Freighter-like design suitable for an amateur builder?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by cluttonfred, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    I have mentioned before my interest in pursuing something like Tom MacNaughton's Hero 33 concept for a liveaboard/modest cruiser with a freighter-like aesthetic and a lot of living space for the length of the hull. That said, that concept is for a steel hull professionally built and then fitted out with interior and systems by the owner, and it is not yet a completed design.

    What are some good alternatives for an owner-built wood design with similar vibes? I am looking for available plans, not concepts or sketches, that would channel a freighter or fishing boat style to provide generous interior living space where the hold ought to be.

    Rough specs are no more than 40 ft long, preferably less, at least one double and one single berth, enclosed head, pilot house or steering from a cabin, four-stroke outboard or small diesel inboard power, simple auxiliary sail rig nice but not mandatory. Since I have only built small Bolger/Payson plywood boats in the past, simplicity, ease of building, and low cost would all be important factors.

    Any ideas?

    Cheers,

    Matthew
     

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  2. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
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    KeithO Senior Member

    George Buehler designs (many) ?
     
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  3. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Thanks, I love Buehler's books and designs but don't know of any of his boats really optimized to maximize living aboard rather than cruising and character.
     
  4. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Years ago, I sailed into Burmuda, on our way across the Atlantic. There was a young couple selling hand made coral jewelry from their boat, a converted North Sea Trawler. I have been fascinated by them ever since.

    It turns out, these old wooden Dutch fishing trawlers are a very popular conversion to cruiser/live aboard. I'm sure there's plenty of information out there about it. I would suggest looking into doing a rebuild, rather than one from scratch.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I have a ton of old plans. I'll look for you. But a lot of older plans don't use foam or modern materials or techniques. Some of the plans may need to be adapted from planking, for example.

    I can't imagine building, well sheathing anyway, superstructures with anything but foams which may sound like a double down. But the benefits are big.

    Lots of people don't understand, but a kilogram is about one wine bottle.
     
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  6. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    What is your opinion re the smaller Florida Bay coasters designed by Jay Benford?
    Models http://floridabaycoasters.com/models/

    Or the 32' motor barge designed by Paul Fisher in England?
    Motor Boats over 30' https://www.selway-fisher.com/Mcover30.htm#32

    Maybe a boat like the Sea Piper would come close - but she is only available as a finished yacht.
    SeaPiper 35 - Modern Compact Trawler - SeaPiper https://www.seapiper.com/

    Or Ruel Parker's 36' Motorsailer?
    Australia 47 https://parker-marine.com/mot36page.html

    Or Sam Devlin's 32' Amak tug? There is also a 38' version.
    Amak 32 https://devlinboat.com/amak-32/

    A few more from Devlin -
    Czarinna 35 https://devlinboat.com/czarinna-35/
    and
    Devlin Cruiser 37 https://devlinboat.com/devlin-cruiser-37/
    and
    Dynamo Too 38 https://devlinboat.com/dynamo-too-38/
    and
    Josephine 40 https://devlinboat.com/josephine-40/

    There are lots of other very neat designs in the Devlin catalogue - have a scroll through.
     
  7. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Thanks, Bajan and all, for the suggestions, please keep them coming. Of the ones you mentioned, the Selway-Fisher motor barge isn’t bad, ditto the Devlin Oysta motor-sailer series, but none are close to the Hero in terms of living space for the length and overall simplicity.
     
  8. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Cluttonfred, what are you thinking for use? ICW cruising, passage making, Caribbean Island hopping...?

    Your are looking for a full time live-aboard? You will want comfort under way. Something that has less roll. Go with a motor sailor. Both the keel and the sail will help steady the ride.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
  9. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    The focus here is a liveaboard able to move to new digs under its own power, a sort of houseboat that can cruise rather than a cruiser playing houseboat. It needs to be seaworthy in case of an unexpected turn of evens but not necessarily comfortable in rough weather. No blue water cruises, just coast hopping, though exactly where is still TBD.
     
  10. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Honestly, think you'll want to dial in the last comment a bit. A houseboat is a houseboat and a cruiser is a cruiser.
     
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  11. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Here is a 1943 plan for a 36' inboard workboat that can be adapted.

    ABE9752A-488E-4D1F-B9A8-74E753573E98.jpeg
     
  12. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Thanks for the suggestion of the Ox, fallguy. Is that an Atkin design? What is the source, maybe I can find it on Google Books? On the houseboat/cruiser question, please take a look at the Tom MacNaughton article on Hero 33 that I referenced in my initial post. The idea is a boat capable of modest cruising but with the emphasis on living aboard first and foremost.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Since you are a first time builder, the first and most important question is: How many years are you willing to put into the project? For a boat of the size you want, it would take a crew of 6 experienced builders about 9 months to a year. This is assuming a fair finish and not a yacht finish. I would estimate 10 to 15 years for you. This is based on my experience of boats that are often abandoned or sold for a fraction of the materials invested. The reason is that you will learn from your mistakes as you go. More often than not, by the end of the build as you gained experience and knowledge, the errors and defects will become obvious. By then, either you abandon the project or take apart and rebuild major sections of it. My advice is to start by building a small boat. For example, build a 12 foot dinghy to be the tender for your project. That will give you a good idea of the time you take for building a boat.
     
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  14. cluttonfred
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Well, gonzo, as I said in my initial post above, I am not a first-time builder, I have built "small Bolger/Payson plywood boats in the past" up to 16' long. I also referred to the example of Tom MacNaughton's Hero 33 concept "for a steel hull professionally built and then fitted out with interior and systems by the owner" so I am also open to that route. I am well aware of the time and effort required to build a large boat, that's why I also said "simplicity, ease of building, and low cost would all be important factors." I find it pretty surprising that, knowing almost nothing about me, you can estimate how long it would take me to build the boat that I have not yet chosen.
     

  15. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Your example of the Hero 33 looks like just the boat you are looking for. I can't see that it would take much to adapt that design to a simple plywood on frame construction.

    If you are shy on engineering expriencing, there is a lot of material availible that teaches wooden boat construction. Read up about framing and stringers. 30 to 40 feet in a coastal cruiser shouldn't require more than standard placement, sizing and spacing of ribs and stringers.
    upload_2021-1-28_14-34-12.png
    https://www.amazon.com/Boatbuilding-Plywood-Glen-L-Witt/dp/0939070073

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
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