Modified Bolger “Idaho” for tourism. Safe Design?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Tropical Sailor, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I do not know what has been said in this forum, what I do know is that the SOLAS gives the following definition:

    (e) A passenger is every person other than:
    • (i) the master and the members of the crew or other persons employed or engaged in any capacity on board a ship on the business of that ship; and
    • (ii) a child under one year of age.
    (f) A passenger ship is a ship which carries more than twelve passengers.
  2. Tropical Sailor
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    Tropical Sailor Junior Member

    Cool. Thanks.

    Con mas razón, no debó de tener problemas aka.

  3. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Sí, pero podía intentar llevar más pasajeros, lo cual es bueno para el negocio.
  4. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    If you can design it to pass the inspectors, the number of pasajeros, turistas, does not matter does it?
  5. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    A project should always comply with the regulations and with the inspectors. What I mean is that it is worth considering how many people can go on board the boat as she is now, on the other hand, the minimal changes necessary to transport, for example, 14 passengers, 16 .... (+ crew).
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    You want simplicity so your kids can build it, use it, and make money.

    So, why go electric?
  7. Tropical Sailor
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    Tropical Sailor Junior Member

    Found more specs on Idaho

    Hello Everyone,

    I found this info on a designer’s website. Since we´ve been discussing Idaho’s safety and how many people she can carry I thought I´d paste the info below. As you can see. It says she´s designed for 10 people. I guess a crew of 2 and 8 passengers would work then. More so when you consider her cruises would only be for 2 or 3 hours max. I only have one questions and it’s not about the boat. I found this info on a web site where a certain designers sells plans for his boats, but mixed in with his own are many of Bolger’s designs. If you read to the final you´ll see the designer offers to adapt the plan to a “gentleman’s speed boat”. Well, this made me curious. If Bolger’s widow is still selling plans, how can this person sell Bolger’s plans also. And I read on a blog of a certain amateur builder that he bought Bolger plans from the same website and the person gave him phone support. He came recommended. But how can the person afford to give phone support if he is only selling the plans to help the widow or if it’s for a small commission. Or have the copyrights or something expired on the Bolger plans and now anyone can sell them that is willing to give support?


    •LENGTH - 31'0"
    •BEAM - 5'3"
    •EMPTY WEIGHT - 1200 lbs
    •DRAFT - 4"
    •SLEEPS - 2 Adults
    •DAY CRUISE - Up to 10 Adults
    •POWER - 7-25 HP Outboard (25 HP Honda is Ideal)
    •BUILDING TECHNIQUE - Instant Boat Building
    •MATERIAL - 1/2" & 3/8" Plywood, Framing Lumber, Acrylic Sheet, Epoxy, Fiberglass Tape
    •WHAT YOU RECEIVE (PDF)- Plans and Manual by E-Mail. Take to a printer and have them printed out.
    •PRICE PDF- $105.00
    •PRICE PAPER - $120.00


    Reminiscent of a power launch from the turn of the century, Idaho the only really viable outboard cruising boat available today. Other so called OB cruisers all have one or more of four major problems.
    •The first problem is most modern OB cruisers work on the assumption that cruisers should be fast. In fact no one can or really wants to take the pounding of going over 12-15 knots on water for any length of time.
    •Second, to go fast, today's OB cruisers must have huge motors. Even if you have an unlimited bank account you will be hard pressed to feed one of these brutes or to find gas two or three times a day while cruising.
    •Third, the accommodations seem to have been added as an after thought. The berth's are cramped, the galley is clever but almost nonfunctional and there is no or very inadequate head facilities.
    •Finally, the average cost of available OB cruisers is over $18,000. This means that most of them are owned by the bank.

    Idaho is the answer to all of these problems. She is extremely efficient, being capable of maintaining 14 knots (over 18 m.p.h.) on only 12 hp.! This is about the maximum comfortable travel speed on water and is much faster than the fastest sailboat. With 25 hp Idaho is capable of a maximum speed of about 25 knots. Idaho is long enough to stretch over the waves in a normal chop, delivering a smooth comfortable ride. The motor is far enough away that it doesn't intrude on your awareness, a major consideration in cruising. Her efficiency is demonstrated by the fact that she makes practically no wake. Of course with only 15-25 hp she daintily sips teacups of gas instead of gulping it by the gallon.

    Idaho's open cabin has room for two inflatable mattresses, a screened off area for a porta-potty, and room for a two burner Coleman stove and other galley amenities. Using plywood and epoxy construction Idaho is inexpensive to own and operate, especially when compared to what is available, and will maintain her value for years to come.

    Idaho is for anyone who wants an extremely easy to build, fast, efficient, comfortable and affordable camp cruiser that is faster than any sailboat. With so much enclosed space I can get out of the rain, she almost doubles my boating and camping season here in the rainy northwest. My Idaho took me about six months to build, part time and cost me less than 20% of a new Bay liner. In addition, she is much less expensive to operate, is more comfortable and a better camper. One final feature of Idaho is that by having a a flat run from the bow to the stern she is fully wheelchair accessible. If you are so inclined, it is a simple task to modify Idaho by decking her over with a couple of open cockpits making her into a gentleman's speedboat.
  8. Tropical Sailor
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    Tropical Sailor Junior Member

    Catch 22

    You're right, it´s a hard choice. I´ve tried to instill a sense of ecological responsibility. And I´d like to see some Green design brought into the Project, but the most important thing is that they learn how to build and can make a living. Be it from boatbuilding, boat repair, tourism, fishing or anything else. I had hoped that if we could complete just one hull before I have to go that I could give them a 55lb thrust Minkota that I have on my Cal. I could probably spring for a couple of batteries and solar panels, too. I´ve been making contacts while I´ve been here and there are some subsidy programs from the government for solar panels for ranches to power their water pumps for drop irrigation. The guy that sells the system is sympathetic to what I´m doing here and he could get me deal on a couple of panels. So, if I could leave this guys with a working boat, even though it’s a trolling motor and 400 watts of solar power, they could get started.

    The costs of outboards here are very high. More than in the states. For someone so economically challenged, it would be very difficult to acquire a new gasoline engine. But I´m looking into other ideas. If it can´t be green, then at least it´s got to be affordable. I´m thinking of adapting Briggs and Stratton lawnmower motors to old OB lower units. Also, horizontal shaft type Briggs and Stratton’s to inboard shafts, replacing old diesels and gas engines. From my first thread there are pictures of old skiffs. These old boats are abandoned all over the area. Maybe we could do a repair with epoxy and fiberglass cloth and replace the old engine as I´ve said. This could create many fishing boats for not only these kids but many others as well.
  9. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    Green technology is not cost effective in automobiles.

    If they had been serious about not polluting the environment, they would not have used NAFTA to send jobs to Asia. The pollution in Asia is more than 4 times what the same work would have been had they left the jobs in the US and Mexico.

    Electric batteries are environmental hazards - from mercury to lead. And it is very difficult in marine systems for electric to produce less green house emissions than gasoline or diesel.

    You are not supposed to take lithium batteries on planes .... fire hazards now.

    Mexican kids can understand and deal with gasoline a lot better than they can deal with current electrical (battery) technologies.


    You might be able to get funding from some groups for 'green' over not green technology, and that might be a consideration, but current levels of technology are not working very well.

    Only Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla are making any progress. And there are arguments for their succeeding or failing.

    And it is a whole lot easier to introduce green technology in a car than on a boat - A WHOLE LOT.


    PS instead of worrying them about technology - teach them to plant trees, and use similar green technologies which do work.

    Sod houses - especially cob houses are simple, and similar to the technology they already use.
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Empty weight means nothing in it, likely just the raw hull weight, nothing else. 10 guests, including crew is a ton, plus equipment, plumbing, tanks, engine, controls, steering, etc. Assuming about 120 sq. ft. water plane, your PPI would be about 630 pounds, so a 10 person compliment, would push her down over 3" and this doesn't count gear, tankage and stores.

    The speeds advertised are with a skipper aboard, maybe with his wonder dog Fidel, but little else. Add a few coolers full of beer, a deck hand and 8 guests, and you can expect these speeds (and efficiency) to drop considerably. Adding batteries will just exasperate this issue.

    She would offer a large area for PV panels, but you'll need a lot more to keep up with propulsion and other electrical needs, so a generator (more weight) will be necessary.
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    •DAY CRUISE - Up to 10 Adults

    Ask the plans seller if this capacity is to USCG Subchapter T

    Just because you are in Mexico is no reason to build to kill.
  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    Put at least one AMA on it. It will greatly enhance your safety, use the seats to make built in additional life preservers ....
  13. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I think this comment is totally out of place. You could have avoided it with little effort on your part.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  14. Timothy
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    Timothy Senior Member

    Perhaps at your location if you only wish to go out from lets say 10 am till 4pm then you could get your idea to work . Sunset cruises of short duration might be possible. I think you would have to at least double the solar panel output to 4000 wats and use the semi flexible variety that weigh 4 lbs per hundred wats instead of 40 lbs for the more readily available rigid glass ones. Get rid of most of the batteries. You will need to build light . Keep the weight of the entire build ( panels, batteries and motor included to less than 2500 lbs if you want a 2000 wat motor ,say a Torqeedo, to push the boat with two crew and eight passengers at at 5 to 6 knots. It might be possible to build stitch and glue with ply and meet the weight target. I think you will need a longer hull with one or two amas. At present the solar panels motor and batteries would cost at least from $12,000.00 to $20,000.00 depending on how many and what type of batteries, and which motor you decide to use. Prices for the light weight semi flexible solar panels are going down daily ( I just bought four Chinese 100 wat panels that weigh less than 20lbs altogether, for less than $1000.00), as I suspect will the price and weight of batteries.

  15. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Hi Tropical Sailor,
    From the description of the place you are at Rio Lagartos Yucatan...Am I right?
    There are plenty of sea food restaurants and tours of the "river" by local fishermen on small boats at 95% the tanga Inmensa 26 feet (about 6 feet wide) with Yamaha Enduro 2 strokes 60 HP outboards. It's the standard equipment, as the Yucatan government gave them practically for free a few years ago.

    Tourist tours boats can be operated only by Mexican. That means you can own and build the boat only through a company like a SA de CV, which is a Mexican moral entity even if the associates are foreigners (for all the fiscal implications consult the SAT and the SECOFI and a good "contador publico").
    The boat will be registered at the local Capitania de Puerto. Consult the SCT offices at Merida for the security rules, and ask about the construction...It seems that there are "local" practices of the SCT, and the answers given by the office of Merida do not match exactly with those given by Cancun even if the SCT is a federal administration...Progreso's shipyards have their acquaintances in the SCT offices, so they can get through the labyrinth.
    The capitan and marineros must be Mexican, and the lone job you can do on the boat as foreigner is guide. Inmigracion administration is very nervous in this moment because of the corruption problems they had, and also because of the recession; consult a good lawyer at Merida about the working permits for you. It's not so simple nowadays.

    Generally, because of the administrative complications and the amount of eventual "mordidas", most foreigners have the boat registered and operated by a Mexican "associate". That can work, that can be dangerous if the associate is indelicate...But surely you must have the acceptance of the locals for working, if they feel you're taking work from them with your boat, your life will be miserable. The best is to get new tourism through an Internet site, and to give job to the the restaurants and "tiendas de artesanias". There are a lot of good people in Yucatan, but unhappily there is also a long record of exploitation of the Mayans, so they look friendly at first sight but are very cautious.

    So you plan to make a boat for tourist tours...what material? If you thought about wood, plywood and epoxy for "cheap" boat, forget it as you'll have to import all the materials. I have never seen a marine plywood sheet in Mexico, except those I have imported and that was for rich customers from the Federal District. For the woods you have the cedro, jabín and some others but they are generally heavy hard woods, not very convenient for boatbuilding and it's very hard to get pieces of more than 8 feet. You'll have to survey the sawing, plus treat and dry it yourself as the local standards are too low.

    Remains the GRP. You have at Merida "Resinas y Fibras". The quality of the material is not great but enough for a low standard boat. Most of the resins are orthophtalic not the best for marine use. There is a provider Pedro Calzada in Mexico city with Nidacore (now 3M), glass, eventually Coremat, and resins of far better quality.
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