new Great lakes heavy weather cruising houseboat!

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by assycat, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I'm not so sure everything Bolger did worked good. (I just remembered I got banned from the Yahoo Groups Bolger site also. Damn, I'll have to take the Dale Carnegie course.) I'm thinking most of what he drew never got built.
    Just a tiny bit of advice, with no handholds, you would have to crawl off the top of the ladders.
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  2. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    All great ideas, and thanks for the post...I have a limited budget like most others on here. Money is huge factor in what I build or buy.
    One of the reasons I liked Bolger is that he was cheap- a poor man can own a yacht type of guy.

    ...functionality over form. But then functionality is beautiful.
    I might look at one of his other designs...
    Ive heard the Micro trawler is exceptional in rough water. despite the fact that its flat bottomed- the keel does in fact help with the seaworthiness- See Duckworks article on it...
  3. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    Thanks Gonzo!:) You make a good point. the boat i sdesigned is 32 ft loa.

    What do you think of the Micro trawler- I wonder if the claims that - "it has more room than any 20 ft boat" on the market (its only 14 ft) are correct?
  4. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    ;)I had noticed that too. I was going to remedy the problem... But usually if I get more than a couple people not liking my design I tend to listen to them. if it was only one or two that didnt like it- i would ignore that but- when EVERYONE thinks it not a good idea- its time to listen...:!:
  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Keep plugging assycat. Start smaller and develop your building techniques. Study the boring average looking boats and learn what makes them tick. When you go out on a left field design, you tend to loose a lot of versatility. And that is very much needed in a small craft.
  6. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    Thanks Phil- Duly noted...its all good- successes are built on failures.

    What r your thoughts on a scaled up microtrawler?..they can be stretched to 20 ft.

    planing hull too.
  7. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I don't know that one. My only brush with Bolger was when I offered to build a Birdwatcher on the beach near Cabo and use it as a support vessel/sag wagon for a bunch of Kayakers. Several of us had the trip in mind for about 20 years, and by the time we looked at it seriously, and considering the likely skill level of family members, I figured we needed support. My plan was to buy the materials in Ca. and builder her on the beach. I was going to give it away after the trip. It was cheaper than hauling something to and from the east coast. Trip never happened, but I did research the build.
  8. goodwilltoall
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: nation of Ohio

    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Was looking through Garden book for tunnel drive boat called Heron and never found it but, Mudlark looks like what you want. ?? as far as rough water capabilities.

    Attached Files:

  9. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    Hi Goodwill- ill research that- again it looks like an expensive build...which really dictates what i can build. the two guys i really try to emulate when tinkering are bolger, and Beuhler. (pls forgive my spelling if I got Buehlers name wrong) The funny thing was- I bought a design from Buehler. modified it to my liking and the built it. It was a design called riverwalker. It was about 28ft x 10 ft and flat bottomed. I asked if him if that boat could make serious passages on the great lakes and he reponded by saying- "i dont see why not" if it starts to pound, just slow down and take it easy"...altho not much was said further on the matter and I sold the boat before I had a chance to try it. I built that boat for under 2500.00 to hull and cabin stage. using wood and epoxy. I doubt it is going to be easy to find a boat that I can build which will do what i need for the prices I am willing to spend- hence Buehler and Bolger.
    Is that design a Benford?
  10. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member


    I grew up spending summers on the Great Lakes.

    I would very critically consider your proposed design.

    It could work but only if it's WAY more seaworthy than it looks.

    It wouldn't be my first choice.
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  11. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    Its already done Tom, Im withdrawing the design. My rational for it working was.
    1. It was based on a bolger design, which used the same keel type.

    2. the upper wheelhouse would not be all that heavy and therefore not place a lot of weight on the stability, as a heavy structure would.

    3. the Boat is a stable platform sine the boat is essentially flat bottomed, and my experience is mostly with flat bottommed boats.
    for ex. Barges are made flat bottomed and carry great wieght aloft when carrying bridges and platforms etc. yet in heavy seas seem to have no issues with stability despite the huge amount of windage. they ride on the surface more like a cork. my attempt with the keel was eliminate that type of movement. yet still maintain the seakeeping ability of a flat hull...

    4.with precautions, and not being stupid(which i can be) such as running in a beam sea in 50 knots winds , the vessel could handle moderate sea's.

    I wasnt planning on going into a nor'easter with it.

    I personally cant see how the vessel would be unstable especially with ballast added to the keel?(of course im not an n.a. so i guess that doesnt count)

    5. the top cabin is only about 12ft x 6 ft beam.

    6. I also figured ive seen grand banks style trawlers with more windage by far. Look at all those flybridges and such on smaller boats- they seem heavy to me? at least some with all that equipment and chairs etc.

    The height from deck to monkey island is 9 ft.

    Plus, this last summer on lake huron i saw a 45 ft'er with two full decks. The boat was so high that when the owner(who was from Michigan) was talking to me onboard, stood well over my head(and the lakes are down so it would have been 3 ft higher if normal lake levels!).

    that boat stuck out like a sore thumb. and I actually wondered how he had made a crossing of lake huron in THAT THING!..poorly designed too from my perpsective.

    It was also -to me- ugly as sin. But apparently it didnt have issues.

    Jay benford has the small ships series- two decks! 48 ft(?) and very little "v" to those hulls, so i reasoned if he can do it in those then mine should be much more stable with a flat hull.

    My intuitive understsanding is that flat, wide hulls, should inherently be more stable than a v hull which if taken to the limit, would be wedge shaped, and therefore more tender.(?)

    alas what do i know.

    as far as looks, esthetics etc..I love my design..its functional - junky and cheap.

    And...I knew a guy who built a 40x8 ft barge type hull , had a 12 ft x 8 ft sunken cabin, hull painted black(gaudy) and sailed thru the ICW to florida. spent the winter on it too!

    Of course he got the stink eye from many an affluent(effluent! as i call them!)folk with rich, ostentatious and opulent yachts.

    7. the need for a shallow draft cruiser, on the GL's since the GL's are dying because the water is being drained and stolen from them by large tyrannical conglomerates.

    Aside from the weather issues and glacial rebound, and some other unknown factor, which dropped the lakes 1 ft in a matter of 1 week, 2 years ago,(thats 1 quadrillion gallons per inch! so times that by 12! )
    so something bizarre is going on. anyway off topic, but
    all in all I thought it wasnt bad.
    Guess i thought wrong..
    but its good to bounce my ideas of others who know more than I.
    liek i said if it was a couple people saying something bad about it--id ignore that but when everyone says i should be concerned--im willing to listen to them.
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Bolger's first commissioned design was a 32' sportfisher, but he'd spent many years as an apprentice to Lindsay Lord and John Hacker, plus as a draftsman for L.F. Herreshoff, plus a lot of collaboration with other notables of the era.

    Don't be fooled by the simplicity of some of his designs, the shapes he used where carefully worked out. He designed about 700 different boats. I don't know the percentage that were built, but most designers have lots of "orphans" and other designs that don't see a launch. Most of these aren't a result of the designer's effort, but more typically because the client has had priority changes, in regard to the project.

    It's not enough to draw up a hull Assycat. This is the first step, at least a GA sketch, but then comes the number crunching, so it'll balance the way you like and float where you suggested it might, come launch day. Then of course are the technical aspects, such as the shapes employed working with the materials or fitting within the expected flow parameters, or offering the performance envelop envisioned for the yacht. Designing the structure to tolerate the loads expected and still having usable living spaces within. These things are the tedium of design work. The pretty pictures are the last thing on the "to do" list, as you don't know what you've got, until the details are fleshed out.
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  13. assycat

    assycat Previous Member

    Good points. I really don't have the drive or desire to pursue all that work.
    There is a lot to work out by the looks of it then. I didnt know that Bolger had worked at all those places.
    In fact I dont know much about his other designs at all.
    To the the uninitiated- he seems to use simple ideas and shapes. very intuitive ones.

    maybe ill buy that set of plans ive been looking at for the Microtrawler. or something in those lines. wooden/epoxy. Fast to build. Relatively inexpensive. etc.

    looks dont matter- functionality does, for me personally.

    Do you think the Microtrawler could be extended to over 20 ft? Im told by the person that sells the plans (also an n.a. I believe)that -you just have to add length to the middle.The original design was 14 ft, but many have built it to 18 and more. It has an 8 ft beam and flat bottomed but planes.
  14. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    If you're looking for small trawler type boats, Jay Benford has designed a whole lot of them.
    Go look on his site, it's not the easiest to get around and kind of incomplete but you'll find them.

  15. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I have six books by Phil Bolger on his designs and one on sail rigs:
    Small Boats 1973
    The Folding Schooner and Other Adventures in Boat Design 1976
    Different Boats 1980
    30-Odd Boats 1982
    Boats with an Open Mind 1994
    Bolger Boats 1983 contains Small Boats and The Folding Schooner
    100 Small Boat Rigs 1984
    Bolger also published designs with commentaries in Small Boat Journal and Messing About In Boats

    I recommend all of his books to anyone interested in small craft design. The vast majority of the designs include lines, offsets, sail plans and construction drawings (magnifying glass needed to see all the details). The commentaries include the history and objectives of the design, and what Bolger considered to be its success and failures.

    Bolger designed much more than "simple plywood boats". He did focus on the objectives of a particular design and didn't let convention get in his way. If a classic appearance was a primary objective then that's what he designed. If function and low cost were the objective then that's what he designed.
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