I think I'm almost ready....

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by eponodyne, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. eponodyne
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Upper Midwest

    eponodyne Senior Member

    I've been thinking about this for years.

    When the boat bug bites a landlocked Midwestern farm boy, it bites hard. Over the years I've seen my tastes change from this to that and back to this... Probably a familiar story to many here.

    The urge to build something has never left, though. Built a dory for my mom a few years ago, she hardly ever uses it but really likes that she has it. That's enough for me, I guess (Hell, it's not my boat, it's her boat, who am I to tell her how often she should use it? She's 75 for Pete's sake.).

    But nothing for me. Oh, I've got an idea brewing to build what I hope to be the fastest thing under sail (or kite, anyway) out of a modified i550 design. But I also want to design something. My current thinking is something about halfway in between a stretched version of Weston Farmer's Sundance, the seaworthy Bartender, with elements of Whio .

    Lean, light, seaworthy and fuel-efficient (Hoping for about 12 MPG) commuter type. About 25 feet on the waterline and not much more than that overall. Cold molded, I reckon, or ply and plank. Maybe lapstrake ply. Twin engines, probably gas, of around 40 HP per. Raised decker, transom stern--double-enders always look a little clumsy to me, but I'd like to retain plenty of taper aft and quite a bit of tumblehome (nothing so outre as the Chris-Craft Barrelback), kind of more in line with the Lyman Islander. Reasonable (Spartan-ish) accomodations forward, reasonable cockpit aft. Speed on the top end to be around 30 MPH, steady cruising about 22. Good manners on all points and speeds of steaming are paramount. I have been in too many boats that do fine planing through chop and then show an appalling tendency to corkscrew in a big following sea: and far, FAR too many that will shake the coins right out of your pockets in anything other than cats-paws on the water. Looking for no more than 2500-2750 pounds all up with half tanks and a weekend's worth of beer and lamb kebabs on board (Plus my fat ***).

    I'm still in the cocktail-napkin doodling stage here, but I can tell I need to know more before I commit to doing this up with any kind of seriousness. Now, I've got a copy of Free!ship, and can *kind of* use it--I'm more comfortable with a 2B pencil and medium-toothed paper-- and I've got a good handle on scantlings, CG, etc. I just feel like I don't know enough to really commit to designing something to which I might one day be trusting my life.

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions? Am I gonna shoot my eye out? Or am I just being a coward?
  2. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    You aren't going to shoot your eye out! You may or may not achieve your stated performance goals. As far as safety goes I think it most likely that the hull will let you know. If she has bad traits they will show up as you gain experience in rougher conditiions. Caution and common sense can keep most trouble at bay most of the time.
  3. Trevlyns
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: London UK

    Trevlyns Senior Citizen/Member

    Totally agree. The important thing is to get started sooner than later. I spent more than five years mulling over a design and am now finally building it. Think of all the cruising I've missed out on :mad:

    Just do it!
  4. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    Great idea, will make a great project. I think you're on the right track; a long, relatively narrow, not too heavy hull will be easily driven. Each of the boats you look to for inspiration is well proven in rough seas. The dory and sea skiff designs have been proven in the school of big steep waves. The classic wood Wheeler and Pacemaker/Egg Harbor sportfishermen in the US were good examples of the proportions contributing to good seakeeping; going far offshore in all kinds of weather in search of game fish was their purpose. The older ones had a fine deep entry forward, leading to flat sections aft with round chines and a skeg. Bartender proved that the same type of entry with a hard chine vee bottom would handle as well and be easier to build. Go with the flat transom if you don't like the pointy rear, by all means. I can testify from personal experience that the Pacemaker design tracked well in quartering and following seas, and was far more miserly on fuel at 18-20 knots cruising speed than similar sized late model production cruisers.

    Just don't get so caught up in doing that you forget to post pix for us kibitzers! :D :D

  5. eponodyne
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Upper Midwest

    eponodyne Senior Member

    Thanks, all. I was lying in bed last night after posting that, and realized that probably my easiest path would be to take something like William Hand's Broncho and put a monohedron bottom on her.

    Not a whole lot of freeboard there, but the general proportions are definitely what I'm after.

    Maybe Bill Atkin's Haven, shrunk by 10%. [​IMG]

    That'd give me a package very close to what I'm looking for; the problem is the weight. Haven is a heavy boat, I think, given the 3/4" ply planking called for. I don't need that kind of stout, I'm not planning on having to dodge small-arms fire in 10-foot seas. So built as light as I could make her, she'd float well above her lines and be tiddly. Could I deal with that by reducing beam? Makes sense to me, but as acknowledged above, I'm no NA, just a doodler with an idea.
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