My first boat project

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by PraisedNote044, Nov 8, 2022.

  1. PraisedNote044
    Joined: Nov 2022
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Lafayette Louisiana

    PraisedNote044 New Member

    I recently just got the drive to build myself a boat, but I have no idea what type to go with, nor am I able to build something as big as a yacht. I’m trying to find a boat design to handle every type of water. Weather it be ocean or swamp, but like I said I don’t know what I’m looking at. Basically a boat that can get me from Louisiana to the north either through the Mississippi or the through the Atlantic. I tried Reddit with my plans on a type of vessel, but I was met with “constructive criticism.” Can someone please guide me in the right direction for a design capable of this project?
  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Welcome to the group.

    We need some more information.

    We usually use a Statement Of Requirements SOR.
    Yours should include:
    Time frame of trip.
    The number of passengers.
    The level of comfort.
    The budget.


    what building skills-tools do you have
    Time frame and hours available
    Building space
    And the ever important budget

    Swamp boats can't handle the ocean and ocean vessels can't go thru swamps.
    Kind of like how 9 passenger vans don't fit into " compact " parking spaces. And compact cars can't fit 9 people.
    hoytedow, Rumars, portacruise and 2 others like this.
  3. comfisherman
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Alaska

    comfisherman Senior Member

    Constructive criticism is warranted when trying to build an ocean going swamp boat.

    It's worth a Google of the desired waterway you wish to transit with the word boat in the search. Then compare and contrast features to cone down realistic goals for the project. Lake of the woods is different than lake Seminole and much different than the great lakes.
  4. PraisedNote044
    Joined: Nov 2022
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Lafayette Louisiana

    PraisedNote044 New Member

    the build will consist of storage compartments in the bow, around the mast in the dead center, and in the stern. The walking area will go around the mast and between each hold. The forward hold will have a seat facing aft ward. The Main hold will have two seats, one facing forward and the other aft ward with a mast running running through the middle. The stern hold will contain a seat facing forward, a bed for two people which doubles as a door to access the storage.

    for my budget, I’m trying to stay below 1000. I’m basically building each feature one check at a time after bills clear. So with my first check, I’m working on the hull. Second check, one of the key features I’m trying to go for. Third check might be the mid hold. And so on.

    The maximum amount of passengers would be four people for local sailing, but for long voyages, and two for long distance like from Louisiana to Jamaica, or Louisiana to Boston, or if it’s capable enough, full on Transatlantic/Pacific

    I know that this seems like a fevered dream for a beginner. But I am dead set on building this project once I know what type of plans to go with. That’s why I’m asking for help
  5. PraisedNote044
    Joined: Nov 2022
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    Location: Lafayette Louisiana

    PraisedNote044 New Member

    What I meant by different type of waters is dept. for instance say I want to travel close to the shore that goes as deep as a swamp, same with rivers. I don’t want to have to worry about beaching the thing if I get to close to the shore line. Because how much fun would it be to have to push something like a pontoon back into the water?

    edit: also the original goal was to be able to separate the thing into three sections to fit in the back of my truck. That’s mostly where Reddit called me an idiot and provided negative criticism on the topic. That and wanting to use basic tools like a map and compass instead of a gps. Or pure sail and oar power rather than a motor. My argument to them were along the lines of confusion and a full display of my ignorance.
  6. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    You will be hard pressed to build a nice dinghy for $1,000...
    Re your descriptions above, do you have any sketches that you can scan (or photograph) and post?
    The quality does not matter - any rough sketch is worth a thousand words.

    Realistically, your best way to start on this adventure would be to build a relatively simple boat (perhaps a dinghy) first - maybe even purchase a kit.
    Put it together, and if you still like boatbuilding after that experience, then graduate to a bigger boat that is a bit more complex.
    There are many nice plans and kits available from Duckworks, in the link below - do any of these appeal to you?
    Plans & Kits - Page 1 - Duckworks Boat Builders Supply

    Please do take note of what Blueknarr said above re how purchasing a second hand boat (in good condition) will be easier (not to mention cheaper, and less stressful) than building your own boat.
    kerosene, hoytedow and portacruise like this.
  7. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Excellent advice written above! Another vote for getting a second hand boat, sometimes they will give decent ones away since it saves them the cost of paying to move to a salvage lot or dump. But you need help from someone that knows boats well enough to tell if it is basically solid and can be refurbished at a decent cost. From your comments, it would seem that a catamaran sailboat would be the way to go, as it it's most likely to go in shallow water or deep. Second hand will cut many years off of the process and Save lots of dollars having to correct or rebuild mistakes (or building an unacceptable design) , which often happens when building from scratch. Plus you can start ASAP learning how to sail, getting the excellent Boatman skills you will need for your voyage goals. After all that experience, you will get some kind of an idea of what changes to the existing design (or to other designs that you will experience / observe) might help you with your travel goals. It might help to use your spare time to Apprentice yourself to a boat builder, if it turns out that you need a large or complex boat for your goals.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
    bajansailor likes this.
  8. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    First thing, you have to finish thinking so that your requirements come to a conclusion, then you have to compare that with reality. I'lll do some of this for you.

    Asuming your truck is not a 18 wheeler, we consider the bed to be 8ft long and 66in wide. So your proposed three sections boat is 24ft long and 5.5ft wide. Lenght could be increased to a maximum of 30ft but not width. The result is a pretty slim hull, and while this has advantages it also brings stability issues, wich in a monohull are solved with ballast. Separating the hull in three sections is entirely possible, but involves structural issues.
    Now reality: it's possible to build it that way, but why? Boats this lenghts are routinely moved overland on trailers, dedicated ones are called trailer sailors. The advantages are clear, your permissible width jumps to a minimum of 8ft, and often 10ft are possible, lenghts up to 40ft are no problem, you don't have to think about additional structural reinforcement, and you can keep your boat in the driveway. The disadvantage is that you have to buy or build a trailer and park it while sailing.

    The depth issue: variable draft vessels are nothing exotic, daggerboards, centreboards and various types of lifting ballast keels are all used on ocean going vessels. There is of course a fixed draft that depends on weight and hull shape, and wich can range from a few inches to about 2ft.
    Reality: most of this boats don't sail to weather on minimal draft so you either have an engine or are severely limited in maneuverability, and the boat is heavy enough that intentional beaching is only possible in tidal areas. In practice you always watch depths when appropriate because it's not usually possible to float the boat by using only 4 persons. If moving it on the hard with 4 persons is a hard requirement it will severely impact other things like accommodations.

    How "ocean capable" a boat is depends mostly on its crew. Oceans have been crossed in plenty of small boats, that's not the problem. It's up to you what you feel comfortable to go to sea in, and that includes the comfort aspect.

    Navigating the "old fashioned" way involves learning celestial navigation and dead reckoning then beeing disciplined in using them. Plenty of people still use it today even if they have a multitude of GPS's on board.

    Last thing, budget. 1000$ is not realistic, not even is you get a free boat. Add a zero and we can discuss some options.
    Blueknarr likes this.
  9. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    wet feet Senior Member

    I'm another who believes that a completed small boat is the best preparation for a larger project.If or when you have a larger boat it will be invaluable to have a tender to row ashore from time to time and you will learn so many valuable lessons by going through the whole process.It doesn't particularly matter what hull form you choose for the practise boat and it doesn't have to be built of the most expensive materials,since it is mainly a learning tool.You might even find that it is more fun to use than a bigger boat and carries fewer headaches during ownership.
  10. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    P N 044

    It sounds like you have little boating experience. Since you intend to sail. I'll mention one resource that could be most valuable to you in gaining on water sailing experience.

    Pre-covid, most yacht clubs held beercan regattas. NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED. Just bring a 6-pack and life jacket.
    You will learn sailing and boatmanship. You will learn how to evaluate a vessel's seaworthyness. You will learn what features you need in your boat.
  11. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

  12. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The budget is unrealistic. To go up the Mississippi you will need an engine. Otherwise the locks won't let you through. The current on parts of the river can get over 20MPH. During the low season, it probably be under 7 MPH. $1000 may get you a decent used outboard.

  13. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    In 2014 I built a boat to the bare minimum budget of $2000. Not counting engine. Today's prices make that same boat impossible with that budget. See my Skiff thread. I took it 5 miles offshore on multiple occasions and into several rivers which came out of swamps. I saw many gators, turtles including sea turtles and even a croc or two. It wasn't my first boat. Your first boat should never go farther from shore than you can swim if it fails.
    bajansailor likes this.
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