the boatbuilding journey

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by tugboat, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    westvanhan--i admire your resourcefulness...i will do that--look around see what happens--maybe there is an old lister here in PR. there are lot sof boats but most of them seem to be outboards or larger fishing vessels.

    the idea of a listeroid- clone--this could make sense... any info you cna supply on these is good news for me..illl look into that further-- do you ahve any links to the one you bought??.and what was the price on it?? i knwo there are yanmar clones in the 10 hp range that run pretty good but ive never seen a lister clone but have heard the name "listeroid" is that a generic term? previous unserstanding was that was an actual name of lister..i guess we learn something new every day--but i just cant abaondon my dream steam engines just eyt--but we will see. again if you read my posts above youll see the prop aperture is small allowing for two props instead of one..i have two already but the listeroids might make good hydraulic pumps motor...
  2. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member


    I just checked into listeroids and got a price--for a 12 hp @ 600 rpms without gearbox--looking at 6500.00 varies with seller..but that seems to be the current price..this puts steam in the frontrunning at about 5000.00-6000.00 new, complete with two engines ..sorry guys..steam seems to be winning the race here for my application- i still have to figure cost for a used diesel and running hydraulics--i think that will run me around the same price--about 4000.00 for the hydraulic system and 1000.00 for the engine --this make hydraulics also viable..cost wise. in fact its a simpe turnkey system and it even has more torque than 412 ft lbs using two 31 hp hydraulics units, and a 80-100 hp diesel- to make up for the 30% loss in system efficiency... this really does seem the logical route--but again my feelings on diesel and oil dependance always gets in thew way of this...time will tell...
  3. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    Catbuilder--i am guilty of this too-but try not to overthink it--yes oil dependancy is an issue for me--it may not be for someone else...
    sometimes our first intuitions about what we need are the right ones..otoh
    if it suits you to go simpler-then this is a good idea..simple is always better in mho. the land lifestyle- is not wrong either--in your case its what is appropriate. i think the key is--when you are enjoying YOUR boat--you can relax and use less systems...turn off whats not needed and remember the reason you built the boat in the first place...if like me--its freedom..
    what was that quote- "capt jack Sparrow"-

    ".... That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs, but what a ship is... really is... is freedom.
  4. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    wood stowage

    hopefully this shows up well..

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  5. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 1,374
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Tug thats wayyyy too much.

    I imported a few of them to sell and kept one for myself.
    I don't know what they are worth from the factory nowadays,but what was the best Indian one is Lovson and IIRC they were selling them to a Nordic company building boats.

    Be sure to specify for marine or locomotion: the stationary engines have verrry heavy flywheels and the oiling is different.

    There are one or two very good Chinese slow/medium speed low horsepower engines,the rest have lots of issues.

    BTW looking at your layout..thats a lot of wood,and I hope you realize the boat will be crawling with bugs. :)
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  6. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    hmmm..good point that i didnt think about...yea there would be because they would get carried into the hull with the wood...pellets might not be a bad idea then-or eco logs...
    i actually looked at charcoal the stuff youi buy in bags--its cheap too...charcoal is very practical too...

    how much should I be paying for one??..i couldnt get many prices...i think they must be coming up in price..because no one seemed to want to give me a quote or they didnt have the prices posted..ill try those ones you have been mentioning...but 12 hp @ 600 rpms is just about right..almost steam power torque...thanks westvanhan...ill look up those sites...
    we got snow here today--2 inches...
  7. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member


    hi again!

    since we are talking on here about build troubles- yet again(and i really am sorry guys :( ) I have to go with fer-a-lite. (or frp or even PRE-LAM)i have been going over and over this decision in my mind for a month now and I just cannot build in steel.

    Dougs "top ten" reasons for not building in steel:

    1. my Back cant take it!!

    **2. people say steel is the cheapest material--Let me be the first to inform them- so read the following its # 1 in costs!!

    - people get lulled into a false sense of financial security with steel being cheap-it's not --but ok assume it is for now. (and i hope your reading this Brent Swain-i just read your book at the local library)

    so now when you factor in the sandblast--the extra tools, the special insulation needed, the zinc primer- the special paints, the haulouts, the cutting disks -electricity, etc etc--its NOT! the hull materials for my boat comes to just over 5200.00 tax in--but when you factor in 1000.00 for tools, and then 1000.00 for paints, 500.00 for weldment- 200.00 for cutting disks, 300.00 for electricity
    and the biggie- about 3000.00-4000.00 for the blast, if done professionally--then this is like double the costs of fer-a-lite or fiberglass hull...

    3. The "maintenance paranoia" involved- i.e. im always going to be worrying about some rust bloom happening somewhere on my boat--this will ruin the whole experience for me...I am a steel guy but--im too old to live in fear of the dreaded rust bloom...

    4. Its a pain setting up the build- getting all the tools ready-extension cords and draggin around cutting tools etc, setting up a mega strong back(more on this later!) sucks.

    5. I have found that the strongback costs alone will add another 550.00 to the build in steel...

    6. this doesnt seem like a big deal but it is-
    there is no easy good way to lay a strongback for a flat bottomed steel rockered tugboat--if you disagree--ill send you the basic frames in a picture without dimensions to protect copyright laws and you can try to figure out a cheap way to do it--id be much obliged!

    7. I hate doing staggered welds-and find this tedium and drudgery.(ok maybe doing wire tying for the FAL might be worse...:p)

    8. Im not so sure steel IS stronger than the FAL and cannot be holed more easily.(especially at 3/4 inch thick FAL!)or welds come apart from the stresses or that they wont leak even with kerosene tests.

    9. the sweating issues and the expansion and contraction noises.
    and --drum roll....

    10. Im NOT f-ing going to pay (gotta laugh here cuz im using Peter Wileys quote )some "sheep arsed":D sand blaster to come in and blast my hull for almost the same price i paid in materials.(no- we cant get pickled and oiled steel and its twice the costs if you can get preprimed steel and pre-primed has its drawbacks too!)

    thus- on a practical level--i can build my FAL bare hull for around 6500.00 completed.

    top 8 reasons to do FAL or FG
    1. ITS easy!!
    2.Its unskilled
    3. its cheaper
    4. maintenance is much lower than steel
    5. Its bloody strong chit!
    6. Its gonna piss off many here :D (note the big s.h.i.t.-eating grin!)
    7. i Just like it better...!!(try arguing that one..:p)
    *8 my back will love me for it!
    anyway- yes its controversial--yes i have changed my mind again(last time I swear!:mad:)- I am still looking into possibly doing mal lows - PRE-LAM method..I was told by a guy at noahs marine that would be not as strong as wood--but i just cant see how?...seriously a 1/2 inch thick FRP laminate vs wood? could not be stronger and stiffer!?. then theres core-cell...even though its twice the price per sheet of still comes out to the same as steel materials. since its pretty strong at 25 mm thick! the only question is would it have the torsional strength and puncture resistance of FAL?...i have to say no...
    FAL will have that strength! at 3/4 inch thickness...

    note: the pics that have been uploaded are my design of a round bottomed/plumb sided tugboat.
    I designed it for fiberglass or FAL but could be ferro-cement (but not for me). I have added the rounded hull as built in strength for the hull as well as to add a smoother run and better motion in a seaway...

    i can build this tug right side up,frame setup is easy, and it is easy to build period. I can plaster it by myself as i go. or build a mold for frp.

    I like that FAL or FRP is easy to repair and is strong...

    let me know your thoughts?

    Catbuilder--what is your hull thickness??..what do you think of 25 mm core cell A500 for a tug hull/topsides and deck?(which will have a towing bitt that takes a lot of strain)
    i would think two layers of biax cloth +/- 45 or 28 oz roving both sides might do the trick...use tophat stiffeners?

    here is fer-a-lite in action for those who havent seen it!

    new tug stats:

    material- FAL
    l.o.a. 24 ' 2"
    beam 9'6"
    depth 3 ft aprox
    draft 3 ft
    displ. 14000 lbs
    designed for twin screw steam engines 2 x 10 hp @ 500 rpms

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  8. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1,004
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    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    If I hadn't decided to build out of steel, I would have gone with the epoxy-ply hull construction.

    Reason I didn't is simply that I didn't want to deal with the chemicals involved. I'd happily own an epoxy-timber hull, just not build one. Maybe another boat sometime.

    Steel isn't the perfect building material, it works for me for this build. Sand blasting & painting is critical and a major PITA. I'm going to do another coat on the inside of my hull because I'm not happy I've got sufficient coverage in some spots.

    Go with what you're happy with using because you're going to be doing it for quite a long time. It's not going to be cheap regardless.

    If you think working with steel is a PITA, tying your wire armature for FAL construction is going to be real enjoyable.

    I'd build out of thick plywood and sheathe the hull in your position, if you've ruled out steel. Think nail gun and lots of glue...

    PS - don't think I didn't notice you've abandoned that idea of grinding off the mill scale. Tried it and found out just how long it was going to take you, huh?

  9. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    Yea pretty much- my back cant handlle doing all that is tedius..Im sure the wire tying will be a ***** also...but at least in many areas of the hull i can relax pull up a chair and get into a zen like meditation tying those wires..When i did my test slab i uses zip ties they are veyr fast ..but wouldnt trust them since they cause voids...

    fal is easier on my back than all that grinding...i had thought of using a drum sander--the kind you use for hardwood floors with 30 grit on the steel while on the does flooring very fast --my idea was it would be fast on steel too...

    but i dont know how well that would at this point steel's to hard on me...

    so yea after trying-- Im prepared to just use a material that is a little less heavy to work with.

    I have put wood on my list as a last material--the boats here ive looked at that were glassed over--are always the first to fall apart...but it might come down to that out of necessity--i dont know what it is but i really dislike wood the least even though its probably the most practical. I dont like marine grades either...and all it takes is a pinhole for rot to start. and how do you check to see if there are pinholes?

    The core cell looks like a good idea-i costed out the hull at about 6500.00 in any material. marine ply,-FAl, laminate frp and core cell-and they all come to aprox the same costs in materials..yes - more than steel initially, but far less after the blast and tooling paints just not prepared to go with more money than i need to spend- in the end its my back that has made the final decision.....

    of all the materials - the FAL seesm to have much most density -ive worked with it and im confident in it--although im worried about the expansion rates of steel and FAL..but --there is some anecdotal evidence that it doesnt seem to be a big factor...

    prior to my two week deadline, i would like to do some(unscientific) tests on a panel of 3/4 inch thick corecell to see what that would be like--how it hold ups to my now infamous hammer tests.

    but right now -because im most familiar with fC and FAL this seems to be the way to do it--i have two weeks before i lay the keel..ive set this deadline and come hell or highwater--even if i have to build in wood or newspaper-jello- or -haggis-
    im going to start-and not look back..till then i have two weeks..

    but FAL--have you seen Darrs vid of him trying to take out the mesh on his website? if youve got dial up even-you can see the vid of him breaking it up for a repair there is a link to the low bandwidth download vid.

    --and wow--its like the slab i did...and i think i did mine with too little resin, which made it more brittle..but even with the resin starved material i made--it was practically i just like it.

    if you actually see this stuff being worked in, its like concrete that isnt brittle, and it has a nice texture develops so much heat in curing that you could do it on a fall evening and it would be like sitting by a campfire..but once its cured it is ultra hard and strong. but thats all personal opinion.

    i know you dont like it--but i sure love the stuff......i know your on a limited bandwidth --but if your ever near a comp that has high speed....check it out...he uses an air hammer to break it up...

    anyway--thanks for the post--you must be ready to launch right about now??..i saw more of your pics-not sure where, of your boat.

    --and i must say --you really did an exemplary job on your hull --it looks like it was molded in glass.. congratulations are in order here on a fine job...
    cheers to you. You are finishing--im starting--
    and yep--im not going to grind all that bloody steel!:D
  10. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1,004
    Likes: 86, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 933
    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    Grinding steel is hard work, for sure. Lost count of the number of discs I went through dressing down the welds etc.

    HOWEVER - read and digest the sites by people who've used FC, epoxy/fg etc. Show me *one* of them where they got away without spending a lot of time with a grinder, long board or similar fairing their hull. Whichever road you take, you're in for a lot of (low) quality time in a dust cloud, and your shoulders & back are going to hate you.

    My opinion of FAL is not negative & not positive. I simply don't believe the claims made for it because there's no evidence to support them. It may well work nicely and be a good structural choice. I wouldn't do it myself though because I don't think it offers sufficient up-side for me. As I said I'd build in timber-epoxy if I wasn't using steel. The thought of spending all that time making a wire armature sends chills down my spine; I'm pretty sure I could have a plywood hull ready to cover with epoxy/glass in the time it'd take just to do the armature. I've got a few books on FC construction in my library.

    As for a launch date, not sure. I'm about to go and work on other projects for a few months as I generally do at this time of year. As soon as I get the next coat of paint on the interior and it dries sufficiently, I can start fitting out. I don't think that'll take me long but I've been wrong before now. Pretty much everything except electronic crap is at hand anyway. Well, as soon as my gearbox arrives - supposed to be today. They sent the wrong one the first time but as I wasn't ready to fit the engine that hasn't held me up.

    Got to keep to the KISS plan or the timeline blows out. Some things I'd like to have in my boat might just have to wait.


  11. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    well were in agreement on that-i likely wont be able to find any examples you speak of...

    i guess it just comes with the territory-sanding--and ***-aching labour when building a boat. in fact i saw on youtube a guy who built a saugeen witch(steel) --(very co-incidental and i thought of your boat when i saw it)and he had to fair up the epoxy paint and primer (i think) anyway he was doing a lot of sanding! i thought--holy crap even in steel!??
    so i guess there can be no escaping certain things.

    Do you think the flex in wood vs steel has any pro's or cons?..i know a boat will flex somewhat but doesnt wood flex more than steel given the same modulus of construction?
    if i went with wood/ply/epoxy- i would use like 1.5 inch thick laminations of make it really overbuilt...

    the thing about my small tug i think people forget is its only 25 ft..and a tug has low freeboard so were talking 500 sq ft here not 1000 sq ft like a 40 ft boat...

    being only 24 ft--the armiture for a FAL hull shouldnt be too bad...-not like the 40-50 ft boats people used to build back in the 70' that is mind-numbing work. I have to buy my mesh in stages too...its really pricey--and i want 8 layers so thats about 4000 sq ft of 18 guage mesh. so lots of tying yes--but not as bad as 40 ft of hull area.

    I have some samples of Plascore coming too-- its a honeycomb core--i have in my mind -the idea that a tug should be heavy--even though the truth is -lighter is better. its probably the strength to weight ratio thats all important- so using wood or aything other than a very dense substance seems off kilter somehow for a tugboat.

    yet the 1 inch thick honeycomb -theoretically could work as a core and give significant stiffness and with enough layers of glass make it very resilient to impact...but when i think of a (cored hull) tug it just doesnt seem right to me....

    again i have to remember that the boat is not going to be worked as a real tugboat- it just will do some sideline work and this doesnt need heavily built construction..although i am inclined to overbuild just because its a tug...

    I have firmed up my plans for steam completely committed to steam. with all its drawbacks..i still like playing around with fire and watching the boat go on a collection of junk or cheap wood i have collected. and i was just out on a modern 42 ft tug that does coastal towing in BC.
    this had tin screws with kort nozzles..--wow! what a difference in agility. it could turn a circle in its own length..amazing manoeuverability!
    the tactical dimaeter of the turn impressed me so much i just have to srtick with my twin screw idea--so its going to be twin 10 hp steam engines...
    but really thats pretty much what i wanted since day 1..even though i looked at diesel -and even though its very tempting to go with diesel..i will be happy to have steam..something very fulfilling to me to use it...
    the system would be simple--a firetube boiler- big enough to run 2)- 10 hp steam engines turning two 22 x 19 props. i might experiment using a spool valve to redirect the steam to in order to have reverse and forward in the pilothouse.

    or i could use the stephenson linkage and use a simple morse control to put the engines into reverse. I have a freind in Oregon who uses the spool valve method for a large slow turning steam makes sense because -it would act like a hydraulic system.

    Im happy you will be getting your gearbox today--did it come?.
    whats the gearbox ratio? what size prop are you running? it fixed?..or feathering? i cant see you boat needing more than the (20 hp?) bukh.
    the tug calls for a 36-50 hp for pleasure use.

    Do you have any sets of pics of your boat on the gallery here? you have a name picked out for her yet?
    my tug is called- "the EL Kapitaan" loosely based on the mountain of the same name but different spelling.

    if you can manage to watch it--the owner named his Colvin designed boat- the "Glamour witch" in this vid.
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