Modifying plastic outrigger for wood build...??..??

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by weedeater64, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    I have this book, and like the Wa'apa for a simple build.

    However I don't like the idea of a plywood boat sealed in plastic. I'm thinking of using the hull shape and building a 16 or 18 footer with sawn timber, 1x12's and the like.

    I'm fortunate to have a lumber yard here that has pine, spruce and cedar boards of up to 1x12x16'.

    Thinking of going with pine for sides and spruce for bottom. Maybe pine throughout. Possibly with something else for chines, sheer.. et al..

    Not sure how much heavier it would be, if any (no glass or epoxy).

    Assuming it would be a bit heavier, what do you guys think would be a good width/length to keep it from being a complete pig?

    The plans call for 23 1/4" width, I was thinking of rounding up to 24" ?..?? For ease of building, as well as budget, I'd like to stick to 16', but this isn't written in stone. Though 18' to 20' would be about max for transport reasons as I think I'd like to keep it in one peice not the break down unit described in the book. (two piece 16' or three piece 24')

    I welcome any and all ideas/thoughts.

    One more thing, how would you guys plank the bottom? Cross plank or full length, dory style?

    Edit: I realize bottom planks need to be narrower than 12".
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  2. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    I just recently purchased this book though I haven't looked at Wa'apa in great detail. Plywood is a stronger built, but it is also heavier than pine. I suspect that the pine you will be using is thicker than the ply and so the weight may be comparable. You will most likely need to edge join a couple of boards. Dowels or bisquits will help to keep things aligned, but there may be a need for additional framing(4' center, maybe) with stiffeners on 2' centers between the frames for the sides if you have needed to join multiple boards. I would run the bottom lengthwise is at all possible. Cross planked will also work, but personally I don't think it is as desirable. You will want chine logs as well. 1x2's (.75x1.5) should work. Epoxy would still be my adhesive of choice. Otherwise, screws and your glue of choice(waterproof) should get you on the water reasonably well.
     
  3. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    Quite a bit thicker, plans call for 1/4' ply, I'm planing on using 1x, so 7/8" ?,..

    But ya, without the epoxy and resin I don't think the weight will be too much greater.

    I have been somewhat concerned over this. I would have to use probably 4 or five boards on the bottom (planked lengthwise). I am unsure as to whether I should caulk with cotton as described by Rabl, Buehler, Chapelle.. Or if I could edge glue with Gorrlla, Titebond lll, or construction glue.

    I figured on using cleats on the floor (Poplar maybe ? Framing lumber possibly ?) if planking lengthwise, as with dories and English punts.. Sides will be one peice per side (1"x12") for starters, may add 4" later, but I doubt it.

    BTW usage will be primarily Arkansas river, smaller rivers in AR., and some lakes.

    Plan on using either galvanized spiral nails (probably not), or deck screws (probably), possibly stainless screws, but I doubt I'll spend that much on fasteners.
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Pine boards would be extremely heavy. Figure on about 2 1/2 times the weight of typical 1/4" plywood.
    There's a lot to designing your own boat, which is what you're doing by changing something as basic as the hull materials and building method.
    It would help if you had a thorough understamding of the characteristics of pine as sold for building materials. The way it's cut and dried is different from what would be ideal on a boat. Lumber should be quarter-sawn and preferably air dried while lumber yard pine is almost always plain-sawn and poorly kiln-dried.
    Even then, wide boards aren't suitable for epoxy encapsulation. Plywood is really the only practical choice, epoxy-skinned or not.
    If you do choose boards, they should be a wood like cedar for the bottom due to expansion issues. Cedar (Such as Eastern white cedar) can take a lot of compression without crushing. Pine is okay for the sides where expansion only adds a little freeboard. Joints can lap or be battened inside. Joints should be payed with a good waterproof caulk.
    But think twice about the whole redesign. A heavy boat is sometimes an asset but in your case, lighter is probably a lot better.
     
  5. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Why are you hesitant about using modern, proven beyond doubt, materials and tecniques for your boat? Ply with a glass/epoxy sheath is the standard way to do it in the 21st century.

    If you use ordinary dimensional lumber, the boat will be so heavy as to be discouraging. It'll be harder to paddle too. Weight is the enemy for a canoe or kayak.

    The Haiwaians who built those first "three board" boats were merely using what was available at the time, which was a very long time ago.
     
  6. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    You are going to double your boat weight if you get lucky.
    Have you emailed Dierking? He responded to other questions for me without having bought plans. Seemed reasonably approachable.

    You won't get 1X boards to bend in the shapes the designer specified.
     
  7. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    Perhaps that much, I doubt it though, even if so though, by the time you encapsulate in epoxy and resin your surely aproaching the same weight.

    There is a great deal I don't know about wood, but I do know to look through a pile and find the tight vertical grain regardless of how it was cut.

    Kiln dried may not be perfect, but neither is the plywood that is available and reasonable in price.

    Did you miss the part where I said I don't want to use epoxy and resin?

    Chapelle's Boatbuilding has more than one boat that call for pine bottom planking. You did get me thinking about species though. What they have here is yellow (not desirable) as opposed to white (desirable).

    I didn't like the looks of the cedar they had, it lookd like a sponge, I suppose that is actually a good thing though.. meh.

    I called and asked them to find out exactly what species their pine, cedar and spruce are. Still waiting.

    If I go with sawn boards I'll likely use their cedar, assuming it is an appropriate species. Had considered picking through the fence pickets (5/8" , read lighter), but I'd really rather plank lengthwise I think.

    I'm not dead set against plywood, but I will not be fiberglassing and epoxying. I may use boards for the sides and plywood for bottom, 11/32" perhaps.

    I very much doubt that.

    Same.
     
  8. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Weedeater,

    Good luck, keep us up on the build.
    Personally I think this will just disappear when you find out the truth.
    Double the weight just due to epoxy and glass. You need a little reality therapy.

    Show me wrong, please.
     
  9. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    That is not what I said, and not why I'm here.

    I'm here seeking assistance in building a wooden boat.

    I stated clearly that I don't want a toxic, over priced, over rated POS plastic toy.

    If you don't know anything about building wooden boats, and only come to push your wares I'll thank you to just move along.
     
  10. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    The interesting thing about a forum, is that everybody gets to state their opinion.
    Even you and me.

    Insults won't get you very far, people get tired of it.
    What do you know about my knowledge of wooden boats?

    Don't worry - I'm gone, I'm sure you will appreciate that.
     
  11. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    You don't need to encapsulate plywood with epoxy. You can simply paint plywood just as you would solid wood. So 2 1/2 times the weight (of the planking) isn't far off. Even with a coating of epoxy inside and out, you won't add that much weight.
    Look. It's not a big deal. Build it any way you choose. Weight has some advantages. Not when launching or hauling but when you bang into things or when you just want to use locally sourced materials.
    The real issue is that you are a novice builder and you haven't got a plan that suits the boat you prefer to build and own and you are trying to redesign a boat to be planked differently.
    There are thousands of plans out there that use solid board planking. Why not start with a leg up and get yourself some plans that don't need to be modified?
     
  12. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    I considered doing plywood and doing the chines as these guys have. Takes care of one plywood edge if using ply sides, probably won't do that anyway. If use ply, it'll probably be just the bottom.

    Still leaves the exposed plywood edget there. I could use an external chine there, but I think I'd rather seal it with some type of goop (other than epoxy). Just don't know what to use.

    Locally sourced materials is important to me, as well as keeping price down.

    Yes, that is why I'm here in a boat design forum asking for advice on beam and length.

    I'm left wondering how many builders started out as novices without the advantage of the internet forums and a stack of books.

    Maybe I misunderstand the purpose of this board.

    Still looking for plans for a planked outrigger.
     
  13. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    True, a solid wood planked outrigger design won't be found too easily (I did a 16 ft outrigger design myself years ago and it was planked with 1/4" plywood).
    Weight is pretty critical in a multihull or an outrigger but it will still sail fine especially if you aren't a heavy person yourself.
    It makes sense that you don't get a lot of technical help redoing the construction method as long as there's a suspicion that you may not understand the ramifications of going too far from empirical standards. However, you seem to know what to expect and you should find some help here once people know you've done some homework.
     
  14. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    go ahead and try it. Anything and everything has been used to build boats, even grass and bamboo. Any of the wood can be made to work, though some is more rot resistant than others. But any reasonably clear, reasonably straight grain wood will work, high strength and rot resistance is a bonus, but on a boat this small these are not major considerations. I have built many different similar sized hulls, canoes and kayaks, using western hemlock, cedar, pine, white oak and doug fir. I like cedar the best because it is so light and easy to work, but it is not the strongest at all. I have built one fiberglass kayak, when I was in high school, I have not wanted to touch fiberglass ever since. it is toxic, expensive, and not pleasant to work with. All of my boats have been plain wood, skin-on-frame, or plywood with only paint or clear finish. Most have been plain sawn lumber. I also experimented with cotton fabric and Tightbond III waterproof glue for a non-toixic all natural fiber composite. It worked great, but do not know about long term durability, which will have more to do with paint I suspect, than the materials.

    If you use a full 7/8" or 3/4" planks, it should be strong enough, if somewhat heavy. You will only need a few frames on a 16' ft hull if using that thick of planks. If you can get 1/2" boards (or have them planed down to about 1/2") and use a few more frames to help hold its shape, it would likely be much lighter. 1x2 or 1x3 Frames at about 2 foot spacing should be fine with the thinner wood (or with 1/4" ac plywood), and a 1x4 gunwale, will give you plenty of strength for a 16' foot hull. I would personally go lighter, but I have built a number of boats and know where the extra strength will be needed, this will give you a very durable hull for your purposes.

    Widening it to 24" will have little noticeable affect on performance, it will give you a bit more room inside. I would considering going the smaller if you want good performance. One advantage of the mulit-hull is they do not need hull width for stability, so a narrower hull will have less drag. However, you will loose carrying capacity and room below the deck/gunwale level. I have built small monohulls hulls as wide as 38" and as narrow as 18" (a sea kayak for my daugher), with multi hulls they can be very narrow and still be quite stable. If I was going to build a prow like you are considering I would go down to about 20" width just to save some weight and improve performance.

    If you use the coated deck screws they should hold up fine, I have used them lots of times for small boats. They also make stainless deck screws, at considerably more money, but the additional costs is very little compared to the total build cost, so these would be a good choice if you are thinking you want to keep it for many years. I usually do not expect a useful life longer than about 5 or 6 years for the small boats I build because I like experimenting and trying different things out, some I strip and burn after the first season (experiment did not work out), so the coated deck screws are my favorite. I have also found it is far cheaper to buy them by the lb in bulk bins rather than in boxes. You should not need more than about 1 or 1.5 lbs of screws for a boat that size, in various lengths.

    Rather than using cotton caulk, you can use modern exterior grade adhesive caulk from the lumber yard store. It is flexible and should seal the joints up fine, it will fill gapes, be durable and easy to re-apply if necessary. Much less work to install and more reliable than cotton caulk. Your joints to not need to be as precision as they would need to be to use cotton caulking in the joints.

    One problem you will want to be careful with using sawn lumber is that fasteners near end grain will want to fail easily (split out the wood). So you have to make sure you predrill and counter sink them, with a wider backer or filler piece behind the row of fastener than you might use with plywood. Careful not to over tighten them either, the counter sunk head will want to split the wood along the grain. And use waterproof adhesive in the joint and on the fastener (install the screws "wet" with adhesive). with the adhesive in the fastern holes you should not need to get the fasterners too tight. This will result in a stronger joint than if you slit some of the wood at the screw holes. These are the kind of details that need to be thought through when changing the construction methods.

    put a min of 5 to 7 coats of paint or clear finish on it, (Latex gloss porch paint or polyurethane floor finish, both exterior grade). That should protect the wood and give you a fairly durable and inexpensive finish. Regularly inspect and touch up any damage to the finish, it will protect the wood longer. Another coat once a season will keep it looking good. The fiberglass coating on wood boats is usually to make it more durable, as well as add strength. But it is not light, and it does not always add strength (depends on the design). Since the beginning of time all boats were made from wood, most never even had paint, no reason to you can not do so today.

    There is nothing to be intimidated about. Have at it and have a good time. Good luck. Post pictures.
     

  15. weedeater64
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    weedeater64 Junior Member

    Thanks Petros for the detailed response.

    This is my thinking.

    I called the yard again and they told me the pine is 'southern yellow pine', which upon reading through some posts at the wooden boat forum apparently doesn't mean what it used to mean.

    Being an open boat, I'm not too concerned about rot, and I believe the pine will be more than strong enough.

    I'm more concerned about getting the seams right. It's my understanding that side/topside planking is prefered to be narrower to combat this. I see plenty of small boats though described with 12" side boards, eg. the first skiff in Rabl's book, the Ozarkish jonboats and southern pirogue's...

    I've decided to build a simpler hull with squared ends, something like these

    This is my second boat, and I'm not ready to spend too much on one. So I'm going to use the pine boards for sides and either the pine or plywood for the bottom (likely 3/8").

    Back to my concern on the seams, I was thinking 6" width, would 4" be safer as far as opening up seams? Boat will not live in water for more than three days at a time, one will be the norm, stored upside down on blocks in the yard.

    I like the idea of using one of the lumber yard tube sealers between seams, but I've read some posts on here and/or the wooden boat forum advising against using tube adhesive as it sticks 'too good', making replacing boards too difficult.

    I used pl premium on my first boat, cheap home depot plywood (bc or worse) and that really crappy 1x1 stock they have for chines and sheer. Butt block plywood joint, drywall screws, and durams water putty to cover screws and fill cracks, a cheap one or two coats of latex and 3 years of sitting on the ground is still didn't leak and seemed to be holding together well, though at that point it was showing signs of rot.
     
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