First Boat Recommendations

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by AFK888888, May 29, 2021.

  1. AFK888888
    Joined: May 2021
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    Location: Seattle

    AFK888888 Junior Member

    All, I need some assistance and recommendations. I am looking to build my first boat which will be mostly used in the Puget Sound and Lake Washington in the Pacific Northwest. I am trying to see if anyone can recommend a boat design or designer who has a comprehensive plans (like step 1, step 2, etc) or if there is a youtube or blog that I can use in lieu of this.

    I am new the boat building and I would like this to go as smoothly has possible...which is why a step by step would be preferable.

    I was looking at a SPECMAR 18-foot ORCA design, see link below, as the builder said this design would fit my requirements (capacity, size, build/storage area needed). Judging from the pdf on his website, it looks relatively straight forward and simple design. Putting together the panels looks straightforward, but what I am missing from his plans is where exactly I need to weld.

    18 FT Orca (620B) | Aluminum Boat Plans & Designs by Specmar http://www.specmar.com/aluminum-boat-plans/monohull-boats/18-ft-orca-620b
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Not a bad looking tub that one, when you say the "builder" do you mean the plans supplier ? You, presumably, are the builder ? I don't think it would be a good idea to come into aluminium welding "cold" without some background in doing it, but you may have that.
     
  3. AFK888888
    Joined: May 2021
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    AFK888888 Junior Member

    Thanks for correcting me, the plan supplier.

    my experience in welding is limited to stick and mig. I was going to get a mig welder and a spool gun for this project.
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    It is a bit of a skill, and of course you need to be indoors out of draughts with any gas-shielded welding. Presumably if you buy the plans, build instructions are included ?
     
  5. AFK888888
    Joined: May 2021
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    AFK888888 Junior Member

    I was planning on building indoors, I have been clearing space in the garage to give me adequate space to build. I will have to pull it out of the garage to do the flip, but I should be able to do everything indoors. In terms of the build instructions, I'd say it is limited to what I expected. When I was looking at building a plywood/fiberglass boat, it was exceptionally detailed. For instance, I was expecting some markings on what type of welds and where.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    So you have the plans in hand ?
     
  7. AFK888888
    Joined: May 2021
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    Location: Seattle

    AFK888888 Junior Member

    Just the word doc, not the cutting files. DM your email, and I'll send over. Before I commit to buying the cutting files, I want to get a good grasp of what I am getting into.
     
  8. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    Some boat plans which are aimed at people like me detail every step. Many (most?) boat plans are for people that already know how to build boats.
    When you buy house plans from an architect they don't tell you where to pound your nails though over the years I've gotten some solid advice on where to pound sand.
    .
     
    Dejay likes this.
  9. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    have you contacted them about this aspect ? Perhaps that is supplied with the files.
     
  10. comfisherman
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Alaska

    comfisherman Senior Member

    I've fiddled with or been a part of a cope, a couple response and a couple specmar builds. A builder local to me who was also a neighbor used a lot of their designs. They were a bit less diy friendly, but he had a broad boatbuilding background and specmar was a cheap way to update to modern designs and router cut designs.

    I'm not positive of specmars design philosophy, but they seem to occupy the space for the budget minded who already have a bit of skill and confidence. Better details add dollars.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  11. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Europe

    Dejay Senior Newbie

    There is a book called "Boatbuilding with Aluminum: A Complete Guide for the Amateur and Small Shop" that might help. I only leaved through it though.

    Also I thought you basically only weld aluminum and with TIG and AC?
     

  12. AFK888888
    Joined: May 2021
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    AFK888888 Junior Member

    I spoke with the designer at specmar, and specifically brought up MIG with a spool gun. Here is what his response was:

    You will need a minimum of 220V 50-70 amp breaker single phase welder with a spool gun. With this setup I would make three passes to weld 3/8 material, there would be a root pass then two passes on top of the root pass resembling an upside down pyramid.
     
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