Petrel - My first boat! (Yes, I have medical insurance)

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by knightyo, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. knightyo
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Ok, an introduction....

    I've been an avid scale model builder (wood) and woodworker for years. I've built a number of models, so actually have some of the terminology down a bit. I can look at plans (below), and understand the material. However... This is the FIRST time I've ever build anything to scale! I've picked the below project for the following reasons:

    1. I want a sailboat
    2. I want something relatively simple for my first legitimate build
    3. I want a cabin
    4. This particular design "feels" right
    5. I'd like a larger deck area (sunbathing g/f), but the maximum size I can build with the space I have available is 16".

    Link to project:
    http://svensons.com/boat/?p=SailBoats/Petrel

    Now... What do you experienced guys think right off the bat? I hunger for completely objective opinions on this one.

    At this very moment I have a deep desire to run to the store to purchase wood and get started, BUT after spending a lot of time browsing this forum, it's evident that I'm going to need to be pointed in the correct direction first before purchasing said wood.

    Question: Based upon the size/shape of the project, what type of wood would you guys recommend? My budget IS tight, so I can't go to extremes, but would very much appreciate a general nudge in the correct direction.

    I am a picture nut, so I intend on documenting this build with pics as I go. Who doesn't like pics? :)
     
  2. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

  3. knightyo
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Thanks cthippo!

    I'll have to check the med insurance to see if psychiatric care is covered or not. Maybe it would be cheaper to just start drinking? :D

    Thanks for the link to the other plan as well! I can tell that you are trying to steer me more towards a kit type of thing so my odds of success will be greater. :D I don't know what it is tho... The thought of making my own frames is just really really intriguing. That might be pride which I might pay for tho....

    I did notice on the Petrel plans that the frames are just shaped sections bolted together.. That the individual frame components don't slide into each via a join. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I can sure see how that would make assembling the frames a lot faster.
     
  4. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Well...the Bill of Materials is pretty comprehensive even if done in an era of better supplies at much cheaper prices. Exterior grade plywood isn't what it used to be unless you get verrrry lucky. Better to go with at least marine grade fir...and that isn't even very good these days. There are plenty of choices given for framing and other structural parts...just remember that "oak" is not Red Oak but Live or White. It is possible to substitute some clear tight grained Douglas Fir for some of the hardwood although you should spring for Oak or one of the other Hards for the stem and breasthook. Try to avoid Ash though...it tends to rot easily (but has been used for many years so don't discount it entirely). A sampler of epoxy for glue would be the way to go...it is forgiving of not so tight joints. Personally...if I glued it I would seal the joint with epoxy after assembly just to keep any standing water from wicking up any accidentally exposed edge grain.

    Back to the plywood...Fir will check unless protected with a layer of cloth and epoxy...which pretty much makes it as expensive after treatment as some decent meranti Aquatek or Hydrotek marine grade ply. Soooooo... as a recommendation....I would go with the Aquatek which is cheaper than the 1088 Hydrotek but still better than the fir and cheaper in the long run. I just shelled out $1735.00 (plus another $100 in mileage to pick it up) for ply for my next build. However... I bought Hydrotek (Aquatek wasn't available) for the bottom and sides and Occume for the cabin sides and top (for the weight). This bumped up the price by several hundred dollars. Are you going with the Centerboard or the Keel version?

    My boat too is 16 ft although not of a traditional design.
     

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  5. knightyo
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Wow, that info helps tremendously! Thanks!!! I'll start exploring different pricing etc tomorrow for the types of wood you have recommended.

    I think I'll go for the keel version. It would feel strange, I think, to build the centerboard version...
     
  6. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Maybe you should check out the fine print in your medical insurance. Does it cover psychiatric care? And if so would the urge to build a boat be considered a pre-existing condition, and therefore not covered?:p
     
  7. knightyo
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Hmmm.. Pre-existing conditions... I'm thinking I'm scrood. Lol

    Ok, below are pics showing where I'm at with the project. I have the wood necessary for framing, and am in the process of drawing the frame patterns. I felt very good about this this morning until drawing frame #1 to scale based on the dimensions on the plans, and discovered that I don't know how to precisely replicate the curved section of the frame. I'm going to blow up the pic a bit, and do a bit of graphing.. I'll report back later. :)


    Framing wood obtained
    [​IMG]

    Kitchen table drawing has commenced!
    [​IMG]

    Oh crap moment.... I'm not sure how to draw the proper curve.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You may want to reconsider the choice to build Petrel. As a kid I sailed a few and they're a bit wanting in most regards. They get their butts kicked against modern versions of similar sized sailors and you have a lot of materials to purchase, cut, fit and eventually install. A modern build of similar dimensions, will weight half as much, use half the materials and you can kiss off all the fiddly framing stuff too.

    One of the most difficult things you can do is select a design that suits your needs. A set of 60-70 year old free plans hardly seems likely to be well suited to a 21st century sailor's needs. The BOM on that build, has materials listed that you can't even figure out what they are, let alone find.

    Look over at Glen-L.com, Bateau.com, CLCboats.com and bandbyachtdesigns.com (B&B) for some good, modern designs. Yep, they're not free, but they don't cost much and you'll have a boat that can keep pace with a modern, plastic production craft.

    In fact, considering you like Petrel, I'd recommend Sam's "Nancy's China";
    [​IMG]

    It has a 1/3 of the parts of Petrel and will out sail it too. It has a few different rig options and you can get sails professional built, specifically for it easily.

    [​IMG]

    It's even available in a basic plywood kit too.

    Take your time in choosing a design to build, as you can just as easily build a boat you'll hate to own and sail as one you'll enjoy.
     
  9. knightyo
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Man, that was a VERY helpful post! Thank you very much for your advice. It's posts like that which made me start this log. Even though I might not follow sensible advice each time, I do seriously evaluate it and ponder things.

    I've done a LOT of thinking about this, and am going to "stay the course" with Petrel as I have been having a blast rescaling, drawing, and cutting out the frame sections. I derive more pleasure in building things rather than the end result, if that makes sense. For me the best part of a project is in figuring out how to do things, change things, improve things, etc. etc.. I've already had to make modifications from the original plan due to its age, but in a way, that has been part of the fun. I think I'm a masochist.:cool: (I already see some things on Nancy's China I might incorporate as well tho!)

    Below is an almost completed frame. I just need to cut out one more section (bottom piece). Before I fine cut and sand everything to size and then assemble.

    What type of screws/glue/epoxy would you guys recommend for attaching the 3/4" thick pine sections together? I'm on a bit of information overload with the options in this area. I'd like to use my Elmer's wood glue and old rusty wood screws but thought I'd better defer to the forum on that one. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Elmer's Wood glue will just fall apart at the mentioning of moisture. Mild steel screws will work, but in no time you'll have rust stains and deteriorating fasteners.

    Epoxy is the logical choice, though you could use other adhesives, understanding that joints need to be very well fitted and heavily clamped or they just don't work, unlike the loose and sloppy fits that can be employed with epoxy.. Stainless steel sheet metal screws are the reasonable economic choice.
     
  11. knightyo
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    knightyo Junior Member

    Hi Par,

    I was kidding re the Elmer's glue. :D

    What type of epoxy would you use? And are stainless steel sheet metal screws really doable? I was thinking I'd like to do a combo of epoxy and screws.. Just didn't know the exact types of each!
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The beauty of modern plywood epoxy constructions is that there are no mechanical fasteners. Mechanical fasteners and plywood are not friends.

    Easy boats to build are Sharpies. Fast, elegant and suited to plywood.

    Surf around the net to identify the size and style that suits you, then purchase the plans. When studying the plans you will learn of the design build challenges vs your skills and money

    ...Many , many, many stock designs on the Internet.
     

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  13. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member


    Epoxy is awesome, but it's expensive and something of a pain in the rear to work with. For assembly I prefer Gorilla Glue which is cheaper, expands about 4 times to fill gaps as it dries, and is waterproof. Once your frames are together you can coat them with epoxy or polyurethane if you like bright wood, or paint them.

    Stainless screws will work just fine, especially if you're going to paint or epoxy over the heads. One thing that can help is to dip the threads in epoxy before you drive them in, which will help reduce the possibility that water will follow the threads into the wood. I use either flat or pan head, Robertson (square) drive stainless screws on my kayaks and they work fine.
     
  14. lewisboats
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Expanded (foamed) glue has no structural value. Ounce for ounce epoxy outperforms everything else except resourcinal and that requires precise joints with paper thin to no gaps. Epoxy will also do the best job for the money. You can get a quart of 1:1 epoxy from Clark Craft for $21 and two for $38 and that will do a bunch of joints and endgrain sealing. You can use many different kinds of fillers but I like wood flour as a general all around filler. Thicken your epoxy with wood flour to a honey consistency and you will have enough to wet out the wood and still fill fairly well unless the gap is large. If that is the case, prewet with a bit of unthickened then add your flour to peanut butter or thicker consistency and lay it in there. I agree with the Robertson drive screws... they stick on the bit and let you drive one handed while holding the work piece steady.
     

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    You can do all of this for FREE and get a FREE trip to Florida!

    I have plenty of "fun" things in my boat shop for you to do! :D:D:p


    CTHippo: I have found that Gorilla Glue costs quite a bit more then epoxy (System Three Epoxy). They don't even sell gallon jugs of Gorilla Glue so you have to buy tiny little over priced containers. I wonder why we have different experiences there...
     
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