Where to find plans?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by nims11, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. nims11
    Joined: Apr 2015
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    nims11 Junior Member

    I did a bit of searching before posting this question but there is so much info here for a newbie I need some guidance.

    Coming from the homebuiltairplanes forums I am a pilot interested in building an airplane from an original design idea that I have. Realizing that this project will take significant knowledge as well as time and money I thought it best to gain some fundamental hands-on skill in composite building. So, I thought building a composite boat might be a good first venture. And since I live on an island in Fiji most of the year that could also be a practical project as well.

    I would like to purchase plans for a build of a boat that would suit our needs here. The boat should be smallish (16 to 20 ft), fiberglass (no plywood if possible but foam yes), and fast. The nearest main island from us is about 50 miles away, and having a boat that could take a passenger in a medical emergency quickly to the nearest medical center would be useful. I was envisioning a small powered catamaran. I was also thinking about a boat with hydrofoils but that might be too ambitious for a first boat.

    Does anyone know if plans for a boat like this exist, or have any recommendation of another design?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    How much money are you prepared to allot to this ?
     
  3. nims11
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    nims11 Junior Member

    That is a good question, and I had it in my mind to include that but forgot, maybe I was suppressing it because I'm afraid it's going to cost way more than I'm hoping. :)

    For just the hull materials; fiber, resin, and foam I'm allocating $5000 US. That does not include engine and other stuff that I'm not sure what I'll need.

    Does that get me in the ballpark?
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That probably barely cover the plans of a custom design. There are many stock plans you can have for much less though.
     
  5. nims11
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    nims11 Junior Member

    Thanks, but I'm not interested in a custom design. Are you saying there are no existing designs for a small powered fiberglass multihull?
     
  6. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    20' is small for a 50 mile ocean trip.

    Transporting passengers and especially medical patients may incur liability and not favor a home-built boat.

    Probably cost will be closer to $20,000.

    Here is a set of plans for what you specified above
    http://www.bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=CT22#.VSIG_PnF-N0

    For 50 miles in the ocean I'd choose a larger boat myself.

    Here is another good plan source:
    http://www.multihulldesigns.com/power.html

    And another:
    http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/prowler-series
     
  7. nims11
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    nims11 Junior Member

    $20k for just the hull materials? How can that be? You can build 4 2-place airframes for that cost.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A 16-20 foot boat won't be able to carry a person that has been injured. The pounding will probably kill the patient. If you want to go really slow (less than 2 MPH) maybe you could build something that provides a somewhat comfortable ride. For a better ride, you need to double the length.
     
  9. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    http://bateau.com/studyplans/CT22_study.htm?prod=CT22#BOM has a bill of materials. That boat is smaller than what I would choose at 22' and I don't feel is large enough for a 50 mile trip with a passenger/patient. I quickly calculated about $7200 here: $4000 in plywood (quality foam will be more); $1600 in fiberglass, and $1600 in epoxy. No costs added for paint, tools, sandpaper, damage, errors, shipping, build space, hardware, wiring, power, rigging, etc.
    I also personally feel you need a longer and larger boat for this task. A boat that can only operate in optimal calm conditions won't help if someone needs to be transported 50 miles when conditions are not ideal.
     
  10. nims11
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    nims11 Junior Member

    You are probably right. We have a 16ft aluminum that makes the 50 mile trip sometimes and it is a pretty rough ride.

    The truth is I am looking to build a boat for the composite build experience and looking for any good reason to do so. If this will not work for an emergency transport then I'll forget that idea. Most of us have helicopter evac insurance for real emergencies, and we have 2 other large boats, a 60ft and 30ft. But if I build this thing and spend all that money I would like to at least be able to turn around and sell it to as least recoup some of the cost.

    Thanks for the link. A couple of questions. With boat design (particularly like with this modern catamaran) are all designs pretty much the same. I mean it is not like there are other designs for similar boats that would go faster or be more economical or anything? In other words, is there any benefit in searching for the best design?

    Marine plywood is actually a bit cheaper over here in Fiji. What are the differences or limitations with using wood over foam? What about weight and strength.

    Thanks very much.
     
  11. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    A 50-mile trip in a boat capable of 15-knots would take more than 3 hours to make, so your medical emergency patient will either be DOA :( , or there was no emergency in the first place. :confused:

    Boats with composite hulls will require a fair amount of maintenance, especially as they age. It takes some skill to master use of these materials to produce a boat. With travel in open ocean water a distinct possibility, your boat would probably be easier to build and last longer if it were constructed in aluminum.
     
  12. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    As long as you think that getting 25% of your total costs back is a good ROI, fine. Otherwise, perhaps not.

    PDW
     
  13. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Cats are a more complicated build anyway, just count the number of lengthwise panels from one gunwale to the other (I make it 9) where a mono has 4. (and that is keeping things simple) Then you really need two engines, unless you get lucky and have it run smoothly on one. The budget will be severely stretched.
     
  14. nims11
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    nims11 Junior Member

    Did you read the part where I said the main reason I'm building the boat is for the fiberglass build experience.

    Will the Cat be smooth in rough water or just the opposite compared to a conventional hull?
     

  15. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Potentially, yes, but it depends on the design. And that becomes very difficult at smaller sizes, from what I have seen 18 feet is about the minimum you want anything to do with in power cats. There must be some stock designs you can find on the net.
     
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