Hello everybody

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by jeffb957, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Huntsville, Alabama

    jeffb957 Junior Member

    Hello,
    I'm In the later stages of my current project, the building of a small camper.

    As you can see, I'm done with the major structure now. I'm just working on interior appointments, electrical systems, and all the details to finish the project. I also intend to add a few more coats of paint including some dress up striping, and to remount the entry door which came out a little out of square. I'm also currently rebuilding the tongue which came out distressingly bendy and flexible. I was finally able to find a steel dealer that would sell small quantities so I got a longer, stronger piece of tubing for the central shaft of the tongue, so that will shortly be complete. All in all, I'm reasonably pleased with the result so far.
    The building of the camper was a project designed to help me build the skill set to build a boat. The outer shell of the camper is a composite of 5mm hardwood plywood and fiberglass. It came out strong and watertight, so I think I've got it. I also learned a few things NOT to do, like for example, mix too large a batch of epoxy in a plastic container...in Alabama....in August....and set it down in the sun for a minute. Oh well, we needed a new plastic bucket anyhow :D
    With the camper nearing completion, I'm beginning to think about the next project. I'd like to build a boat, and I think I have the nesessary skills, but I find myself drowning in obscure jargon and unfamiliar terms. Does anyone have any suggestions on a course of reading to help me cut through jargon-shock, and understand what is being discussed?
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     

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  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  3. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Huntsville, Alabama

    jeffb957 Junior Member

  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    It's nice to see someone who has taken some time with a small project before jumping into a large one. Good for you.

    One book that I found helpful (especially with regard to the jargon) is the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/Boatbuilding-...teward/dp/0071628347/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    You might find it in a library but I'd suggest just buying it so you'll have it on hand. It will answer many of your questions.

    Good Luck and Merry Christmas,

    MIA
     
  5. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Huntsville, Alabama

    jeffb957 Junior Member

    Thank you very much. Given that I had not done any fiberglass work at all, the camper was quite a big bite to take. Honestly I wish I had started a little smaller than that. In the picture I posted You'll probably notice the concrete block steps. On that first trip I hadn't yet built any of the cabinetry In the nose, mounted the tongue box with the batteries, Or put any other weight up front. I had however installed the A/C unit, and built the queen sized bed frame that folds up into a couch, both behind the axle. The result was a tongue weight figure expressed as a negative number, and terrible handling due to trailer sway. I had however, sworn to my wife that the camper would be ready to go at least in a rudimentery form for the annual spring camping trip. So, the solution was BALLAST. :)) Upon arriving at the national forest campground the concrete blocks were in the way, but we needed steps anyhow, so I acted like I planned it that way :)) The concrete blocks have since been repaced with a lightweight fiberglass two step staircase.
    I'll check out the book. Thanks for the reply
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'll second the Gougeon Brothers BoatBuilding book as a good, upto date reference. The Steward book was written over 40 years ago and though updated, is more a reference of different mostly traditional techniques. I have both and haven't opened the Steward is a decade.
     
  7. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    jeffb957 Junior Member

    As a bonus, the Gougeon book is priced right. Free is always good. I'm reading it right now. I find that I am discovering the reason why some things I did on the camper project worked out better than I expected. Lots of good info. :)
    Jeff
     
  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    another idea is to build yourself a small dingy as a first boat. it will help you get familar with boat building methods and terminology, and it will be useful for practice on the water. And it even can be used as a tender for your larger boat you build next.

    good luck.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'll second Petros comments and add, build a dinghy using the same build method, as the one you expect on the big build. You'll gain a lot more from this approach.
     
  10. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    jeffb957 Junior Member

    Not a bad idea. We are thinking along the lines of a shanty boat. We live in the Tennessee River Valley. Lots of navigable water around here, especially in a shallow draft craft. My wife is a biologist, and we have talked about going back into Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and Sipsey Wilderness Area and doing some nature studies. We are going to need a tender I think for the shanty boat. :)
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you're going to do a fair bit of traveling around a shanty boat isn't the best choice. A shanty is a box, that looks more like a low buck RV camper, that happens to float. They don't generally propel well and certainly not especially efficiently, which can be costly if doing some serious cruising around. A boat designed to motor well and efficiently, with a riverboat layout makes much more sense, from an economical to operate and reasonable maneuverability point of view.
     
  12. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

  13. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Huntsville, Alabama

    jeffb957 Junior Member

  14. jeffb957
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Huntsville, Alabama

    jeffb957 Junior Member

    Hey Par,
    Here is a link to the plans that are inspiring, but not dictating my choices. http://duckworksbbs.com/plans/browne/lisa-b-good/index.htm
    Believe it or not, I actually like the look of a shanty boat. I was planning on adding a lot of gingerbread trim, and an upper dect pilothouse to give it that Mark Twain look. I very much like the unobstructed interior room a boxy shape provides as well. As for the hull below the waterline, the plans I'm looking at are very barge-like. I intend to thicken the keel a bit to give the hull a few evtra inches if V shape and provide a bit of directional stability, as well as bringing the bow to a gentle point rather than just a flat barge bow. I also intend to raise the bow and stern bulwarks a few inches to make sure the decks stay dry in case I get slapped by a barge wake out in the channel.The original design has a 5" draft. By deepening the V a little I assume that is going to be more like 8" when I'm done. Still, perfect for getting off the main track out in the wilderness. I understand that a boat like this will be lucky to make 15 knots, which is fine for our purposes. Since a 15HP outboard is the most likely propulsion, I assume fuel consumption is not going to be a major issue. Think moped, not race car. Above the waterline a shanty boat is exactly what we want, but I'll be more than glad to hear any suggestions you have to improve the hull form below the waterline. No reason our miniature retro 1860's style Mark Twain riverboat couldn't have a modern hull form down where you can't see it :D
    Jeff
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The barge style of hull (like that used in the Lisa B) will be restricted to 5 MPH (on a good day), regardless of the outboard employed. This is not even close to a 17 MPH (15 knots) target. Thinking anything more then 5 MPH is just seasonal hope. Using some quick calculations, a 50 HP engine (assuming 10% slip) will get you to 9 MPH, maybe 10 on a dead still wind and wave day. This also assumes a full load (3,500 pounds) and a 2:1 beam/length Lisa B like hull.

    Topside structures can be styled anyway you like, though shanty boats do have a very high windage issue to contend with. As far as "improving" the underwater hull form, well this isn't as simple as it seems. You'd be best advised to start with a hull form that offers more of what you desire and make changes to the styling aspects above the LWL.

    Maybe have a look at Bateau.com's offerings and select one of their garvey or mini houseboat designs. These will actually get up and scoot with modest power and you can add all the gingerbread stuff you want. Also the Glen-L. com stuff might be interesting. Lastly, the more length you can afford, the better in regard to comfort underway and efficiency. A 16' with a 2:1 beam/length ratio in a chop will be an uncomfortable thing to be on and operate, especially if under powered and in contrary winds.
     
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