planning on cutting a wooden hull along the centerline

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by jedclampit, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. jedclampit
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Hollywood, Florida

    jedclampit Junior Asparagus

    Here we go again.

    I'm planning on cutting a mahogany strip plank and epoxy hull in two, right down the centerline. She is a 40' Spray constructed over the last 20 years and is landlocked in the rear yard of the original owners backyard. I need to ship the completed hull only (no deck as of yet) across the contry. In order to save money I want to ship one half at a time on a street legal trailer without permits and escorts.

    Has anyone experience in cutting a ship down the centerline and then bolting and epoxying the two halves back together? The designer thinks that this will be okay. any helpfull hints or ideas?

    The boat weighs 6000 lbs, is ten feet tall, forteen feet wide and forty feet long.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    LP Flying Boatman

    Hey Jed,

    Miss your show.

    Before you do any cutting, you'll need to made sure you can get the thing back to where you want it. I'd suggest making some cross pawls (braces) to gage the width of the craft. Mark them ande save them for putting the boat back together. The floors are going to be trash. However, you have a couple of options. Cut there floors in half and build new floors that can be "scabbed" on to the old floors. Or, remove the old floors before any cutting and reinstall them after the move. Ditto for the breast hook. Depending on how the tramsom is installed, it may be best to cut it off rather than split it down the middle.

    It might make sense to make a set of molds from the hull before any cutting takes place and use them in the reconstruction. Either internal or external would work.

    The thousand dollar question is, do you realize what you are wanting to do? Is the money you are saving worth the investment in time and money in the deconstruction and reconstruction? I'd be leary of the strength of the vessel after such a massive surgery. Such an undertaking should have the oversight of an individual that can attest to the strenght of the vessel after reconstruction and can advise on where to cut the vessel in the first place.
     
  3. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    dont know if you can get the boat out of the backyard,,,without cutting it ,If you can I would seek other means,I just moved my 32 ft sailboat it was on the back of a schoolbus,I had a semi truck tow truck move it! the boat is 10 ft wide on the back of the bus it was 17 ft high. the law in ohio says a wrecker can move it but I had to put wide load signs on it and had a chase car I dont know how far you want to move this but you might look into this. also check out construction companys with lowboy equip, also if you have to pick it up with a crane get some help from the pros, an amiture will crush your boat. I put my boat on a cradle made of I beams so I can jack it up and put it on a backhoe trailor...were thers a will thers a way just be carefull .go to longliner45 long version and see. good luck!
     
  4. jedclampit
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    jedclampit Junior Asparagus

    Note: I've got to go across 14 states...From New Hampshire to Florida...about 1500 miles.

    Also:

    The topography where the boat sits is approximately 80 feet from the swivel point on a clean spot for a crane to set up which means that I need a 150 ton crane to lift the sucker up and over the house...this is a full days rental and permits and another $2500 - $3000 just to get the thing on a trailer.

    That's the thousand dollar question... and then there's the semi with the chase cars for the 1500 miles and then another crane to get the project off the trailer....and there goes the budget I had for the engine, genset, batts...etc. You can get a lot done on a project boat with $15,000.

    Anyone want to address the problem of cutting the sucker in half? The original owner is a hobbyist marine architect and he was dead against cutting the thing open, but Bruce Roberts the designer was okay with it.

    The keel is solid yellow pine and the hull is steam bent 1-1/2”x1-1/2” mahogany strip planks epoxy and stainless screwed together. He’s got over 60k in materials and several thousand man hours. I don’t want to screw the pooch on this one but money is an issue.

    Thanks again for any input.
     
  5. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    have ya got any pictures of her ?
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm familiar with the design, I built a Spray many years ago. It wasn't a Bruce Roberts, but had similar modifications (cut back forefoot, deeper draft, etc.). The strip plank version of this boat, in the bare hull state can be cut down her keel batten, but provisions for keeping her shape must be made. I too transported mine form up north (New York), partly completed (half planked) but didn't cut her, as a marine transport buddy owed me a favor.

    I'd recommend you build a closely spaced 2x4 structure on either side of the centerline of the boat's interior. Dividing the boat with this structure inside will maintain the shape and permit reassembly when you're on site. This could also be done on the outside of the vessel, but over the road limitations are already an issue, why add to the problem. Cutting the hull in half will be a difficult operation, but bracing and tackle could be rigged to ease the halves down from their up right location. I'd flip them and make the halves ride on the centerline, exterior of the hull facing up, away from the truck bed. Other wise you need a cradle to support the sides of the hull during transport. Near by trees can make useful gin poles to lower the halves, plus to roll them into position and orientation for transport.

    For what it's worth, you'll spend many times more then 15,000 grand, just finishing the boat, let alone equipping her. The cost of the bare hull, on a Spray sized yacht, is less then 10% (closer to 5%) of the total cash, effort and material out lay necessary to complete the vessel.
     
  7. Gilbert
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Gilbert Senior Member

    I don't mean to imply that you haven't thought of this, but so far I am in the dark about how the builder planned to get the boat launched.
    Didn't he have something worked out to deal with moving it?
    By the way, I think Spray was a marvelous boat and it's neat that so many sisterships are being built.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Spray is a great party boat a wonderful live aboard, but a sloth at sea. She doesn't maneuver worth a damn, only the engine can help her up wind performance, though you can carry a small car in her belly and still have room for sleeping 8. She carries enough displacement for a few 40' yachts, but it does make for a wonderful motion at sea. If you don't mind getting your butt kicked by a Tahiti ketch with a blown out mainsail, then this is the boat for you.

    It's charm is the first solo rounding thing. It wasn't the best boat for the effort or of the era. It in fact was a worn out oyster dredger (most speculate) left to die in a farmers field. It was likely designed and built in the early 19 century. It was a working craft with considerable cargo capacity, lived a hard life and was long out of breath when the good captain had it given to him. He chopped several feet of her stern (hence the odd, barn door transom) and made many major design changes to suit his needs. He intended to work the boat and did for a few years up and down the east coast. I don't think he set out to solo 'round the world, but it just worked out that way. Being the skipper he was, I'm sure he would have preferred to attempt this endeavor in a more suited vessel. The Spray's abilities are more a testament to his skills as a skipper and carpenter, then the boats abilities as a passage maker. The balance under sail alone thing, much talked about, was common in most divided rig vessels of the era. Displacement was spread out across her middle third and good balance in the ends was the rule for most yachts of the period.
     
  9. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    ok;I have a line on a 40 ft trailor.Ill probably buy it if you want to use it email me . for free ,I hate to see you cut her in half ......longliner
     
  10. Gilbert
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    Gilbert Senior Member

    "I may some day see reason to modify the model of the dear old Spray, but out of my limited experience I strongly recommend her wholesome lines over those of pleasure-fliers for safety."
    Quote from Joshua Slocum in Sailing Alone Around the World
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you do have some spare time Gilbert, I recommend you punch up the Spray hull and see how she's fares against the "pleasure fliers" the dear captain referred. Her stability figures alone will make you want another boat. This and several other reasons are why newer renditions of this classic are heavily reworked "in the spirit of" the Spray. As sailed around the world by the good captain, you'd not believe the height of the CG, especially compared to what we're typically seeing today. Lets just say she had a nice easy, slow, rolling motion that could lull you to sleep if you could stop thinking she might keep on going one time while you snoozed.

    Most of the working and commercial craft of the 1800's were scary, over canvassed, under ballasted, beasts, requiring lots of effort to bring up to a level of comfort we can live with in the 21 century. They had very capable, madly driven crews with brave captains, all feared drowning or getting their fish to port after the boat next to them. Most of these vessels didn't die a lonely death on a deserted stretch of beach after years of faithful service. They went down with all hands.
     
  12. jedclampit
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    jedclampit Junior Asparagus

    You guy's are the best...

    Hey guys, thanks for all the input…

    The old owner was planning on waiting on the next big flood... He lives atop a hill and his neighbors all call him Noah. When he started the building process there was a vacant lot to his rear down the hill and his idea was to ice the hill in the winter and toboggan the thing down to a waiting trailer. Well he didn't have the foresight to purchase the lot and ba-da-bing up went a house.

    As for me...I'm still looking a buying a trailer (found one that will carry 18,000 lbs and is 40’ long) and maybe finding some other way than to cut her in half... I'm still working on it. I'm sure that I will have a hundred questions for you guy's in the coming months as I try to finish my design and start my construction.

    I'll post a picture soon...She has a large timber (3x12) skeleton mold or frame still in her belly as the owner had just begun to frame the deck rails. I'm getting more information so I'll keep you guy's in the loop.

    Thanks again,

    Jed
     
  13. jedclampit
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    jedclampit Junior Asparagus

    PAR...

    I like your thinking... I'm am not too crazy about the design myself, but the old man is a friend of the family and I will be saving his broken heart by finishing her. My plans are to make a sailing trawler out of her with a range under power of about 1000 miles. I noticed the high C.G. and this too disturbs me. As the hull in complete up to the deck lines, I still have some powers to modify the ship to my whims, however adding a pilot house and full width aft cabin just makes the hair on the back of my head stand up for fear of lying over.

    Can I post a pdf of my design? Can you or someone suggest a program or help me run some numbers to see what I can do to make her more of a passage maker?

    Yea I know….it’s a big order, but I’d rather know now then in the midst of a raging storm out in the open.

    Let me know your thoughts?

    Thanks again,

    Jed
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Jedclampit, I'm not too far from you, drop me an email and we can discuss other methods. Personally, I'd rent a front end loader and drag her on a heavily built cradle and skid to the a marine transport waiting on the street. There it could be moved a short distance to a place (like a marina, or other outfit with a big stationary rig) so a travel lift, gantry or crane could place her on a flatbed, for the ride south. Putting her on a train may also be an option.
     

  15. jedclampit
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Hollywood, Florida

    jedclampit Junior Asparagus

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