Rhum 11'6": is it any good?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ehi_ale, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Hi everybody, this is my first post on this board.

    I am planning to build my first small boat, and after looking a lot around for boat plans I found the Rhum 11'6" from Selway Fisher. It looks nice enough to me, has two sails (I know, it's stupid but I like the look of sloops, they seem more boats to me!) and the lines are not too hard.

    Problem is, I can't find any single Rhum built by anybody. Nobody seems to be documenting his process of building this boat, and so I am asking myself: why?

    Can you give me an opinion on this boat or suggest another boat I could build?
    I would like to be able to sail on lakes with it (mainly lake Como, in Italy), it should carry two-three people and, very important, be carried on top of a car. Size should be around 11-12'.

    Thanks! And excuse my poor english.
     
  2. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member

    Welcome to the forum

    your "First" small boat? that pretty much sums up boat building right there :), I just cut the panels for my third a couple days ago.

    something to keep in mind, building a boat is probably going to cost more than buying one, if you're looking to save money you're probably better off buying a second hand boat, just be sure to have someone who knows what they're doing look it over before you buy it.

    Can't tell you anything about the rhum other than that it looks like a nice, stable, slow little dingy that shouldn't be too tough for one person to handle out of the water, might be a bit crowded with 3 people.

    I've read good things about Selway Fishers plan sets, they've been described as detailed and well laid out.

    If I were building my first boat again I'd go with a puddle duck or goose, cheap, simple, free plans, thousands have been built, all kinds of info on rigging and running them as well as an instant global "Family" of puddle duckers :)

    what do you want to do with your boat? will you want to row, motor, or sail, or all three?

    are you content to poke along at 10 km/h or do you want to go fast?

    Do you have some experience with woodworking? working with epoxy? fiberglass?

    make sure the boat you build is the boat you want, I built a nice little dingy and then discovered that the sides are too short for where I sail :(

    2b
     
  3. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Hi 2b, and thank you for your answer!

    I know it's going to be more expensive than buying a second hand fiberglass boat, but it's a little dream of mine to build my own boat :)
    Moreover, I will build it with my father, and that's probably the best part of this whole thing.

    We will be mainly using the boat with sails, and maybe sometimes attaching a motor to it to wander around the lake. It doesn't need to be super fast, because we're not really the best sailors! :D
    Do you think this boat is too slow?

    I have some experience with woodworking, I never worked with epoxy or fiberglass but I am eager to learn.
    The only thing I need to understand is if this boat is OK (it looks quite beautiful to me, not so much the puddle duck, even if I understand the advantages of building that kind of boat) and if it's worth building it or it's just going to be a floating box :)
     
  4. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member

    sounds like you're building for the right reasons :)

    The puddle duck is just about getting a boat on the water, I'd never build one now but I can see why there are so many of them built.

    I wouldn't build a boat that I couldn't find at least 3 build logs or journals for, have you contacted the designer? always a good place to start.

    any boat you get at that length that will carry 2 or 3 people is going to be slow because they're short and wide, sailing with that boat by the time the waves are getting scary you might be making 8 miles an hour.

    the rhum has plenty of built in flotation, at the bow and under the seats.

    you should research the different types of construction before you choose a plan, there's strip planked, fiberglass, lapstrake, skin on frame, or like the Rhum, "Tape and Glue" construction which generally means that plywood panels are wired together and then joined with epoxy and fiberglass tape.

    the boat is made in six panels which means a lot of extra work compared to a 3 panel boat.

    lol, 30 hours to build :), probably 30 hours of sanding on the boat for a first time builder, if you're looking to do a really nice job it's probably more like 160 hours, plus about 2 weeks of waiting for paint/epoxy/glue to dry.

    are you strictly limited to 12' ? or are you concerned about weight? here's a 15 1/2 foot skiff that can be built as light as 130 pounds it's only 3 panels and will go at least twice as fast as the Rhum, there's a very active group on facebook around the boat and the designer is very helpful, I have the plans and they're pretty good.

    If length is the problem there are plenty of plans for nesting and folding boats, the one I just started is built in 8 foot sections and bolts together when you get to the beach :)

    If I were you I would do some reading before I invested a bunch of time and money in building a boat, a few hours with google will give you a good understanding of the different types of construction and the different types of boats.

    2b
     
  5. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Yes, the problem is mainly lenght: I don't want to buy a trailer and I don't have enough space to leave a bigger boat...

    I chose stitch and glue over the other methods because of simplicity, now don't tell me it's harder! :D
    Strip planking would probably be my favorite method in terms of final results but I was told it's more time consuming and in a way more difficult to deal with.

    I was also looking at the Passagemaker, really nice boat which is available in a nesting version too, but it's too heavy: to put the boat on top of my car it must weigh less than 60kg...
    I am limited in possibility of choice because of this, otherwise I would probably go the mad's path and try to build a 6m sailboat in strip planking! :D

    No, really: I did a lot of research on construction methods , and I also read two books about it.
     
  6. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member

    It sounds like you're off to a great start.

    Stitch and glue is pretty simple, but will be MUCH harder and much more work on a six panel boat than a 3 panel boat.

    the Rhum looks safe and fairly well designed, and quite complex to build, I can promise you that if you build one that at some point you will find yourself thinking "This boat is really, really slow, I wish I had built a faster boat, even a puddle duck".
    ok, maybe not the last bit :)

    If I were you I would start by contacting the designer and asking for more information on the boat, I'd ask for "Study Plans" which are usually a few pages from the plan set in a PDF so you can see how well the plans are drawn out and how clear they are, and I'd ask for links to build logs/journals. If I didn't get study plans and links to build logs/journals or if the designer didn't get back to me at all I'd look for a different boat from a different designer.

    2b
     
  7. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Hi TwoBirds! I ended up following your suggestions: the designer told me he doesn't provide study plans for small boats, and since I couldn't find build logs around I decided to go for another small boat. That's a pity, because I liked the Rhum a lot...

    Anyway, I decided to go for a V-Bottom dinghy 12' I found on bateau(dot)com. It seemed a good choice, because the shape is similar to the Rhum and a lot of people have completed it. Do you think it's a good choice?

    Now I have to figure out if and how I can change the sails from a sprit to a sloop type.

    And I have a question for you guys: in the BOM it's specified that you can use exterior plywood to build it. I have some trouble with translating "exterior plywood". Is it something like phenolic plywood? And what kind of wood can I use? I'd be very happy to avoid exotic woods and use birch or some other local wood (I'm in Europe)...
     
  8. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    TwoBirds Junior Member

    the v-bottom 12 looks like a decent boat, simple, fairly stable, flotation fore and aft, 2 less panels so easier and quicker to build, looks like a nice little dingy.

    bateau.com seems to be a decent company with a forum were you can get support in your build and all kinds of resources, I spent a fair amount of time on their site learning about stitch and glue construction when I was building my first boat and got the plans for my first set of oars from there.

    Changing sail rigs is pretty tricky, you really need to get input from the designer, enough have been built that he's probably heard the question before and put some thought into it.

    The spritsail is a decent rig, it works really well and is MUCH simpler to handle than a sloop rig, with the added advantage of a lower center of effort.

    plywood tends to be a hot topic here, the best advice I've run across was in Gary Dierkings book, "Buy the very best plywood you can afford" .

    what you "Want" is Okume B.S. 1088 marine plywood, it's durable and very light and made to very stringent standards, it's also expensive, to buy what you need for the boat here I'd be looking at $600 CAD, or about 400 euros.

    the 2 biggest differences in Marine grade plywood and exterior grade, well, aside from price, are the glue used and voids in the inner layers of plywood, I don't recall the whole testing process for BS 1088 rating but it starts up with cutting the plywood up into small squares and boiling them for several hours followed by baking them in an oven for several hours and then tearing them apart, if the glue fails before the wood it's not up to BS 1088 standard.

    voids are really bad, marine plywood doesn't have any but exterior plywood almost always does.
    what happens is when you go to bend a plywood panel into place and there's a void in the inner layers it can buckle instead of bending, kind of like when you bend a piece of pipe and it flattens out at the bend because it has no support on the inside, nothing to do but to replace the entire panel, maybe have to buy another sheet of plywood, not much money saved there.

    in my second boat I used exterior plywood on bulkheads that wouldn't be in the water or bent so no worries about glue or voids, and by the time a sanded them and filled them so they were as smooth as the marine plywood I hadn't saved a penny, probably cost more if I payed myself minimum wage for the time it took.

    epoxy will either be you're most expensive or second most expensive item, the plans call for 3 gallons, that would cost about 500 euros here, I'm guessing that they recommend coating the entire boat inside and out, not a bad idea if you can afford it, but you can probably get by with a gallon of epoxy and a good one part polyurethane paint, which would cost about 215 euros here.

    get yourself a little digital scale for mixing epoxy, your mix has to be accurate or the epoxy won't set up, you can get then on ebay for about 3 euros.

    2b
     
  9. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Thank you very much, TwoBirds! You are really kind!

    I asked the designer about the sail conversion, let's see how and if he can answer.

    Can I ask you the last question? You said that the epoxy would cost me around 500€, but I found a seller in my country (Italy) that provides 10l, which is around 2,6 gallons, for 120€. Do I need a specific type of epoxy? Something with special features?
     
  10. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    TwoBirds Junior Member

    My pleasure, folks here were very patient and helpful to me when I started out here :)

    that's about what I'd pay for polyester based epoxy, you want resin based epoxy, if you can get resin based epoxy for that price, great, but I wouldn't use polyester or vinylester based epoxy on a boat.

    resin based epoxy forms a bond 4 times as strong as polyester or vinylester, resin based is very water resistant while the others are "Mildly" water resistant, but most importantly, polyester and vinylester WILL fail eventually, while resin based epoxy can last forever if properly applied and maintained.

    I don't know what brands are available there, some brands are well known and very good, like west system, maas, or system 3, many builders have great luck with cheaper brands, I bought a cheap brand called pro-glass and had nothing but trouble with it, anime blush and batches failing to harden, just about put me off boat building. Now I use west system and it's been great to work with.

    the trick for getting good results with epoxy is to measure very accurately and mix very well, the second gets a lot of people because they worry about getting the epoxy on before it hardens so they don't mix long enough, I use a scale accurate to the hundredth of a gram for measuring, and a timer set for two minutes for mixing. Epoxy needs to be done where it's warm, you can buy epoxies that will harden right down to about 3 degrees Celsius, but most wont set up properly if the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius.

    you really really need good protection when working with epoxy, rubber gloves, either the disposable ones like doctors use, or rubber dish washing gloves, epoxy hardener is very toxic, you don't want it on your skin, you also should wear breathing protection, a dust mask at least when sanding and air filters when applying epoxy, something like this, you can get dust filters for them as well.

    2b
     
  11. ehi_ale
    Joined: Oct 2017
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    Location: Italy

    ehi_ale Junior Member

    Thank you, TwoBirds. I'll definitely buy the necessary masks and gloves :)
    I should look at masks with FP2 filters, right?

    By the way: they told me the boat I wanted to build is not available with the kind of sail I like, so I'm thinking on shifting to this polish model: twin dinghies - Radosław Werszko http://www.dinghy.pl/twin_dinghies.htm. Don't ask me how I found it, but isn't it beautiful? :D
     

  12. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
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    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member

    nice little boat, bit heavier than you were looking for but it should be a good sail boat for 1 or 2 although it might be a tad crowded for 2.

    No idea on the designer, but the boat looks well designed, stable with lots of flotation, and the study plans are pretty detailed.

    yep, you need chemical breathing protection.
     
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