enough power and visual light to your work and eyes so u know what u made is prefect..........
    I cant use computer design software so i can recomend but a pencil 2B can help a lot........calculator.. My laptop is for games like DOOM and Mmmm good undiluted strake movie................:eek:

    5.Storage Space: for bits and pieces of zig zag stuff from missing........Label it!!!!!!!!!:!:

    6.Smoking area: Make sure all worker understand what thats mean...... Thinner can really make your wallet thin when burn.:mad: :mad: :mad:

    7.Add Extra based on country believe or custom and culture respect like prayer room or chapel or wine room or SPIRIT ROOM :D :D

    8.Make sure u Label all door and label the way out in case of emergency.......

    9. Dont buy gas from me lol:D

    I think that the STD thing to consider....... I think paper work depend on the person who made u design the work place ....... your club owner...

    So enjoy and ask more around for more answer...... heh i could be right and wrong who know........? I am too simple and new in this field....... only 1 year experienced..........:):):)

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