Lifelong dream plans L.F. Herreshoff/Cherubini44 lines

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by freeh612, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. freeh612
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    freeh612 Junior Member

    This is my first thread so go easy on me. It has been a lifelong dream to design and build my own boat, a one off design. I am at a place in life that I believe I can do it. Assuming that my skill is refined enough and finance and time are available. I have 2 bright eager young sailing sons to share in the experiance/adventure of building a boat and very importantly I have a supportive wife.
    I have grown to love L.F. Herreshoff designs and also what I believe may be a well refined Herreshoff design the Cherubini 44 or 48. At first I thaught I would build a Herreshoff Araminta because she is so so beautifull, but I need a boat more suited for cruzeing and livaboard use. The Cherubini 44 would be a perfect match for these requirments and satisfy asthetic needs. I have a book with the Cherubini 44 lines and I believe that I can extrapolate with the aid of the proper design software a set of working plans that closely meets these parameters. My thaughts so far would be to build a female mould streight off without first building a plug. Then after carefull planning produce a solid hull by vacume infussion possibly using a copossite layup of carbon fiber e-glass.
    Any thaughts and or constructive input would be greatly appreciated.
    What software would be best to help me achieve this goal?

    Thanks Friedy
     
  2. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    philSweet Senior Member

    welcome Friedy,

    Um, can we back up a bit. What is your background and experience? How many boats have you tinkered with or built? Have you any experience with or access to the vacuum bagging technology needed to do such a thing?

    Would you be prepared to spend double on the price of materials compared to a new Cherubini, plus build, buy, or rent the facility to construct it in? It's kind of like someone showing up on an amateur aircraft site wanting to build a F-18 Hornet in their backyard.

    The usual advise is to build a few smaller ones first. And if the point is to acquire the skills to build bigger ones, build from kits. You can set up the vacuum bagging to make hatch covers and trailer fenders for them. The only software you need is YP.com. When you get to building at this level, you'll want the software your suppliers use. Farm out the number crunching. Hire an NA. Hire a couple ex Cherubini people for three years.

    But every now and then someone shows up that does have the sort of background and resources to pull this sort of thing off. I think you will find that this forum has members that can support any level of build you can manage.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    The Cherubini 44 and her sister the 48 are some of the most beautiful production yachts built. Of the 3 dozen or so built, they all don't last long on the resale market. Of the two I prefer the 48.

    Unless you have considerable design expertise as well as 'glass building experience, a project like this is simply a pipe dream. I'm not looking to shoot down your balloon, but this is a huge and costly project. To give you an idea, there's currently a 44 on the market, it's one of the first generation models and early in the run, but it still is commanding a quarter of a million bucks, including it's 3 decade old hardware.

    The 44 and 48 are out of production, but the MK II versions where available just a few years ago. Buying one of these will be considerably more then the MK I's of the late 70's, early 80's. These prices would pale in comparison to a vacuum infused, carbon composite build (no real advantage to this BTW).

    So, if you have a high 6 figure budget, are willing to learn enough about yacht design and engineering (at this level), you might get 'er done in less than a decade. Of course, if you have a mid to high 6 figure budget, you could just buy one of the last MK II's when one comes up on the market (they don't very often), which saves you a bunch of effort and work and naturally money, as you'll easily spend twice as much designing and building a similar model.

    How much engineering experience do you have? How much sailing experience? How much large yacht building experience?
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    An extremely ambitious undertaking, I think PAR said somewhere he'd never seen an amateur builder complete any boat over 40 feet, it is a helluva job and life is just too short to take on something like this from scratch, imo.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    That's right, I've never seen a 40' or bigger project completed by an amateur builder. I've seen quite a few started, many a ruined marriage, but never a launch. Now I have seen 40'+ boats completed in back yards, but everyone was from a builder, who's spent years in the industry. The last one I saw was a buddy of mine in my childhood home town. He'd spent a life time as a builder and slowly worked on his retirement yacht, eventually finishing in several years and master piece resulted, fitting of his master craftsman status at retirement.
     
  6. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    Curiously I have only seen a few boats over 30 feet or so completed by amateurs. I have seen above 40 but very rarely. One was completed by a friend that was born and lived in one of the worst ghettos in the US. He built it himself (with some help from friends), lived on it and sailed it regularly. She was not a pretty thing but functional---he was in love. It was always good entertainment to watch a snotty white guy in Topsiders come to discover this ghetto jive talking black man had a bigger nicer boat than theirs.
    As to the idea of designing and building a Cherubini by an amatuer---I'd say, and trying not to flat out shoot you down, that you need to sit down and do some careful and honest thinking. I don't know what the man hours numbers on a factory built Cherubini are, but I can tell you that building a one off by a pro shop would be somewhere above the 50 thousand hour mark. That is somewhere north of 25 man years... minimum. Stop and think about where 6250 work days are going to fit in to your life? That is after you learn to design it!
    Could someone pull this off? I don't doubt it for a second but it would be an exceptional achievement by a very driven and well funded individual.
     
  7. freeh612
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    freeh612 Junior Member

    WOW GUYs
    I am truly pleased to get such thoughtful responses Thank you! Thank you! I don't take your experienced and realistic comments in a negative way at all. They are rather fuel for the fire in my belly. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan son of professionals sailing and racing on the Great lakes since I was a kid. Sailing formed me and in-fact saved me from being a truly troubled and lost kid. I am not a professional engineer! After the Navy I graduated from the maritime academy in Mich. and sailed in the merchant marines. I then started my own family here in Minnesota. I have always worked with my hand in the trades. My father a very successful Architect called me a "kunstler" an artist. I don't have a 6 figure salary and I don't wear topsiders and kakis. I have always built and made my own way. I built my home my furniture and I am not exaggerating when I say that building a boat has always been in my dreams. I ponder the complexities and details day and night. I have come to realize that there isn't anything I can't build well once I set my mind to it. Welding, woodworking what ever it is I do it well. I am inventive, clever and resourceful. Imagine though growing up in the midwest that there are few people like you to talk to. I am thrilled for this contact and friendly discourse.
     
  8. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Interesting but not really helpful. From *one* designer - the one who I bought plans off - he says that over 700 Gazelles have been built, the vast majority by their owners. That's a 42' design.

    Then there's George Buehler's designs which have been built by amateurs. You might not think much of them, but they are big boats and they have been built.

    Then, thinking locally, there are a hell of a lot of John Pugh and Joe Adams boats about the place built by their owners.

    Then, there's a couple I know who are about 6 weeks off launch day for a 40' carvel planked double ender and they've never built a boat before this one. Lovely piece of workmanship it is, too.

    I'm on the fitting out stage of my 12m hull and barring a major accident or the like, I *will* finish it as I know precisely what I need to do to get it done. I've never built a boat of *any* size before this one.

    So I'd say that building a boat over 40' can most certainly be done by someone who's never done it before. You just need time, money, space and a *great* deal of persistence....

    PDW
     
  9. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Go for it but IMO do *not* design one and take to heart the comments about the cost of building versus buying. You cannot build cheaper than buying and the only reason for building a boat is, you really, really want to.

    In which case prepare to sacrifice many, many years to the project. Time & money is equivalent to displacement not length so it doesn't take much in length to increase cost enormously. With that in mind, get a divorce first so you know just how much in the way of assets you have left to dedicate to the project, then find a new house on a big block of land and build a barn capable of holding the boat and all the tooling you will need.

    Or build a dinghy, get over the 'big boat build' thing, charter or buy a big boat and go sailing.

    PDW
     
  10. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    Building a boat is enormously more complicated than building a house. Now I know that telling you this is just making you want to do it even more, but this really is something that you either do because you want something to build rather than something to sail.

    Because for the cost of building her, over the 5-10 years it will take you, you could well have taken your wife on 5-10 increadible sailing trips in exotic places of the world

    Consider that if this costs you $200,000 to build (and that's a low estimate) - over 10 years - that's a $20,000 sailing vacation every year. For that price you can fly first class to anywhere in the world, charter a 45'er complete with cook for a week, and have change left over.
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What hasn't been addressed here is the proposal to build a "female mould straight off without first building a plug", which would be much easier said, than done. Don't think many have gone down that route.
     
  12. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I'm not sure whether it would be possible but if you like the Cherubini why not contact the manufacturer and see if they can supply a part built boat eg. hull shell and major structural items constructed maybe to lock up stage. That way you can still make it "your" boat by completing the fitout?
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I didn't say it can't be done, though I haven't seen it done, except by builders of previous experience.

    I wonder what shape the Cherubini molds are in - might be worth a phone call. Of course if agreeable, it'll cost a fair bit to rent, but even if you get at all the molds and have the deck cap and liners too, you'll still be looking at 75% - 85% of the build, in regard to effort and cost to tackle.

    Though I love the Cherubini creations, maybe a stock plan will work. Have you checked what's available?
     
  14. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I like your overall dream, I have two daughters and though they like playing around on a boats with us, neither have the determination to make something that ambitious work in our family. Wife also seems reluctant to want to live on a boat for long voyages, If we ever do it my wife might fly out to our destination and than fly home after a few weeks.

    I have thought about the same thing, I have even built some 2O or so small boats, kayaks and dinghy sailors, but I do not think I want to spend that many years building an ocean going yacht. I have also thought about buying a neglected cruiser (they can be had cheap in many boat yards), and than outfitting it the way I want, at the fraction of the cost of building from scratch. But that too can be costly, there are lots of "just completed" restorations for sale for far less than the cost of the restoration. so it would seem foolish to build from scratch both financially and time wise, you can be cruising ten years soon for a fraction of the cost just to buy a boat that is ready to do. Let someone else do the restoration and than after divorce, or ill health, forced to sell it cheap.

    I have over 30 years as a professional engineer with both automotive and aerospace experience, and 20 years with my own consulting firm in structural desgn. I have studied number of texts on yacht design as well, and even with that experience I am not confident that I have the skills to design a whole ocean going yacht properly. there are a lot of aspects of design that I would have to learn, and if I make a mistake, all that time and effort, and cost, would be wasted. I would not do it, I would find a competent NA to be in charge of the deign, who would work from my requirements, and perhaps allow me to do the design aspect that I do feel confident to do (using the NA as "checker" for my work, just to double check me).

    You also may find you do not like working with toxic compounds for a decade or more, that are used to make composite hulls, I know I would not (and I have some amateur boat building experience).

    Here is what I would suggest: find a dinghy design that you like using the construction method you are planing and build that first. You will get both some building experience, and you can use it for a tender on your future yacht.

    Than I would look around for a suitable sailboat, of the size you want, that is ready to sail and buy it. spend a few years outfitting it the way you want and doing shorter multiday local cruises. Learning the skills and equipment you will need or want on your "big" trip.

    when you are all done, whether you take the big trip or not, the boat will have value since it was a proven design and presumably professionally built, and be easier to sell later, either when you realize the crusing life is not for you, or after you become too old to use it.

    Consider if you design and build your own boat what it would be worth when you are done: you take a known design by a well known designer, bastardize it with your own ideas and structural design, with an unknown quality of build, and unknown reptuation of an amatour designer, you sink a LOT of precious time and money into it, and when you are done, you can only sell it for a fraction of it true value only because there are so many unknowns.

    OTOH, if you at least use a well known and highly respected navel architect, it will have more resale value. If you start with an already built boat that was done in a professional ship yard, and all you did was restore and refit it, than it will have that much more intrinsic value when it is done. When the time comes you that you can not sail it, at least it could add perhaps $250k to your retirement fund when you sell it.

    That is likely the way I will go when the time comes. Life is not long enough to spend a decade or two building a boat when you can buy a good one for far less and have it ready to go right away.
     

  15. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    One thing to consider with kids is what you want them to remember you as focusing on.

    If you want them to learn to love sailing... go sailing. Charter, buy dinghies. build dingies they can beat up. ec.


    if you want them to learn to love building - but not care about sailing. Build your boat.


    But unless you have deep deep pocketses. you aren't going to be able to do both. So you have to chose.
     
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