More silly questions in building my boat

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by declan, May 24, 2013.

  1. declan
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    declan Junior Member

    Hi everyone, sorry to bother you again but I'm unsure about a few issues and want to do things right!

    • The plans I'm using mention a skeg but don't really give any details. My boat is only a rowing version, no motor. How necessary is a skeg? I'll mostly be rowing around relatively calm waters.
    • If a skeg is very necessary, is it feasible to make a removable skeg for easier transport and storage?
    • The plans mention a "max beam station". I think I understand the purpose of it -- to widen the sides of the boat in the middle, and to provide support. Is that right?
    • The plans give points for a MBS that makes a shape of a trapezoid, and tell me to "make a mold out of 1x4s and plywood scraps for the max beam station". Does anyone have a more detailed plan for the MBS and how to secure it to the boat? This is what's in the plans, but it's not clear to me how to firmly attach it to the hull.
    • So, the plans have called for a gallon of epoxy if I want to seal the whole boat. However, just connecting a few hull pieces has already used about a gallon. Have I just been applying epoxy horrendously wrong, or are the plans way off? I have been using a squeegee (not a brush or roller!) to apply the epoxy.
    • The manual mentions using stringers to brace the boat, but it doesn't exactly say how or where they go...could anyone direct me to a guide about stringers?

    Thank you from a confused boatbuilder!
     
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    It would be helpfull to say here how much plywood you have covered to calculate epoxy usage.

    Using a squeegee will give you the best results all right.
     
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    * The boat tracks better with a skeg.
    * Skegs aren't normally so big that the thought of removing one for transport usually enters the mind. That said, it could be done with a long dovetail or something.
    * Max beam station would be the station located at the maximum beam. It doesn't widen anything or provide support. It is a location.
    * The "max beam station" doesn't get secured to the boat. It is a location shown in several views which indicates where to put a mold. The mold provides a shape upon which to accurately build a hull. It does not generally stay with the boat but sometimes it becomes permanent and then it's called a bulkhead or partial bulkhead.
    * I suspect you are using far too much epoxy.
    * A stringer goes fore and aft and yes, it braces the boat, but don't you have drawings?
     
  4. declan
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    declan Junior Member

    The boat has been made almost entirely from a total of 4 4'x8' sheets of plywood, minus a lot of scrap obviously. The area of the raw sheets comes out to 256 sq. feet.

    Doing some very rough math, that's 23.8 sq meter, and 1.5 gallon is .0057 cubic meters. If you were to only use that 1.5 gal of epoxy, it would cover the entire surface in a layer (.0057 m^3/23.8 m^2 = ) .24 mm thick. I suspect that's too thin for a layer of epoxy, definitely considering that the fiberglass probably soaks up a decent amount.

    What thickness epoxy should I be aiming for?

    Thank you!!
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    First off, what design are you building?

    The wise thing to do is download the user's guides from System Three and West System, so you can get a handle on the techniques and methods.

    Most plans will detail out a skeg, so . . . Have you gotten what you paid for?

    On raw wood epoxy spreads out across about 150 sq. ft., because it soaks in. This figure can vary widely, depending on species and how you use it. Subsequent coats of epoxy on sealed wood will increase the area by another 100 sq. ft., though again, it depends on how you're applying it.

    A waterproof epoxy coating needs to be a minimum of 10 mils. thick. On some species of wood, you can get this in two coats, but the general recommendation is three. If applying cloth over any areas, use two coats and let the wetout coat for the cloth become the third.
     
  6. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JSL Senior Member

    go back to the source of the plans and ask them to explain what they mean. That's what plans are for! They may not tell you how to build it but should at least show or explain what they want.
     
  7. declan
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    declan Junior Member

    Thank you very much for the response! That clears up a lot.

    The manual has some drawings, but doesn't show where the stringers go... It just describes them.
     
  8. declan
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    declan Junior Member

    Hi, thank you for the response! I'm building the "DuckSkiff", which I think I've linked to in my previous posts if you can find them (there aren't many).

    The plans were free, so...in a way I've gotten what I've paid for, but I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth -- I think the plans are intended as a rough outline for someone who is already decently proficient at boatbuilding (i.e., not I).

    When you say "epoxy spreads out 150 ft"...what volume of epoxy are you referring to, a gallon?

    10 mils... Well, according to my (very rough) math from above, 1.5 gal spread over all the starting wood uniformly gives a thickness of .24 mm, which is nearly exactly 10 mils.
     
  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    you might want to refer to these on-line glossaries;

    http://shipwrightintraining.wordpress.com/glossary-of-boatbuilding-terms/

    http://www.glen-l.com/resources/glossary.html

    Also, here is some free e-books on boat building. These are tailored for this companies designs, but there is a lot of useful information for a newbie.

    http://www.spirainternational.com/hp_free.html

    more free books on boat building, some are very old (in the public domain), some are very modern (means they are trying to sell you something);

    http://www.onread.com/book/boat-building-and-boating-41867/

    http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-books/boat-building-and-boating.html

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Small_Boat_Building.html?id=CDBP6Q4D9NkC

    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/GougeonBook 061205.pdf
     
  10. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Declan... could you please post some kind of pictures of the boat you are building... it doesn't sound like what I designed in the slightest. I went through some of your other posts and threads and I can't figure out what you are building. How did you come up with "putting the two sides of the boat together"? This is a relatively simple build of a flat bottomed skiff and should look like this...:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bottom is designed to come out of 2 full width sheets of ply butted or scarfed lengthwise so the reference to putting the two sides together confuses me immensely. This implies that there is a joint along the length of the hull on the centerline... which isn't in the plans at all.
     
  11. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    This thread is a poster child for the problems associated with free plans. It should be understood by the designer that the builder is a beginner. He's not expected to know what many terms mean without an explanation. It's hard to find a lot of those words in Spell-Checker, for example. Whenever I write something, it appears that almost all marine terms are non-words according to Spell-Checker.
    Maybe someone has a link to a marine dictionary. It would clear up a lot of confusion and save a lot of time asking questions.
    Oh, and nice looking boat, Steve.
     
  12. lewisboats
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    And one of the things about these free plans is that I have made myself available both here and through Chuck at Duckworks (a number of people have already contacted me that way). To the best of my knowledge I have not had any communication from Declan... even to reply to my posts on the other threads that he has started. If there is confusion about something but the builder doesn't attempt to clear it up with the designer, even when that person is readily available, is that then the designer's fault? Even if some of the terms used are jargon-ish and require some effort on the builder's part to learn, I would think that Google would provide everything potentially missing in understanding in a matter of minutes. If you read Declan's posts I think that there is a major problem between what the plans state (not the pictures which are a guide to method only) and the man's finished product. This may be un-fixable, in which case he will be disappointed with the results and that is not my intent at all. I hope he will take this opportunity to talk to me about what he has done already and where to go from this point forward. What we really need is some pictures to better understand where he is and what needs to be done to get him to the finish. I cannot, for example, figure out where all that epoxy went.

    Here are the instructions for the stringers... pretty clear as to where they go I would say, although I should have said " then put one down in the middle of each of the two middle spaces for a total of five.".


    Here is the correct picture for the center mold:

    [​IMG]

    and this describes the Max Beam Station:

     
  13. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    Terminology is fairly important in any industry.

    Stringers stiffen the hull, deck, sole, and in a small boat, the floorboards. Floors are a part of the transverse framing system and stringers (if bracketed to them) might only prevent them from tripping... they are not a source of support to the floor(s).
    A drawing or photo of the structure might be easier to comprehend than many words.
    Dictionary- there are several available.
    try "Oxford- companion to ships and the sea" or
    " Mariner's Guide to Nautical Information" by Priscilla Travis.
    Incorrect terminology can cause confusion and the results can range from amusing to catstrophic.
    But, if you don't know the correct term and don't have a nautical thesaurus, use 'whatchamacallit', 'thingme', 'thingamagig', etc
     
  14. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    The comment I made was general, Steve. I didn't know you were the designer. I do imagine that free boat plans often lack adequate detail for a novice.
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Steve's plans are far above the usual "free plans" options, in regard to detail and thoughtfulness, not to mention he's alive and has a phone number.
     
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