Requesting start-up information.

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Jay and Ebben, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Hi Everyone...
    This is my first post. I am exploring the possibility of building a steel sailboat. The picture I am posting is a 1961 38' french built double ender I used to own. There were many features that I appreciated in her design and others that I would clearly change. One thing for sure was that she was sea worthy... and if she went to the bottom it would have been my fault. That was an attribute I insisted on prior to purchase... and she never came up short. I LOVED THAT BOAT! She was launched within a year or two of Moitessiers Joshua and the similarities were uncanny. 15 tons of wood and steel. Beautiful.

    I am an amateur welder but worked for 15 years on sailboats, fishing boats, vintage speed boats etc. and have skills that should line me up with a successful build should I chose to run this course. I love spending time with my 12 year old son and hope he remains as interested in boating as he is now. I will include him as much as his interests allow. He has been welding himself for 2 years - I am so proud of him! You can check out the beginning of his sailboat dreams by going to 'youtube' and search; 'The $1 sailboat'. We are now much further along than the slideshow shows - and we hope to have it in the water in 2012.

    I read the thread on origami here.... think we'll go a different course ; )

    I have read the Big Sailboat Project story... great reading.

    Starting point; can anybody recommend the best books to read on amateur steel construction? Videos?

    I am continuing my path in the direction of Moistessier... I have always held him in very high regard and have read all that I can find that he has written. I want (and need) to keep it as simple as I can. I would need to construct as much as possible to make it happen at all - to be able to afford it.

    Any help on cost estimating a steel hull would be helpful. Any rough guesses to start? Pincoya was 38' LOD, 35'LWL, 11'6" Beam, 6' Draft, 6'7" Headroom in the main cabin, 28,000 lbs displ..

    I am weighing the cost advantages/disadvantages of buying a salvage hull and rebuilding it.... what I do have now is time. I would not be able to launch until my kids head away to college.

    Out of time to post. I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts!

    Don't be too hard on us.... we are amateurs here. If my son posts, please keep in mind that he is 12 years old - and he is a wonderful kid!
     

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  2. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    On books, I'd get Tom Colvin's steel boat building book for sure. Next, an out of print one by Gil Klingel has a lot of good information in it. Neither really deal with a lot of the modern stuff once the hull is finished but are good for getting the hull finished!

    'Steel Away' has a lot of good general information & pictures etc.

    Dave Gerr's books are good for mechanical & other systems.

    I've got the Origami boatbuilding DVD and it's worth having regardless of whether you plan on building an origami design or not.

    Recently I got the first of the big boatbuilding project DVD's and while the early video isn't real great, it was interesting how Sandy & Gena did things. I'll certainly buy the next one when it's available.

    IMO you need 4 things to successfully build a boat - money, time, space and perseverence. Consider all 4 before you start.

    Me? Nearly finished my 12m steel hull.

    PDW
     
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  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The hull and deck are about 10-15% of the total cost of a boat. You are not saving a lot by getting a derelict. In fact, it is more expensive to rebuild than to build. If your finances are tight, a used boat is the cheapest way to go.
     
  4. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    PDW - I have ordered a few books, included in them is: "Steel Boat Building: From Bare Hull to Launching" Thomas E. Colvin, "The Nature of Boats: Insights and Esoterica for the Nautically Obsessed" Dave Gerr, and "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of the Offshore Yachts (A Nautical quarterly book)" Stephen L. Davis - They look great. Others on boatdesign.net suggested they are good books....

    The boat pictured below (in my original post) was epoxy/glass covered 10 years prior to my purchasing it. I knew it was risky to buy the boat but after it was surveyed the surveyor said it was in remarkable shape - which proved to be true. I paid 44k for it in '90. It has had 2 owners since I sold it and the second owner has not launched it since he purchased it 12 years ago. The poor fellow that I sold it to passed away shortly after he purchased it. The boat happens to be on the hard only 1 hour drive from here. I have reconnected with the owner and have offered my shop and services to him in exchange for building equity into the project. I have yet to determine what he paid for the hull or how much he has into it at this time. I told him that in order for me to work efficiently on the boat I would need it here - which he is considering... but I am having a difficult time getting answers to my questions. I told him I would build new spars (which were never covered and are now only valued for measurements and hardware), pull the volvo penta and rebuild it, rebuild the Aries self steering, and work on myriad hull problems. It is a long shot - but that is what I am weighing any other projects against at this time. My wife and I have serious concerns over the issues of partnering on an adventure like that - for obvious reasons. But it may be one of the few options I have at this time.

    I owned the boat for only four years myself... and sold it when my fiancee (now wife) gave me the ultimatum "it's me or the boat".... I remember thinking "well, I can always find another boat!".... not so easy... looking back in hindsight. For many years now I have thought that if I were to pass away without spending some serious time offshore single-handing... my life will be incomplete. I would love my wife and kids to go too, but in reality, it looks like I will be alone a majority of the time. Which is fine by me... to give it a try. I am no Moitessier... but I can relate to the way he feels about many things.

    I started to fall in love with steel for its ability to take a pounding and still bring you home alive. It appears to me that it was a less expensive option for the homebuilder years ago, but now, I am not so sure. Steel prices seem crazy high. I often joke with my co-workers at the fire department that I am not just a 'bottom feeder' any more... and they should now refer to me as a 'salvage expert'! They really have no idea what to think of me (they are all half my age)... I do know this though... by looking at obtaining what I need through salvage, it opens a world to me that others in my shoes have never, ever, considered.

    What can I say... I don't have an endless supply of money... I want to sail out my end years on big water... I want to return my precious cargo (wife and kids) to shore when they come out with me... and I cannot sell or mortgage my house to make it happen, and I have many years to pull it together. Moitessier never had much more than a pot to pee in, his masts on Joshua were solid wood, he rigged with galvanized steel.

    Am I crazy to be thinking like I am? My wife thinks I have clearly lost my marbles.

    The picture below is of a triple cockpit Gar-Wood I rebuilt 20+ years ago. I love mahogany.... but I think I am ready for a change.

    Anybody willing to take a pot-shot at what Joshua would cost in materials to build these days? I will obviously spend time to accurately estimate costs later, but for know any guesses?

    Jay

    ps. I forgot to mention... the picture of Pincoya was taken off of Venezuela. A wonderful day it was!
     

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  5. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Agreed...lots and lots of time and patience. The money, well that of course depends on whether you wish to constantly compromise or not.

    As for welding.
    I would strongly recommend that you find a local college or industry training centre. Go along and train up to be a properly coded welder. This may sound an overkill. But the lessons, methodology and correct procedures that you'll be taught will prevent you making many errors (unknown at the time) and also provide you with more information about your costings too. Since as you're trained the amount of gas you consume for your small test job, the wires, the sets etc, everything you use can eventually be accounted for and then be related to a bigger project. You tutor would also be able to guide you too...get the "free" advice.

    If you can produce good quality welds and consistently and fully understand when to redo or start again, and no 'bodge' it, will leave you with a quality build that you and others can be proud of. For structural detailing you can just post them on here, many about who'll answer your questions.
     
  6. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    ....emmm, seeing as you KNOW what quality is, I dare to suggest that you will be spending $200k to build your new boat (doing everything yourself of course)....quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten......you will obviously be making a boat the your son can inherit with great pride mate, go for it. He will love working with you and end up taking you out on "your" boat.....all the best.
     
  7. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

  8. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Thank you Landlubber for your reply. I looked at the link you provided and was fascinated and amazed at how similar the hulls were! I won't bother you at this time for specific lines drawings as I am trying to first get an idea on what I might expect to spend to make it happen. To see what may be possible.

    Pincoya was drawn by Maurice Amiet and built in Vandernotte, France. I had seen a few other Amiet drawings but they were not as refined as I thought Pincoya was. Below decks she was beautiful but in a robust way.. not the fine joinery you see today, but practical and very well done. Unfortunately, the current owner "got rid of the tacky interior" which almost stopped my heart when I heard it. The interior was clearly european and very original. 'Rugged' comes to mind.

    I'll keep you in mind... I will contact you if I go further in this direction. It would be a thrill to see the lines however, I have much to read before then!

    Thank you again for your kind offer.

    Jay
     
  9. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Looking for plans/lines drawing for moitessiers "Joshua"

    I am moving ahead with the feasibility study of building a steel hull vs. other options that I have previously mentioned (re-obtaining my old boat or salvage and restoration). I am reading as much as I can on steel right now and am still drawn to a combination of design between "Pincoya" and "Joshua". A few of my design parameters are: approx 38' loa, comfortable at sea, single handing, safe in big water, moderate speed, inside steering (both Joshua and Pincoya had similar set-ups with a wheel in the dog-house on the aft bulkhead - which I would like to move so that the helmsman can be behind the wheel).

    Like Moitessier, I am not wealthy - but that will not stop me from getting back on the water... I spent four years on the water on Pincoya and was only on a mooring or dock for less than 30 days (give or take). I know I can make this happen - I am starting in earnest now, and I am planning on 10 years for the project to be ready for departure (my youngest is off to college at that point).

    If you know of a set of lines for Joshua to study please let me know.

    Thank you!

    Any thoughts about the NEWEST information of steel design or construction? I am concerned about so much information that is 20 years old or more. So far a favorite web site of mine is Berckemeyers... but the designs seem to have flat runs/bottoms that are not quite the direction I am moving.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer

  11. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Tad,

    Thank you VERY much.... I have been enjoying the sites you mentioned. They are packed with information! Wow!

    Jay
     
  12. welder/fitter
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

    Welcome aboard, Jay and Ebben!
    Wynand's site has a lot of great info.:
    http://5psi.net/
     
  13. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Thanks for the heads up on Wynand's link. I have already read a bunch of his site and have learned much. I have also read many more of his thoughts around this site... a harder working man is hard to fine! ; )

    For the fun of it go to this link and you can see my sons project boat. We are awaiting warmer weather and will have the bulk of repairs done this summer. The boat went aground in Connecticut a few summers ago and we have at least 10 holes to patch up below the water line. Launch date is not until '12. The motor is on its way back together now... if the link does not work just copy and paste it into your browser. It is fun. The hull is otherwise gutted.

    Jay

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvJCdiUu_cw&feature=related
     
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Not to pop your balloon, but unlike Moitessier you have a woman telling you to get rid of your boat. He lived like he did because sailing came first.
     

  15. Jay and Ebben
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Vermont - U.S.A.

    Jay and Ebben BilgeRat

    Gonzo,

    No problem, my balloon is carbon under kevlar and difficult at best to "pop".

    Any boater worth his oilskins knows the value of a "keeper". She is exactly that.... ironically, prior to my moving aboard back then I had sold EVERYTHING I owned.... so that I had NOTHING to come back to. At the last moment, I met her and she jumped aboard, never having sailed before. I have to hand it to her, she has some moxie. She held the helm at times when I saw others bail for the companionway. And, here I am, planning the back side of my offshore life with her support. I can't complain. Life has some strange twists, of which in mine, I have few, if any major regrets.


    J-
     
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