First boat-materials question

Discussion in 'Materials' started by APA-168, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. APA-168
    Joined: Feb 2008
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Barto, Washington township, Berks County, PA, USA,

    APA-168 student amateur designer

    Ok, so I'm looking to build my first boat over the winter. I have a design for a little 12' sailboat that I like. Because it is my first boat, I don't want to throw a lot of money at it and I don't need it last any longer than six or seven years. I'm young, I have plenty of time to build another ;) It will be stored in a dry garage and will be used only seasonally.

    So my question is this: what is the cheapest most AVAILABLE lumber I could get away with? I've looked into Mahogany (too expensive) and Douglas fir (too hard to get on the east coast) and other woods, but they all seem to be either prohibitively expensive or impossible to get where I live, in eastern Pennsylvania. Most commonly both. So what are your suggestions? Huge thanks in advance.
     
  2. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    my first bit of advice,,,, you aint gonna get much response from REAL boaters,,cause they dont know how to build a "throw away" boat. and going into this only wanting a few years out of it,, your not gonna learn much at all except how the "scammers" build and repair boats.your asking people to teach you what they've been taught NOT to do.
    oh,,, welcome to the forum ;)
     
  3. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: South Florida

    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Not entirely, Jim.
    My only suggestion is never build your first boat from a set of drawings you did yourself. There are very good plans and kits on the market for 12' sailboats that are inexpensive but not "throw away" I would suggest starting with Wooden Boat Magazine on the web then expand to a full web search. You will find laser cut kits that are usually mahogany, and you add your own plywood skin. The materials are simple, the building method is tried and true, and you will get a real knowledge of boat building terms and philosophy. You will be able to keep her long enough to give to your kids while you build a bigger one. Just don't take short cuts. Follow the directions and plans. It the plans call for 1 1/2" stainless screws USE 1 1/2" stainless. It's not a matter of "throw away" it's a matter of some one's life depending on if you used a stainless screw instead on a drywall screw.
     
  4. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    First look at this:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=24009

    I am using cedar, not the best, but what I have. It works
    easy, you need to be careful when putting in screws, you
    can strip it easily. It soaks up paint, epoxy, what ever like
    a sponge. And it smell good!

    What plans do you have?
     
  5. APA-168
    Joined: Feb 2008
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: Barto, Washington township, Berks County, PA, USA,

    APA-168 student amateur designer

    The design I have is a Glen-l 12' sloop. So, not one I designed. I'm certainly not that confident. The most important thing at the moment is availability. I can't get Douglas Fir or Mahogany out here, I MIGHT be able to find spruce if I look hard enough. If someone can point me to a place that sells Douglas Fir on the east side of PA, then I might be able to work out the cost issue. Cedar might work, I'll have to investigate. Any ideas? TIA
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 457
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    I have built several Glen-L boats and just used common
    lumber yard pine. And had good luck with it!

    Since the boat is a trailer jobie just follow the instructions
    and use epoxy and light glass.

    The 12 is a nice little boat. Sort of a modern version of
    what I am building.

    Glen-L is great for first time builder, the plans and instruction
    are top of the line.

    What are your wood working skills?
     
  7. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    I would not get too worked up over the wood selection on your first project. Boats have been made from anything and everything, even bamboo. I think if you use any reasonably clear, reasonably strait grained local wood you should be just fine. I would pick something with some rot resistance like Doug-fir, white oak, cedar, some of the pines, etc. Find out what you can get locally cheap, and then search the internet for comparative wood properties you can picks something that will work.

    I built most of my boats from salvaged lumber I find at construction sites and old buildings being demolished. I do have a lot of doug fir and cedar available here, but I am sure you can find something suitable locally.

    Picking something inexpensive is a good idea for a first boat, that way you can learn on it, not get upset if you mess something up, and still have a decent boat when you are done. Enjoying the process is more important than being "perfect". And you will not get upset when it gets beat up as you use it.

    Good luck.
     

  8. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
    Posts: 570
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    Location: South Florida

    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    quote:If someone can point me to a place that sells Douglas Fir on the east side of PA, then I might be able to work out the cost issue.

    www.polleywood.com/
    www.talaricohardwoods.com
    www.hearnehardwoods.com
    http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Sherkness.Hardwood.610-644-4100

    Please don't kid a kidder. I was born and raised in your area, The land of great hardwood woodworking artist like Nakamura from your own home town. Your are just being lazy.
    You can build the boat out of 2x that you salvaged from a demolition site and I promise you that the boat building police will not knock on your door. It's your boat you can and should build it the way you want, because when it's finished you will be the one that says "I built that"
     
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