first boatbuilding project

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by samson101, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. samson101
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: california

    samson101 New Member

    hello. my name is John. i have been extensively researching and browsing boat designs and trying to just jump in and pick one! but i have a simple question first. for a first boat building project what material would make the project as easy as possible for the inexperienced builder. i have several designs i have been looking at i REALLY like the steel but i can always do that later. in your eyes what material is a good first material to learn with. fiberglass wood or steel. and if you can explain why that material is better to learn with thank you!
    john
     
  2. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    Your question is too general or broad.
    What kind of boat, what size.
    I would say some kind of wood (traditional or as a core between glass and epoxy, or plywood) for boats up to 30 feet and steel for boats over 50 feet(?), but I can't weld..
     
  3. samson101
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    samson101 New Member

    thank you raggi

    yea i meant it to be pretty general i just wanted your opinions on what you guys think would be best. i think i might go build a dinghy then just jump right into a project.

    thanks for your reply
    john
     
  4. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    You can get a lot of different answers.
    Wood is low cost, light weight and easy to work.
     
  5. welder/fitter
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

    John,
    I'd suggest that you go with the material that you're most knowledgeable about. If you have steel working skills, go with steel. If carpentry, wood.

    As for size of first build, material choice will help to determine your lower limit. One thing is pretty certain; if you plan to build a boat you're going to need a dinghy. If you want a steel, wood, or frp boat, you're still going to be doing a lot of woodwork on the interior. Maybe, a wood dinghy that only requires a few hundred hours but has some graceful curves would be a consideration for getting your feet wet, without too much frustration.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welder/fitter has give the best information and advise anyone can give you right now. You know what you can do, we don't. Don't think too big, keep it trailerable or the project could become a career and a dinghy is a great starting point for any novice with eye on a bigger project later.
     
  7. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    Even better, go work for a few days with a boatbuilder (even for free) just so you can see what is involved. Most people get the romantic idea of building an own boat but have no idea what is involved. The world is filled with excited projects that gets abandonned when reality sets in.
     

  8. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    All good advice. I just started reading a book Wooden Boat Renovation by Jim Trefethan. He has a section in Chap 2 called Attemptus Futilitus. He Says "to the layman the process looks much easier than it is..." It is best to start with a small project and learn about boat building before taking on a huge project and realizing it's going to take years.

    Anyway, to answer your question, the best material is the one that suits you and your abilities. Personally I prefer wood. But if I were a welder I would probably want to build in steel or aluminum. There is no best material. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. You have to look at these and decide which is best for you.
     
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