View Full Version : Thinking of building
08-22-2004, 10:12 PM
Hello all. I'm thinking of building a small boat (13' 6" LOA, 4' 10" beam) out of plywood for a little shallow water sailing and general mucking about. I've gone and drawn one up myself, a fairly simple flat-bottom boat with a tombstone transom and a daggerboard. Yes, I know a centerboard would be better for shallow water sailing, but I haven't quite got the confidence for that yet.
What I'd like to know (aside from Catherine Zeta-Jones' phone number) relates to the framing. Since I'm making this out of 1/4" ply for the sides and 3/8" ply for the bottom, could I get by with just the stem, transom, and one frame in the middle, or would I be wise to include a couple more? Perhaps abbreviated frames that double as supports for the thwart?
Also, must I fiberglass the chines, or can I get by without? And uh, I guess a few others. The preliminary sail plan is a leg o' mutton affair with a whopping 34 square feet. I don't want to be hiking out in a little breeze, but I also would like to avoid going nowhere. Would you go with a leg o' mutton, upsize the sail, or go with a standing lug? Just curious on opinions.
Alright, that's the end of my post now. Have at it!
08-22-2004, 10:37 PM
I think you'll need more stiffness if you want to put in a sail rig.
Depending on how wide the bottom panel is, I'd be inclined to run a 1x4 or 1x6 down the centerline on the outside as a keel. I would think mighty hard about throwing in a 1x4 inner keel (or keelson some might call it) lengthwise on the inside of the boat. These pieces will help to keep the bottom from "oil-canning" and also give a good foundation for the daggerboard trunk bedlogs.
If you have a decent sized chine in the boat, you probably won't need any other framing besides the keel and keelson in the bottom of the boat.
If the sides are made up of a single piece of ply on each side then I'd probably fit frames on 18" centers (or even closer for a better appearance) along the sides. They could be notched for the chines and fastened to the chine with a screw. I'd radius the ends and keep them clear of the bottom to reduce the possibility of rot. You can also notch the top of the side frames for the inwale to improve appearance of the inwale.
The side frames will also give you a good spot to fasten the riser that your gonna need so you can fasten the thwarts in the boat.
If you are going to do glued lapstrake sides then you can probably use less framing since the laps themselves will stiffen up the sides.
No, you don't have to glass and epoxy the chine joint or anything else for that matter if you use marine grade plywood.
08-22-2004, 10:47 PM
Very informative reply, thanks much. The last thing I was involved with was a plywood pirogue with a two stems and one frame as it's skeleton, and it might have rubbed off on me. I like the idea of a keelson, and I feel kinda stupid for not thinking of hull rigidity, but I'll jot down a few notes and take care of that.
Where's a good place to get sails? I really don't want to make my own if I don't have to.
Boats of type you have in mind, or at least the ones I've seen and built typically have sawn frames every two feet or so with a keelson, chine logs, and a batten or two between keelson and chine. If you are going for stitch and glue at the chine and do not plan to have a chine log then I'd think for sure you'd want to glass tape the chine. What's put you off centerboards?
PS - Catherine's phone number is 555-8713. She's waiting for your call.
08-23-2004, 11:06 AM
Well, I've been at it for a while now, modifying my little drawings.. I've added two stringers on the outside of the hull, flanking a fake keel that goes over the skeg. Nice big rubrails on the outside. Internally, frames spaced about two feet apart, and a nifty little assembly that incorporates thwart supports, daggerboard case, and thwart all in one.
As for the centerboard, I just don't feel I have the necessary knowledge or skill to build one. Daggerboard is simpler. No way I'm going with leeboards on this.
Um. I've been thinking of grabbing the sail offered (separately) for the 9' 6" Nutshell Pram kit. Do you think 54 sq. ft. would be good for something this size? And how exactly do I go about constructing a mast, yard, and boom?
08-23-2004, 02:56 PM
Go to this web site and prowl around. You'll find enough details to answer most of your questions. Uncle John sells plans for a very simple 11'-6" skiff.
Uncle John (http://www.unclejohns.com/skiff/wooden_boat_kits.htm)
EDIT TO REMOVE RANT
The best small boat sails for the money that I have owned came from Gambell & Hunter Sailmakers in Camden, Maine. 4oz. Dacron should be ok. Maybe lighter cloth if available.
In the Swamp. :D
PS: Michael isn't amused by all the folks calling Catherine.
[ 08-23-2004, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: Venchka ]
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