S&G Runabout?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by mikbau, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Hello all

    New poster, and pretty new to the boating world as well. I've been doing a little research on a first boat build, trying to sort out what I want to build.

    I'd like to give it a shot as a stitch-and-glue project for the sake of simplicity and cost. I was hoping to build something a little different than a skiff, and one design I've always really liked is that of some of the older fiberglass runabouts - i.e. Sea King, Fabuglas, etc. (see attached) What I like about them is the open cockpit, as opposed to some of the all wood runabouts that have smaller cockpits and more decking. The problem is, I'm not finding any designs like this, and I was hoping perhaps someone has seen one. My rough requirements would be:

    1. Stitch-and-glue construction
    2. Open cockpit with remote steering and throttle
    3. 200lbs , more or less, hull weight
    4. Two adults and 1-2 child capacity
    5. Doesn't need to be speedy - 15-20 hp would be fine
    6. Around 12' in length and 5' beam

    Is there a reason there isn't anything like this out there? Is the design so much more conducive to planking or pure fiberglass construction?

    I forgot to add that modifying a skiff for remote steer/throttle
    Thanks in advance....

    Michael
     

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  2. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    try Glen-L. they are highly respected supplier of boat plans, they have designs from a number of different designers, from classic to modern. When well done the boat will have good resell value as well because of the good reputation of Glen-L.

    brows through their plans here: http://www.glen-l.com/
     
  3. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Thank Petros - I've looked through Glen-L and also Bateau's sites...I just haven't found exactly what I'm after yet. It would seem the design I am after has not been done as a stitch-and-glue design - at least, not with commercially available plans

    Michael
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Other than aesthetic considerations, what about the designs you've looked at isn't what you want?
     
  5. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Par

    Actually, it's not to much the aesthetics that I don't care for so much as the cockpit designs. I'd like to find a design that will carry 3-4 people (two adults, 1-2 children) with a little room to move around, which is why I like the open cockpit design. It's not the look so much as the function.

    Both Glen L and Bateau have planked designs that are a little more like what I'm after, but the ones I like are 14-16' or so, and I was hoping to stay around 11-12 and be fairly lightweight.

    It may very well be I'll have to choose one that isn't stitch-and-glue construction, I was just exploring my options

    Michael
     
  6. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    I should also add that I found a plan that I like that is a traditional planking build that I think would lend itself to a S&G build, I just haven't worked out all the dimensions for the parts yet

    Michael
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A 12' boat with the crew capacity, just isn't reasonable. The is a 550 pound crew load, assuming two 180 pound adults and two children at 95 pounds each.

    I don't know of a single Bateau design that is "planked" though they have plenty of plywood designs. I guess the plywood could be considered planking, though typically, there's a distinct separation between solid planked and plywood, that should be noted. You can find real solid wood planked designs at > atkinboatplans.com <, though these will be quite dated, the plans very limited in detail and instruction, the shapes valid, considering they'll be at least a half a century old (I own John Atkins last commissioned design, built in 1960).

    As an example:

    [​IMG]

    This is one of Glen-L's designs, an 11' utility. As you can see it has just enough room for one adult, though you could fit two, if they liked each other.

    [​IMG]

    This is a 13' utility, also from Glen-L and though just two feet longer a lot more room and the bare minimum for your needs, though 15' will offer the "elbow room" you also desire.

    Both of these designs are quite old, so they're not going to be all that light (150 pounds for the 11' and 300 for the 13', just the raw hull, no motor, tanks, etc.)

    [​IMG]

    This is the 12' Power Skiff from Glen-L and a taped seam build, which will be considerably lighter (100 pounds). It's also available as a 14' boat (130 pounds) and this is the size you'd probably prefer to have, given your loading and other desires.

    This is the 14' version and as you can see a much bigger boat (only the length changes).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Par

    Thanks for the info...I've taken a look through most of Glen-L's designs - and thank you for the clarification - I realize I was using planking and plywood construction somewhat interchangeably when I was really just considering whether a design was stitch-and-glue or not.

    As for size/weight/capacity...I've found an archive of older designs online. Here's one :

    http://www.svensons.com/boat/?p=RunaboutsOutboard/Buzz

    11'1"....135 lbs...4 persons on calm water (which is mostly where I'd be using it) I realize the cockpit isn't completely open, but this seems to have a much wider beam than some of the plans I've seen for the same length.

    I realize I could attempt to build this as the plans state...but I've also considered trying to draw/model it up to do it in stitch-and-glue. I realize this could be somewhat difficult, but I think it would also be a good project - my only real concern is getting the dimensions of the side/bottom panels correct.

    Michael
     
  9. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    1) beware of free plans
    2) beware of plans that claim an 11' boat will accommodate 4 people
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Michael, Milehog makes a very valid point. These "free plans" usually aren't complete, employ materials you can't get any more (60 - 70 year old plans), use techniques that are less then what we'd consider acceptable today and lastly but most importantly, the guy that drew it up is dead, so you can't call and ***** (or simply ask) about something you don't understand. This is a huge consideration (the bitching/asking stuff). As a rule you get what you pay for, so free plans, hummmmmm . . . .

    I know you're set on 11' for some reason, so go educate yourself at the local Sears store. Yep, Sears and head down to the sporting goods section, which will be next the "husbands waiting area" (the tools section). They'll have a 10' GameFisher down there, maybe you can climb in and check it out. More importantly, look at the capacity label on it's transom and divide you family's weight, including Fidel the wonder dog and a cooler full of beer into this number. Have any left? Have any reserve capacity, just in case? How close to maxing this puppy out do you want to go? Enough elbow room?

    Simply put, you'll need a 14' boat, given you needs and requirements.
     
  11. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Mile, Par

    Thanks again for the feedback, noted. However, these plans weren't free originally, they were from a Boatbuilders handbook, so presumably they were designed by someone who knew what they were doing. I've read through the construction plans..and you're right - there are a couple items that may not be available - and the construction details are somewhat vague. All things that may be an issue (along with not being able to ***** at the designer)...but would hope the forum would be a good place to ask questions.

    As for the sears boat...I actually own a 70's era Sears GameFisher that is about 12' long with a beam of 4". It's a little tight, true. But the plan I posted had a beam of 5', which a decent amount more room. As for doing the math...I suppose that's why I was asking here - does the additional 1' of beam provide x amount more weight capacity?

    My current family breaks down to : me, 220lbs. My wife, 100lbs. And my daughter who is not yet 1, about 12 lbs. We all fit fine in terms of weight and room in my Sears boat. My initial parameters were just looking ahead a few years.

    As for why 11'....mostly because it will still fit in my garage. I"m not opposed to going larger, I'm just exploring my options

    Michael
     
  12. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    Those plans still suck. Please don't miss the point.
    For my first build I went with free plans that came in a book. It was a total waste of money and time. As Par said, important details were missing. I didn't finish it when I realized what my naivety had gotten me into.
    Have you considered what happens when the water isn't calm? Wind, boat wakes, currents and combinations thereof.
    Trust me, you need a bigger boat for the safety of your family. Put your resources into a simple, well designed boat that is really big enough, not just what the plate says. If money is an issue go with a work boat finish. It is amazing how much work and material a fine finish requires. You can put a swing away tongue on your trailer if need be.
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The "Boatbuilder's Handbook" reprinted those plans (I think it was his son) from a Popular Mechanics piece by Bill Jackson, who like many others in this era put designs out there (then dated), so folks could get started with the building craze that was taking over the country. Jackson is well noted, but this is still an early 50's design and subject to the thinking at the time (pre '63 - '64 series tests), which is less then desirable for modern needs and expectations. I can't imagine how Bill thought this build would be 135 pounds, I see 250 at least. The BOM shows a 3/8" thick transom, which just isn't enough, even with modest HP, it should be a minimum of 3/4". Do a simple materials weight study and I think you'll find she's heavier then suggested. For example the sole slats are 1x4's, eight feet long, times 5. Even if you use cedar it's 20 pounds in just floor boards. The planking is 3 sheets of 1/4" plywood, which if meranti will be 75 pounds, heavier if Douglas fir, plus the two 10' long hardwood 1x4 keels (in the 15 pound range), so the rest of the boat is just another 35 - 40 pounds? I don't think so. maybe wood was light back then.

    There's nothing wrong with this design, though the plans aren't as complete as most expect from a modern set of plans and the method, techniques and materials are also dated, some imposable to find. Lastly, a wider boat requires more power to push to the same speed of narrower boats of the same length and power.
     
  14. mikbau
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    mikbau Junior Member

    Par
    Sorry - I've been out of town and I'm only now getting back to this thread.

    Question for you - given that design (the one I posted) - what's to stop someone from re designing the construction method? I mentioned initially that I was looking for a design that is stitch-and-glue for simplicities sake. In looking at the design, it seems to me it would be fairly straightforward to design all the pieces for S&G, using all the dimensions of the bulkheads/supports, etc.

    I'm not saying I am going to do this, I am just genuinely curious. I think it would be an interesting exercise to draw it out, and then build a model in S&G fashion to see the outcome. I believe that would reduce the weight some, and obviously eliminate the issue of some of the materials not being readily available. I also was thinking that the transom would need to be 3/4 - at least - as I looked over the re published design.

    I really do appreciate everyone's input and concerns. I'm just doing a ton of research to see what my options are

    ~m
     

  15. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Redesigning the hull with a different construction method can be a good idea and it can be done. I have done that before, but I have extensive structural design and engineering experience in a lot of different materials. But there are many pitfalls to it too If you are confident in your design skills, no problem, but it would be best if you can get some professional guidance on making changes to a proven design, it would be a shame to spend all that time and money and find out either it is too weak and will need extensive reinforcing and rebuilt, or it comes out much heavier than it needs to be (this would affect performance and carrying capacity).

    You likely could take the plans of the boat you like and convert them yourself after studying plans that use the construction method you want, and adapting the construction details to the hull design you like. Hopefully you will not over look any critical details, but it can be done this way.

    It would be advisable to just find a boat design you like that already uses the construction method you want to use. Particularly if it is from a proven design and/or a well respected designer. Otherwise you take on a certain amount of risk, and a lot of trial and error learning, for DIY engineering and design. It can be done, but please approach it cautiously. There will also be no money savings over buying the plans in the construction method you want, it will be a lot of extra work to convert a design to a new construction method, and likely you will end up with parts you have to scrap and remake after mistakes (there will be a certain amount of this with any build anyway, it can not be helped, but it is far more common on a new design).

    good luck.
     
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