monohull; hard chine(s) vs. soft (rounded) hull

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by seaofmirth, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. seaofmirth
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    seaofmirth New Member

    Here's a couple of photos of a hard chine (steel) 46 ft. sailboat I am interested in buying. Any observations and comments concerning general seaworthiness of this type of hull are going to be appreciated. Also, can anyone identify the boat's designer's name and the model?

    Dave Matt

    Attached Files:

  2. Perm Stress
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Perm Stress Senior Member

    Basically looks pretty.
    What could be seen from the photos, does not start thinking about something weird or wild "bright ideas" . :).
    Performance in light to medium airs will below modern day expectations unless fitted with large traditional , 2-masted rig with numerous sails, skilfully handled.
    And even than.
    If it is structurally soundly designed/built ... bring a surveyor. Or two. Or three. ;)
    Find a design and check the drawings.
  3. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Who designed it, build it and with idea in mind. You may buy it, spend money on it to find out it is not for you. I wasn't bought a boat like that, found out after I bought it was 6 longer one side than the other. I adjusted the rudder and forgot about it, but who knows how much inefficiency I lost. Or if they were this careless what other problems there were. But she was cheap...
  4. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    As you probably already know, what you are looking at is the cheap quick bit of boatbuilding. So buying an old rusty shell won't save much time or money. I would guess a welding team would get to that state in a couple of weeks (assuming there is no interior)

    Is the ballast in? If not you really do need to find the designer first. You want the boat to float level and to its lines at the very least. And you'll need someone to draw the rig etc and few responsible people will want to do that on an unknown hull

    Don't forget that steel hulls tend to rust from the inside, so check the bilge stringers etc. I assume there is not yet any foam sprayed inside

    I'd put in an offer for the trailer and get the boat for free. At least it has a scrap value, unlike ferro shells

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  5. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    What do you reckon Richard: would that shell be a much as 10% of the cost of putting the boat on the water? I suspect possibly less, but could easily be wrong. In racing dinghies I reckon the hull shell is under 20% of the cost of the project, but for something like that I would guess it could be much less because there's so much more fit out involved.
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    The traditional rule of thumb is 1/3 the hull, 1/3 the rig and 1/3 the engine and interior

    clearly this shell is not yet 1/3

    so I would think you are right

    One reason why there were so many abandoned ferro projects in the 1970's was that people didn't realise how much the equipment cost, even if the hull was cheap. So too many people started with too big a boat

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I call these the natural building "plateaus" of any project. Each build, regardless of type will have natural stopping points; frame ********, planking, the roll over, the seal in, the fit out, etc. This is when you see projects stalled. They've put countless hours into the station molds and hung the planking, then the boat is rolled over and they suddenly realize they've got a hull shell that needs at least 75% more effort and budget to get it splashed. The work stops, they have another kid, the wife leaves, the house goes on the market with a "free cruising boat" in the car port. The larger the project the less significant the hull shell is to the total project cost and build effort, which is often too sobering a thought and the build dies. I can't tell you how many powerboat builds I've seen, with an owner suggesting "it only needs and engine, steering and some shift levers to complete it!". Such is life . . .
  8. sean9c
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    sean9c Senior Member

    Boy, you have that right. A lot of energy is used to build the hull, it's all faired, sanded, primed, looking pretty done. You roll it over and it's a big empty hole you have to fill up.
  9. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    It can make sense to buy a shell in some instances though. If you don't have a good place to build the hull for instance, because you live in an urban apartment. You buy a hull for probably less than the cost to build it, and can work on it while its on the water.

    This boat looks kind of similar to an origami boat no? I guess the chine goes too far forward to be an origami design, but this is def a very similar concept I think.

    Dave, do you plan on living aboard that boat?
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The only time it's wise or safe to buy a hull shell is if you have plans, know the design and plans are available or happen to be a NA yourself or have one in your pocket. Other wise, it's a nightmare waiting to happen. How much ballast, where does it go, what kind of rig, where does it go, systems details out the butt, etc., etc., etc.

    Run as fast as you can in the other direction, unless plans are available or you can afford a designer or NA (good luck talking one into the project) to punch up the appropriate amount of "fleshing out details" necessary.
  11. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    I passed on one a few years back even though the plans were available and the designer was still available to talk to.

    The hull had significant deviations from the build instructions and the designer had no record of a plans sale to the owner, hence an unapproved build from in essence pirated plans.

    Not convinced about the 33-33-33 percent rule but what do I know. I have a big steel hull shell sitting in my workshop, mast sections on trestles outside, engine on the floor of the shop, prop leaning against a bench and a big stack of timber that basically was free for the fitout. I think the cost breakdown depends an awful lot on the details - what sort of rig, engine & fitout you propose to do, how good you are at building stuff yourself and how much equipment/time you have (you can substitute power equipment for time in a lot of cases, if you can afford the equipment).

    However, time will tell whether I'm right or not.


  12. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Yeah, 33% for the hull alone is imho a bit overstretched... Probably was so in times when boats were just a hull with an engine (or a sail) and a simple berth - and very little more than that. ;) I would say that, with nowadays costs, a hull at this stage is worth some 15-20% of the final cost of the boat, depending on whether it was zinc hot-sprayed or not. And it is probably worth only some 10% of the time needed to finish it.

    Seaofmirth, I don't know if your plan is to buy the hull and then finish the boat with your hands. But I think you and your wallet would be much safer if you found a set of plans from a living designer and (the optional part) let specialized people do the construction job for you. If you are one of them, sorry for a non-intentional downplaying of your skills :) . In times like these, where boating industry is struggling to just survive, you could imho negotiate a price to your advantage and perhaps even save some money, with respect to the first option (just consider the value of your work-hours and a higher probability of error due to presumed lack of experience).

    Cheers and good luck!
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