Life is too short to fair above the waterline

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Lachie, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Lachie
    Joined: May 2016
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    Location: Airlie Beach & Phuket

    Lachie Junior Member

    I am starting this thread to assist those of us who are not financially endowed that they can realise their dreams. My first major endeavour was a Woods Gypsy back in 1996, built making the hulls out of fibreglass panels instead of ply with all ply above the gunwales. Built for $25k using second hand sails, mast, winches and new outboard. When you are building yourself you have the time to look for gear at the right price. That boat "Vela" is still sailing today. Remarks made in forums were very strong but agricultural , ie. Not very shiny above the waterline.

    Since then I have built (to keep myself sane) a number of multihulls including an Aldridge Slider in Phuket ( with longtail motor and 160%genoa only). A Kohler Eco 5.5 using a cheap fibreglass panel (400gsm and honeycomb) because polyester is cheaper than beer in Thailand . Others have been a hovercraft (far too noisy) and back in Oz due to covid have just finished a Kohler Duo 480c but with laser mast and sail and Hobie-wave rudders. Still to be tested ( could end a disaster but has been fun building).
    All have been built by a wood butcher whose main desire has been to get out on the water with a boat that is strong, cheap but close up is not a thing of beauty . The Duo took 2.5 months to build, all ply epoxied and 200 GSM to the gunwales. Cost $2000 AU and 10 weeks.
    I don't expect that archaeologists will find its remains in 20 years, but I will have had fun over the next few years. If I had decided to fair and make these boats into a thing of beauty, it would have been double to triple time spent. I am not knocking those that make beautiful boats ( I enjoy and love looking), but am giving hope to those that are lacking in the finer points of construction ( wood butcher) like myself. I hope that this thread will motivate those who have fears as to the result and that others can suggest ways and means to assist.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I am sure that many folk on here will take heart from your experiences Lachie.

    Could you post some photos on this thread of the boats that you have built please?
     
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  3. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If anyone queries the slickness of the finish, you tell them it is eco-friendly "sustainable shabby".
     
  4. Burger
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Australia

    Burger Junior Member

    I remember checking out Vela when she was in Airlie, as I always liked the Gypsy design. A fine example of Richard Woods' "50-ft. boat" concept. A boat that looks good from 50 ft. distance. You have to get up close to see that it's not finished like a grand piano or a Rolls Royce.
    I look forward to seeing the Duo on the water.
     
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  5. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    A friend and I were sailing his boat on lake Champlain when we saw this one in the back of an Anchorage. We tacked carefully through all the other boats just to get a closer look. Not your classic beauty, but the most interesting boat on the lake, for sure.

    The guy built it himself from an old dory. The yard was a very rough hewn natural tree. Very un-fancy.
    20190817_144631.jpg 20190817_144945.jpg 20190817_144955 (1).jpg
     
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  6. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    wet feet Senior Member

    That looks like a St Pierre dory.John Gardner published the lines and building details.The question of fairness and finish quality is an interesting thing to ponder.On one side of the builder's mind there is an intense desire to go boating in a sound boat very soon.On the other side of the brain there is usually a growing sense of "well if I build another one,I'd change this and this and this....".Which often means the first one has to be finished to a level that would persuade somebody to hand over a pile of cash to own it.Which dictates that the finish needs to be of a reasonably high quality.The alternative is the scenario where you discover a good fishing lake in the middle of nowhere and you build a boat that is structurally sound,with a view to leaving it at the lake,inverted and under a tarp,rather than transporting it each trip.All it has to do is float and looks aren't even secondary.
     
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  7. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Taralga NSW

    aussiebushman Innovator

    Actually that is rather pretty. I wish I had thought to make a two-level cabin on the nasty little cat I built out of bits left over from when my lovely trimaran was stripped and torched by the usual druggie-suspects . (Hence the name "Bitzer").
    Mine really IS ugly but at does at least have sitting headroom, a bunk, a galley, icebox, storage for gear and a decent cockpit etc. One day, I might even get it finished!
     

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  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Well, I like her - beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if she meets your Statement of Requirements (re the accommodation, gear storage, range etc) then you are much better off than somebody who might have a stereotypically 'pretty' boat which does not meet working expectations.

    At least the arsonists did not manage to torch the outrigger hulls - excellent that they can now find a new life as hulls for a neat little power cat.
    Can you post a few more photos of her please?
     
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  9. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    15B6065C-FA77-4168-A1B3-F236D4E4AFB0.jpeg ugh...fairing can be hell..look close at my jaws...they are swollen from gritting my teeth doing hard fairing sanding work
     
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  10. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    aussiebushman Innovator

    Thank you - you are most kind.
    At present, she looks terrible having sat in the paddock for months while I modified the trailer and put off fixing the hull damage but I'm back into that now.
    Here are some more pictures of the exterior - it is dark now but I'll photograph the interior in the morning and post them.​
     

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  11. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    aussiebushman Innovator

    I only just noticed that you referred to her as a "power cat" Indeed, there is a 5hp outboard but as crazy as it may seem, it will carry a 16' skiff mast and simple Bermudian rig (all second hand stuff). The mast steps on the cabin roof with a solid mast partner under it and on which the "saloon" table is mounted Hard to see in these pictures, but there are Barient winches on the cockpit coamings, also clutches for the headsail on the cabin top.
    I have yet to fit the single drop-own dagger-board and rudder - a bit of an engineering feat
     
  12. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Taralga NSW

    aussiebushman Innovator

    Is that recently-grown grey hair or epoxy dust?​
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Haha! Epoxy dust. I probably should be using a makeup air unit, but close to finish line now.
     
  14. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Ok weird idea but it could be interesting to share ideas or examples for simple and rough finishes that look nice and different from typical rough fiberglass or painted finishes.

    If you look at that old and beautiful wood boat it's still got plenty of beautiful details to look at. I suspect in it's prime it was a gorgeous boat.

    I believe there are some textures that we perceive as pretty like wood and some not so much like orange peel or OSB. It might have to do with overlaying multiple "frequencies" of details. So plenty to look at for the human brain and it helps covering up not fair surfaces.
    Like wood grain has relatively sharp lines, then but also the curves of the knots and then overall growth shapes.

    One thing I've seen on Adam Savage youtube is paint and wipe. Like with orange peel or details you'd fill in all the valleys and when you wipe you get a quite different look to it. Pre-weathered but in a pretty way. Not sure how/why this is different from painting and sanding. Then maybe add another level of detail to it, some quick and simple to paint wave pattern or some large stencil thing. Then maybe a very coarse brush like a broom. Maybe paint some rivets on it haha. Then spray a glossy PU finish? Unfortunately as with many things I have lots of ideas and little experience.

    Or get some local Graffiti artists. Ask your local constabulary where to find them haha.

    Of course on the other hand bright white and glossy has functional advantages like cooler temperatures and less dirt sticks to glossy surface.
     

  15. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Epoxy based knock down for boats would be awesome. Just rough fair and xome through with a gun and rubber knives...done..time to paint.

    S/W has epoxyone part hospital paint I used in my boat cabins. It finishes really great with a fine roller and a light backroll done correctly.
     
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