I want to buy(or sell?) a 110% complete SOF boat kit.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I've seen the plans and "partial kits" which seem to be just the fabric and plans.

    I want something I can take out of the box and turn into a complete ready-for-water boat on the carpeted living room of an apt.

    The frame and skin should be 'dry fitted' in the factory to ensure it will all work.

    All parts should be sequentially-numbered in assembly-order with bright colored removable tape tags AND permanent MagicMarker

    The kit would include instruction video and even any tools(because it would be cheap and take out any guess work; I've seen PhDs ruin things using a #1 Philips on #2 screws) needed for assembly.

    I figure it would be so much easier for the factory guy to cut all the frame and skin if he has done one already. Not everyone has the tools, skill or desire to learn how to do that.

    I would need to come with ALL parts and fasteners, because it is easier to have a guy how knows about them to put them in a box rather than have each amateur builder chasing odd-ball parts all over town.

    This would be sort of like an IKEA kit.

    Not meant for easy(or any) disassembly and stowage like a Folbot, but a lot cheaper.

    Easily shippable worldwide(except maybe Cuba-hee,hee)

    Maybe a few different grades/options of frame, fitting, fabric: aluminum or wood frame, stainless or brass fittings, and several grades of cover including clear.

    One suggested option for those without good storage would be to hang it from the ceiling of their apt. This would appeal to those wanting "modern art" to display. It would be practical due to feather light weight of these boats, and the fact that LandLords tend to only look hard for holes in the walls, not the ceiling. Just patch the holes with Crest Toothpaste on move-out.

    I figure a clear covered elongated rowing dory hanging in the living room over the coffee table could also serve as casual laundry depository.

    Any input before I submit this idea to some of the people in the SOF boat biz?

    Any "110%" kits on the market? By "110%" mean all parts and a few spares or extra material for common assembly mistakes.
  2. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    The biggest headache I see with such a kit is that you still have to coat the skin once it's stretched with some pretty nasty stuff, and I wouldn't want to do that in a carpeted room. Otherwise, no reason it couldn't be done. Am I aware of one? no.

    There are plenty of Stitch and glue kits out there, and some cedar strip ones as well, but I don't think I've seen a SOF one.
  3. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I guess the "wet work" could be done elsewhere once the boat

    is otherwise already.

    I'm guessing that is a process that is done in one or two 'fell swoops'.

    Might also be the perfect thing to 'outsource' to professionals or semi-pros; sort of like doing all the bondo filler and details in your own driveway on your auto restoration but paying some guy with a booth, respirator and spray guns to apply the finish coats of paint.

    The construction times for the SOF boats seems very high. I'd be willing to trade some weight for quicker assembly time, espeically for your entry level first timer.

    Then again, as far as applying resin to a boat inside your apartment, there is always the "You can get away with anything once if they haven't told you not to do it" school of thought. No Ex Post Facto and all that. Just tell the manager you had no idea the fumes were going to be so strong, and you wont do it again.
  4. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    The frame for my 16ft alloy framed SOF rowing boat took a little under 4 hours to put together, so not too long. I estimate that there may be another 10 to 12 hours work to get her finished, including painting.

    If I'd opted to used sawn plywood or HDPE frames then the build may have been slightly quicker. I seem to recall that Dave Gentry built "Ruth", his wooden framed SOF wherry, in around a week or so.

    Generally, I think that SOF can be a very quick and simple way to build a boat, probably a bit quicker than a stitch-and-glue ply build because there's less time spent fairing, sanding and finishing.

  5. breschau
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    Location: istanbul

    breschau Junior Member

    In house hypalon

    Its not only the laws. It is just dangerously unhealthy. Have you considered using leather like the original ones. Leather has magnificent ability to stretch when wet. Sewn leather skin sent with the kit, the builder just fits it by wetting and wax after dry out?
  6. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Jeremy, your build was exactly what I had in mind.

    Rather than the long-build-time super-optimized geodesic.http://www.gaboats.com/ But with a little engineering and a shop maybe the parts could be produced to make these fairly quick.

    There are some what seem to be totally complete SOF kayak kits, which I'm guessing are basically Folbot type that are glued and screwed together.http://www.unicornkayaks.com/dix-16-kayak.html

    I noticed you had to do some bond-O fill at the stem. I wonder if some stiff but flexible plastic sheet wouldn't work. Use bungie cords to pull it across the bow then use a heat-gun on it to allow it to more or less form fit.
  7. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    My frames are simple bent alloy tubes (no bender required as the tube bends nicely around 1" bobbins on a flat jig) and take around 10 mins each to make.

    I used epoxy glass over foam for the stem and transom because I'd set myself the daft challenge of using no wood anywhere in the boat. The stem and transom could both be easily and quickly cut from plywood, pretty much as Dave Gentry has done with "Ruth". The tubes could just be bonded/screwed into curved slots.

    Using plywood would add a little bit of extra weight (that frame as pictured on the other thread weighs 8.2kg, or about 18lbs) but would make the build quicker and easier. I only chose to make the boat without using wood because there's a design/build competition here that insists on the boats being built from wood; my choice is a sort of statement to make a point that reasonably good looking home-made boats don't need to use wood (this boat will be at the same show).

  8. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    What you want is called a folding boat. Lots of canoes & kayaks around like that, some will even sail. No parts cutting or gluing, and no finishing required for the frame or the skin. You can assemble it in the living room if you must then disassemble it when you discover it won't go through the door. Remember to double the manufacturer's stated assembly time . . .

    Unfortunately you want 110% quality for 25% of the price.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    most who are going to the trouble of building their own skin-on-frame would custom fit the frame to their size, a pre-cut kit would not allow for much size adjustment. So I suspect the market size for a ready to assemble kit would be rather small.

    Besides, with just a materials kits the only tools you need is a very sharp knife, a drill and perhaps a small hand saw. Another problem is it would be very costly to make such a kit, each part is trimmed and shaped to fit the other, a lot of hand work. Would enough people be willing to pay that much for pre-cut kit to save perhaps 10 to 20 hours of fitting and trimming? IT seems to me most do-it-yourselfers would rather save the money and scratch build, the final assembly and covering the frame with the skin is only about 5 hours worth of work, so it would not cost a lot less than buying one ready made from a custom builder.

    You could supply a skin made from pre-coated fabric already sealed at the seams, open at the deck center-line. You put it on and snug it into place and staple it on, cover the staples with caulk and a trim strip on the center line. No sealing required. You could use latex caulk (non-toxic) at any joints or areas that need sealing after the skin is on.

    The last skin on frame boat I built took 14 hours (with assistance), including cutting the stringers down from larger stock, and cutting out plywood frames. That also included making a sailing rig and rudder for it. Is that too much time? The only tools used were a circular saw, a Japanese pull saw, a drill, a hand held jig saw, a staple gun, scissors, some clamps and bungee cords.

    A simpler design without sail and rudder, and all the parts pre-cut out could be assembled in perhaps 5 to 6 hours by one person. But a kit with that level of detail would be rather costly, in the $700 range or more, while the basic material costs are about $100. You might sell a few, but I doubt there is that big of a market for such a kit.
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