Not another one!!

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Welder4956, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    Welder 4956, you would like to know how I decided upon a Roberts designed yacht. Before I can answer that, I need to give you a little background info on myself. I am a retired building contractor and as such have many years experience working with building architects. Navel architects are quite similar in almost every way. So after finding a design I liked, I sent for the introductory plans (which are not to scale), but in all other ways are exact. I found the plans to be very detailed so I purchased them. Now I admit that I probably do not need the detail of explaination that most amatures would need. As an example: I have increased the length of the boat by 7% which is 48". I have increased the size of many of the framing members and stringers. I am not an engineer, but do know structural strengths, stresses and strains. I have increased the over all strength of Robert's design with minimual increase in weight. My ultimate goal is not to go sailing, but my enjoyment comes from the building process. I am retired and this is my hobby. At the end of the day, I will have created a masterpiece that will put factory produced boats to shame. I had talked to a fella that had built a Roberts 434 out of steel and he sailed it around the world in 228 days. He said he often exceeded hull speed at 9 & 10 Knots w/o current assistance. He sold that boat and planned to build another Roberts design only larger. I have been a life long member of the experimental aircraft assoc and credit much of my engineering knowledge to them. I may be an amature boat builder but a very experienced builder of many things. I don't think anyone should start building a boat unless they have experience in some aspect of the build process. But then again, if one does not know how to perform a certain build task, then get a book and learn or ask someone. What is so difficult about that? I think building a boat is easy and fun but occaisionally requires a little foul language. Welder, you come across as a very educated person and my gut feeling is that you do not need the level of detail that a rank amature would need on the plans. Why spend $10,000 on plans when you can get what you need for $800. If you think the stability of a Roberts design is lacking then increase it. Build your steel hull and go with a wood deck. Place extra tankage and all tankage under the sole. Maybe add some lead at the bottom of the keel just to lower the center of gravity. Maybe reduce the height of the mast and add a bow sprit to make up for the lost sail area. If your an engineer, you can recalculate the center of effort of the sail area to ensure the weather helm remains constant. For the small price of approx $125 you can get introductory plans from Roberts and can see for yourself if they are up to your needs. Why rely on someone else's opinion? By the way, the Roberts plans sold out of Australia are stolen and incomplete w/o the latest drawing additions. Bruce lives in Spain. I wonder if some of your friends with poor experiences on the Roberts plans have gotten involved with the incomplete plans out of Australia? Good luck in your endevor!

    G'Day Mate
  2. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    ec, It was your first boat you had built and obviously as an amateur the first set of boat plans you you handled and any such person would be greatly "impressed" by any set of BR plans, moreso with that full size templates that's added.
    However, I you you have handled plans from other designers, such as in my case, Lavranos, Dix, v/d Stadt, Ibolt to mention but a few, you will understand the relevance of the quote above...
    Having said that, I wish you can see a set of v/d Stadt 34 or 40ft plans or any other by that design group - you will be stunned. As said before, v/d Stadt is my personal choice of plans to work from:cool:

    As Tad said, congrats on having built and completed your boat by yourself and may she treat you well.
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    There are several reasons for going to a ketch rig in the above 66' design. One reason is that the mast positions, sheets, etc. work with the proposed arrangement. Perhaps a more important reason is ease of handling. 1800 sq ft of working sail is a lot, splitting it into 4 sails means more simple options for easy sail area reduction. The fore triangle of this yacht is 800 sq ft, the main is 650, and the mizzen 340. These are big, heavy sails. Without power furling they are right on the edge of (perhaps beyond depending on how athletic you are) possible for the average Joe. Yes, power furling is wonderful, but for the self-sufficient world cruiser it is endlessly problematic. I prefer simple manual gear though on a boat this size I would highly recommend a pair of powered (Hyd. or electric) self-tailing sheet winches someplace aft of midships. These can get you out of a great deal of trouble.

    I tried to explain in post #28 why one might decide to invest more in a particular design. You are a neophyte and can't see the difference between one design and another...okay....please understand that folks with considerably more experience are saying there is most definitely a difference! I'm afraid you will find this out when you try selling your boat. Besides differences in performance, looks, arrangement, ease of construction, and structural integrity, there are vast differences in the value of the finished product.

    Have a look at the BR listings on, there are currently 90 of them. How is your boat going to stand out among all these? The BR designs are uniformly listed at below average prices for boats of that size, what could be the reason for this? First off no recognized builder, being of uneven quality (amateur built) lowers the value of the whole group. Even a badly built production boat is more valuable because it's a known entity. makes little sense but that's marketing.

    Again...being a neophyte you have "improved" the original design...a classic mistake. If the design had been done properly in the first place, your improvements would be unnecessary. Did you catch all the oversights, do all your improvements work together? As a buyer I have no idea. Please don't take this as criticism of your boat in particular, I have no knowledge of your project. I'm only trying to explain how (IMO) your labour might have more value when invested in a different project.
    1 person likes this.
  4. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    I looked at the Yachtworld site at the Bruce Roberts designs for sale and I say I must agree with you whole heartly. I viewed the photos of about half of the 90 boats for sale, and I must say I was not at all impressed with the workmanship. 95% of the boats looked so unprofessional that I can't imagine anyone wanting to make such a purchase at even the lowest prices. My goal is to build a million dollar yacht. I can see I have my work cut out for me to distance myself from the pack reputation-wise. As far as the workmanship goes--well that will be simple to accomplish. The first step in marketing is that one must at least arise in the buyer enough interest for them to want to take a test sail. Appearance is of the utmost importance in that regard. If meticulous workmanship was used to create true beauty, then a normal person will tend to assume that attention to all details of construction were employed. I hope I can accomplish this; however, I do not plan to sell my boat. I want something to leave to my grandson---something fantastic that he can say his grampa built.

    Have a Great Day !
  5. Dudley Dix
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 69
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    Location: Virginia

    Dudley Dix Designer

    I did respond to Welder4956 by private message but should also post this note for others. My plan and study pack prices are on the pricelist at . There are links to the pricelist from almost every page on my website, from the navigation menu panel.

    I am not sure why the "Prices" links are missed by many visitors, despite being prominent in the navigation menu. I guess that we all skim pages of information and sometimes miss what we are looking for.
  6. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    The starter of the thread asked me to explain what to do abt distortion when assembling a frame, least think was he:)

    I did not care to do it but will even though I bet it get s flak from some

    The frame may have many parts, if it is cut from a nesting CAD file maybe only two, the beam, and the sides, floor combined

    Or it may have many, if you cut it, a two chined boat can have 8 parts not including gussets (brackets)
    Anyways let’s tackle the most difficult

    AS I said before this is why you need the body plan full size, and the offsets
    So if you have 3 parts making up the sides of the frame, and a floor and a beam,
    You cut out as accurately as possible, and the joints at the sides are made up of equal angles, in other words the joint is bisected,, make the joint tight but prepped out so your weld will be full penetration You can assemble these three pieces as one and then into the frame OR you can assemble the whole ring as one
    Whatever you need to make sure the parts fit the loft exactly, flat bar is easier than angles, or t,s t,s are better to work than angles and so on

    So if you make up the first way weight heavily the pieces, the in the centre if the joint run a short hot tack, let it shrink then take off the weight, if the weld has pulled so the frame come IN towards centre then put the next short hot tack on the outside of joint, run towards the centre!! Do the same on inside of joint. Check again, if it is outside the line or inside don’t worry yet
    Prep out the ends of the tacks, with that thin wheel someone was talking of, then weld from both sides to the centre , keep the wells as small as possible but enough to fill the joint, second passes cause more distortion
    Let it cool, check on loft, if the frame is inside the line, take a dolly put under weld and peen the end weld till the frame fits, it takes very little, if the frame is Outside the line pein the outside edge of weld
    Turn it over, and do same
    it is a good idea to place a pice sheetmetal under the weld, stops loft burning up

    If you want to do the whole thing as one

    Weight it all down, then short hot tack all the joints including the beam and floor working from side to side in other words do one tack one side then it opposite
    It’s a good idea to use as much temporary bracing as you can lay hands on, like a strut from beam to floor
    The key is fit up and watching the thing all the time, after awhile you will get hang of it, you can really get the weldment to do anything you want with time and experience, but you will be frustrated many times first)
    Some rules say overlap frame to floor 21/2 times depth of frame, I don’t I usually reinforce that area in other ways, or when I do overlap , 2 times
    i would give Ganley a big fat miss, and I am not afraid say so in here , even though he is no longer with us and I dont wish speak ill of passed people, but often his sheer lines look totally broken and quite obviously you won,t get help from above
    i would go for the Dix boats from all thsoe that have come up here
    on the other hand you may try Mike Johns in here, who is one of the worlds true gentleman, but only when you are really serious as he is quite busy:)
  7. Welder4956
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: Tauranga

    Welder4956 Junior Member

    It wasn't but a nice addition to the thread I'm sure sir.

    I had the pleasure of a walk around a 40' Ganley today down at the marina and must say she was a fine looking vessel. nicely laid out and really well finished lines. A testament to the yard that produced her, which i think was said to be in Auckland.

    I have given Ganley a shot mostly because his work is well thought of among the local builders who have been most helpful. He is as you say contactable via a medium and as such not much of a reference point is available. Having said that one of the yard here has built several of his designs and are willing to help if the need arises. I'm sure there will be money involved but that is the same in all cases.

    A question i would appreciate some help on is the need for full templates on mylar film. I have read in a previous post by wynand that they are a superior template but if i intend to get the items CNC profiled would i still need them?

    One of the designers i am looking at supply these as a standard. If i have no use for them is it worth paying extra to have them?
  8. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    I use mylar film, in roll form, I never use cut files cos they are too dear and with alloy you can cut so fast with hand saw, but with the mylar you can pick up any dwg from the loft, lay on plate, centrepop the plate, and bobs your uncle
    i once sailed a Ganley to Fiji, was 38 or thereabts pacemaker, was awful so much weather helm, a bit of a dog really
    SO if you have the offsets and you have drawn your body plan , thats the use for mylar, , I have all the tanks floors on a roll right now for next boat
    in this case used rhino ,
    why dont you consider alloy? faster cheaper, less trouble
    i dont think any of Ganleys stuff is on CAD? puter spsoed save time, but God do they ever gobble it up
    sent you pm
  9. Dudley Dix
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: Virginia

    Dudley Dix Designer

    You are unlikely to need any patterns if you build from a CNC kit. Most builders of my boats build from offsets and bulkhead/frame diagrams, if building from scratch. A small percentage order Mylar patterns. Only some of our dinghies are built from paper patterns, they are too dimensionally unstable to use for larger boats.

    Ganley designed some really nice steel boats. I have a lot of respect for his work. I have only heard good reports of them from owners. Whoosh's is the first negative comment that I have seen.

  10. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    smile boat owners rarely knock their own boats

    But one double ender he designed was a full 12 inches down on her marks, enough said the man can not defend himself
    beats me why anyone would want a Roberts, so heavy, As Farr once said, light is not weak, and you get their in light airs, takes a flaming gale to move a roberts and why build 65 footer that is up of 40 tonnes when 28 in achievable? Displacement costs, bigger this that and everything else
    hey lets start looking after the buyers and stop being so polite, after all you put your plans up for sale RIGHT!!
    So why can not anybody critique the design?
    I have 3 Holden cars, they are absolute junk, noboby will tell me off for saying so
    You take the boat I think I posted pic here, it has been described as a beautiful boat, but I built her and she is not perfect, a wee too full aft which makes life a bit uncomfortable in quartering sea, that and the fact that I should have used aft lowers and no runners

    but make some observation in here, no matter how well founded and it is I BEG YOUR PARDON!!
    i say Dudley did you ever see a Ganley, or sail upon one?because if you did not, and I suspect you actually have never seen one, then, how prey can you make such a judgement?
    Rank Ganley as a real amatuer who scratched a living, from those who misguididly tried save a few bucks on a design
  11. Welder4956
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: Tauranga

    Welder4956 Junior Member

    I have erred away from aluminum for several reasons;

    It work hardens
    More prone to stress cracking
    Higher distortion rate due to heat co-efficients
    Welding requirements demand tighter controls
    Electrolysis once complete
    Stainless fittings to Ali=not good.
    Ease of repair in any port in the world

    Have heard the saying from many a sea dog that "steel is real".

    Hey if you can disparage those findings with something then i am all ears...well eyes in this case.

    I am researching corten (excuse spelling if it is wrong) but am not sold on the benefits as stands. Welding with Lo-hy is no problem it is my bread and butter. But high tensile normally has to give somewhere to gain in another. Jury is still out on that one. Many papers to read still.

    I appreciate the input of the gentlemen that have taken the time to help me with this stage of the project. I find politeness keeps the thread respectable and i thank you all for your polite frankness.

    I shall be giving all the designers i have looked at as hopefuls their own crack at the whip. Cost is a big deterrent fro the Van de stadt @ NZ$22500. compared with others down at NZ$1500.
  12. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    youa re so way off track, but wont go there in here,
    Corten, marvellous stuff, compared with the rotton mild steel , which can disappaer in a poof!! if left unpainted
    lets talk away from here, send you mail and KI will write or phone
    see the boat photo I posted here? well praised wherever she went, but in here? pettiness at work, no comment
    Give ALAN MUMMERY a call, a very good NZ designer, many many successful designs, inc ICE FIRE racer
  13. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    We all have dreams of creating this very pleasant environment where our kids will visit us and they will be interested in what we have and share our passions.

    When they grow up they will have other interests, make their own lives, husbands, wives, kids. If you're lucky, very small chance, maybe one will have a shared interest in your boat, but it's a long shot. It's the way it is.

    Our likings in females, cars, places and boats (amongst other things) vary greatly. When you are going to build your boat or have it build it mustn't be what others are going to like - it must be what you like, since you will have to live with it.

    One other thing to consider. Today you are young enough to handle heavy stuff, and do everything yourself. If you plan to be in this life still in 10, 20, 100 years from now you have to be able to do what you have to on your boat. So what I'm saying is it should be easy to live in, comfortable, easy to maintain. There will only be you.

    Stuff gets old as do boats. By the time your kids are growed up chances are good your boat will be old too, newer and better boats have come along... have more to offer, have more value. You get the idea. Grave yards I mean boat yards are full of pariental good intentions.

    Build the boat for yourself to enjoy, it is that value you get out of the boat what counts, and not what it's worth in money. Money is just the means to get something, otherwise it's really worthless, I've never seen anyone enjoy the money, only the things you exchange it for.

    Boats are great, aren't they :D
    1 person likes this.
  14. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Over rated in my view for the money one pays for it if to be used for building sailing craft. A little more stiff due to the extra tensile and that again makes it harder to shape and welding need to be AWS 7018 LH (low hydrogen) and that calls for a DC welding machine with enough OCV - welding also much harder to master and that puts it out of scope for the majority of amateur builders.

    As for the poof!! part, that is the very reason one has to shot blast a steel hull, regardless of the steel used, and to apply a proper compatible epoxy system well within overcoat times.
    Steel form rust many times it's thickness and to have the sea eat through it needs a very very long time (years) if the epoxy was damaged and not repaired soon after spotting a chip or damage - and this is true to any material used, fix as soon as damage is observed, period .
    The same will happens to you marvelous Corten if the paint is not repaired after damage - people believe Corten is rust proof with some anti-fouling properties due to the copper content of it, please come back to planet earth, that amount is so small, it can be ignored...

    Some quotes from Corten spec sheets attached;

    Paint does last longer on Corten steel as described in the Painting heading on the specs sheets, but, with damage paint the Corten will deteriorate slightly faster than Carbon steel...;)

    Attached Files:

  15. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    wyn, be honest, ddi you EVER USE corten, and if you did not how can you judge?
    main prob plate is , they dont come in larger sizes
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