"Easy to Build" but ugly is a bad idea

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by u4ea32, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Hmmm, is that like saying "I plead guilty on the advice of lawyers - thats the last time I listen to a prosecuting attorney". Maybe builders would say that ! ;)

    I cant see that myself - maybe the contribution to cost of the 'overall project' is unmeasurable, but I cant see that in the cost of the just the hull building. Technique and shape are joined together. You need difficult techniques to get an exotic shape. Dont non developable hull shapes need strip plank or clinker or cold moulded ? Even in fibreglass, there is the cost of the mould development.

    It doesnt say that to me so plainly. I remember there was a lot of work in the fairing and gluing, as a few other posters have mentioned. I have vivid memories of sanding and fairing, brought on by the scars. :) I think the time lapse clip is a marketing con to fool people into thinking it was easy.

    Well, I dunno- but if we did a video of the clinker built version of a non developable hull shape - and watch the guy walk individual planks, multiple times to and from the hull, as he planes each one to shape, then watch as two guys insert all the roves at the bottom and top of each plank etc etc, would that change your mind ?

    So far, I am far from convinced that the shape wouldnt affect the overall hull buid cost.
     
  2. boat fan
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    boat fan Senior Member

    Wheels got it right here.
    Summed it all up perfectly.

    I don`t understand your "ugly "comment.
    If the boat shown was built in strip plank , for example ,
    it could hardly be claimed as a better looking hull.
    Hard chines or not.
    Essentially they are skimming dishes , that you find either attractive , or not.

    I prefer the look of a more traditional type of boat , but its personal.
     
  3. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    If it's ugly, it's ugly with a purpose, which is beautiful ...
     
  4. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Well, its that its ugly with an **intended** purpose, but there is no value in that purpose.

    Really: get bids from a dozen real yacht builders, and you'll see what I mean. The factor they can put into savings due to hull shape is zero, on their proposal to you to build your boat. They don't have shape factors in their costs because they don't experience savings or increased cost due to shape. It just is totally lost in the noise.

    So design what you want, design for beauty and fun and effectiveness. But don't bother choosing shapes that YOU THINK will save the builder money. It won't.
     
  5. Cheesy
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    Cheesy Senior Member

    You do realise that this boat was designed for back yard builders with little or no experience?
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Dont follow that logic at all - if I get to participate in an exciting, one design boat that hasnt taken me 3 years to build, its all in vain because its 'ugly' ?
    I guess all the commercial ferries I have ridden in were all a waste of time because they are ugly ? :confused:

    You keep saying that, but it doesnt make sense to me yet.

    Hull shape = Available Construction methods
    Different Construction methods = Different Costing

    This is only a small boat, so the construction times will be a much bigger component for this project. Some boatbuilders will only do 'stitch and glue' because they are not trained for other techniques, and other methods for 'non developable' shapes are demonstrably more expensive.

    Would any professional boatbuilders care to comment on this point ?
     
  7. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    The purpose I was referring to is speed; it looks fast.
     
  8. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    We have two extremes: one is sharp-chine simplified shapes that might look ugly to someone. On other end, often 'sporty' and 'sleek' look is often complete nonsence in terms of practical use. So let eveyone choose what he wants.

    I can say that there is no universal definition of 'ugly'. Tastes are very different. I would not blame anyone's design as 'ugly'; better do my own and show to potential builders.
     
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Aesthetics are like the place, where the body leaves its waste - divided !

    But what about the concept that one type of hull design costs more to build than another, because of the hull shape and the building method ?

    Has anyone else found this to be true also?
     
  10. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    There is a difference. We design some boats intended to be built in honeycomb panels and those have developable shapes. I don't see much impact on appearance (though some aesthetes would say there is), but cost is reduced significantly. Honeycomb is something that is not easy to bend in 2 directions; making slots in honeycomb damages its structure.
     
  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I gues the question is - if I came to you said 'I have a non-developable hull design in the same size as your more standard developable hull, would you build it for the same price ?
     
  12. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I have built several developable, hard chine boats. My present one is my first attempt at round-bilge, using partial strip-built construction.

    I did not start it for esthetic reasons; actually until I read this thread the thought that it would look better/worse never occurred to me. They all look great as far as I am concerned, and in the water there will be little difference.

    The material for the round-bilge boat is actually a little cheaper than for similar chiners, but a hard chine boat would be ready for finishing by now and I still have a ways to go ...
     
  13. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Personally, I like slab sided hard chine designs, but beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.
     
  14. JRD
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    JRD Senior Member

    Beauty is skin deep but ugly goes to the bone..... maybe.
    How about accepting that we all have different tastes and in reality most boat owners can look about the waterfront and appreciate the effort and inspiration that has gone into a whole range of different yacht designs.

    It maybe true that the Gougeons spent an inordinate amount of effort in the fairing and finishing. But as I understand it, they are sailing the boat themselves, it will be a sailing advertisement to their business, boatbuilding expertise and products. Why would they not take the effort to make it perfect. They have a world wide reputation for wooden boat building, how could they turn up at a regatta with a less than perfect boat?
    Simple construction; in addition to correct tooling and expert tradesmen will of course speed up the initial assembly. Fairing and and finishing, no short cuts there as we all know.

    Read the Gougeon Bros wooden boat book, page 196 on hard chine construction, it's in the first paragraph "Great savings in labour and possibly materials". Funnily enough there is no mention of ugly.

    They make it "very" clear throughout that they look for simplicity of construction methods to keep their cost down and profitability up, they look at every avenue to reduce labour hours and time wastage. They dont hesitate to mention that several other types of construction they use are "very" labour intensive!

    In my opinion the I550 looks a bit like a fish out of water on the trailer, but put it in the drink and pull up the sails and it turns into a purposeful looking, no BS flying machine.

    This is nothing new of course, in the 60s an average sailor could pay a lifetimes savings for a proffesionally crafted new round bilge yacht which could not be built by the average amateur home builder. (Er hang on, not they couldnt, you pretty much had to be rich to do that) In NZ and Australia deisgners such as John Spencer, Bethwaites etc created lightweight ply boats not so different to the I550. These were lighter than the best proffesionally built traditional yachts and could soon beat them convincingly. This brought in a whole generation of sailors who could learn to build with a little help from their peers and go sailing in their own boat for a reasonable price and little more than a winters effort in the shed. Many of these boats are still sailing today decades later. Sadly this has been taken over by many production type classes which rely on greater discretionary income or debt. Perhaps if this recession contiues we will see the plywood and epoxy coming out at home in a big way once again.

    The simple point is, any design that meets the owners needs, is well thought out, reduces needless cost and complexity, saves building time and materials, and goes flat out at the first sniff of a 20kt norwester is a winner for my money.

    Go the I550 :)
     

  15. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    The I550 looks like a winner alright and the Gudgeons are constantly coming up with interesting boats. Fact is though, Meade and the I550 were soundly beaten by a simple 20' cat ketch in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge last week. There is much of importance other than pure boatspeed in this event though and I don't yet know any details of how the placing of different boats came about. Nonetheless it may be a surprise to many that this was the result.
     
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