River Cruiser

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by dick stave, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 144
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 12
    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    I came across this river cruiser "cartoon" on the Bolger group website and I have always admired his "State" series boats. I like the simplicity of these long, narrow designs as well as their efficiency. Bolger spent a great deal of effort nesting sheets in these designs to minimize waste which ties right in to metal boat construction as minimal crop is always a consideration. As an exercise, I would like to explore building a sleek river cruiser in aluminum with emphasis on low cost and minimal waste. The boat would be 24 Ft. loa x 5Ft. wide (4 Ft. wide as drawn seems too narrow although 4 Ft.-6" could be considered depending on how length to beam ratio would affect performance) A small amount of rocker could be naturally developed with modest side flair.
    There should also be a small hardtop as illustrated for camp cruising with minimal creature comforts. Effectively, this would be an alloy version of "instant boats". I look forward to ideas and comments.

    Best Regards, dick stave

    Attached Files:

  2. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 144
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 12
    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    River Cruiser Expanded

    I guess this forum is a good litmus test for good and bad ideas. The concept here is a boat that could be built by the average guy with some basic welding skills for around $2500.00 I suppose the reason home built metal boats haven't caught on is the welding obstacle. The fact of the matter is acquiring these skills are not as difficult as perceived. Aluminum is the most user friendly of all the metals. It can be cut with woodworking tools is easily drilled and formed and produces practically maintenance free boats. It would seem to build in plywood, epoxy saturate, sand and paint requires more time and effort. I haven't done a bill of materials for this design yet, but I would use two 5'x12's for the bottom with one butt splice and a 4'x16' and a 4'x8' ripped down center @24" for the sides to stagger the seams.
    The extrusions (angle, split pipe for sheer clamps, flat bars for stringers etc. )are all off the shelf items that can be cut with a simple mitre saw at any angle desired. A 25 hp outboard could be tiller steered or a stand up helm station behind the cabin would work just fine. This would produce an excellent, fuel efficient cruiser ,load up the camping gear and go for the weekend. Again, just throwing an idea out there.
  3. Rusty Bucket
    Joined: Feb 2007
    Posts: 76
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 26
    Location: florida

    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    minimalist cruiser in aluminum

    Hey Dick, I think you're on to somthing, how about a "Redwing" just build it in aluminum instead of plywood, regards, rusty
    1 person likes this.
  4. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 4,127
    Likes: 149, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2043
    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Interesting concept, Dick. I like it.
    I've heard that most of Bolger's stitch-and-glue designs translate very well to metal without much re-engineering.
    I love the idea of building in aluminum, but I don't generally think of it as being an easy material to weld (correction, to weld well). TIG is darned expensive; I understand MIG works pretty well but for use on Al requires special wire that's soft and hard to feed.
    Bolger's power sharpies (for lack of a better term) are reputed to be among the most efficient powerboats there are. You might want something with a little more beam, for stability, if you're planning to sleep aboard.

  5. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 144
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 12
    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    Hey Rusty/Matt, Thanks for your replies. I like the idea of a minimalist cruiser.
    I guess the investment in welding equipment and acquiring the skills is the hurdle in bringing metal boats to the masses, as this was a bit of a promotional thread. Matt, I generally do all my welding with a spool gun, although I admit I tig some of the more cosmetic stuff with a square wave at work. Rusty, I like the Redwing, But I'm going to build Wes Farmer's Sundance first.

    Regards, dick
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.