For all you education gurus

Discussion in 'Education' started by Scottg, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Scottg
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Ft.Lauderdale, FL.

    Scottg Junior Member

    I need your help. I wanted to start designing and building boats for production yesterday. I cant stop thinking about doing it. I get nervous and excited at the same time. Here is the issue I am running into that causes frustration...

    I am not looking to design yachts or mega yachts or sailboats of any size. The boats I want to design range from 15'-20' and made for fishing. I dont want to waste my time drafting a huge sailboat and cabins, etc. I just want the basics. This is how you draw lines, design the hull, and this is how you build it. And this is how you start your business.

    I want to learn the materials, how to make plugs(because last time I checked I dont have the cash to purchase a 5-axis milling maching), and make a final product. I know I will have to learn displacement, hydrostatics, buoyancy, etc. But the last thing I want to learn about is interior design, sailing, etc. The boats I want to build are very basic.

    Iam not in a position to pack my bags and move to go to school to learn to build boats. So this will have to be a trial and error process. I am also in too good of a position to quit my job and go work at a marina and make alot less. I am mechanically inclined, if I read on how to do something I can usually put my hands to work. I just want the basics and go from there.

    Is there anyway I can learn this and avoid the yacht and mega yacht courses that are irrelevant? Do I just go to the book store and purchase every book possible on fiberglass boat building and design that I can find? Is there any online course that can help? I have so many ideas that I want to turn into something solid and its driving me nuts.

    You think there would be something like this in south Florida. I tried the Art Institute of Ft.Lauderdale but it wasnt well developed at the time, plus no evening classes.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    Location: Maryland

    CDBarry Senior Member

    Check out Professional Boatbuilder,, to begin with and plan on going to IBEX next fall. Then go to Get the material on planing craft and read it, and hit the Powerboat Symposium in March 2008.

    ABYC offers specific courses on the standards applicable to small craft systems that you will have to be familiar with.

    The big problem you will have will be structure, since you will need to follow the ISO standards, which in turn require you understand basic fundamentals of structural engineering. However, you can get some help on this from some standard engineering texts, especially Blodgett's "Design of Welded Structures", which is available very cheaply from Lincoln Electric. Also, get Eric Greene's book on fiberglass, and Smith's (from SNAME). (This month's Professional Boatbuilder is avaialble on line and has a good article on structure.)

    You will need to have a good capability in a CAD program, probably AutoCAD, and you will need a 3D modeling program. Rhino is the industry standard and is affordable. You may be able to do all of your design in Rhino, (and not need AutoCAD right away) and there are many courses on using Rhino in general and specifically for boats and AutoCAD available on line and at community colleges. Solidworks is another possibility. Using 3D CAD to start off with will eliminate a lot of study on traditional line drawing that you may not need.
  3. fcfc
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: france,europe

    fcfc Senior Member

    I suggest also some management. Such as Receivables should preferably be higher than Payables :p
    And some marketing ans sales ideas. What will make people spend hard earned cash on your boats , and not on your competitors products :?:
    Without forgetting some law issue, if one of your future customers find he had to swim in very wet water, after climbing in one of your boat.:mad:
  4. Trevlyns
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: London UK

    Trevlyns Senior Citizen/Member

    I must say that I have mixed opinions here...
    On the one hand, what you are asking has taken others years of sweat and toil to comprehend. I’ve been at it over ten years and am still learning – that’s why I live in these pages.
    But, on the other hand, the very basics just boil down to Archimedes principle. Just design something that displaces more than its own mass and load, and presto – you have a boat!
    I don’t think there are any quick fix solutions out there but I certainly admire your enthusiasm. That’s exactly how I started. You have access to this website which is totally invaluable – seek and yea shall find!
    I’m looking forward to reading your success stories.
  5. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    I think you should try to get a job in a small company building the kind of boats you like. If you work there a few years and ask a lot of questions you will probably learn what you need?

    One very simple book is "How to design a boat" by John Teale(?).
  6. robsime
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    Location: Southampton, UK

    robsime Consultant Naval Architect

    I totally agree with Raggi's advice. I think that is probably the best way to learn abou the design and build process of a particular type of boat. I also have John Teale's book and it gives a very clear guide to the basics of boat design.

  7. Scottg
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Ft.Lauderdale, FL.

    Scottg Junior Member

    Well, thanks for the replies. I am looking into Rhino Marine and some other CAD programs. But as mentioned, structure is something I need to learn as well. Its one things to design it, another to build it. I really just want to build one boat to prove to myself that I can do it then take it from there.
  8. EastGateCustoms
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Raleigh, NC

    EastGateCustoms New Member

    I would have to say that any information you get off of this amazing site will be the utmost education you will ever recieve.
    I am on the site everyday and although I am a silent person when it comes to posting anything I am in the same boat as you, no pun intended. I am tired of cookie cutter boats so I come here to see what beautiful designs a person can achieve with thought. I am not a Cad type person, I like pencil and paper still... but I am trying to learn the marine side of it.
    I recently became disabled thanks to a heart virus, so I myself will be looking into some type of education.
    I think I might go with Westlawn. Possibly Rhino as a maritime program and AutoCad as my drafting table.
    If there is anything anyone else can suggest, your input will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for everyones help in letting me make decisions through your vast amounts of knowledge.
    Thank you
    Michael Fischer
  9. scott steffe
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: port charlotte fl

    scott steffe Junior Member

    i did it the old fashion way the smaller boats arent to tuff
    no major problems and its real fast and can be configured into any kind of purpose built boat design
    but i have over 30 years in the marine business
    15' hydro was easy
    there are several books and history to guide you in your structure design
    books a million has several as well
    basic stringer design with bulkheads are fine and easy to layout

  10. Scottg
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 15
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    Location: Ft.Lauderdale, FL.

    Scottg Junior Member

    Do you guys have any titles on the books you are referring too? I did a Amazon browse and I think I found one on how to build a fiberglass boat. Anything would be great. Thats again for the responses. I know stringers are a very important part of the book. Anything that helps would be greatly appreciated.
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