View Full Version : Amature builder needs help
04-09-2003, 10:52 PM
Well I finaly did I recieved my Alegra 24 plans. I must say they were a little over whelming. They were nothing like I thought they would be. I thought since it was a boat for Amature builders that they would include a kind of "HOW TO" instructions, quess what they didn't :( I've tried to talk to the designer of the boat but he seems a little anoid with me and my pittly questions. Im currently reading 3 books:
1. Small Boat Construction
2. Gougeon Brothers boat Construction
3. Cold Molded and Strip Planked Wood Boatbuilding
Im hoping that I will be able to get some answers to some stupid questions. Here are couple :confused:
1. Do I use plywood or solid stock for Forms?
2. How do I handle the Bulkheads?
This is only the begining, I sure I will have alot more questions as I go :D I hope that all of you who have built boats before will have pitty on this amature as endeavor on a dream.
04-09-2003, 11:12 PM
Is that the little multichine plywood cruiser by Eric Sponberg? For that boat, perhaps "Devlin's Boat Building" might be more useful to you.
Most boat plans, except for a very few targeted at first timers (which is not the same as amatuer) do not have a key to guide you through the steps of construction. The designer assumes you know something about how to do it.
Would you consider building a smaller boat first to get the hang of the sequence of steps? Even knocking together an 8' dink will teach you a lot about building.
Tell us more about the boat and it's style of construction and your questions will be easier for us to answer.
04-10-2003, 08:14 AM
Also include what tools you have on hand and what constructions methods you intend to use- that is critical to your answer.
BTW- the very worst thing that you can do is get frustrated or overwhelmed and give up! I put the top page of the plans on the wall walking out into the garage so I would see the completed boat each time I went out- in other words a visual target. Find what work schedule works for you and your family and stick with it. It helps too if you have "buy-in" from whoever you spend significant time with- spouse, family, friends, folks here on the forum- they can help you stay focused and motivated. There are probably more unfinished home-built boats than there are finished ones.
04-10-2003, 09:27 AM
Your right this is my first boat, except for a 17 foot striper canoe. As for tools I have a wood shop so I would say Im ok with tools. Here is an URL for the boat:
web page (http://www.boatdesigns.com/cgi-bin/store/web_store.cgi?page=allegra24.html&&cart_id=302734_13001)
My family have all grown up and Im at a point in me life where I have the time, other than my job.
About 5 yrs ago I completed my shop 24'x48'x16' high ceiling and wood floor. Im ready :cool:
Your are right about the Amature part not meaning what I thought :mad: Someone once said to me " A set of house plans dont make a house builder"
But Im not going to give up yet, I will figure it out. Hopefully I will be able to get some answers from this forum :D
04-10-2003, 09:44 AM
That's an interesting vessel. Good luck with her.I'm not one to help but I'll learn along with you .Keep us informed. smile.gif
04-10-2003, 10:11 AM
1. Yes, either plywood, timber, or even MDF is ok for the forms.
2. What do you mean, "handle the bulkheads'?
Do you mean erect them with the building forms? Yes, probably you can. The only downside might be that you might slop googe on them but protecting their finished surfaces shouldn't be too difficult.
Take AA's advice - One step at a time.
As pointed out on another thread, make a model - one big enough and detailed enough to see all the problems. Much cheaper than full size problems :D and you get to keep that museum quality model for your mantle long after the full size boat is only a memory. :cool:
[ 04-10-2003, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: TomRobb ]
04-10-2003, 11:01 AM
I basically built my first boat starting from the same point as you. I built a stick and glue canoe then a 15'6" stripper canoe before tackling my Lightning. In fact, I used the strongback that I build the canoe on for the Lightning.
Obviously, your boat will be more ambitious then a lightning but will involve alot of the same steps. A few things to keep in mind would be:
1. Will it fit in my shop? Mine didn't, so I assembled it outside.
2. Most hulls are build inverted (as was your canoe) an then flipped. Make sure you know how this will be done and that there will be room to flip it.
3. Lofting, this is critical!!! Make sure you understand the concepts and can come up with full size patterns. You need a very large and flat area for lofting. I cheated a little and only lofted the CB trunk , frames, transom and stem. The chines, sheer and keel were then contoured to fit the frames and CB trunk.
4. If you are using plywood for planking, you'll need to worry about compound bends and how to scarf plywood.
5. Finally, as your boat takes shape it is harder to get to certain areas. Make sure you take that into account as you start covering things up :( .
Good Luck tongue.gif
04-10-2003, 01:03 PM
Good looking boat! What construction are you going to use? C-flex, cold-molded, plywood? Lofting onto plywood or mdf is a good idea, then you can use that for you station molds.
Obviously, the first place to start is loft it out (take your time here because if it is wrong here, its wrong forever!)- and loft all the lines- it'll give you a much better idea of how the thing will look. There are several posts (use the search thing up above) on lofting and how to get that done.
Its great you have that much space- I used one bay of the garage with some a small amount of constenration from my significant other due to boards, dust, fumes, etc...
04-10-2003, 02:23 PM
Whoa nellie. That is one heck of a project for the first. Power to you. I can't add anything at this point that others have not already said but this is the place to get answers to all of life's problems.
Good luck and best wishes.
04-10-2003, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all of the replies ;) Im going to build the boat using a combination of 1/2 inch strips and 1 to 3 layers of 1/8 veneer. Wood type unknown yet?
Tom Robb when you say build a model at what scale do I use and does it have to be exact? What I meant about the bulkheads is the plans show them in the same positions as forms do I make partial bulkheads and then complete them later? Or wait until Im finished then turn hull over and put them in?
I bought full set of patterns for the forms :cool: I will take pictures and post them as I go.
04-11-2003, 07:20 AM
if your construction can support you making the bulheads the same as the molds, that would probably save a lot of effort later- just depends on your layout.
Also, FWIW, if you have a bandsaw, you can cut your own strips- save two or three truckloads of $$$. Also, by doing so, you may be able to avoid using plywood- you basically are making your own in place. No voids, better adhesive between the layers, and a whole bunch cheaper than marine grade plywood.
Just my two cents.
04-11-2003, 10:54 AM
Here are a few stray thoughts, most of which just serve to reinforce what has already been posted by others.
1. A 6500lb boat is a large boat for a first timer but you've already built a strip canoe so you already have more relevant experience than you think. Go for it. If the whole thing seems overwhelming remember that building a boat is just a series of steps. Your first goal is to build the frame then the moulds and so on.
2. Of the books you listed I like the Gougeon's the best simply because of the way it's organized. Don't worry about not fully understanding what's written in them. Use them as reference as you go along instead. Everything will become clear.
3. I like to use MDF for the frames because its cheap and I can use a coarsely set plane or a rasp to quickly knock down any high spots or cut the bevels. Use whatever you like that is locally available and is easy to work and cheap. Use the money you save to buy quality marine plywood for the bulkheads and for your lumber.
4. Yes you can use bulkheads instead of mold frames if their locations are within a couple of inches of each other. Use your own judgement. Cover the bulkheads with heavy kraft paper on both sides to protect them from the inevitable epoxy drips. Don't fully cut out any openings such as doorways at this time. You'll be glad you did so at rollover time.
5. If you have a bandsaw and thickness planer you can save a considerable amount of money by buying roughsawn lumber. I like to rip strips by clamping a long fence on to my bandsaw and using a resaw blade. You can of course use a table saw but because the blade is thicker you'll make a lot more sawdust and consequently have to buy more lumber. If you don't have a fully eqipped shop don't worry about it. Use what you have.
6. Unless I need a small quantity I don't bother to resaw lumber to make veneers. If you're cutting 1/8" thick veneers even a resaw blade will waste some 30% or more of your lumber. Shop around for sliced veneers. For the quantity that you'll need and depending on your location you'll probably find that buying sliced veneers is competitively priced with doing it yourself, especially if you factor in the aggravation.
Oh yeah! Around here we expect the occasional picture and progress report. :D
04-11-2003, 11:06 AM
One more stray thought since you asked:
For a boat of that size I would think that western red cedar would be a suitable choice for both the strips and veneers. Since you're in Oregon it should be easily available locally. What does the designer suggest?
04-11-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by tburris:
Im going to build the boat using a combination of 1/2 inch strips and 1 to 3 layers of 1/8 veneer. Wood type unknown yet?
Tom Robb when you say build a model at what scale do I use and does it have to be exact?
TedSo, you are building the way Paul Gartside has been suggesting for a while-cold molded over strip planking. Good technique by all accounts. Outer layer to run fore and aft. Given your location, western red cedar comes to mind. Maybe (big maybe) Alaskan or Port Orford cedar stips with western red cedar veneer for the cold molded part.
Add to your library. There's a thread around the Forum somewhere listing personal favorite boat building books. Books covering strip planking and cold molding seem to be in order. And general boat building too.
I would suggest the model be built to the same scale as the plans. That way you can use COPIES of the plans for templates and just trace or transfer details to the model pieces. I have no clue how you would strip/cold mold the model. Your 1/2" strips scale down to 1/16" at 1-1/2"=1'-0", or 1:8. The 1/8" veneer scales to 1/64".
Does it have to be exact? Yes.
04-11-2003, 11:52 AM
The Model, Blond...etc. thread says more about boat models than I could.
I'd make the scale large enough to do the pieces/parts more or less to scale - somewhere between 6" to the foot :D and 1" to the foot.
I think someone suggested 1.5"/foot.
04-11-2003, 09:24 PM
If you build the model to scale aren't you going to have difficulty with some mighty thin strips? I mean, in-scale these things might approach the size of big slivers! :D
Keep reading the books. You know about stripping from doing your canoe. The Gougeon's book has good stuff on stripping a bigger boat. My take on your situation withe the bulkheads is that since the plans show bulkheads in the same position as the molds, you should be able to use the bulkheads as molds. This is a lot easier than trying to fit bulkheads in later after the hull is complete! You may also find that you will have the opportunity to build much of the interior as you go. That is also a nice advantage. Lots more room to work, better light, easier to make fits, etc then it is after the deck is on!!
You can do this and we'll give you all the help we can!!
04-12-2003, 09:35 AM
Thanks again everyone for all of the replies smile.gif
I do have a bandsaw and 12 1/2 inch planner so I plan on doing the strips myself. Both Port Orford and Western Red Cedar are available here so its going to be either one or a mix of both. I'll figure that out after I have a strongback full of forms sitting on the floor of the shop smile.gif Im going to tackle one thing at a time. I will post pictures as I go and will be asking questions quite regularly Im sure.
04-12-2003, 10:04 AM
A couple of thoughts for what they are worth:
I started making a 1:8 scale model of Prairie Islander. http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b2cf02b3127cce92783ae270920000003010 The section molds were 1/8" masonite and the strips about 1/16" x 1/4". I got about half the strips on and the light came on... "This is about as much work as working fill size. Tedioius and what am I learning." ...never finished the model.
I bought flat sawn, two by stock from Flounders Bay so when I ripped the strips I had 5/8" x 1-3/4" edge grain strips.
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