Getting started in boat building

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by texaswoodworker, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. texaswoodworker
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    texaswoodworker New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm new to boat building so I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction. I have no experience building boats but I have a lot of experience working with wood. Are there any books that I should read that will help me design and build a boat? What is the best thing to make a boat out of? Solid wood, Plywood, other? What type should I use? (which is cheaper to use?) What should I finish/cover it with? Polyurethane, fiberglass, other? What are some thing I should know before trying to build a boat? Can someone help?:confused:

    P.S. I am mostly interested in building a 15-24 ft fishing boat or a runabout to use on a lake.

    Thanks

    Aaron
     
  2. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Best material is the one you feel most comfortable with. If wood is your material Howard Chapelle's book Boatbuilding (a complete handbook of wooden boat construction) is a good starter..
    BR Teddy
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    boats have been made from just about anything and everything from bambo and grass mats, to concrete and exotic composites. Take your pick.

    Wood is inexpensive and pleasant to work with, nontoxic, looks good and has many plans available, but requires more maintenance. Wood plus composite makes it more durable, but at more cost.

    I like working with wood, and have worked with other materials too, they just are not as satisfying. I suggest you study plans catalogs, or on the internet and find one you like and go for it. Pick something small and simple for your first project, and than once you have the necessary skills and experience, go for your ideal boat.
     
  4. texaswoodworker
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    texaswoodworker New Member

    Thanks for the suggestion on the book BR Teddy.

    So wood is cheaper than plywood with fiberglass? Thanks for the advice on the catalogs. I'll probably take your advice and make a small row boat first. Does the type of wood I use matter? What types are generally used?
     
  5. carlos bairo
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    carlos bairo Junior Member

    scantling wood to aluminium aprox

    i need advice to scantling plywood plans of 18'ftu crusier to build in aluminium,all referens welcome ,i have experience in metal constrution and a profecional alloy welding califications, no to confident on the scantling from plywood proporcion,
    carlos bairo
     
  6. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  7. carlos bairo
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    carlos bairo Junior Member

    ike thanks for you advice;but i prefer to build my vessel's with the material i feel more confident,this is my 4 boat i build in aluminium,all of them 23'fut as per my trade are welder supervisor on pressure vessels constrution,
    regards CARLOS
     
  8. David White
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    David White Junior Member

  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Love the 'toys' there David - but I think the $100,000 + entry cost, 12 months of learning CAD and CNC control might be a bit tough on a guy who just wants to go fishing in a small boat :p

    Ahhh - but you are replying to Carlos info - nearly missed that.

    Sounds like just the ticket for him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  10. David White
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    David White Junior Member

    Sure it's not for everyone. We have solutions for a lot less than $100,000 though. Some design on cad themselves then get a cnc cutting contractor to do the cutting. Everything just fits right the first time.
     
  11. carlos bairo
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    carlos bairo Junior Member

    hi David,thanks for you post,if you looking under TIATAN 21'6'' on aluminium,you find my proyect under constrution on my back yard,this is may number 4 vessel i am building in alloy,the other 3 boats all 23'fut i made from scrap making them from the table of offsets,TITAN are the first boat i building from full size paterns,hapens that i use a power saw for woodworking carbide tipped up to1/2''5083 grade aluminium,this time i have a new small plasma cuter up to 6mm nice cut,hapens that my trade for 45 years are a pressure welder supervisor bilermarking,i am specialist in MIG/TIG/SUB ARC/OXI/PROFILE CUTTING/METAL ARC/=ALLOYS,only i want an oppinion on the equality aprox from plywood to aliminum on thicknes no strength to calculate the weigth,cutting alu is not a sience lofting are if you know who to read drawings with confidence,if i was you ,i will advice amateurs boats builders for the first time to purchase a ready cutting kit from any good designer ,you my be a profecional,but you never wll be a good teacher or advicer '
    ; a mind once stretcher by a new idea,never regains its original dimensions;

    Carlos Bairo
     
  12. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You're asking for two distinctly separate things: designing a boat and building a boat. Both careers take a long time to get a grip on.

    Boat building can be "muddled" through with a good set of plans, your wood working experience and maybe some light reading.

    Design is a different story, which is a set of engineering disciplines, even for just a little fishing boat. The wisest choice here is to take a course, such as West Lawn. Designing a boat that can safely take you and your family farther from shore then you can swim back to, requires considerable study. It's not rocket science and anyone that has managed 12th grade math can understand the principles and calculations (computers do the actual calculations for you, but you have to understand why you need them).

    Wood, is the preferred choice for small, home built projects. Mostly because it's a material we are all familiar with, have the tools to work it and it's a warm and pleasant looking result if care is taken. 'Glass and metal construction have merit too, but the result is often quite sterile in comparison to a gleaming wooden beauty. Metal is cold, hard and sounds terrible when banged. 'Glass is hospital like and the results often look like it popped from a Play-Doh mold, not to mention you really have to like itching and sanding to get a really nice result.

    I'd recommend logging onto the Glen-L site and looking over their designs and reading through their articles. Do the same at Bateau.com and the other sites. Don't buy anything yet, just read and look. Once "better armed" you'll be in a more informed position to make decisions about which direction you'd like to go.

    Designing and building is rare and usually requires nearly a life time of industry exposure. This was the case for me (and many others). Jumping in and getting started means; you'll be nailing a lot of studs to footers, long before you're ready to design a house on your own.
     

  14. carlos bairo
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    carlos bairo Junior Member

    thanks Ike;i'll looking for refference'on the forum insted of making my on calculation's,all wee know that boats design in plywood many of them could be build in alu,my design is one of them,find the spesiffic weigth of wood is a complicate isue very diferent on metal ,the type of wood,dry,or not too dry,the same is with plywood plus gluing ext ext,thear sould be a rule of thumb aprox to calculate weigth,the some are for steel/to aluminium/the rule of thumb is minimun 30%to50% on thicknes
    regards Carlos
     
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