which construction method?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by mjpetersen68, May 25, 2005.

  1. mjpetersen68
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

    mjpetersen68 New Member

    I'm a inexperienced boat builder, and my plan is to start construction of an offshore cruising yacht of around 30-40' in the next 5 years.

    I wonder if anyone has any ideas on construction methods? I'm looking for a balance of end result and ease and speed of construction. I'm not too keen on chemicals but I'm willing to take on skills as required.

    If anyone can reccomend a book about choosing a construction technique that would also be really helpful.

    Finally, if anyone can direct me to a good source of crusing yacht plans for sale that would be ace.

  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    40' is a pretty daunting project, especially for a new builder. Browse past threads for the pros' rants on just how complex a project newbuild really is.

    My suggestion would be to find a fibreglass hull that has the sailing characteristics you want. Find a slightly run-down example and restore it. You'll get a far more seaworthy and far stronger boat than you could with new homebuilt, and you'll get teh same pride in your project. Glasswork is easy to learn if you start slow, and you'll have the same experience without the frustration.
  3. Thunderhead19
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Thunderhead19 Senior Member

    I'd say buy a hull, or go looking through people's back yards for a boat that's already started, and offer to take it off their hands. You'd be amazed at the number of people who start ambitious projects like this and then either run out of cash, get sick of the project, or just don't have the time to work on it (ie: the wife feels neglected).

    I'm not kidding, go hunting and don't be shy about going up to someones door and asking if they want to sell it. They might not say yes today, but a week or a month later they may. Get a marine surveryor to look at it before you buy, and be carful how much you offer for the boat.
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You can do it, but the odds are strongly against you in getting it completed, before the wife kills you and the bank takes back the mortgage. A project of that size requires a great deal of planning, effort, material, time, experience and will power. This is only because you are new to this sort of thing and have know idea the amount of energy it requires to complete a craft of this scale.

    Success is learned and most get it with much smaller first efforts. Maybe building the dinghy for the cruiser will get you some of the skills, but the planning, budgeting, material sourcing and purchasing will be on a much larger level. My first boat was 8', my second just under 16', my third still under 20', then 24', 27', 34' a 41'er and now a 48 foot yacht. I'm 50 something and have been doing this since I was a young teen. I've spent my whole life around boats (I was born on one) and in the related industries.
  5. mjpetersen68
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

    mjpetersen68 New Member

    Hi guys, thanks for your posts, I appreciate your honest opinions! I had planned on purchasing one of the steel kits and learning welding, but I do take on board your comments regarding scale and money! (pardon the bad pun). maybe this might be my retirement project.... I'm 37 so if I start now I might have it finished by then!
  6. pfennig
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    pfennig Junior Member

    Check out http://www.dieselducks.com and http://www.georgebuehler.com - George Buehler has several designs of power and sailing yachts designed to be easy to build. He also wrote a book (Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding) which documents the necessary techniques. Construction photos of a 48' wooden troller/trawler type power yacht are at the Diesel Ducks site.

    Good luck!
  7. Bob Smalser
    Joined: Jun 2003
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    Bob Smalser Junior Member

    Don't believe what the steel kit boat sellers say about welding. Sure, I can teach any 12-year-old to make a good weld on a horizontal surface. Vertical and overhead surfaces take considerable (like months and years of) practice and skill to do to standard, however. And how many horizontal welds are on a hull?

    Take a welding class and get some practice in so you've a better idea of what you are biting off..

    Same with boats in general. You should have 3-4 boats under your belt in the 8-22' range before considering such a large project. Otherwise, yours too, may be just another abandoned project.
  8. nero
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Marseille, France / Illinois, US

    nero Senior Member

    Read very carefully what these guys are writing.

    I got the bug to have a boat when I was 12. At 38, I started to research catamaran; boats, plans, and design. Could not find a production cat that I wanted ... needed or could pay for. Found a few plans but felt sick about paying several thousands of dollars for plans only.

    It has been over 2 years of educating, and $900 in software to get to where I am not yet. (got to keep smiling, if I am going to float this dream) The plans are not done yet. (They won't be until the boat is finished) I am building one of the hulls at present. I chose the strip planking method in cypress. Maybe a mistake on the choice of wood because clear VG is next to impossible to have.

    Will I finish this boat in 3 six month building sessions? NO Will I get the hulls and bridge structure done in that time? ... well what does "done" mean. Do I have regrets? Yes Would I start it again? Yes

    Building a project like this is educational and a rich experience (that will make me poor). If you can take the movement of the sea build a monohull. There is much more writtten advice on them.

    Got to go sand some more.
  9. waveless
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    waveless Junior Member

  10. Packeteer
    Joined: May 2005
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    Packeteer Junior Member

    get a bare hull made at a decent yard and then fit it out yourself

    much easier that way

    or just buy second hand and when u have more experience then look at building
  11. stephanabradley
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Billings, MT

    stephanabradley Boat Builder

    Cedar strip or cold molding

    Do a small boat project with cedar strip or cold molding and epoxy / glass finish. It will give you a great finished product and can be learned quickly.

    The downside is that a project of that size is a 6 or 7 year investment and most people don't make it through.

    Best of luck!!

  12. c0dewarr10r
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: Austin, tx

    c0dewarr10r New Member

    Prior to buying my F-32 plans from Ian Farrier (http://www.f-boat.com/), I had attended 4-day siminar in Alvin, Texas where I learned how to Resin Infusion (vacuum bagging) - very cool process. Then I volunteer to help a gentleman in Tomball, Tx to build a 48' catamaran. The question of building a complete or buy/repair - This is an individual decision. But, I think we all can agree that spending several hours a day building something (or hobby) is far better than sitting in front of the tv. Hopefully, 5 years later you can show what you have accomplished.

  13. westsail42
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    westsail42 Junior Member

    Go for it!

    I know this is an old thread, but there are recent replies.

    We just started building out a bare WestSail 42 (bought off of eBay!). We have no regrets so far, though we have not done much.

    I would take seriously all of the previous comments about about unfinished projects. Odds are against you. However, consider that boat building techniques and materials have come a LONG WAY in the past 30 years. Newer composites, adhesives, mechanical systems make boat building EASIER if you take the time to do the research and train yourself and you can afford it.

    In my case am fortunate to have

    - a wife that is invloved with the project
    - a wife that works at a marine repair and construction company
    - no kids (and no plans for)

    I just wish I had a bit more time and $$ right now. But, it will come. We are on the 5-13 year plan: completeing it in 5 years, would be nice, but no later than when the house mortgage is paid off (13 years).

    However, I agree with previous posters. Find a bare hull, or derelict with a sound hull and build it out. Or, if you can afford it, have someone pop out a hull from a mold for you (I know where you can get a FastPassge 39 hull laid up BTW <g>).
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