Help with Design Modifications

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CardboardKing, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. CardboardKing
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    CardboardKing Junior Member

    Hello,

    I have decided that my Spring Break project for this year will be to begin construction of my own sailboat. And, being the frugal person that I am, I have decided that the foundation of this project will be a set of free plans I found at svensens.com.

    The plans are for a boat called Blue Moon which, according to the plans, is a 16 ft. boat with a small cabin, a single mast and two sails. If built according to the plans it is almost what I'm looking for, but not exactly. There are a few modifications I would make if I were actually going to spend my time building it. Or, more to the point, if I'm planning to spend any time sailing it once it gets built.

    The main modification I would make is to increase the beam by about a foot. The cabin would then be offset to port, creating a small strip of deck on the starboard side. Basically, I want access to the foredeck while in deep water without having to climb over the cabin.

    So, my question is: What other modifications must I make in order to accommodate the changes I want to make?

    I figure that an increase in width would have to be accommodated by some increase in length. But, how much length would I have to add? And what considerations would there be in terms of performance? How much sail would I have to add to keep the larger version of the boat performing decently?

    Another reason I like the wider boat/offset cabin idea is that, with only a slight additional offset of the companionway door, I could move the centerboard case out of the middle of the doorway.

    I'm attaching the relevant plans and pictures so that you can understand what I'm asking.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Do not make the boat wider. It is already tubby and more width on the same length will make it even worse.

    If you want access to the foredeck just make an exit opening in the front of the cabin. The opening can be closed with a sliding or hinged door. That route to the foredeck is a lot safer and quicker than scrambling around a narrow side deck. In addition the forward opening will provide some cabin ventilation that is welcome on summer nights.

    Better to offset the mast, if necessary, than to widen this particular boat.
     
  3. CardboardKing
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    CardboardKing Junior Member

    Okay, this all makes sense, and I tend to agree. I had already thought about adding a deck hatch forward of the cabin.

    But then I have to ask: Suppose I decided to make the boat longer with the same beam?

    I'm thinking, if I moved the bow a foot or so forward, it would make the berths feel a bit roomier, create additional space on the foredeck and make the boat more streamlined.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    The problem is this: the boat is already maximized. It has a huge cabin for a sixteen footer. Tall enough and wide enough to make a lot of twenty footers jealous. Of course one could argue that all that maximizing might have hurt the aesthetics.
    You should look for a longer boat if you need more space. There's way too much work in altering a well worked out set of plans if you aren't an expert.
    You might like Bolger's micro. There's a roomy little boat. It was lengthened to 19 ft (Long Micro) later for those who wanted a bit more boat along the same lines.
    Check out the Long Micro and report back.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, this boat is an abomination on many levels. She's been pushed in every direction including aesthetically.

    Free plans offer what you pay for them. These plans aren't complete and offer very little by way of details, so if this is your first boat build, you'd be best advised to not cut corners on the quality of the plans, if you expect some level of success. A skilled boat builder would make a fair attempt with plans like these, but a novice builder will just spend most of their time scratching their head, with no one to call for answers.

    Get plans from a living, accommodating designer, trust me. Lastly, being frugal is fine, but two places you don't skimp are the plans and the hull planking. The hull planking keeps your socks dry, so using good stock here is just logical. The plans are what make and break most builders, so pick your poison, an antiquated, monstrosity of a design, from some dead guy or a modern design, using modern techniques and materials, from someone you can call when you have a question (or a dozen questions).
     
  6. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    BUY the plan you like.

    Don't waste time and MONEY modifying an out of date "free" plan, or any plan for that matter.

    What may seem like a small, insignificant change could have huge ramifications.

    If you're going to go to all the effort (~3.7 times what you think it's going to be) and spend all that money (~4.82 times what you think),

    then do it right, from a proven design that is what you want without modifying it.

    Or don't and run into endless problems.

    Your call.
     
  7. CardboardKing
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    CardboardKing Junior Member

    Okay, after a few minutes of searching, I haven't been able to find anything about the Long Micro other some references to it (mostly on these forums) and a few pictures.

    I do like the Pilgrim 590 linked to from the "Free Boat Plans" pages here on boatdesign.net. I like the appearance more than the boxy Bolger, and as long I'm willing to create the forward hatch to provide access to the foredeck, I can get rid of the railings on the roof and have basically what I was envisioning with the Blue Moon.

    This boat seems to have a nice, roomy cabin and plenty of berth and storage space, yet it still comes in under 20 ft. The freely available plans are detailed and seem complete.

    The best part is, I've actually studied some Russian, so I can even read the plans. Well, mostly, anyway. The parts I can't understand I can easily find translations for, so I think this might be the boat for me.

    And I like the idea of going with something a slight bit larger, not just for the interior space, but for the handling. My goal is to make several trips to Catalina in this boat, as well as to cruise up and down the California coast. I think this bigger boat might work out better for that.

    Thank you again for all of your feedback!
     
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    You're welcome CBK.

    Enjoy the build and post some pictures as you go.
     
  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    This is not the most promising boat for a trip to Catalina. The boat will be dangerously slow in anything short of a half gale. With a half gale you will almost surely need to deploy your Epirb.

    Long Micro is ugly but remarkably able. It might get you to Catalina. Blue Moon is best left to the Russians who will sail it on very small bodies of water.

    See Phil Bolger and Friends website. Or look at Glen- L website. Look at Pars website for some very competant and sensible boats.

    Sorry to be so negative, but you did post here to get some comments.
     
  10. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I don't want to stop anyone from building a boat, wish I had of started much earlier and bigger.
    But, most other threads like this end up suggesting you look for a used boat, they are very cheap right now.
    Spend your money and time on fixing one up rather that the long processes of building one from scratch. Probably have to be fiberglass which might be a bummer.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, it's a whole lot easier to buy a well used Rhodes 19 or old ODay, then build from scratch, though it doesn't ease the fever. Finding an old "gem" will cost you plenty, so you're not getting off the hook, but at least you have a significant base to work from, possibly sailing within a week. The last Boat I bought like this was a Catalina 22 look a like. It was trailerless, but intact and on a slip. It was hideously covered in slime and mold, the sails tattered and I had to bring enough line to rig new sheets and halyards, but I sailed it to a waiting trailer about a mile away, after 3 or four hours of prep. $500 bucks and the guy was glad to see it go. Yeah, it';s still a dated late 60's something or other, but it sails, has new paint, lines, sails, some rigging bits and I even got the old 5 HP outboard working, though I couldn't fix it's ugliness. The guy that owns her now is out on her a couple times a week.
     
  12. CardboardKing
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    CardboardKing Junior Member

    Why would it be a slow boat? And how could I make it faster?

    I did go and look at that Glen-L website, and every plan I looked at gave multiple options for both construction material and sail configuration. While I do find it fascinating how the most common answer to "How I do modify this design?" on the website called BoatDesign.net is apparently "Don't modify the design," I don't see any reason why I couldn't make some tweaks to the Pilgrim to prevent its being "dangerously slow."

    I like this boat. I like the way it looks, I like the accommodations it provides, I like the fact that the plans are free and I can get started it on it today without spending any money on anything other than materials...

    So, again I ask, if getting to Catalina too slowly is indeed dangerous, what is it about this particular boat that makes it so?
     
  13. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    It is fat with too little sail. Slow.

    Have you been able to find anyone else who made the boat? Any class associations? How many plans have been provided? If you can't find anything you might be concerned that there is something wrong.

    Have you looked for sailboat design books yet? If you don't like the suggestions then find someone else to talk to.
    Actually there are plenty of people who will encourage you to make changes, they also expect something from you besides saying "why can't I do what I want?".

    Please let us know what you start to build. Stretched to 20'? Narrower? Higher ballast fraction? Bigger mast?

    From what you have suggested it will take you quite some time just to change the plans to show your ideas. You can draw a plan on a drafting board, right?

    Who knows you might be wildly successful. People have gone to sea in some absolute death traps, some have returned.
    Good luck.
     
  14. tomas
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    tomas Senior Member

    ???

    You received patient, well thought out, common sense feedback from multiple members who have experience building boats in response to a particular set of plans of questionable quality. Why would you bother thinking this, let alone posting it? I'd be grateful in your position.


    These were excellent questions:
     

  15. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    To be successfully frugal you have to be smart. Smart people listen. Smart people are leery of free plans with good reason.
    Coming to the forum to ask questions before you commit is smart. Good for you.
    Consider building a dinghy first. It is a proven way for beginners to achieve results.
     
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