Reverse Engineering (conversions And Modifications)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by viking north, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Epic this is.
     

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  2. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Daiquiri,I sheeted the decks and superstructure with 1/4 marine mahogony,epoxy coated it on the up side, then glued and stapeled on 1/4 airex foam and finally layed up about 3/8 thickness of FRP and finally rolled on gelcoat.(this core makeup to reduce moisture due to condensation on the interior) I painted the decks with a high quality marine enamel with nonskid where needed. There was a problem of bonding the FRP to the aluminium along the deck edge even thought i rough sanded it prior. In hindsight maybe i should have used epoxy resin but even that i think it still would have been a problem due to the different expansion rates of the materials. I think a gasket under the FRP and then a rubrail with fasteners thru the FRP and into the alum. would solve this problem where this combination of alum. hull and FRP deck is used.I coloured the deck dark to allow it to heat up and hopefully expand close to the same rate as the alum. hull above the warerline. It seemed to work, I did not end up with any stress cracks in the gel coat. The alum. hull was painted with a recommended packaged marine formula of etch primer and two part paint from International Paints. Below the water line i used tin based antifouling also supplied by International Paints. I equipped the hull with 6 zincs arranged in spaced pairs as recommended for alum. hulls. In addition i installed a shaft zinc and one on the rudder. I never had any problems with galvanic action on the alum. hull. Changed hull zincs about every 3rd. year but changed shaft and rudder zincs every year. Suspect it was because of my brass prop. Re. your enqirey on handling i gave an account on my final post, once again thanks for the enquirey and compliment, it wasn't an engineered high teck build but it was alot of fun and served it's purpose, it got a frustrated sailer out on the water. Geo.
     
  3. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Needless to say in this vast and amazing world there are people that “have” and those who” don’t” and most of us are somewhere in between. My project is targeted specifically and unashamedly at fabricating a sea going vessel capable of but not limited to circumnavigating the world’s oceans. The engineering focus will be to mitigate an individual’s reliance on everyday solutions by recycling and salvaging old ships lifeboats and converting them into sensible, affordable, and most importantly well built motor sailors. This is not an original idea nor is it mine. However, as we move through the “dot com age” into the” app palm held digitally amazing life styles of modern consumerism age”. I for one realize that the majority of people seem to be less and less self reliant. Most people are very concerned with what others think of them or their ideas. Unfortunately, this is much to the determent of their individual freedom or sense of it. We don’t need to be countercultural orientated to understand the benefits of wanting to be free. You do have to be a little smarter to fully comprehend how to pay less for it. In the immortal words of Mel Gibson “an Australian playing a French Scotsman in an American movie wearing Pictish makeup”. “What will you do with that freedom”? The deep ecologists among us want to live a simple life with less of an impact on the planets dwindling resources. Those will be the ones with the Junk sails and bio diesel engines in their conversions. They will probably have a bit of growth on the keel their very own eco system. This could be quickly removed by visiting a fresh water lagoon for a short time but there will be no toxic bottom paints. If you wish to travel without the memorable and intimate post 911 body searches or more importantly using all the carbon based fuel ( killing the freaking planet as we speak). Well sailing in a recycled vessel with solar powered systems delivering medicine to poor starving neglected souls might just work for you. A lot of people will go out and get a big bank loan and purchase a big boat but it is an unfortunate way to go about things. What you are paying for is the sum of all the materials, the sum of all the labored and some other stuff. You might have to work some very long hours to pay it all off. What a strange world it would be with people who want less but an intelligent less. A world where an authentic experience is valued. Where the working man can take his kids and leave the stench of corruption in the up turned Neighbors noses disappearing beyond the everyday fears and into the sunset of the seldom disappointed. For your consideration John
     
  4. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Obviously we can circumnavigate and explore the deepest recesses of the world's waters in a lifeboat. The main problem is 2 or 3 years into the new lifestyle and just getting it really efficient and the vessel's hull maintenance gets expensive due to corrosion of some sort, or the hull even failing if maintenance is ignored due to economic factors.
    Sometimes it's just cheaper to build a big dory type with a modest fin keel, two unstayed chinese lug rigged masts and go explore the far reaches of the world. See the BADGER, a very fine simple super-cheap cruising/exploration vessel in the book "Brazil and Beyond- Long distance voyaging" by Annie Hill (2000 Tiller Publishing). Describes a trip from UK to the Falkland Islands with many adventures along the way in a Jay Benford designed very very cheap boat. Cheaper than lifeboat conversion in the end, because it just lasts longer, and sails very much better.
    I helped make sails in about 1970 for a 36' steel lifeboat conversion which had some kind of keel added, I don't know just what, but the rig was the same as the BADGER, two stout unstayed masts with identical, pretty square Hasler-type chinese sails. Sorry, I never took a photo but I sailed on her a few times in SF bay and she was quite handy, simple, went to windward as well as most coasters and was generally satisfactory. The owners left for the south Pacific and I never heard back how it worked out.
    But since the hull/deck is one third of the finished boat (interior/systems and rig/ground tackle being the other 2/3), and a lifeboat hull needs a lot of keel/floor timbers/sheathing plus a deck, just how much are we saving really? I mean, a lifeboat is not a finished hull, it's a kit with no instructions or parts.
    The people I knew spent a lot of careful time and effort putting the deck and house on that one and the keel was also a big job. Building a simple (dory-type, plywood and epoxy) hull and deck is a matter of a few weeks in a big garage and shouldn't stop us poor folks from getting our voyaging vessels on the water and sailing.
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yes, maintenance is a very large consideration. But, in both cases, we are looking at small craft. The concept of " The working man can take his kids and leave the stench of corruption " has been with us since the first Polynesians took their pigs and wives off into the Pacific, through to the Pilgrims to the Americas etc etc.

    The reality is, working hard for a bigger boat, or building a small one yourself is still a lot of work - especially the ongoing maintenance. Worse still, on a small boat the captain is no longer a "working man", because there is very little income coming in. And the family (more than 2 people) on a small boat, can be become hell on earth in confined places smelling of seasick.

    The ocean is no friendly, corruption free utopia - it is for much of the time, windy, uncomfortable, perilous, expensive and very hard work. The only 'salvation' in small boats, are other ports - and there are very few places where you cant get to cheaper and easier by commercial means.

    I think the 'freedom' concept is a great sales pitch, and who knows, even an important phsychological concept that keeps the masses sane in the face of modern life - but in reality, without the GPS, the modern engine, the secondhand gear from wealthier boats, the dream of an inexpensive, worry free waterborne environment is just an illusion.

    But lets all do our best to add to the vast armada of mostly unused little craft bobbing about, rotting on their moorings, year in, year out, a symbol of mans dream of true freedom, while they commute daily to the drudgery of their reality. They can sit and read about the very few who 'live the dream' in the glossy boat magazines as they eat their processed lunches, and go down to scrub the bird poo off the decks every 3rd weekend (weather permitting).

    Me disillusioned ? I like to call it 'realiticised' :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
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  6. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Awesome, I have a complete set of plans for Jays Badger and both of Ann Hills books. Check out the “200 dollar millionaire” in her “voyaging on a small income”. There is a dude down the coast here been building one for 12 years. (God bless him) '"Realiticised" come on part of you sees the inherent need for something different while the other part lingers in the soft middle age doldrums of “I will never do this” You have “quit” I need to hear from someone who hasn’t quit. Is there any hope for the frailty of an idea out there? I remember floating around on logs as a boy thinking of grand adventures. Is it all about dollars and cents? If it is then we might as well put a very well designed gun in our well flossed teeth and pull the F#$king trigger. Let’s not focus on failure why don’t we “just for once” try to figure out how to make our dreams float after all poop will. John
     
  7. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Conversions verses complete builds

    First of thank you all for taking the time to post such long and in dept replys. It's a pleasure to see members invest time in their posts not just being the king of one liners. It's from such posts that people learn even if not in total agreement, there is always some bit of info that benifits. John i get your drift being it's a shame that we in the more affuluent countries are losing the art of imagination and working with out hands. I once owned the second largest wooden toy company in eastern Canada (Woody Toys) had 10 people working for me, turned out 5000 toys a year, sold them all over the world. Battery powered(high pollution)toys that did everything, and left no imagination stimulation for the child gradually killed my market. That is what is happening to a great degree in life. What is a boat conversion, just another form of renovating a house, custonizing or building a hot rod or motorcycle. You start with the basic structure and work from there but at least it will not be just another factory built cookie cutter.
    Battan, You refer to the Badger, Not a bad design,I know the hull form as well as anyone on this forum, Wouldn't be my choice. Basically it's a dory converted into a sailboat. I have an aquantance that is building the Bager, been building it for some 12 to 15 yrs. now, got some $35,000 to $40,000 tied up in it. A plywood hull covered in epoxy and glass is still not an easy build, It is possibly less maintenance initally than a properly built traditional wood hull but it's lifespan is limited for as long as it takes moisture to get into the wood core and extreme care must be taken to prevent this especially in freeze thaw climates. Traditionally shaped ships Lifeboats and Lifeboat/surfboats have the basic sailboat hull form and "IF" one chooses to do a conversion i would think it would not be a bad start. Will it be the perfect boat in the end, no, but for me it was pretty dam close, close enought that at this point in my life i could buy a finished boat but choose not to do so because to get the same vessel(strength, seaworthyness, custom to my specs, cost effective, return on investment)would not be possible when compared with what i can convert from the hull i have. Is this everyones cup of tea, certainly not,I am not professing it to be, I am just saying it worked for me and this is how i did it. This is a boat forum, I built this boat, this is how i did it, hope it helps you with your build regardless of what it is. Geo.
    P.S. Photos of some of my dory builds.
     

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  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    A very good point, and that's exactly what I was meant when I referred to - " the very few who 'live the dream". I have read the books, and also the short stories of fighting off 20 foot waves in a tropical storm, nearly being blown into coral reefs when the drogue breaks. There is no comfort on a small ocean going boat, and 'very few' actually can live on one.

    Oh yes, I agree. I know lots about "building one for 12 years". There are a thousands of them in backyards around the world (goodness knows how many hours I have spent on lots smaller projects). Its what I meant when I said " building a small one yourself is still a lot of work ". Mind you, building is often more fun than sailing, and great therapy as well.

    Sure, I will never do 'that'. [That] being "building ocean going small boats". But there are better alternatives in the small boat world. My small boat dream is one you can take out of the water easily, move 200 miles up the coast to a nicer place behind the family car for two weeks holiday, leave in the back yard over winter and be roomy and comfortable enough to use as a fourth bedroom. Thats my idea of a usefull small boat.


    Yes indeed, I certainly have 'quit' the idea of trying to 'live' on any boat under 30 ft. And true, I am positive it is all about "dollars and cents". I guess the struggle to assemble 'livingry' ( house, boat, grass hut etc ) is what a lot of life is about. You cant escape that effort whether its by barter, hauling raw material out of the forest or working for a wage to buy material. The 'grand adventure' of small boys is a great memory, but it fades as reality shows your wife and kids trying to get off a 30 ft yacht pitching in 6 foot swells against the jetty, to just go and get the shopping.


    No, not at all ! Why is the failure to live comfortably on a small boat a reason for self destruction? It might be a good option after you have tried to live on a thirty foot boat for 12 months perhaps :). What I was hoping to get across is the illusion that small 'ocean going' boats give any kind of freedom. They are too small to live on with more than one person, too big to move on roads comfortably, plenty expensive in effort and/or money to build and maintain, and thats why the majority of them sit at anchor unused for 48 weeks of any year.

    My experience is that truly small boats are great fun to build and use, but they offer no real 'freedom lifestyle' that so many attribute to them. You will get the wonderfull memories of special holidays, and the occasional adventure, but to expect to "circumnavigate and explore the deepest recesses of the world's waters in a lifeboat", or "fabricating a sea going vessel capable of but not limited to circumnavigating the world’s oceans" in anything under 50 foot is just an unrealistic dream.

    I am sincerely hoping that whatever boat you build will not dissapoint your expectations, and certainly not advocating that you 'drop the dream'. I really hope what I express will be truly helpfull, not de-motivating.

    Thanks for the chat, its great to hear from everybody.
     
  9. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    When cruising on BERTIE in Baja in '95 we met a couple with a Pacific Seacraft, I think, about 24 feet with tabernacle masts. It lived on a trailer at their house in Colorado in summer, in winter they trailed it to the head of the Gulf of California, and spent months cruising the islands and coasts. Practical boat with smart owner who knew exactly how much boat he needed.
     
  10. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Really nice design and a good looking boat. A friend of mine has one and last fall i took photos of two new deliverys at the local yacht club. Yes i think they were in the 25ft. range. I haven't priced them but the workmanship looks good with just enought teak to soften the commercial look of fiberglass. On my new build i am using the recycled plastic teak. If you look in one of my posts above, the green dory has this on it's gunnels. It has now been 5 yrs. and it is standing up well and retaining it's teak colour without the sanding and re coating required to keep teak from greying. It has one drawback in that it is softer than teak and more sustiable to scratching. However these are usually easily removed thru using a wire brush in the direction of the factory made wood grain effect. Well built boats between mid 20ft. to mid. 30ft. are very capable but i lean closer to 30 to 36 as the ideal. The maintenance and operating costs just get too crazy after that. Even on some of the 36footers one can run into this. At this point in my life i just want to do coastal and pull in each evening, my long range days are over, find the long days at sea booring now. You were in the Baja area in 95, i was there in the late 70,s passing thru Atlantic to Pacific and up the coast. Do you still have Bertie, if so are there web photos, Geo.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner
     
  11. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

  12. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Well thought out and built boat but at $150,000 it should be. I assume taxes are included if not in this country there's an extra $15,000 totalling $165,000. Then add on top of that delivery costs from Carolina you're getting close to $170,000. Resale value (used) at $50,000 say at 10yrs. old, man thats depreciating at $10,000 to $12,000 a year. He also lists extra costs for better coushions, modified steps, engine sound proofing, different prop,hot water heater, modifing the rig,new companionway entry.And is impressed that this little diamond has marine wiring that many other boats don't have! Christ for that price it should have gold wiring. Sorry, while this is probably the top 24 footer built but for the cost one can get an equivalent built new vessel but in the 30 to 36ft. range. Then again anyone who can afford it's purchase price /depreciation rate isn't worried about costs so consider this as an opinion from the average working Joe waiting in line to grab one at $50,000. Na, can't afford even that, better to invest $25,000 and convert my presesent hull into something that will function just as good oh I will also have marine wiring.(even higher quality got a big wiring harness out of an ex military aircraft) Geo.
    P.S.Noticed the forum a little slow this should liven it up a little.

    A yacht is not determined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner
     
  13. benjy1966
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    benjy1966 Junior Member

    Ahoy All,

    Viking North was right. Forum slow, he said, this should liven it up a bit.

    I am the author of the Dana 24 article that he was commenting on. The new Dana is extremely expensive. Had mine (2005) been $150,000 I never would have bought it. Not because it's too expensive but because I couldn't have afforded it! I paid about half that for a new boat. Even allowing for the extras and shipping, taxes I paid about $100,000. Yes expensive but I bought with Stirling and at the time the pound was strong so I paid much less in reality.

    Good luck finding a ten year old Dana for $50k!!

    You might be able to buy a 35 footer for the same money but you'll be paying much more to moor it and maintain it so that's not really a fair comment. Most of the mods were done by me so didn't cost very much. For me the Dana is a 10 year investment. My old wooden boat used to cost me about $10,000 a year one way or another so the Dana has almost paid for itself already.

    The Dana is an awesome boat and much bigger than it's 24 length might suggest. Size isn't everything. As the actress said to the bishop.

    Cheers

    Benjy

    www.woodenwidget.com
    www.ventspleen.com
     
  14. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Quoting the prices listed under the REVIEW. Not knocking the boat just the price.and certainly not knocking your purcase or workmanship. The price blew me away as i said not a purchase for the average working stiff and of course thats not the market they are aming for. At 100,000 in 2005, it is still definately at the upper end for 24ft. boats and again it's a case if you have to ask the price you can't afford it. The review does state used boats are selling for a low of $50,000 not my numbers, both numbers given in the same writeup. Now i realize your purchase was 6yrs. ago from a different company but based on todays money value it is still a boat priced in the upper levels( based on North american funds) AGAIN, it's a gem but i think there is more bang for the buck out there. SO FOR ALL YOU OWNERS OUT THERE NOT KNOCKING THE BOAT JUST THE ARTICLE QUOTED PRICE OF $150,000 NEW AND AS LOW AS $50,000 USED. Geo.
     

  15. benjy1966
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    benjy1966 Junior Member

    Dana 24

    Not one to quibble, I feel I must correct Viking North. In my article I did say that secondhand Dana's could be had for $50,000. I did not say anything about ten years. I do not know where you got that from.

    I am not defending my purchase or what I paid for my Dana in any way. We are all free to choose how we spend our hard earned money but I will say this:

    The Dana has an expensive asking price but it is better value for money than other less expensive boats out there. It is a common mistake to assume that one can buy a 35 foot boat for the same money. This is obviously true but the quality will not be the same.

    As a boat builder of 20 years I have seen a large number of all kinds of boats and one of the reasons I bought the Dana was because it was made properly to a spec and not to a price. What this means in the real world is less expense, more time on the water and more safety. You really do get what you pay for. Sure I could have bought a new Bavaria 35 for the same price as the new Dana but I would probably have had loads of problems which would have taken time to sort out and things would have worn out sooner. As it is, I have now had my Dana for 6 years and sailed over 10,000 miles in it and had no problems.

    I do not believe that there are similar sized boats out there with more bang for the buck. They will all be compromised in one area or another. The Dana may cost a lot to buy but it is extremely good value for money. The reason it is expensive is because it is made throughout with the best that money can buy.

    There will always be people out there who do not (or cannot) understand this basic fact that you get what you pay for and a good seagoing reputation is earned by consistency and quality not cutting corners.
     
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