Please help me choose the right plans for my needs

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Rhinox, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Rhinox
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Rhinox Junior Member

    Hey everybody!

    I've been stalking this site for quite a while now. Every once in a while I start getting this funny thought in my head that I could build myself a boat for fishing/excercise. Every once in a while, the thought goes away, but a few weeks later, I find myself right back here, trying to figure out what I can do to build me something that might just float.

    First, a little about the boat I'm interested in. Primarily, the boat would be for excercise. For the longest time, I've been reading all the pedal powered boat threads and I was "sure" that when I finally got serious about building something, that would be the route I would go. However, I recently decided that I already do a bit of biking, so a rowing boat bight be better for a more diverse excercise routine. Also, I'm not sure a pedal boat would lend itself to comfortable fishing, or just relaxing out on the lake, or carrying any gear (and any compromises to the design would sacrifice the performance of the boat, without making it much better for what I want to do with it).

    So, a rowing boat. I'd still like to be on the efficient side (from what I've read, long slender hulls are good). I spent some time reading the "Designing a fast rowboat thread", and I think something similar to the designs in that thread is exactly what I'm looking for. Not a racing scull with the oars on outriggers, but a more traditional style with oars on the gunwals.

    As far as where the boat would be primarily used, it would be used on ponds, and small lakes. I reside in the great lakes region (USA), so I might consider taking it out on Lake Erie during calm days (and even then, staying close to shore). But primarily, there are some small lakes I like to fish, and I don't have a boat to get out on the water (relatives have a pontoon boat, but I only get to go out with them once or twice a year to fish :( )

    So, my experience in boatbuilding... well, I don't really have any. Before you tell me to save myself the trouble and just buy a boat to be out fishing and excercising cheaper and faster, know that I've considered that option, and discarded it because I also need a hobby :p However, what I will say is that I'm above average in terms of being able to read something, and then know exactly how to do it. I can follow plans/instructions. I have the patience required to do stuff right. I'm a perfectionist (which I've found usually hurts more than it helps >_>). I'm an engineer, so I'm good with math, design software, and "figuring stuff out". I'm also willing to learn, and I read all the information I can find.

    All that being said, I know to start small and easy. I absolutely love the looks of the cedar strip bead and cove boats, but realistically I think I need to start simpler to first learn how to work with glass and epoxy in a functional manner, before I turn something thats supposed to be beautiful into garbage. So I've decided I want my first build to be a plywood stich and glue. I can get all the same practice with epoxy and glass, but not the added pressure of making everything flawless and beautiful.

    So, some constraints. At a minimum, I would like a boat to row around by myself with my fishing gear and lunch/beverages ;). I wouldn't want any more of a boat than to be rowed by both my fiance and myself, and carry lunch for 2, my fishing gear, and our dog. Somewhere in the middle would be fine as well (i.e. 1 rower, but can still carry both of us and the dog, or 1 rower + the dog, etc). I'd like this to be for more than just flat water use - I still want to be able to get out fishing even if the lake is a bit choppy. Displacement could be an issue - I'm not gonna lie, at 6'5" tall, 350lbs, I'm a big guy. some boats I've looked at that are designed for 2 would not hold my fiance and myself. I'm trying to lose weight though, and an "ideal weight for my body would still be no less than about 240lbs I would guess (in the last 6 years, my weight has fluctuated between 260lbs to 450lbs+ (gulp!)).

    So, displacement required for myself + gear has to be, say, 375lbs. Max displacement for Me, my fiance, the dog, gear, and lunch would be, I'm guessing, 610lbs. (my dog is bigger than a small child :p ) And of course, if I lose another 100lbs by the time I'm ready to build, then the bottom displacement required could be less as well.


    So, summary:

    Type: Efficient, classic looking rowing boat for excercise/fishing
    Construction: Plywood Strip & Glue
    Displacement Range: 375 - 610 lbs.
    Budget: Not really applicable now - might be a consideration later.
    Also, preferrably abled to be cartopped, so, less than 150lb weight when completed.

    Can anyone give me any advice on boats I could build to fit my criteria? I'm thinking there will be 3 catagories:

    1) Rowed by 1, no passengers
    2) Rowed by 1, up to 2 other passengers
    3) Rowed by 2, plus room for the dog. (I should note that for this option, the boat should be able to be physically handled by just me)

    I've found a free design on the internet that I both like the looks of, and feel really confident I have the skills to construct. Its called the "South Haven Dory" (if you google it, you'll find hundeds of links to the free plans - I think there quite good plans and very detailed). Its around 14', and the hull can be constructed from three sheets of plywood, plus some lumber for the gunwals. I believe this design would fall under category #1 above, but I'm not sure of the max displacement for the hall. If anyone could tell me a good way to estimate that, I would really appreciate it. Or, maybe even someone hear has already built that boat and knows how much it could hold. I'm by no means set on that design, however, so if anyone knows of anything better please let me know. I would even be willing to go custom if need be, but as I've never built a boat before, even if I managed to design something that would work perfectly, I might not have any idea how to build the darn thing without plans.

    Thanks for the help. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give as much information as I could to prove this is not just a random thought with no research done at all, but that I've actually been giving serious thought to the subject for far to long now and now having anything floating :p

    (P.S. Sorry if I mess up any terminology - most of it still sounds like a foreign language to me :p)

    (P.P.S. I realize that most of you here work more comfortably in metric units. I think in Imperial, but I work just fine in metric. I just didn't have a lot of time to convert all my numbers. I'll do it later if need be)
     
  2. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  3. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Welcome aboard..................................

    nice opening, and sufficient info to find a serious advice, thanks.
    Imho this design would fit your needs almost perfect:

    http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/FL14_study.htm?prod=FL14

    Proper freeboard, possible to be rowed by one person (not too convenient, so your excercise is given), or by two, and a cuddy place for the third family member at the bow. (that will make your excs. even harder). And for your "home ocean" the possibility to install a small outboard.
    Give it a look.
    The estimated time to build is given there with 20 hrs. FORGET that. If you have the skills (it´s not difficult), you might end up with 50 hrs. But, as a engineer you´ll need twice the time. No offence, I have read your text carefully, and that is just my experience that engineers think 5 times, recalculate 5 times and doubt their own calcs. 5 times, where the layman is just hammering it together. Sometimes with similar result.
    Let us know more about your thoughts or preferences.

    Stan, a beautiful boat, you and me might build that in a week time (together). But for a real beginner?
    Thats more the sort of second, and maybe final, version of the dreamboat.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  4. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    apex1, It is not a complicated build and he would get tons of help from the Glen-L people. Take a look at the customer photos on their site as they show many stages of the build. Just used some beautiful wood and about 10 coats of varnish in and out. If he goes slow and seeks advice he can do it. If it does not shine he can paint it--one builder did that and it looks great.
    Just think of the pride of ownership he and his lady friend (if she helps) would feel rowing that boat. Thanks for the compliment but give us 3 weeks, I might throw my neck out again and that HURTS!!! Stan (sent you a PM)
     
  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I agree, it could be done, it´s just strip planking, but did you notice his statement to be a perfectionist? I assume about 6 month of weekend and some evening work to get it done by a patient person. Car roof transport I doubt a bit.
    And dont be so decent, we can make it in a week (if you hand over the nails).
    Richard
     
  6. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Now I know I've driven more and longer nails than you. If you do not mind some dents in the wood driving nails is my best skill..........SR No roof top for this boat but only a small trailer. I just love this boat and condsidered using it as a life boat but would need a crane to get it topside. Well, we will see what Rhinox thinks.
     
  7. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    It would be a great boat to build and to own, and it would be an appreciating asset, unlike Superannuation..........but lets not go there.
     
  8. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Something like this might suit you. You can get the plans at Duckworks Magazine on the plans page DuckSkiff is the name and the plans are free...so you can check them out thoroughly before deciding.

    Steve
     

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  9. Rhinox
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Rhinox Junior Member

    Wow, thanks for all the replies so far :) (part of me was afraid my wall of text would be ignored)

    rasorinc:

    That glen-L Whitehall is absolutely gorgeous. I love it a lot. Actually, I've spent a lot of time at the glen-l looking through all the designs. A couple things make me nervous about it. First, the strip planking method seems complicated to me - even more complicated than cedar bead and cove. Maybe I'm wrong about that and its easier than I think though. Second thing is were I to build it, I would want to keep it a natural finish as in the picture. Part of the reason why I want to build a simple plywood boat first is so I can practice and learn to work with epoxy and glass first in a functional way, without trying to make a flawless finish. A third concern was that it seemed too big for me to comfortably row on my own, and that might be a problem because I know my fiance wouldn't be joining me EVERY time I wanted to get out on the water. If you could ease these 3 concerns of mine, I might just consider this boat.

    Now also seems like a good time to clarify that being cartopped isn't a hard limit. I do have a vehicle capable of towing a boat around. However, a few places I would like to be able to use the boat do not have launch ramps, and are just really small bodies of water anyways where the only boats allowed are either human powered or electric. I could live without access to those areas though.

    apex1: Thanks for the link to the Flat Skiff 14. It looks like a capable boat, and one I'd be able to handle building. However, I'm not sure its style is what I'm looking for with the wide transom. Here's an example of a couple of boats I've been looking at, that are the style of what I'm really interested in building:

    http://www.newfound.com/rangeley17.htm
    http://www.newfound.com/whitehall.htm
    http://www.newfound.com/adirondack.htm
    http://www.newfound.com/liz.htm

    'Course, building a boat not exactly in the style I consider ideal the first time would give me a pretty darn good excuse to talk the fiance (by then, wife) into building that second boat, now wouldn't it ;) But you're scary dead on accurate with saying how I'd be rechecking everything 5 (probably more like 50 times :p) and take twice as long to get something done. But time isn't an issue, because I'm also looking for this to become a hobby, and not just a "hurry up and build something that floats as cheap as possible" type of project.

    Here's my rough timeframe I'm envisioning: Moving from an apartment building to a house in may, getting married in june. That means earliest I would start building would be July. Its starts getting pretty cold 'round here in sept/oct, so I'm not planning on building something for use this season. That means I also have october through about this time next year to spend time building. Now, I realize something like that Dory I was talking about, or almost any small boat in plywood (let alone any wood) is going to be a 8-12 month project - I'll just start building later so I don't finish up in the middle of winter with the urge to see if it floats, and have nothing but ice around. But also, I'm not going to be turned off by somthing that might take 8 months to finish, so long as I feel I'm capable to get the job done, without completely messing up and destroying the whole thing, or making something that looks like I threw some scrap lumber together :p

    lewisboats: Thanks for the link to the duckworks plans. I will definately study them, even if I don't choose to build that boat. Unfortunately, it is similar to the boat apex linked to me, and not quite the style I'm looking for.


    Here is the link to the South Haven Dory Plans: http://cruisenews.net/construction.html

    I know it wouldn't be a whole family boat, but I'm worried it might even be just a bit to small for me alone. I think something similar to this, a tad bigger, still built in plywood would be perfect for my first boat, to make sure I know what I'm doing without making very expensive mistakes, and then try something like that beautiful glen-l whitehall or a nice cedar strip boat as a second or third boat later down the road.
     
  10. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  11. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Lovely stuff...unfortunately none are S&G...Shapely stuff like that requires more work (and a LOT more pieces) than plywood flat panel S&G. You might want to lower your sights for the first build or raise your time frame if you decide on going for the more difficult curvy stuff like that. However...THIS might intrigue you...It CAN be had in PW flat panel S&G

    Steve
     

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  12. Rhinox
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Rhinox Junior Member

    rasor: thanks for the link. I still think I want to stay away from the skiffs though. To me, they just look plain and generic, and more suited for an outboard than rowing.

    What do you think of the glen-L dory, however? It seems similar to the south haven dory I've been talking about, only a tad bigger. Its plywood, but I don't think its S&G. Reading through the bill of materials makes it seem complicated to me.

    https://www.boatdesigns.com/products.asp?dept=122

    Steve: thats a nice looking model. Seems like just about what I'm looking for. Is that your own design, or is there somewhere I can buy plans? As I explained in my first post, I'm not against coming up with a custom design if there isn't anything already developed out there that fits what I'm looking for. I would, of course, be dependant on help from the community here as I know little about boat design. I could try out free!ship - I think I could pick up on it pretty quickly, but using it to design a proper boat, well I know I have a bit to learn in that department. The only thing that worries me is if I get stuck somewhere in the building process, I wouldn't have any plans or support for help.
     
  13. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    That dory is a nice boat and not a difficult build. Also you can shorten it 10% if you want to. There are 2 sets of build pictures under customer photos.
    I believe Glen L. Witt a naval architect designed it. Can't say enough about the help you get from the Glen-L folks and forum members. I built my 1st Glen-L in 1958/59 The Flying Saucer. You do not have to use mahogany in this build. Might just be the right boat for you. Stan
    http://www.glen-l.com/picboards/picboard2/pic152c.html PS I'm now building the Bearcat from Glen-L increasing the length to 30'-06" out of wood.
     
  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Rhinox
    Do not fear the strip planking method! If it´s bead and cove, if it´s a proper design, if it´s a good timber, the right resin for the intended method, and no pressure in time, YOU can do it! period
    I agree, a S&G ply panel looks easier to handle, it is not! There´s only one disadvantage with the strip plank method: your mould has to be crafted very exactly, compared to a S&G mould. But I do´nt doubt that this part is not the one you fear. The Glen L design, rasorinc recommended, has a bit of nice detailing which makes it much more time consuming than any ordinary ply sheet boat, but thats it! Do´nt understimate all the tiny little stuff that goes into a boat! Building the naked shell is far less than half of it!!!
    Thanks for your agreement... I know you guys.. I employ or engage some several dozens of engineers and architects....... they are all similar.. precise, but not fast.;)

    To the designs you have pointed to:
    The Newfoundland boats are proven and beautiful boats........but, forget about. Not one of them fits your needs, too slender, not enough freeboard, sorry. Although Newfoundland have a very nice instruction on Strip Planking.
    Look under "construction notes" on every page (down).
    The dory shown in the last link rasorinc posted is even worse in terms of stability, than the above mentioned, just read the txt underneath the picture.

    Knowing your time shedule know, I tend to lead you towards a "real" boat, rather than a S&G.
    A double chine, as shown above, is notecible more labour, for both the mould and the hull, but does still look not as graceful as a strip planked boat!

    The "whitehall", rasorinc mentioned is a very easy to row boat, even single handed, it has sufficient freeboard and beam to fit your needs. And if it must not be carried on a car roof, I would say that Stan (rasor) was right to point to that boat.
    And if you go for that, you have a much better boat than in S&G. Have a look at my Gallery, if it comes to modern, wooden boat building, I claim, at least, to have a clue.
    My estimation, given in a previous post, was to be understood as serious. I assume YOU can do it to the quality and finish you´re demanding, in about 25 weekends or say 300 - 350 hrs. We will assist to get a perfect finish!
    Once you have started, make pictures, post them here, let the community assist you at every single step if needed! You are welcome! There will always be one or the other, experienced and well familiar with the exact problem you might think you have. Do´nt fear to mess it up, you will not! As mentioned, fear to rethink it too much, but then again, ask here.
    We all are learning here, none of us knows it all. And (thats my impression) the more experienced here, learn more than some "paste and copy" experts.
    Feel free to mail me if you like. (click the name)
    Regards
    Richard
     

  15. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    It takes just as much time to build an ugly boat as a beautiful boat. The ease of Glen-L plans is they are full size, no lofting just trace out the frame on your wood or make a full size pattern out of plastic or thin wood or a composite. It takes the guess work out of angles and shapes. Stan
     
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