Looking for guidance - want to build a dinghy

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Thule, Apr 4, 2023.

  1. Thule
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 60
    Likes: 15, Points: 8
    Location: Florida, US

    Thule Junior Member

    Good evening all


    I am one of the dreaded newbies :).
    I have been sailing Sunfish for a bit and would like to build a little boat. I have not built a boat before but have build coffee tables, done a basement completely and so on. So, not completely clueless with DIY but still please consider me a newbie as the set of skills will be different. I can learn using fiberglass/resin and follow directions. I got rid of most of my tools when moving states but will be buying tools as needed.


    Requirements...ish
    light weight and fast dinghy
    preferably 2-3 person, 12-16 ft
    to sail in the protected brakish waters in Florida
    does not need a motor
    want it to be pretty quick even in light breezes and open to any suggestions.
    to build it in my 2 car garage
    plan to sail it for a few hours at a time - i:e; 2-3 hrs tops any given sailing session


    Hoping to build it with Nidaplast core and a glass fiber sandwich
    https://www.boatbuildercentral.com/...t_Hou7j6GaG6jRSupRKrh-UuXF3uCBj0aAuzYEALw_wcB

    Ideally, light enough for my wife and I to pick it up and carry it to the water.
    Already have a place where we can store close to water.

    Budget is sort of open - obviously don't want to blow a lot, but around 2k to 3k is what I am expecting.

    I am leaning towards boats like
    SailBoats Falcon http://www.svensons.com/boat/?p=SailBoats/Falcon
    SailBoats Manu http://www.svensons.com/boat/?p=SailBoats/Manu

    However, if I change the material from what they suggest, I am thinking that the center of gravity, waterline, dynamics, stability will all change and I know precious little about boat design other than what I read online and muddling through John Teale design your boat.


    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. mc_rash
    Joined: Aug 2020
    Posts: 140
    Likes: 44, Points: 28
    Location: Netherlands

    mc_rash Senior Member

    Hi Thule,

    as I read your text I understand you want to use fibreglass for your boat? Sure this is possible and there are other wooden designs which have been redesigned to be made from fibreglass. This should most likely not be a structural nor a hydromechanical issue if proper done.

    ...but - you would need to make a mold, perhaps you would need special tools, etc. I would advise to go for plywood. It would be a less complex build, less time consuming and less expensive. Or go for a secondhand boat which fits your requirements.
     
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  3. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    I agree with mc_rash; for your size and budget you won't be able to beat plywood as a new build. While glass over core offers potentially less maintenance and longer life (perhaps too long), to make it as light and as fair as a plywood skiff takes considerable investment in equipment and jigging.

    Have you looked at what is available, plans, books and advice, from Duckworks or Wooden Boat?

    Plans & Kits - Plans by type - Sailboats - Open Sailboats to 14' - Page 1 - Duckworks Boat Builders Supply https://duckworks.com/plans/open-sailboats-to-14/
    Daysailer Plans https://www.woodenboatstore.com/collections/daysailer-plans
     
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  4. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Supporting the previous suggestions, such old designs wont be compatible with modern materials. You are making a lot of impossible design problems for yourself.

    "Ideally, light enough for my wife and I to pick it up and carry it to the water."

    For a Sunfish like experience, I spotted this 15' in the Plans Jehardiman suggested.
    For $25 for plans, you are saving yourself $500 worth of problems.

    "Woobo was designed for the "perfect skiff" competition that Wooden Boat magazine had about ten years ago"
    Woobo Plans PDF https://duckworks.com/woobo/

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Nidacore with a plastic liner would require vac bagging to get it super light. It is a lot of time and expense.

    The size you are going for is a little large for two man carry, but close to possible.

    Stitch n glue plywood is what I'd recommend; no specific plan knowledge,
     
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  6. HJS
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: 59 45 51 N 019 02 15 E

    HJS Member

  7. Thule
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 60
    Likes: 15, Points: 8
    Location: Florida, US

    Thule Junior Member

    Thanks Mc_Rash and JEHardiman. I did look at the plans on Duckworks and woodenboatstore. I will spend more time and look over again. Will you please look at what I wrote below under "What I had in mind". Will that obviate the need for a jig or a mould.

    RWatson - thanks for the suggesiton. I like the look of that Wooboo. I agree with the small investment on plans. I won't insist on my own design, I think that will be for the future if I have the stomach for more after the first one.

    Fallguy - I want to learn the Nidacore type stuff for the future projects too but I can see, one skill to learn at a time might be more easy to chew.

    HJS - that looks interesting. So, the half-laminated core panel bends away from outer skin so that it doesn't buckle up right. I am hoping to do something similar.

    What I had in mind:
    I was considering a plan of cutting a fully laminated shaped stations with protrusions that can lock in to the holes in the longitudinal panels. This is to avoid needing an external support. I was thinking of laminating the outer surface first, lock these outer panels on to the embedded framework of stations like a puzzle, then laminate the inside and one more lamination on the outside. Please see the attached and badly drawn image.

    Thanks all for your time and advise.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    The use of Tabs is common in many pre-cut kits. It seems a good idea IF you get the locations right.
    In a commercial kit, they will be.

    If you want to design them yourself, then you ( or another paid person) will need to master a CAD Package, "draw" the slots, and then "unpeel the surface", and then CNC cut the panels.

    I would bet $100 that you wont find the style of boat you want, in a kit, with the Tabs pre-cut.

    IF you know a CAD program, and you want to develop a new skill, then you can design it yourself or digitise a commercial plan, and get a the local Joiner to CNC the panels.
    Note - I did that, and it cost nearly as much to CNC cut each plywood sheet, as the actual plywood cost.

    Here is what the pre-cut panels would look like. Notice the slots to place the frames into.


    PTSkiffSlots.jpg
    http://www.ptwatercraft.com/images/skiffpanels_med.jpg

    From experience, on a small boat like this, making a strong back with frames, and then placing a stitched hull of plywood over it, is not that onerous. We are probably only talking 3 - 4 frames.
    You will have to weigh it up with the possibly months of work learning and perfecting your CAD skills

    Here is a good summary of doing a stitch and glue hull without tabs, to see if you can envisage it


    Here is a photo of frames on my stitch and glue Kayak, which I got a CAD expert to create cutting files for, from commercial plans, and had CNC cut by a local joiner.
    BottomPlanksOnMoulds.JPG

    It all comes down to cost in the end. Remember, that perfection is the enemy of progression.
     
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  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    That's worth repeating.
     
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  10. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

  11. Thule
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 60
    Likes: 15, Points: 8
    Location: Florida, US

    Thule Junior Member

    Hi Bluebell

    I am not against using whichever method makes life easier :)
    I will look over the video you linked and the photo of your setup doesn't look onerous indeed.
    Thanks
     
  12. Thule
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 60
    Likes: 15, Points: 8
    Location: Florida, US

    Thule Junior Member

  13. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    Hmmmm, which links and video would those be?
    I believe you have confused me with someone else, I haven't posted any links or video.

    From what you've said so far, a stitch-and-glue from a proven design sounds like the way to go.

    Best of luck, post pictures of your build.

    BB
     
  14. Thule
    Joined: Apr 2023
    Posts: 60
    Likes: 15, Points: 8
    Location: Florida, US

    Thule Junior Member

    You are right. Sorry, they are form RWatson
    Thanks for the wishes - I will need them :)
     
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  15. voodoochile
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 57
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    Location: Macau SAR

    voodoochile Junior Member

    get a cheap second hand project dinghy. fix the dings, get it on the water.
     
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