Good plan for first build

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by yaplej, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. yaplej
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    yaplej Junior Member

    Im considering starting boat building as my primary hobby. I know that this will require me to learn a whole new set of skills that honestly Im pretty excited about it.

    My main problem is that I have never welded before in my life so I am seeking advice on how to start. I was think I should start with something smaller say like a 10' fishing boat made from steel. I thouoght it would be good to get my feet wet with the boat building process, and develope some welding skills before trying something to big.

    I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get some simple, detailed plans how to build a small boat for first timers, and if you wish to provide some basic tips, and hints of things to do, and others to avoid I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Justin.
     
  2. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Metal boat building

    The first thing to remember Justin when using an electric arc welder - DON'T get your feet wet..... :p

    Apart from that you've come to the right place for advice. I'm a confirmed (nothing can shift me) wooden boat enthusiast. But many of the members on this forum are skilled all-rounders while others specialise in metal construction - so I'll move aside and let them get in.
    Welcome, by the way. But you'll find your new 'hobby' of boatbuilding will rapidly become an addiction.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    10' steel boats, that have plating, thick enough to easy weld are a rare thing to say the least. You're better off taking a welding class, maybe at night and acquire the basic skills you need.

    As you begin your project, there will be a lot of welding needed for things like station molds, strong backs, cradles, etc. which don't require your welds be water tight. This will permit some practice, before you get to the "they better be perfect" welds in the hull shell.

    Welding is like making love. The first few times you had at it, you sucked pretty bad, but practice has made you better since . . .
     
  4. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Metal boat building



    Hell Par....you mean we're meant to do it more than once.....?.:(
     
  5. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    Justin,

    Trying to weld up a steel boat under, say, 24' is probably going to discourage rather than help. Plate that thin (as PAR says), is very hard to weld. Distortion, blowing holes through plate, ect... make this type welding the realm of the experts. A course & then lots of pratice and study is the answer.

    Befriend some welders with experience in thin plate welding. Make sure to contribute to the friendship so as not to be a "user". Not all welders are created equal though. They get paid to lay down alot of bead quickly. That is the opposite of what is needed in small steel boat construction. Slow, balanced, and controled welding will result in a strong, comparitively distortion free, hull. Thats where the studying on your part comes in.

    Bruce Roberts & Colvin have books on the subject. Loir & Smith's "Steel Away" is good also. There are more out there whose titles and authors elude me.

    Most small cruising boats employ approx. 1/8' plate for the majority of the hull. Pratice with that once you obtain basic welding & cutting skills.

    Welcome & Take care.

    Tim
     
  6. yaplej
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    yaplej Junior Member

    I found a welding class at our local college so I think Ill take it. Should I get some 1/8 plate to practice with? There are a lot of local metal shops all around where I live so getting metal should not be a problem.

    Would a good pair of cutters be able to cut the 1/8 plate easily enough for building a smaller boat? I was wondering if I could avoid purchasing a cutting torch if possible. I know if I build a larger boat Ill have to get one, but until then.

    As for the plans will I have to design my own, or are there plans avaliable for small steel boats?
     
  7. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    Practice will be important with thinner (1/8') plate. A small 24'-28' steel boat will also use approx. 1/4" barstock for frames & thicker plate for the keel area.

    Do not know what "cutter" you speak of. Any mechanical cutter would be very $$$. A torch, even if you go with a plasma cutter, will be needed for steel boat construction.

    Plans are available. If you go with stock plans (those already in exsistence) they will cost approx. $400.00 to 800.00 US. If you want a new design commissioned you are talking several thousand dollars.

    Google boat plans. Several designers work with steel. Visit a yard building steel boats if you can arrange it.

    Tim
     
  8. Trevlyns
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    Trevlyns Senior Citizen/Member

    And don't forget to have a look at our very own Wynand's website on steel boat building. It's located here
     
  9. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    Small steel boat plans

    The "Lelievlet" is a good example of an efficient 18.4 ft steel boat design.

    They are used by the Dutch waterscouts and i think the plans are public domain now. They can be contacted here: info(AT)scouting.nl most Dutch people speak English so i'm sure you will get a response.
     

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  10. yaplej
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    yaplej Junior Member

  11. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    close enough?

    The boat will float and be very stable but the wide flat end was designed for planing and with planing boats weight is a very important factor. You will need a bigger engine than needed for the aluminum design to get to planing speed.

    With a smaller engine below planing speeds it will not handle very well and use more petrol than needed.
     
  12. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    sinking

    When you meet a bigger than expected wave at planing speeds in a boat like the 12 Foot dinghy build in steel with a heavy engine an instant sink would not surprise me.
     
  13. yaplej
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    yaplej Junior Member

    I think the Lelievlet is a better design for the application the boat will be used for. Basicly just for my wifes grandfather to go out fishing on the lake at my father-in-laws house with. I just need to make one thats small enough so he can handle it alone.
     
  14. MarkC
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    MarkC Senior Member

    Go to - www.metalboatsociety.com (you may need to join).

    On their forum they have a very detailed explanation/discussion about building a small skiff (look for Kevin Morin's posts on his process to choose and build a little skiff). He starts out with a dory-shape and progresses on from there. He discusses welding, picking shapes that can be achieved with metal pannels, ideas to make the work easier etc.
     

  15. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    They are calling for 1/8" aluminum. The same thickness in steel would be ALOT heavier. Going 1/8" in steel, let alone 3/16" is not IMO, a viable option.

    The Dutch boat is a nice design. Still it will be tricky to weld. Probably uses approx. 1/16" sheet steel.

    Tim
     
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