ocean cruisers made of plywood...

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by capt vimes, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    hi!

    i would like to know what you think of ocean going cruisers (sloops with cutter-rig) in the length of 12-15 m (40-50 ft) made of fibre reinforced plywood...

    i personally have absolutely no experiences whatsover with this material and would be thankful for any input on material characteristics, strength, thickness of construction and such...
    if one could point out advantages and disadvantages it would be great...
    or if it is just plain dumb and not adviseable as well... :D
    thank's
     
  2. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 980
    Likes: 14, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 185
    Location: usa

    frank smith Senior Member

    There are many designs that could be made from ply, but I think that most of the advantages of ply are lost as the size goes up . If you interest is in a chine hull, then steel or aluminum make more sense IMO . If round hull , there must be some molded ply boats around . There was a boat called a Newporter 40 that was plywood sheathed in glass.
    the keelson was made of laminated ply .
     
  3. jelmerwijma
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    jelmerwijma Wijma Marine Consultants

  4. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    thanks for the info...

    but i am actually not looking for a plywood yacht.. i am just curious about the material for the above mentioned purpose..

    i know the advantages, disadvantages, the strength and the week points of steel, aluminium, wood, FRP in any kind or form and even ferrocement but just nothing about plywood constructions... :confused:

    i know it is widely in use for smaller boats like dinghys of all shapes and sizes up to a certain length... the concept of using plywood for ocean going passagemakers is somewhat new to me and i am a curious person... ;)
    so i simply would like to know how this material is performing at a greater scale and if it is recommendable...
     
  5. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 980
    Likes: 14, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 185
    Location: usa

    frank smith Senior Member

  6. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 980
    Likes: 14, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 185
    Location: usa

    frank smith Senior Member

  7. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 980
    Likes: 14, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 185
    Location: usa

    frank smith Senior Member

  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,287
    Likes: 323, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    It is a good material. At that size it is still competitive in price and weight with metal boats.
     
  9. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 951
    Likes: 33, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -12
    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    A friend built a 37 footer out of hard chined plywood in the early 70's and cruised with his family around the Pacific for 7 years. The family are all now cruisers, so it couldn't have been too rough. The boat cost him $7,000 to build ,so it didn't owe him anything.
     
  10. Crag Cay
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 643
    Likes: 48, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 607
    Location: UK

    Crag Cay Senior Member

  11. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    how thick would the hull be for a 13,5 m or 45 ft yacht?
    and what would be the kg per m² or lb/inch² if you prefer... ;)
    can this stuff take the load of a 3-4 ton keel at 2.0 m draft and how or what with do have to strengthen the keelson (is this the right word?)?

    and thanks crag... because of the RM yachts i got actually very curious about this material... ;)
     
  12. jelmerwijma
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    jelmerwijma Wijma Marine Consultants

  13. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I would like to fully concur on that!
    We have seen much larger boats made of ply. Though in my personal opinion somewhere in the mid 50ies metal becomes the more handsome choice.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  14. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 1,800
    Likes: 55, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 608
    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Plywood is a wonderful material as long as it conforms to a standard such as BS1088,a boat built of ply is a different boat than one built of metal as it is possible to build very light in plywood.There are many,many plywood Searunner trimarans cruising the oceans of the world that are 30-40yrs old.John Spencer of New Zealand designed many larger plywood boats including the 69ft racing schooner "New World", the 73ft ocean racer "Buccaneer" and perhaps the most loved raceboat on the US west coast,The 2 times transpac winner 65ft ULDB "Ragtime" which last year at 42 yrs of age won the LA to Tahiti race,the coastal classic in NZ on IRC and the Sydney Hobart race on IRC.its a Great material.
    Steve.
     

  15. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Yes, Rags has many miles on her now 45 year old plywood hull (launched 1964).

    After sailing the Tahiti race, at time in nealy 40 knots of wind, she was cruised to NZ, raced in the area of her birth, sailed over to AUS, raced the Hobart, was shipped back to the US, and then sailed her 15th Transpac (that's 30 years of Transpacs), then was sailed back home from the Islands.

    When you consider the current mast in Ragtime is probably more than 10 feet longer than the original, and the modern bulb keel is making much more righting moment, it is a tribute to her materials and construction that she is still stiff and fast.

    A boat like Rags has been pushed much harder than any cruising boat would be, and the plywood material is still doing fine after nearly a half century of duty. Seems to me this is a good indication that a plywood cruising boat should be possible.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.