What is the Easiest Boat Building Method for One Person?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by CatBuilder, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Thinking back on my failed build, I am trying to see where I could have done things differently.

    The designer didn't mention I needed crews of 3 or 4 people though many steps of the process.

    Is there a really simple way to build a boat that you can do yourself, as one person, except flipping over hulls, which will always take a team of people?

    I am thinking of how one person might build a light, strong, one off catamaran about 45' in length. How would you do it?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Strip planking is tedious, but the planks are easily handled by one person.
     
  3. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I would have said taped-seam ply (that's what I'm most familiar with) until I saw the 45-foot bit. The boat I'm currently designing for myself is a mix of plywood and strip-planking. Tedious, perhaps, but I don't think I can muscle 8-metre scarphed sheets of plywood around by myself. Strips, sure- even if it does get tedious.
     
  4. Brian@BNE
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    I'm coming to the view that the easiest method, for one person for hull at least, is via the chequebook.

    If hull is 15-20% of total cost (catamaran a bit higher?), then it shouldn't blow the budget to pay for the hull. But I think more important will be the time saving.
     
  5. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Having built many a large project some weighting literally millions of pounds. Use cranes and other equipment to do the work. You can even rent them for the price of a days helper pay. Build the jig, overhead crane or whatever method before you start building. Get a warehouse with a small overhead crane or install one. I have three cranes mounted on my boat. Very rarely do I need help. I also have a rule on my boat nothing including engines is so big or heavy that it can't be remove or fixed by one person and a small crane.
     
  6. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    This is a good point. There is still of work to do.
    You increase your chances of success if you don't build the hull, engines or electronics. One can do all the painting, rigging and installation.
     
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    You know me: TIMBER and BOLTS :)

    Daniel
     
  8. wardd
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    wardd Senior Member

    the more I think about it the more I like it, from ease of build to ease of maintenance and repair

    it also appears robust
     
  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Easy, build a smaller boat!

    The overhead cranes are not a bad idea, even a hand winch (Come-a-long type) can lift quite a lot. You can get them used pretty inexpensively, and building a steel or even wood A-frame would be a simple operation. I have pulled large engines my self with a "cherry picker" hoist, why not boat parts too? With two engine hoists, webbing straps, on a smooth concrete floor you can move some pretty large parts. These would be a very minor part of the building cost, and you can always sell them when you are done.
     
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I think I agree also.

    It seems if you could buy some hulls (connected by a bridgedeck already), you could possibly do very well.

    I wonder if any are for sale for a nice sailing 45' (or so) catamaran?

    I researched the cranes. Trouble is, with my build method you needed a crew to pour the keel, install bulkheads, install stringers, etc... These aren't even crane jobs, just jobs that require sets of hands.

    I was trying to find ways to build that don't require more than one set most of the time.

    I know those Bob Oram boats built out of Duflex seem like a single person might be able to do quite a bit of it....
     
  11. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    This was my preferred crane method, but my concrete floor is very far from smooth. There are large gulleys and holes, metal bits sticking up, etc... it's a mess. I'm also in a fabric building, so cranes don't work.

    This is for a one-off, so every dollar you spend on things that are not part of the boat is money thrown into the trash.
     
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Not if this is the next step in the process.
     
  13. magny7
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    magny7 Junior Member

    Maybe the Stitch and glue method like the one they use in most wharram cat ?
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Lifting and bending large sheets of plywood isn't conducive to solo working environments.
     

  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Every penny you spend making your life easier will increase productivity. It has cost me literally $100k in wasted money because I didn't spend $10K initially. If I had to build again I would do it in a place with more convenience, better power, better water, a roof, access etc... I would have contracted out more, bought less stuff initially. That is why first timers seldom make it. I exceed my budget by 500%. Perhaps it was unrealistic to begin with but the problem is boatbuilding is a hobby for most of us and life itself throws many problems at you. The weather kill me initially. A hurricane blow part of my purchased materials away. Got most of it back, but it was little damaged had to cut to smaller pieces, more work, not the same anymore.

    So a roof and couple of cranes not big investment. If you can't afford them then what are you going to do when boat goes over budget.
     
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