Small (~30') Flybridge Boats

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by majorm, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. majorm
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 18
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    Location: South Carolina, USA

    majorm Junior Member

    Are there any companies that still make or recently made a smaller Flybridge type boat around the 30' range. I have a 28 bertram and am always looking for ideas on modifications or better ways to design the inside. I have seen the older Blackfins but that seems about it. We had a 30' Silverton for a while that was designed a little different but felt huge in comparison to the Bertram.

    Do any of you know of any other models or even refits that may have some good ideas/ build logs?
     
  2. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I've been restoring a 1973 Silverton Sedan over the past 5 years as a hobby. From my personal experience I haven't seen any newer boats that even come close to the design of some of these smaller old cruisers in terms of practicality. All of the sub 30 footers that I see are trailerable, which means fairly narrow, which means cramped compared to those old cruisers. My old boat is documented on the builders certificate to be 25 1/2' LOA and 10 1/2' beam. I stayed true to the original design with the interior restoration but completely redesigned the flybridge. Silverton had originally installed a fiberglass molded "bolt on" flybridge which was very uncomfortable so I scrapped it in favor of a more practical design. Unfortunately the build quality (with the exception of the massively overbuilt fiberglass hull) wasn't nearly as good as the design. Since I really liked the boat the only alternative was to gut it right down to the stringers and restore/rebuild using modern techniques and products. It's been quite an adventure.

    You could search for posts by me as I've posted quite a bit as I've progressed. Good luck with your research.

    MIA
     
  3. majorm
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Location: South Carolina, USA

    majorm Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply. I looked up your posts and yes you have come a long way and with some pretty extensive modifications. One thing I want to do but havent figured out the math side yet of is rebuild the window portion. I want to basically get rid of the aluminum frames and replace them with fiberglass. Thats where my math issues come into play. On the side the 28 Bertram has a rectangular piece of aluminum to help support the flybridge. So I need to incorporate that into the side window frame. The windshield center support I think will be the most difficult since there isnt a good place to brace it to give it extra support for bad weather.

    The 28 Bertrams flybridge also bolts on and I have a couple things I would like to do to it as well. I am trying to hold off until I get a good idea of what will be there gauge and electronics wise though. It wouldnt fit into my design but one of the boats I saw had a fold down portion on the front of the flybridge so you could access the bow. This seemed like a great idea safety and practicality wise if you had the room to play with.

    I think you made a good change with the door on your boat. I would mind doing something similar but with a shorter window.

    Our boat had a lower helm that may ? get used in bad weather. I would like to use a tinted glass with about a 20 to 30% tint. How bad if an idea is this? I really dont see myself using it much but considered weather may make me want to use it. On the other hand I thought being on the flybridge may be better visibility wise. Considering lightning are you really any safer below deck? We would have outriggers that would be the highest spot on the boat unless they were deployed.

    Luckily we have the 28 on a trailer but just barely made wide load. We have never tried but im not real sure i'd like to launch it from a boat ramp though. I just get the mental picture of the truck spinning its wheels trying to either stop from going down the ramp or trying to get back up. HA

    Something else I looked into were spray rails on the front and so called lifting rails on the back sides of the hull. Then I started wonder if in bad weather if they could help cause a boat to capsize with the extra traction if you slid slightly sideways on a wave in rough water.

    Any thoughts?
     
  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    With regard to your cabin/windshield area. That was for me the most challenging part of my project. I'd found that the original had deteriorated due to the many fasteners that had been used to hold the structure together originally as well as some attempts at repair by a previous owner. The whole roof pillar assembly had sagged, although it wasn't obvious until you actually measured it and determined the angle.

    I recall contacting Jamestown Distributors, who put me in touch with a technical rep from Sika USA. You may be familiar, Sika makes a line of caulk, adhesives and chemicals. This rep was professional and took the time to listen and understand some questions that I had regarding the use of adhesives vs. silicon bronze fasteners. To make a long story short the entire front of the cabin, the windshield area and roof pillars, were assembled using absolutely no screws. I did have to install a temporary fastener to hold the center pillar in place while everything cured. I used an adhesion promoter called Sika 206 G+P and thickened epoxy. The tongue and groove assembly has proven to be very strong and stable.

    As far as the flybridge is concerned, I took my sweet time thinking and planning out that project. Since I'm a retired businessman and not a carpenter I decided to build the bridge twice. Started by using the formers that had been installed in the boat when I built the cabin roof. I set these formers up on the basement floor and built a mock up cabin roof. I then mocked up a flybridge out of framing lumber and cheap OSB sheathing. There are lots of angles in the flybridge and I made some mistakes and changes along the way but that's OK when you're using cheap 2x4 stock. Eventually I got a design I could live with. Then I had to replicate all the pieces out of mahogany and good plywood. I did open up the front of the flybridge to gain easy access to the bow of the boat. Rather than make a door I installed aluminum channel into the front flybridge pillars. The panel slides down into place from above and is stored in a bracket on the inside of the starboard side of the flybridge. It took a lot of time but I'm so happy with the results. So think about that bow access, it's nice to have if you can find a way to incorporate it into your design.

    One nice thing about the panel in the flybridge is that if it gets banged up I can easily cut another one. Same goes for the cabin door. The window in that door was originally a side window from a Bayliner that I picked up from Greatlakesskipper.com. I can't comment about the spray rails as I don't have the expertise it that area. As far as lightning goes I'd rather be inside for sure. You might want to take a look at some books (Nigel Calders "Boat owners electrical and mechanical manual" comes to mind) that address proper electrical system grounding, bonding and lightning protection. For some reason I really hate lightning. We were in Glacier National Park a few weeks ago and three hikers were killed by lightning a short distance from where we were. Fortunately others on the trail were able to perform CPR and revive them, but all three were seriously injured.
     

  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There can be a several ton difference between a 28' and 30' yacht. This is why you are seeing seemingly huge difference between boats only a couple of feet difference in length.

    The "lifting strakes" on your boat will not cause you to capsize. Traction wouldn't be a term I'd use on these. If you are in weather so severe that leeward skidding is apparent, the strakes will very modestly help slow you a bit, but nope, they will not "trip" the boat into a capsize. You have much more to worry about from windage and beam seas than the strakes, trust me.

    I've been struck by lightening twice (you'd think I'd learn, right). One boat had protection, the other none, just a big 'ol aluminum mast yelling "come kiss me" to all the ambient electrons flow around. The protected boat had some minor damage to the rod lead wire and it's hold downs. The unprotected boat had it's mast brought down and we were all knocked out for a while (maybe 5 minutes at most). We awoke to a quickly floundering boat in heavy seas. Fortunately, I was in a specially prepared "hurricane hunter" boat and my crew was a Lt. commander and a full commander of the local USCG. Yes, lightening protection was included in our next example of a hurricane sailors (yep, we intentionally went out in ridiculously rough weather). Story shot, it's not a very common thing to happen, unless you live here and like to sail heavy weather, in the Florida summer and fall. Protection is fairly simple to set up and will keep you from steering a chair with your chin, for the rest of your life.
     
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