Good first sailing boat design?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by MChavez, May 25, 2016.

  1. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    One of my 24ft Strider catamaran builders built his boat on the 3rd floor of a Berlin apartment. He lowered it out of the window to the street below

    I built my 14ft Stealth in my front room (I was living alone at the time). Someone is doing that right now while building his 10ft Duo dinghy

    Richard Woods
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  2. MChavez
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    MChavez New Member

    I've got double doors, but they are on the long side of the workshop, so 11-12ft is the limit.

    In theory, I can build 16ft in the living room, but SWMBO will most likely strangle me in my sleep just for suggesting it.

    Penguin looks like a good option, but I cannot find the plans for it anywhere.

    All boats from this page look good, thank you Richard.

    Has anyone built anything from that list? Heron looks good. Are all these boats sea worthy?

    How difficult is the build? Is it work building something small and easy, say a wee rowing boat, first, just to get the hang of the stitch & glue method and build up confidence that the boat wouldn't sink?

    Also, what are the advantages of skin-on-frame vs stitch & glue? Stitch seems to produce lighter boats?

  3. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Most of the Jack Holt designs are fairly easy to build IF the construction plans are sorted. The Heron as shown (Selway Fisher) has been modified to stitch and glue chine joint from the original stringer(s). In some ways this is easier, because bending the 'as plans' stringers on Holt designs is usually er, er, interesting - basically best (and easily) laminated. So by eliminating this problem and filleting the joint it is easier to get the planks to join. You might need a scrap bulkead/brace or two to hold the shape true, but easily done.

    The rest of Jack's construction tends to be pretty easy with simple angled or straight cuts. There are a few areas that may require reworking for added strength and durability but not hard. I dislike the way he fitted c/board cases, bedding on silicone instead of going through the hog - as an example. Also check bracing to shroud mounts, though a Heron is not too demanding there. One thing I would be careful about is to ensure limber hole drainage inside the buoyancy tanks so you can drain and sponge them completely dry. Don't build in water traps..:) Looking at that photo of the part built one does not show that detail, but of course it's not finished.

    TBH a lot of the alterations to Holt designs are partly because the increased rig power and perhaps heavier taller people can put more strain on the hulls than in past. Some of his boats get driven really quite hard in fairly demanding conditions.

    Actually a Heron is not too bad a boat, and better than the Gull or Signet, (Proctor) IMHO. Jack designed so people COULD build his designs fairly simply. He was a genuine enthusiast and very humble about his achevements, a nice man I met quite a few times, and Honary member of my old Club on the Embankment not far from his old workshop.

    Skin on frame is OK IF you won't be stepping on the skin - think more stretched skin kayak. However it is not common for it to be used for a dinghy. I assume you meant that, rather than strip plank? SOF will be lighter than ply, however strip plank should be very roughly similar.

    Main difference may be the weight the Mirror is 45Kg and the Heron 63Kg so car topping it might suggest one or the other. Worth checking what the hull weight includes such as dagger board or not and then there's the mast and sails etc etc. Why not try each of the boats out? that will give you a much better feel for making any decision. I'm sure if you contact the Class(es) someone will give you a ride and allow you to play with one. Good luck.
  4. MChavez
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    MChavez New Member

    Hi Suki,

    Thank you very much for all the advice.

    Can you recommend any further reading on the stitch & glue method? And any detailed explanations of the alternative daggerboard bedding or adding limber holes?

    Also, where in the UK would be a good place to get the rig for the heron? I am starting to make up the budget for the build and need to add all the rigging to it.

    Thank you,

  5. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    The stitch and glue method is fairly widely documented, I doubt you'll have a problem with it. Perhaps the neatest thing is to rebate the glass thickness to get a perfectly smooth outer edging. For this you'd be best to use a router.

    If you go through the following build sequence (in pictures) you will see all the main stages, I note thet the kit being used has already avoided the problem with the dagger board case so you won'y have to worry about that. Note also you need the original (nut updated and in metric) plans. Rememeber these will illustrate the original construction and rig - a lot can be and has been changed in terms of minor detail and materials. This is mostly for the better.

    Having looked therough the sequence myself, I would change a couple of details. Firstly the king plank (centre support for the foredeck) to be narrower and deeper - it's stiffer by far. It is also worth considering how the stem/forestay fitting is secured (eventually) as you need to get the load on the screws in shear. This ideally means you have screws going into cross grain timber NOT end grain. This bit does need a little thinking abouut. The mast step would be best made of acetal or nylon not wood but if it is timber, put in a limber hole so water drains from the sunken mortise!. Also the dagger board and rudder blade should be made from laminated solid NOT plywood. The pivot point(s) for both can be easily done by drilling oversize, filling with epoxy and glass fibres and redrilling correct size and voila - a bearing surface with all timber sealed!.

    Here's the sequence link from the Class association,

    Well worth a look at the stage by stage building, it does make things pretty clear.

    If you struggle for a wooden mast, try Collar near Oxford. Any decent sailmaker can make sails for the boat, both Ullman and Banks list sails. You can also make your own as long as they measure. A decent Chandler can make up any wire (stainless) rigging and supply any ropes for halyards sheets etc etc. Expect to move the mast around a bit to get the helm balance right, so make sure you have adjustment (shroud) plates that will allow this. Aim for an aft rake of a few degrees on the lower mast as a starting point, for measuring any distances, though there will be lengths given in the plans. I would expect the mast to angle back a little further than the original measurements might give, a consequence of modern rig and sail development. Unless the jib sheet position is controlled (as it is in the Enterprise) it will be further inboard with modern sails too, giving better pointing.
  6. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I'm thinking the large payload on a relatively short boat does not make for high performance. I think it would be better to have a boat intended for more modest performance, that will not disappoint when loaded down.

    Another problem with dinghies intended mostly for racing is the Center Board tends to be in the middle of the boat, if not far from it, on the center line of the boat. This robs sitting space.

    Attached is a design with plans you can get for $27 US.

    It is very simple, definitely not a thing of beauty. Its Centerboard is moved so far over, its out side of the hull. The designer calls it a "Lee Board". But there is only one. And, other than it being outside of the Hull, it functions exactly the same way.

    Building this 12ft boat in a 12 ft shed could be a problem. Probably best to build it outside and store it in the shed, when you are not working on it.

    Attached Files:

  7. Rickdiaz
    Joined: May 2016
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    Rickdiaz Eng.

    Excellent advice here. Don't buy your blue water boat as your first. There is so much to be learned from your first boat, it's best to experiment a little first, with something that didn't cost a fortune.
    You're bound to hit the docks, swing the anchor into the hull, tear a sail, break a through hull, short an electrical system , over fill the holding tank, run aground, or any number of other things, all detrimental to your confidence in yourself and your boat.

  8. peterAustralia
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    peterAustralia Senior Member

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