My first boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by marioantoci, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. marioantoci
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    marioantoci Junior Member

    No offence taken what so ever. I'm learning quite a bit and before I start building I'll definitely get my design down. To be honest I've already updated my 3d model a lot based on some comments here. I will share when it's finished. I still need to figure out the bow / keel / battens, I have a added a slight v hull and removed 3 of the frames. I should also mention that I'm heavily into hand tools, shaping and molding wood, carving, and glue up's. I love working with wood it's my favorite medium that's why I build bows among other things. I also love to be on the water and it has been something I've wanted to do for years but now I have the space. I've looked at enough pictures but don't have the technical knowledge yet. So thank you very much everyone for sharing what you know, it's quite inspiring and motivating!

    Mario
     
  2. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have built some 24 or more small boats (I have lost track), starting when I was about 12. I too wanted to do my own designs, and for the most part all of them were except one or two. I like the design process as much as the building, so I would never begrudge you wanting to design it too. but many of my earlier designs were a waste of time, yes they floated, but were heavy to transport, impractial and awkward on the water. I had sometimes even copied designs from others, only to later learn that that person did not really know that much about design either, and I ended up with a boat I gave away, trashed or burned. So after twenty small boats, many experiments, a number of text books on Navel Architecture, a degree in engineering, trying out many other boats to see how they behave, I have decided not to be so cavalier about hull design, even on a small boat, if I want it to perform well.

    I sometimes still feel like a newbie when it comes to design when I am trying something different and new. I am never quite sure if it will behave like I want it to, though I have gotten much better at that in the last two decades of building boats.

    There are few things I think that are more satisfying than building an attractive wood boat with your own hands. And this is even more rewarding if it is your own design...if it behaves well. So I know the emotions you have, but I have also experienced the disappointment of boats that never quite worked out as expected: they either become yard art (we have several of those in our yard now, one is a planter), or get ripped apart for parts for the next project, or burned (you are actually glad to see that mistake disappear, so you are not reminded of your foolishness). There are ten (I think) boats I built in our yard, garage, storage shed, etc right now: two are usable just the way they are (sea kayaks), two need minor rework to make them better (a two man folding sea kayak and a trimaran), two are yard art (a canoe and a sailboat), and three need major rework but I have not quite given up on them (a sea kayak, a dingy sailboat, and a single folding kayak), and one I decided to dismantle for parts (a small trimaran that sailed okay, but decided the utility was not so useful and I want the lumber and parts more than the boat). This does not list the large number of boats I have sold, given away, dismantled or burned.

    So if you want your hard work to result in a beautiful boat that will also be a joy to use and share with others, study the design of successful boats, popular designs, and ones with known good behavior. It will make your venture into boat building that much more satisfying. It might even be wise to just start with a set of stock plans for your first one (with perhaps a few custom features you incorporate into), and than after that you can experiment with the next one of your design.

    One other thing to keep in mind on your first build; You will never build just one. You will find, even before you splash your first one on its maiden voyage, that you will be thinking of the next one you want to be building and want to get back to the shop to get started on it. Therefore, treat the first one as a fun learning experience, do not get too hung up on perfection (that every detail has to fit just right, look just right, etc.). there will be mistakes, do not beat yourself up and get upset about it. Fix it and move on to the next stage and do not obsess over it. No one will ever notice, and you will do better on the next one...and the next one, ...and the one after that.

    And have fun.
     
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  3. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    I would endorse all that Petros says in his post above. There is lot of satisfaction to be gained from designing then building then sailing your own boat. If that is what the OP wants to do and if he is prepared to learn from existing designs and from his own mistakes then I think that he should be encouraged to go ahead and ignore those who say he would be better to purchase plans from a boat designer.

    No doubt a professional design can be good, I have much admiration for a few professional boat designers, but professionally produced designs can be seriously flawed just as amateur produced designs can be. I know two people who have built boats to commercially available plans and been unhappy with the performance of the finished boat and/or the clarity and detail of the plans and/or the backup service from the designer. Without mentioning names, one of these was an open day sailing boat that proved to be slow and incapable of making a tack without use of oars to row it through the eye of the wind. The other was a much larger cruising yacht for which the designer provided rather poorly detailed plans and also provided a poor backup service - I understand that at one point the designer emailed the builder and told him that if he needed to ask for clarification of the plans he shouldn't be building a yacht in the first place! The yacht is now launched and I think the builder is happy with it but it has turned out to be considerably heavier than the designer's estimated displacement.

    The sketch that the OP originally posted was clearly a first draft and he says that he is reworking it taking into account the comments he has received - perhaps we will soon see the next iteration in the design process.

    I have designed and built all my own boats - all two of them, or three if you count a rough first prototype that I made before building the second boat. However, unlike Petros I havent ended up with such a large collection of boats. The first boat I built was a 4.5m sailing dinghy purpose designed for estuary, coastal and occasional cross channel cruising using a tent attached to the boom at night. I completed this boat in 1978 and since then it has met my requirements so well that I find it hard to justify building another boat of that general type, even though I would quite like to do so. At the time I built that boat I could not obtain plans for a boat offering a comparable combination of features and even today I am not sure that would be possible, even though the variety of available plans has expanded enormously. My second boat was, as far as I am aware, the first sailing dinghy to 'fly' on two centreline hydrofoils, some years ahead of the Moth class developments. In that case, I obviously could not have purchased plans for such a boat at the time!

    Now I am early retired I have more time for boat building and I am looking for gaps to fill in my boat collection. One possibility is a lightweight rowing boat that we could hand launch from our local beach that does not have road access - our sailing dinghy is too heavy for that. Another possibility and a much larger project is a cruising yacht, almost certainly a multihull and perhaps even building on my previous interest in hydrofoils. I have some ideas for hydrofoils on cruising multihulls and hope to explore feasibility with some mathematical modelling over the coming winter months - if I can find time in between making that rowing boat and doing all the more normal things we all need to do.
     
  4. Eerik
    Joined: May 2014
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    Eerik a wannabe designer

    Hi Mario,

    Good luck with your designing and build!

    I would have a few comments on your design...
    * I suggest you to have some rocker on the bottom. That would make it behave better in waves, also look better, more professional ;). You don't really need this heavy keelson you have drawn on the bottom, eliminating this would allow you to give rocker for the bottom. It would just add a bit of complexity in aligning bulkheads. You would need to have chinelogs instead, for joining sides and bottom, but less heavy...
    * Gunwhales - width of the boards don't give you much. It would be thickness. You could have 2pc 1 by 2 instead; one inside, another outside plywood. it is also common to make the gunwhales with spacer blocks. Say 1 by 2 on the outside, 3 inch long 1 by 2's as spacers between side and outer whale. 1 by 2 would bend downwards and allow you to make sides high at bow and transom, lower in the middle. That would ease rowing as mentioned by others, also look nicer.
    * You could try to make this design in some hull design software (such as FREEship), to get to see the waterline with desired displacement. That would help you make sure you have enough freeboard.


    Eerik
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I think not building one or two properly designed boats before doing your own design is like representing yourself in court.
     
  6. johnhazel
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    johnhazel Senior Member

  7. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Eh Mario ! Are you a masochist or what ? I don't know a single person who rows a boat. Some motor them, some sail them and I even heard of a few that pushed their boats when the engine gave out, but rowing ?!!!

    Oars are miserable bloody things. By the time you get to the fish, your arms cannot work the fishing rod. And if the wind picks up, then it gets even worse, how about you end up on the other side of the pond like in the old days when they used the trade winds... Nobody "discovered" land in the old days, the wind blew them there.

    Everyone starts off where you are, with the small minimum excuse. Then an hour after you actually float you discover it's no good, you need something else. So save yourself a lifetime of frustration and pick a one time continuous expense and go for the real thing that is actually usable :rolleyes:

    Boats are great, building them (right) is a pest and very addictive. You'll know when the wife looks you up in your "yard" with the little fists clenched in the hips and she demands to know "how many more figgin boats are you still going to build..."

    I have three quotes for you -

    Nothing is half so much fun as screwing around with boats, except screwing around in a boat.
    - (Probably someone from Boatdesign)

    "Boats are like rabbits; you can have one boat or many, but you can't stop at two"
    - A. Onassis

    Boatbuilding - Fast, comfortable, cheap. Pick any two.
    - (Defenately someone from Boatdesign)
     
  8. marioantoci
    Joined: Sep 2014
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    marioantoci Junior Member

    re-design is nearing completion

    Thanks again for all of the great suggestions everyone. I've watched several build videos and decided on stitch and glue construction as I feel it best suits my talents. Also here is a picture of the redesign with several improvements.

    I will be going with 1/4" 5 ply for everything except for the stern. I added a v hull and removed some of the freeboard. I also lightened her up significantly from my first post removing most of the frames and keel, it's just not needed if I intend to glass which I do. I really feel like it's looking more like a boat I'll enjoy and less like a floating brick. I don't really intent to row here unless I have to, most likely go with 2.5 - 5hp I don't have any need to go really fast but if I can plain out I would be happy.

    I definitely have my work set out in front of me in terms of correctly templating this onto my plywood. I think it would be best if I build a 1/4 scale model out of thick construction paper to get my dimensions fine tuned. the only pieces I'm really concerned with are cutting out the bow with the right angles, I hope templating will help me understand this a little more.

    Regards,
    Mario
     

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  9. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Very roughly calculate the volume to submerge it, 100mm you will need about 300kg, so with you and the boat's weight it's going to sit right on the water.

    Small light boats are sensitive where you put your weight, an option is two hulls side by side that will have a bit more stability. http://wavewalk.com/blog/2010/03/18/resting-in-your-fishing-kayak/
     
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    If he is making a 3d model, then it should be able to calculate the Volume EXACTLY

    With an 18" draft, this design will fully displace over 800 kilos, so that's plenty
     

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  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Mario, can you post a 3 view image of you boat. The 3D doesn't offer much information about the shapes you've elected to go with.
     
  12. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    The real problem is that a boat that sit on the surface gives a bumpy ride, every little swell bobs you up and down and heels you to some angle, as well as push you around, and it becomes really uncomfortable when there's a chop.

    If you take the same hull and you load some weight in it then it becomes more comfortable, if you vee the hull still with some weight for stability, then it becomes even more comfortable.

    If I have to make a dinghy that does not have to carry a lot of weight, I will consider two displacement hulls side by side for the simple reason it will be a lot more comfortable and stable. A 3m by 1m400 total width with two hulls, if each hull is 400mm wide and 500mm high then the one hull will displace more than enough to carry two people. It should row easier than the wide single hull and track better. If you later decide to use a 2 or 3 hp outboard on it, it will fly.

    My two cents.
     
  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    that is looking much better, more like a real boat. Greatly improved over your original design.

    still looks like it has way more freeboard than you need, it should not need more than about 10 to 12" of side wall depth. making it tall does not mean you stay dry, it means the wind will blow you around a lot more. If your plan is to use it on inland waters, than it does not have to have a lot of freeboard to keep you dry.

    post some three views with more dimensions so we have a better idea of what you have in mind.
     
  14. marioantoci
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    marioantoci Junior Member

    Here are some side front and top views with dimensions.

    I'm 6'5 250lbs+ and I intend to use 2 deep cycle batteries with a 40 lb thrust trolling motor and the 2.5 honda 4 stroke I have. It's been my experience in small boats that I'm heavy so I usually put the batteries in the bow to offset some of my wieght. I want to say I lean toward overloading them a little. I also like the back seat forward a little due to the double elbow rotating extention I built for the honda. I re-engineered a minn kota trolling motor extention with some jb weld and two universal socket joints which works way better than I could have hoped for.

    I use to keep the cooler/live well up front of my old discovery sport 13'6" canoe. It balanced out quite nicely after I filled the cooler with water. I miss my little square stern but it was too small in width for me and I wanted something I can move a little in sideways that is. It was also conciderably wet when the wind would pick up in the afternoon and the seats were too low for my long legs. One time in Clearlake CA I ran into some trouble with wind and it took 4 hours to get back from the middle of the lake. It was a close call.

    I was planning on building an enclosure for the batteries in the bow that would double as a boat-to-shore step. I can place the cooler live well I made right in front of the front seat. I'm eager to get started but I really think I need to build a scale modle first.

    Mario
     

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

    So, your usual load will be 550 pounds, once you count yourself, the batteries, the fuel, outboard and cooler full of beer? This doesn't count the weight of the hull, a live/bait well or anything else. You really think you want all this in a short boat? This is quickly (or a continuation) becoming a Dolly Parton bra.

    The images you've provided again don't offer much. Can you post straight up profile, plan and sectional views, so the rocker, deadrise and sectional shapes can be seen?
     
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