Newbie greetings

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Walrus, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Walrus
    Joined: Feb 2015
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Finland

    Walrus New Member

    Hello everyone,

    First of all please accept my apologies for 'eavesdropping' for such a long time - I've been browsing through the wealth of information shared on this discussion board for ... years. Now I have finally reached the point of no turning back as I don't want to keep on wasting any more of my precious life. I simply need to start building a boat.

    Thank you all and others for bringing so many interesting issues up that it is almost overwhelming. Even though there frequently seems to be differences in opinion almost taken as semi-insults on both sides of the question, as an outsider I have often seen the point given from both perspectives.

    With the need to upgrade my old not-so-seaworthy 19' family daycruiser I recently visited the Helsinki boat show. The modern DC/BR/WA boats are like new cars, all emerged from the same 'wind tunnel' with no personality while also lacking the speed range and fuel economy that I am looking for. Displacement speed is too slow, but I don't have the need or $$ to go 40 knots either. My first 'build' as a young chap was a robust platform catamaran built on salvaged and battered Cessna floats. Yet the ride was exceptional with the wonderful stability and ridiculously low need for thrust.

    So a semi-displacement cat it is, with a bunk for two and speed in the 15kts range. No such boats are up for sale at a local dealer however, so one must be home built! My dream has for a long time been to design, build and operate my own boat. Inspired by such great men as Jorma Ponkala and Sven Yrvind from our neighboring Sweden. But, I have slowly realized that there is not such thing as a 'perfect boat'. Any feature on a boat is always a trade-off.

    Be it Fiji or Finland, the laws of physics remain unchanged. But many other elements vary. There are so many variables in designing a boat, all interconnected to one another, that my lack of knowledge just cannot cope with all that. And that exactly has so far kept me from anything but scetching.

    Therefore, as I need to get started, I'm going to rely on well-proven designs on my first build from the scratch. My 'dream' boat - designed and built by myself - will eventually see daylight too, but for now I just need experience - badly! :) My only limitation is space, and like Yrvind, who built his ship in his mother's basement, the design is limited to the 21' of my garage. And while some of you may give me a serious warning for altering the design building material, I will still use foam.

    Even though it has been noted elsewhere on this board that Finnfoam has a lower pressure resistance that that of divinycell, the company actually manufactures a 700kPa material too per special order. It is utilized e.g. in permafrost insulation under railroad tracks that are used by exceptionally heavy freight trains. I'm going to visit the plant in near future to get some samples.

    Here's a clip on a boat built by Ponkala using Finnfoam:

    So, once again, thank you all for sharing your knowledge here and discouraging me for jumping into conclusions! :) I'm saying this because I don't want to build an inferior (and possibly dangerous) boat before I have climbed the learning curve to the point where I can make a bad design and understand the consequences why it doesn't perform the way I intended.

  2. Soggyhull
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 9
    Location: San Jose, CA

    Soggyhull Junior Member

    Hello & welcome, Walrus! That's exciting your embarking on a build. I'm new here myself and have a project I've been kicking around a while too. This definitely seems like a great place for information for folks like us, though I've found it a bit prickly at first go and wonder if maybe I should have lurked a little more before jumping in. But as you astutely point out, that would be waste so here we go! Cheers.
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,718
    Likes: 316, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

    Welcome and enjoy the journey. Finish the boat with the same number of fingers you had at the beginning.
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