View Full Version : Simmons launched
08-10-2006, 12:15 AM
Finally launched the Simmons 18 yesterday and what a sweet riding hull.Toss all the notions of being too tender,slippery in turns(the chine becomes the keel in a hard bank) or pounding excessively in a chop.It's so easy to adjust to seas by just adjusting the throttle.The boat feels confident and safe and downright cozy compared to modern beam monsters.It handles very well at dockside without any acrobatics at the helm or controls.It goes where you point it and tracks true.No issues seeing over the bow and the ability to move about the boat without any extreme tippiness.
Frameless construction: The boat doesn't squeak,creak,groan,pant,shudder,twist or vibrate.The hatches stay put in chop without banging.It paddles easily,floats like a feather and sits darn pretty doing so and it flies at WOT. Gets up on plane instantly and stays there thru a wide spectrum of throttle adjustments. Not one drop of water inside the boat and we didnt get wet in the chop other than from wind spray that was there even sitting still.The guy I took with me was skeptical of the narrow hull and he was quite surprised at the quality ride as was I. Lots of gawks,smiles and questions from onlookers.Sofar,I've nothing bad at all to say about this boat as it has tested beyond my expectations. What a ride! :)
08-10-2006, 12:42 AM
Pipefitter , cut it out .... we will wait patiently for pictures for a short while.... ........ ..... OK times up . Ahem..... TAP TAP TAP
Congratulations , you incorrigable tease.......
08-10-2006, 12:43 AM
Ahem...... any pics to gawk at or smile about??????
08-10-2006, 12:57 AM
Awesome, Pipe. Great feeling, huh?
08-10-2006, 01:32 AM
I didnt get any of it in the water yet. It was more sea trial and right in the middle of the work day. One of those..."ok..lets do it" kind of things.Was supposed to happen Sunday but I got stood up by the owner of our shop after he begged to be the one to go. Weather got up anyways.
It's not a typical Simmons. I dared to be different than anyother. I think I can safely say and am not so sure it belongs on a wood boat forum.It's abstracted to modern to say the least but quite comfortable and functional and was able to fit all my needs in such a small boat.Everything is portable and multifunctional. Can carry 4 rods and all tackle entirely out of the way leaving the decks clear and uncluttered. I'm stoked to say the least. Alot of people have been by to see it and it causes some distractions at the shop.Sofar,everyone loves it and offer no arguments of it's wooden core. Getting a bunch of FRP converts down here now that they have actually gotten to see what it consists of.There's some pictures of it at http://home.earthlink.net/~tigmaster41/ under the menu for rigging. But be aware of it being different than anything seen here on the WBF. I'm still tickled of the damn things performance.
08-10-2006, 01:37 AM
"Awesome, Pipe. Great feeling, huh?"
Yes indeed,Steven. It still hasn't subsided yet along with the perpetual good mood. I still have to go fishing yet which is peak season for me now. Especially since I swore off fishing till the boat was completed to which I kept my word. Also,a charter guide I know that I used to build items for his boats retired and gave me locations of all his money spots.
08-10-2006, 06:54 AM
Hey, nice website Paul. Why haven't we seen those pics here before? Maybe I just haven't been paying attention. Tigmaster, huh?
08-10-2006, 07:08 AM
Congratulations!! The boat looks great. Want to see it on the water. Nicely done. Great website
08-10-2006, 07:22 AM
Thanks for that first test report. It sounds just like the old 18 I used to make the first plans. They are wonderful boats.
08-10-2006, 09:23 AM
Congrats Paul! She looks sweet! Can't wait to see her on the water.
No get out there and put the wood to some fish!
08-10-2006, 10:59 AM
When I had it out,went to pull up to this dockside bar for the ceremonial(actually it was hot as all hell and we were really thirsty) 2 beers and a huge snook shot out from under the dock right under the boat and then busted topwater.Is that an omen or what?
Thanks for getting these plans out to us Dave.If everyone that's built one of these from your plans has had the experience I had then you have helped to make alot of folks happy.
I was kind of worried to reports of tenderness. The guy I was with weighed in at 225lbs and he sat on the gunwhale at amidships right next to the console and didn't get a wet ass. At the dock while waiting for him to park the truck,I was able to hold the whole boat away from the dock with one hand. You can virtually hold it by it's nose and direct it like a canoe.
Tigmaster came from a play on craft. A guy that was in welding school whom I was competitive with, used to talk alot of smack about who the daddy was etc. After welding school we corresponded via email and I set that username to screw with him and it stuck.The 41 was(it started at 30) when I stopped changing the age reference.Plus I didnt want to change the URL to my website. I get alot of questions about this boat via email from there.
I need to add cleats and stuff but I was waiting until after sea trial and it's really hard to bring myself to put any holes in it. Still need to put drain tubes etc as well.Needs another coat of paint on the decks as I put that off until after rigging because I knew it would get dirty.
For now it gets preferential storage inside the shop. Canvas guy at our shop is making a sunbrella cover for it and a zip curtain that goes to the anchor cubby at the very front of the boat.
08-10-2006, 11:17 AM
THat's a great looking boat. I can't wait to get mine built. What did you paint it with? Looks really good
08-10-2006, 11:39 AM
Painted with(roll and tip) brightsides. Flattening agent added to the interior. interlux's interdeck on the interior decks. Awlgrip's grip-tex synthetic sand in wet paint on the sheerdeck nonskid.
08-10-2006, 08:02 PM
Great job. I really like the frameless idea for an inshore boat. Great use of space. Good luck with the snook.
I launched my new 18 a couple of days ago, and am still breaking in the motor. I went with a 30 HP four stroke Nissan. Looks like it will work out well. I did manage to catch a few stripers, but don't get jealous as there were no keepers. I'd love to take a winter off and trailer down the East coast exploring all the fishing holes to the keys. If I manage it, will you put me on the snook hideouts?
Again, congrats on the boat, and you'll love building the 20. Great boat.
08-10-2006, 08:06 PM
Very Nice Dude. It really turned out nice. Looks like you have a long shaft motor, correct ? Did you do your motor well to plans or did you need any modifications ? Catch any fish yet !!??
08-10-2006, 10:17 PM
It's a long shaft motor and a large one at that. I was concerned with the motor being too much for it but it handles it well. The motorwell was left in stock dimension and built at 19½" tall from bottom plank to top of transom. My motor is a bolt on(power tilt),no thumb screws.This allowed the engine bracket to have a ½" gap of the top of the transom to enable cleaning under there.Gas drips or what not.
The monocoque sheer deck,combined with the raised fore and aft decks (read stronger gusset properties than thwarts) and associated framing, makes this hull stronger than the framed version.Also consider the main deck and fore and aft decks are glassed into the hull with fillets and fastened to framing. The glass runs up to the first side plank which also creates a pan within the deck areas.
The originals had removeable decks which this one the decks are glued and screwed which also adds formiddable structural strength to the floor frames as they are subdued top and bottom. Side frames only have their foundation of strength to where they are fastened to the floor frames and whatever tension the assorted trim and battens add so there is alot of leverage load to point theoretically.Glue helps the frames alot in this situation but in non glued boats that were just bolted,these side frames(on net skiffs) always moved after awhile. The sheerdeck (3/8ths x6" aft widening to 9"just beyond amidship) carries the strength from the fore deck and raised deck framing throughout the hull.Every potential weak spot or transition was bridged with the plywood so that it all ties together.I got the ideas from wood airplane structural design theory,bridge engineering and from the sheerdeck option included with the plans.I didn't have to use cross braces when turning the hull over with sheer deck installed. The hull weight is about the same as stock and is the same way that modern glass hulls get their strength. Trigonometry is at work alot in this hull if you know where to look for it and it is calculable beyond assumption.
No fish yet but real soon and maybe this weekend :)
08-10-2006, 10:29 PM
"Great job. I really like the frameless idea for an inshore boat. Great use of space. Good luck with the snook.
I launched my new 18 a couple of days ago, and am still breaking in the motor. I went with a 30 HP four stroke Nissan. Looks like it will work out well. I did manage to catch a few stripers, but don't get jealous as there were no keepers. I'd love to take a winter off and trailer down the East coast exploring all the fishing holes to the keys. If I manage it, will you put me on the snook hideouts?"
If you make it to the Gulf side,Ellis,would be happy to show you where the snook are and some large trout if you're up to catching trout as well. Snook like to go up into the rivers in winter.
08-11-2006, 12:19 AM
Great job on the boat , Paul . The picture chronicle is a treat too .
A touching tribute to Lee and Mrs Whillock......
08-11-2006, 01:32 AM
Mr. Whillock....Imagine having a best friend 45 years your senior? And to have enough in common from different times to stay that way without a hitch for 25 years.He was always good enough to be company amongst my friends. I defended him one time from an arrogant,angry landscaper that threatened him with bodily harm after he turned on a pump repair we were testing out. We were there by appointment. I heard the yelling and came out of that pumphouse with a 36" rigid pipe wrench (not aluminum handled) and chased that guy right back thru the sprinklers that wet him in the first place. Mr. Whillock was 78 yrs old at the time and after I was good and pissed off,Lee looks over at me on the way home and says..."Damn Paul...should have used a little of that on that 3" union you were wrestling with". Only thing that saved him was he smiled after he said it.
He got to see the main part of the hull put together. He knew I could pull it off.He would stop by on a Saturday(I hadn't worked with him in 3-4 yrs) and ask me if I could take a ride with him to see if I could figure out what was wrong with some bastard water well he was working on.I knew he knew what was wrong with it.The obvious transparency being he just wanted to go on a call with his buddy just like old times.I always obliged and now that he is gone,I am damn glad I did.Wish I could have finished the boat before he passed.
With all the technology we have and abundant educational outlets and connection to the rest of the world,that generation of folks is a tough one to beat and to all you other old beezers out there still kicking with as much tenacity and honor as Mr. and Mrs. Whillock had,my hat's off to you and some of us did listen.
08-11-2006, 01:47 AM
Where's Mr. Rowe's launch pictures at?Couple days ago like Wed? Damn,we could have had a forum first for 2 Simmons launched simultaneously and neither had a camera! Too funny.
08-11-2006, 04:58 AM
It's not a typical Simmons. I dared to be different than anyother. I think I can safely say and am not so sure it belongs on a wood boat forum.
Wha d'ya mean?
Anyway, very nice looking boat, Pipe. Congrats! However, no "Attaboy's" 'till you get some photos in here! :)
08-11-2006, 06:30 AM
Beautiful work, congratulations! I think it might be perfect for inshore fishing around here, better than even a panga. When's the 25' tuna tower coming? :D
08-11-2006, 10:39 AM
When I first started researching(love at first sight) the Simmons,I thought a reproduction was just that. I figured since I was using wood and wood related tools and making sawdust that it was a wood boat. One of my goals was to show these plasticized cornballs around here in the boating world, that a quality boat could be built from wood with about the same maintenence,half the weight and twice the efficiency of the glass ones. I didnt know that too good a level of finish would turn it into a glass boat. I wanted it to look good from both sides of that river.If I had built it traditionally ,without glue and painted with traditional paint,some old men might have liked it. Some young guys wouldn't have cared either way but lets go fishing.After reading arguments of topics of making a wood boat look like anyother cookie cutter in the water(I still dont see the resemblance) by finishing it too well,making it too shiney,it seemed I had crossed that line. Then add hi-tech furnishing and function,a little too much horsepower and all of a sudden,it's not the same anymore.I needed the boat this way and wanted to be different than all the others. If I had made it traditionally to plans and predictable,felt more cookie cutter to me.I was tired of seeing brightwork and I knew what the Florida sun would mean to me in terms of maintenence. The reason I built a boat in the first place is because I couldn't buy what I wanted. I look at common center consoles every day and again I needed something lighter and different.Noone can buy this boat or see it anywhere else. It's as unique as one's thumbprint built in likeness of the Simmons.Others have pointed out that this is the "Wood" boat forum and that what I have built is a wood cored boat and since I covered parts of it with glass/epoxy and deviated from the plans,that it really isn't the same thing anymore.After all this hard work,I really didn't need to have it compared to a modern boat and would settle for homemade.Right now, it is parked amongst 12 other FRP boats and looks nothing like any of them.Is probably a silly way to look at it and I shouldn't care what others think as I didn't when I styled it the way I did but it just feels different now.Like it doesn't really belong here. What I do like about it is the glass boat guys can't buy it and would be tough to copy as a build.So it ended up in between and that makes me happy.I ended up with Paul's boat. I will post pictures of it in the water when it's all said and done for any open minded builders that might appreciate it. Just letting it be known that I don't expect the same considerations as a wood boat might get.
You've done good pipefitter. It appears that you took the time to give the boat a proper finish. Enjoyed your website and the links to other Simmons sites as well.
08-11-2006, 03:02 PM
Great job and a beautiful boat.
08-11-2006, 04:43 PM
I'll trade a 16' Gregor for it and I'll throw in the fishfinders and electric trolling motor= what do ya say-Deal?
08-11-2006, 04:51 PM
Well I for one, consider your SSS a wood boat. It is just covered with glass. Its like people, its not whats on the outside that matters so much as whats underneath. Its wood ! I like it, have plans for one and hope mine turns out as nearly as good lookin as yours. Looking forward to seeing more pics as you get her out on the water more.
I will be particularly interested in your comments on performance in regards to the engine choice you have made.
08-11-2006, 08:09 PM
Your post immediately after mine makes me think that you may have taken my humor about the tuna tower as a criticism of your boat. It isn't; I was being facetious knowing where you fish (most boats don't fit, let alone with a tower) and that you build them for a living.
The SSS is a wooden boat, and beautiful at that. As for varnished trim, I have to redo my covering boards after only two years in the Florida sun, and thats taking it out of the garage only once or twice a week. They do get a lot of wear sliding my big behind over them. A lot of work to keep it looking "yachty."
You have a beautiful wooden boat, congrats again.
08-11-2006, 08:55 PM
No Sir,JLPratt. I didnt take anything you said wrong.Figured you were kidding about that and I took it as such.You are right about the panga and this boat kind of reminds me of that the way it handles.
If you look in the backdrop of the pics of my boat,you can see I am up to my earbows in aluminum projects. I am currently working on 4 at once(one large tower,3 T-tops) plus assorted chairs and other goodies. I built a multistage 17ft tower here at my home for an older Bertram before I went to work for the place I do now. The neighbors were dumbfounded at me standing in the top of that beast with eyeshot to the whole neighborhood. Then more gawks when I split it in 3 sections and the large Roadway flatbed came to retrieve it to be installed over in Tarpon Springs. Everyone asks me if I am going to put a pole platform on it to which I say "nope". Don't need it,I know where the fish are and if I can see them,they can see me.
The motor works great and the holeshot is awesome.As soon as you nail it,it's on plane. No porpoising,prop slip and it has a feels like speed of about 40(it friggin hauls) WOT. I think what really helps is the no feed back steering and the hook in the hull. You can virtually let go of the wheel and it stays put so no crosswake is going to alter the path or allow it to get squirrely.The motor's sweet spot is about 3800-4200 out of a possible 5250 rpm's and it's not very loud at all.I have always been an OMC fan but this 4 cylinder merc runs smooth as silk and you can breathe on the key and it starts.
I am going fishing tomorrow with the guy that took all the pictures on my website. He was so surprised today when I told him , "lets go fishing". He will have his camera with him.
Good analogy of the construction emichaels. You are about to build yourself one fine little motorboat.
I will be painting the bottom soon and all the other touchups in the next couple weeks.
Sofar,this boat has a better ride than any comparable production boat I have ever been on and thats alot.
Thanks again everybody for the positive comments as I appreciate it.
08-11-2006, 09:11 PM
Congradulations Pipefitter...... I commend you for your patience in adapting and perfecting this classic wooden design for your use in your waters. I would have just slopped some paint on long age, gone fishing, then wished I had taken more time. Now grab that fishing rod and camera and get us some action shots!
08-11-2006, 09:48 PM
I was driving across the Howard Franklin bridge the other morning and saw a huge school of Tarpon rolling about 2-300 yards off the bridge.This is normal for this time of year to see them by the big bridges like that.
Thanks hnsbrc. I do remember the nice boat you built here awhile back.
08-11-2006, 11:01 PM
You're a real mechanic, Paul. What a finish!
And I daresay, you've made a fine contribution to the life of the design with your custom layout.
08-11-2006, 11:28 PM
Thanks alot L.W.Baxter. That just tickles the heck out of me hearing that. This was the only way I could make it to where my 5'9" self could drive it and someone 6'4 could drive it with the same exposure to the console/controls and equally for standing as well.I am the net thrower so my buddy will have to drive while I sight and toss.
The internet is a wonderful thing. Just got my fishing license renewed(with snook stamp) right from home. How can you beat that? My buddy just called me from the store where he is buying tackle. If I had thought about it,I could have picked up a couple of those genuine Cuban sandwiches to take along. :)
The plan is to get bait(pinfish), go to the flat where a redfish/snook hole I know is and wade the deeper edge of the flat while tossing jigs for trout until the tide comes up enough to float the Simmons over to the spot. Maybe we will be fortunate and get to see some schools tailing across the flat and get some pics. I brought the boat home tonight. Good feeling to have it back and it's already pointed in the right direction.
A little late here, just saw this thread today.
You already know what I think of your build...she's damn nice. The choices you made in painting and powder coating pushed her over the top in aesthetics. A real nice looking craft with strong traditional flair.
Now it seems the performance matches the looks! Sounds like she'll do all you want and more. Theres something to be said for building a proven design (with modern improvements). In my case, an original design... I would do some things different if starting over...but she has met 95% of my expectations. You, on the other hand, took a long time great design and tuned her up to top level performance and looks. Nobody can deny that a traditional plank on frame boat looks sweet, but the monocoque structure of a modern version is so much more practical in withstanding the warm climate long term and for trailering.
We have a couple carvel boats in a local marina here, a Rozinante, and some other 6 meter or something like that. Both are beautiful but have a hard time in this hot environment. The Roz's bilge pump constantly cycles on and she was foundered once at the dock. Both would be a Christmas present for anyone to buy...as you opened them up for evaluation. I would want a cold molded or strip Roz for down here in Texas. Obviously, your boat will be around long after your gone.
I also had a hard time getting any photos with no other boat nearby...or dock to allow the photographer a spot to stand on.
You'll get some good ones later on, as will I. Just don't take too long cause I want to see her in action. Maybe you can get some elevated angle shots off of another boat with a tower running in front of you.
Those in the water shots will be more interesting than the static shots in the shop...although she's quite stunning in the shop too.
08-12-2006, 06:58 PM
I got pictures of both the boat on the water and with fish in it. I caught 3 redfish over 28",2- 15" Speckled trout and a snapper.Boat is filthy from throwing the net from her without having a tub to empty the net into. She's dry now and motor is flushed/washed off but will put the soap to her tomorrow.
Motor runs great and all handles well.I am quite satisfied.I will post a pic or 2 once they get sent to me.All in all a perfect maiden voyage of usage beyond sea trial.
Thanks RodB. Two more Gulf coasters/two more wood boats featuring success.
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