New To Boatbuilding, Need Some Tips

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DrummerVT, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. DrummerVT
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 2
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    Location: Vermont

    DrummerVT New Member

    Hello, im dakota! Im 17 and new to boatbuilding.... As in i've never built one before. I'm Wanting to build my own fiberglass boat. Not that this is relevant but in july 2017 i will be starting college at Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida
    That being said i have a few questions.

    Question 1.) I have a rough image in my head of what i want it to look like, and i want to draw it up in some sort of 3D modeling program so i can be 100% certian i like the shape. Is there some sort of FREE software/Program i can download that will let me design an entire boat in full detail?

    Question 2.) I Am mainly using this for walleye fishing, but i want it to look like a speedboat. And i also want to be able to use it for saltwater bayfishing. What type of hull should i make? Deep V?

    Question 3.) will each layer of fiberglass increase the weight capacity of the boat? Or are those 2 factors irrelevant to eachother? Id like to build this boat so it could hold Around 4000-6000 LBS

    Question 4.) whats the best way to buld the hull without a mold?

    Question 5.) How would i make the transom fit 2 100hp Outboard main motors and a 20hp Outboard trolling motor? And how would i need to measure spacing to find where the motors need to be mounted?

    Question 6.) i plan on the boat having the following dimensions
    Length Bow-Stern: 20'
    Beam Width: 8'
    Stern Width: 8'

    how would i calculate how deep to make the hull If I want the deck to sit 6" above the waterline?
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Whooo eee Drummer VT. You have a lot of questions.

    I pause to welcome you to the forum. There are some generous and helpful people here who will work with you as long as you are "straight up" with them.

    Item number one: You do not design a boat to look like what your sense of style tells you. Boat design is not a matter of wishes but a matter of established parameters that have been proven appropriate for the particular purposes assigned the boat.

    Item one- A. Before you design a boat you must have a "statement of requirements", commonly called SOR. Different boats are designed in different ways in order to comply with the main purpose of the boat and the way and the conditions in which it will be used.

    There are several other "Items" that we need burden you with at this time. Suffice it to say that you can not just design a successful boat unless you know what you are going to do with it and why..

    Drummer, we were all 17 at one time or another. Many of us were full of ambition and wild ideas. So we know where you are coming from with your pipe dreams. This is not to demean you in any way whatever. The fact is that "you have a lot to learn grasshopper". (a line from an old TV series). A lot to learn does not mean that you will not or can not learn. You will if you continue your quest. I and we encourage you to go for it but at the same time be receptive to the learning process that requires good student practice and the absence of pre conceived notions.

    Good luck to you in your new educational endeavor at the school in Orlando.
  3. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi Drummer,

    I'd suggest you start with an existing vessel of similar form, 20' is trailerable and easily transported and tented for repair and modification. Fixer uppers come cheeap or "free".
    Use your skills development on that with the aim of not making money but breaking even with a well chosen model. Apply the design efforts into the fishing fit out that you want within a known envelop hull wise, learn from the repairs required from the original build- such as stringer/floor/transom then do it better. Plenty of great hulls with issues that make them and the gear attached free.
    The boat if it come out sweet can showcase your skills in gaining employment.
    There really isn't much scope for great leaps in hull design at that size beyond styling fluff, though fishers appreciate functional ergonomic fit outs.

    All the best in your endeavours from Jeff
  4. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    Was gonna repeat this but messabout put it well. Read Dave Gerr's nature of boats, then some uffa fox books (seamanlike sense in powercraft or something like that is a good powerboat book).

    and I think 1st boat to build should be <15 ft plywood boat.
  5. DrummerVT
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 2
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    Location: Vermont

    DrummerVT New Member

    Thanks guys

    Hello, thanks for all of your replies, when i said i knew what i wanted it to look like i meant the style of the deck space... I actually recently bought a 1980's-ish rinkerbuilt with a 1967 40hp johnson outboard on it... I had planned on doing the hull either a V, Deep V, Or Tri-hull .... I want to build it to be sturdy enough for fresh and salt water and i want the deck to sit 12" - 16" above the waterline... I now decided i want to be able to have Two 300Hp mercury verado's running off of 2 100 Gallon gas tanks... And have a 15 HP mercury four stroke as a trolling motor. I plan to make my OWN livewell lining because i want it to have an "overkill" livewell for walleye fishing. I plan on building a livewell into the floor thats 3' W x 4' L x 16" D and having a large baitwell for livebait when saltwater fishing. If i build my own boat i plan on making it worthy for more than just bayfishing... I want it to be able to go 3-4 miles offshore for shark fishing.
  6. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    `You have made some big leaps in 2 postings. Now it is off shore fishing with 200 gallons of fuel that is 1200 pounds and 2 -650 pound engines to bute. This plan would be the smallest boat I would consider. You do not want to design
    your own with this much weight and many variables as you do not have the education to do so. So start looking at plans that include your wants and desires.
    Also, Glen- l plans are all done by a NA . Keep this in mind when looking at building plans. Welcome and enjoy the processes. PS do not forget a self bailing
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    This is something you will hear a lot: drawing a boat with software is not designing a boat. Boat design starts with determining the characteristics required, operation parameters, target speed, etc. That will drive the design stages. Also, you need to familiarize yourself with the building techniques for the chosen materials. The drawings are the final part of the design.

  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Drummer, you need a set of plans. From your questions, you're clearly unaware of the complex set of variables required, to design a boat that suits your needs. There are lots of plans available in the size range you're looking at and these will cost less than, the paint you end up putting on the boat, so don't go cheap on plan pricing. Have a look at, and other sites for appropate designs to suit your needs. The other option is to take the necessary engineering courses, to absorb the information you'll need to self design one yourself. It's your call . . .
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