Runabout Design & Build

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Kev_C, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Kev_C
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 1
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    Location: Germany

    Kev_C New Member

    Dear all,

    I plan on designing and building a runabout based on the Riva Aquarama. I have never built a boat before nor have I been on one apart from a ferry... A big challenge but I'm determined.

    I need some advice... Please Help!

    First I need to become familar with basic boat design and terminology. Can anybody recommend books or publications?

    Could anybody share or know where I could get information on the process of designing & building a boat i.e. project plan?

    Finally (for the moment ;-) - I am still undecided whether to build a classic (wood) or using more modern materials (fiberglass, carbonfibre, etc) any pointers/advice or even where I could find more information to evaluate the pros and cons to help me make a decision would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for any Help :-D
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Buy a set of plans or expect a few years of education, before you could reliably design a high speed runabout, without fear of drowning everyone on board the first time out.


    This is the 19' Monaco, by Glen-L, plans are $150 and there's a number of options available too.


    This is the same outfit's Riviera design.

    Trust me, if you're starting from scratch, it's a lot of effort and understanding to design something like this that will not hurt you. Buy a set of plans.
  3. Scott Carter
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 130
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    Location: Annapolis

    Scott Carter Senior Member

    Kev, I'd recommend at least a short course (week or two) on basic boat building, even if you have good carpentry/building skills to start with. Here in the US we are fortunate enough to have places like The Landing School and The Wooden Boat School (and many others) but anyone can attend these if you're inclined.
    Designing your own is, of course, possible, but you might get a lot more enjoyment and satisfaction out of the build aspect of it if you're not also struggling with an as-yet unproven design.
    In these courses, which I'm sure exist in Germany as well, you learn some important concepts and approaches to uniquely marine problems which otherwise could only be learned the hard way, or by very careful and thoughtful reading and research (yawn).
    Or, befriend someone at a local boatyard. It's likely that there's someone around eager to share their experience and knowledge.

  4. Vulkyn
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 597
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    Location: Egypt

    Vulkyn Senior Member

    Welcome Kev_C i am a beginner as yourself and have been studying boats for almost 7 month and i feel i know nothing! So much to learn !!

    Check this thread

    PAR advice is spot on ... i also lack the experience of wood working and have no facilities where i can learn, i should have gone for a smaller boat than the one i bought (4.5 meters) but meh :p.
    Start with something small and learn as you go would help you tackle the more complex boats ...

    The following books (in my limited experience) have been of great help:

    Boatbuilding with (Glen L)
    Fiberglass Boatbuilding for Amateurs (Ken HANKINSON)
    Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction (an amazing book ...)
    Strip plan Boat construction (Paul Fisher)

    Good luck :)
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