New Boat builder overwhelmed by plans!

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Imafoo, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Imafoo
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Portland, Oregon!

    Imafoo New Member

    Ok..I've spent a fair amount of time reading as many posts as I can digest here. I'll start with a comment - My god, your depth of knowledge here is just plain amazing!.

    With that out there, HELP! I have been slogging through so many plans and failing to find something that fits what I want.

    Strip built...needs to fit in a 11'x22' space...well, maybe that big of a space. I'm heading down to a local ranch right on the river today to check out the access into one of their storage barns so I have a place to build in. My plan is to start off with something rather small, around 8-10'. After that's done the plan continues with adding a couple of feet with each successive boat until I hit the high 20's and design one targeted towards single handing long hauls.

    Strip built is pretty much a must..I must say I'm just a little stubborn about what I like, and to me strip and plank built boats are the ultimate in art meeting function. I also have this sick disturbing obsession with junk rigs, but I figure that will actually come in handy when I start getting into the bigger hulls and 1 or 2 people crewing. And, well, with strip built it fulfills another need..buying small amounts of material at a time and only being able to fit in a few hours a week followed by a free day to work in.

    With that out of the way, here's another question : Just out of curiosity, have any of you ever used cedar fence boards to plank with? I ask this because I used to be a..and you'll love this...landscaper (so away with your garden comments!) so I've seen plenty of A grade straight grained cedar fence boards lying around.

    I'm pretty sure I had another question or two...come back with questions asking me to specify, since its 5 in the morning and I'm rather muzzy headed right now..

    Thanks in advance!

    *edit* I guess I should chime in about lap now that I'm more awake..Having shaked the exteriors of a few houses and roofed ~50 houses with 3-tab and comp shingles I'm VERY aware of the inherent benefits of lap construction. That being said, I like it..but my little heart is set on strip....Damn me...
  2. Deadeye
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: BC, Canada

    Deadeye Bender of Nails

    Nah, can't really fault someone for liking a particular technique!
    I'm looking through designs myself, though I'm going bigger ~mid-30's to 40 feet, probably cold molded ply.

    The boards need to be clear, and decent length for the size of boat and the plank thickness. By 'decent length', I mean that if you try and use a short plank the way you would for flooring, you'll get a flat spot in the hull because it won't bend the same amount. This could be an issue if your stock is already cut to 5 or 6 feet for fenceboards, unless you do a punt or jonboat or something with similar flat panels. I'm guessing you'll want to rip them into narrow planks, so steam bending might be an option as well.
    I saw a pretty old plan online, from Pop Mechanics maybe, of a punt made with transverse bottom planks - might be the perfect use if you do have a bunch of precut lengths...

    Red cedar's definitely a good choice for a hull because of what makes it good for landscaping, plus it's light weight. I see you're in Oregon so I assume it's the same, but here it's a pretty common choice for planking a wooden hull.

    I'm sitting on about 900 bf of 4/4 red cedar that's air drying as we speak - not sure exactly what I'm going to use it for yet, but it'll have a flat end and a pointy end for sure. I'll be building the dinghy before the 'big boat' I guess...

    What plans are you looking at ?
  3. Imafoo
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Portland, Oregon!

    Imafoo New Member

    Oop..hrm...That was rather muddled...The fence board idea was just more of an idle thought then a desired way for me to build a boat ;)

    And..well..everything I can find information online design wise is what I've looked at so far ;). Which is why I've become completely overwhelmed by plans that DONT fit what I want..Damn you stitch and glue!

    On that note, I did actually find a plan I rather like the look of. Its a little bit bigger then what I wanted for a first size so its going to be put on a shelf for a while before it happens. (Now if only I could find more) (The k-12)

    I am most likely going to build a canoe or three, followed by a kayak or two and a scull in there somewhere since I've always wanted one, yet didnt want the multi thousand price tag ;)

    On more of a 'look, a plan, lets murder it' thought line..What are the difficulties in taking a stitch and glue design and murderlizing it to a strip or plank construction? Would it just be easier to find some design software, find a boat with lines I like and then bash my head against the keyboard till I work out something like it thats more strip friendly?

    um..yet again I feel like I'm missing well
  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    I don't think there're two Rs in murdelizing. It's easy to take a plank on frame lines drawing and build a stripper instead, provided you have some background and a bit of good advice. Just don't do the reverse.
    You might like the Cosine Wherry, by the way. It's designed for stripping.
  5. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Look in Amazon or elsewhere for a book by Mac McCarthy. He was the grand guru of strip building for canoes and other small craft. Look also for a book named; Rip, Strip, And Row. Get that one too. American Canoe Association and Canoe and Kayak magazine have cheap plans for small boats, many of which are strippers.

    Strip building is a laborious process. It yields some gorgeous boats if you are willing to do the work. And plenty of work it is. The bitchin part is the endless scraping and sanding that you do before you apply glass sheathing. Plenty of sanding after the glass work too. You will need a good table saw with a very accurate rip guide. It takes one helluva lot of ripping to make even a small boat. Then you will do well to buy bead and cove cutter bits for your router. And the router will need a reliable set of guides as well. One of the elements of a strip built job is the number of molds (formers, shadows, or whatever you wish to call them) that are needed. Making the molds and getting them all faired and nice on the strong back takes some time. It is a tedious process because you have to spend a lot of time and attention to parts that do not look like a boat yet. Patience man, patience!

    Western red cedar is an entirely suitable material for strippers. Does everyone know that WRC is a mild carcinogen? The reason that cedar is insect and bacteria resistant is that is that it contains a considerabe volume of chemical components that are toxic. That is why bugs do not like the stuff. Never mind!

    Cheap wood like white pine is perfectly good for strip building. That is true if, and only if, you encapsulate it with epoxy/glass. Total sheathing is part of the structural rationale for strippers anyway. So do a good glass job no matter what wood you select.

  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

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