I shudder to think what is comingnot for long alas, as the continuation of the story will show you later...
I shudder to think what is comingnot for long alas, as the continuation of the story will show you later...
“It’s impossible”, said pride.
“It’s risky”, said experience.
“It’s pointless”, said reason.
“Give it a try”, whispered the heart.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"
But before discovering the "unpleasantnesses", we discussed, with Derek about increasing the size of the flush deck area in front of the main mast , providing deck space for large dining table over the skylight, or for eventual dinghies (or jet-skis...) each side. You can see here that space is rather tight for large parties on sistership "Tree of Life".
Derek also wished to have a direct access to the aft cabin from the wheelhouse instead of through the passageway on Starboard along the engine room (please refer to the GA on first page of this thread), which would rather be converted into a laundry (mind that this boat is intended for eventual charter). This meant lengthening the wheelhouse aft in order to provide space for a companionway down to that aft cabin.
Then we did some renders to show how this extended wheelhouse and shortened roof would look like:
Compared with original "Tree of Life:
The counter had, fortunately, been slightly extended too as the transom had been built less vertical, and as all was looking good, it was agreed to destroy part of the first deck layer in order to do these modifications.
Here is the original deck structure:
And the re-designed one, showing the deck space that had been gained. Some below floor space was lost, but this allowed also to have the whole salon/ dining/ galley at the same level:
At least, we would also be able to rectify a quite funny mistake: the structure for the companionway from the wheelhouse down to the salon had been ...forgotten!!!. It should have been aft of the main mast hole, just besides the opening for the passageway (picture shows aft salon bulkhead, looking aft to Starboard side)
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 08:13 PM.
So Luc, the nice looking deck we saw earlier was altered because the owner changed his preferences or was there something else as well? What structure do you mean was forgotten? Is the structure a bulkhead, some sort of pillar arrangement, a ring frame or something else?
By the way Luc, I had a look around to see if I could find a Fein Multimaster in VN as I thought it may be cheaper than in Oz. The only supplier, I think, is in HCMC and the price for the Fein MM ... Top kit is 244EUR. This compares well with prices in Oz but perhaps not with prices in la France (?). Anyway, I think it's a pretty handy tool for boatbuilding so I thought I'd mention it. They're delivering one to me in Ha Noi in a week or so.
STILL no sign of me getting out of Ha Noi for a while although i have a trip to Hue coming up soon.
Thanks once again for this wonderful thread!
The changes look good Luke, the full length clamp is especially good and I would add another couple of strakes to the bilge stringer as well.
I was aboard "The Tree" many years ago and the arrangement of the galley/saloon was a bit odd. The saloon sole extended forward under the trunk and it seemed like there was about 9' of headroom. The forward stateroom bulkheads went up...up...up, forever! I believe the only way into the main accommodation was in the little side doors in the pilothouse, I hate that and would insist on a proper companionway forward of the pilothouse. The pilothouse is small and becomes a continuous bottleneck with a bunch of guests aboard, eating on deck, etc.
That passage between the forward guest cabins was quite dark and people were endlessly stumbling down the steps in there. Your addition of skylights might help with that.
Good work making the side decks wider all around.
Also I don't like deckhouses that get wider forward, I would rather the pilothouse sides were parallel with centerline. But I know you are fighting interior requirements. Big boats offer many choices but it still comes down to juggling inches.
What had been forgotten are the two short girders each side of the "would have been" companionway from the wheelhouse down to the forward accommodation and that support the two parts of the deck beams which are interrupted to create this companionway!
But actually, that - together with some defects I shall show you later (have all been rectified!) - illustrates why there is a need for somebody to guide the crew. And this person must be used to other construction techniques than those the Vietnamese master well for building their fishing boats, for example, like those in the yard I showed in earlier post. That is what I do now with my design office crew, producing multiple construction drawings to complement the general architectural drawings of Ted Brewer.
The hull had been nicely and solidly built, happily, but finally the deck had to come off entirely. You will see why later.
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 08:19 PM.
Thanks for that Luc. So, I gather, the situation now is that you don't personally get in there and shape timber etc., rather, you look at what needs to be done, put together construction drawings of this work, explain to the builders what to do, and how to interpret the drawings, I guess, and, from time to time check the work, advise on changes that may be necessary, etc. Is that about right? By the way, I also think the changes to the original layout look really nice. Rick
I feel uncomfortable saying that Ted "should have" designed this boat with a full length clamp since sister-ship, Tree of life, built this way, has done a quadruple circumnavigation and encountered some nasty weather without problems, but I very much more like this full length clamp, anyway! Edited to say: that was decided by earlier builder
There are two more full length bilge stringers, as you see on the pictures (not drawn on this structure drawing), well located and that will give superb rigidity.
I could not agree more with you about the "oddity" of the original salon/ galley/ forward cabins arrangement. The new flush deck over the whole salon/ galley will reduce this headroom to something more normal, and there will be some side view through a couple of portholes each side and light and ventilation from the skylight above. The sheer, though, will still give a high headroom in the forward part of the salon (2m.23 - 7'4"- below the foremost beam!), but I still kept the superstructure over the forward cabins and not extended the flush deck forward any more, which could have been done, mainly because this superstructure will be a wave breaker protecting the big and exposed wheelhouse. This gives a somehow crazy headroom in the guest cabins whose floor I have to keep at the same level as their en-suite bathrooms, which are not below the trunk. G.A. is being modified and the boat will have one cabin each side of the (also super-high but now well lit) passageway forward.
The access to the whole accommodation, excepted crew's quarters, is still through the wheelhouse, but that is how the general architecture of the boat has been drawn, and I cannot put another companionway. At least now there is one, and also wider than original design...!!!
I am doing some major changes, though. One is that the wheelhouse is a bit larger (longer), and the access will be through wider, watertight, sliding side door each side, the exposed front door being suppressed. This way, there will nearly always have a leeward door open, which I like very much. It does not change the "wheelhouse bottle-neck" issue, but in practice much life is outside, including the steering (from the former skipper of the "Tree") , and only the galley up-down is constant. She may cruise the North Sea someday, but will certainly spend more time in tropical waters!!!
About the wheelhouse shape, I will not follow the original design which I find extremely wide and flat forward :
Instead, I will narrow it forward (narrower than the carlins that have been built) and also make large radius forward corners. Will loose a few inches, as you say, but that is the constant trade-off, isn't it?
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 08:25 PM.
Big...and impressive. Looks like a very well organised yard.
My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.
So: back to work and enough time spent here today, folks! See you later
Fantastic!! What a project. Bravo.
Senior Ole Salt # 650
Thank you all for the interest you are showing in this effectively fantastic wooden boat construction, and to our Maaaaaster of the Web for having stickied it a bit so that more people will notice. I am happy to be able to spend a bit of time in making this thread as I think it will be of interest to many.
But, as one says, we learn through mistakes! Not necessarily our mistakes - although they are the most remembered - but also through others...and alas one day - maybe - their dramatic consequences!
I have hesitated in revealing what follows, as I do not want this fine schooner to earn a bad reputation even before her birth, specially since all the defects that follow have now been entirely rectified the way it has to be done, in spite of giving the unpleasant feeling of going backwards.
Let me say, however, that this is not reproaching anything to the crew of nice Vietnamese craftsmen who are still working on this boat, since they are used to short lasting fishing boats (twenty years max) using long lasting timber (and some parts get re-used for over a hundred years) and where some gaps and voids do not matter that much. These boats will be permanently soaked in nice wood preserving salt water, and anyway all surfaces well painted with red lead:
This does not matter in such boats, but does in construction like this one, using epoxy impregnation of porous woods and plywood, but that are still intended to last a hundred years. This is what I hope for this fine schooner.
But since, as I said, we learn from mistakes, here is a:
MANUAL OF WHAT NOT TO DO IN WOODEN BOAT BUILDING
As it had been decided to alter the deck design, we started pulling off the deck planks over the area that was going to be modified, and I was expecting much difficulties from the PU gluing of this first deck layer onto the beams and top of planking, not really understanding why the boys said: "no problem".
There was no glue! Only an ordinary varnish! This first decking was of 18mm. meranti, tongues and grooved, and held down with bronze nails. It was to be covered by two layers of 12mm. ply, and then the final caulked decking.
It was then intended (?) to be fastened to the beams by screws through the last layer, and somehow caulked at the hull/ deck junction...?
But a boat built like that would then suffer a lot at this junction, which would be the weak part between two rigid elements: the double planking all glued hull, and the plywood reinforced deck. Sure leaks!
So: off went the whole deck!
Voids! The higher beam at the start of the poop deck, the end of the poop deck beam shelf, and the poop deck second planking cut a bit....short:
The double beam at the engine room bulkhead, the double plywood (with nicely epoxy impregnated fiberglass in between) but with unprotected edge - and lower than the beam:
Not the best assembling: or the beam is in front of the frame, which is necessary when there will be a hanging knee, or, in this position,: the beam shelf better be bolted (or riveted) to the frame, the beam to the beam shelf, but also the beam extended besides the frame and bolted to it, making a sort of "triangle". Happily this boat, with it's double 18mm. ply bulkheads, and it's multiple hanging knees is still very rigid:
A hidden little work of art, but also a future leak at the inner corners of the bulwark stanchions:
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-04-2009 at 02:29 AM.
At the bows: deck structure not faired:
...but also a part of king plank missing right behind the stem:
....and a sort of little bulkhead, forward of the chain locker, and then a big, totally enclosed void:
I had feared, during previous visits, that there will be some non ventilated spaces behind this chain locker lining.
This chain locker was accessible through an opening in the collision bulkhead (which, by rule, has to be solid!
So, I asked for a couple of holes to be cut below this chain locker, and then....: off goes the chain locker lining!
Below it: the two stringers, breast hook (and space below), frames and floor in another entirely enclosed space:
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 08:43 PM.
"INTO THE VOID" could have been the title here.
At the stern, this was quite bewildering!
What looked, before the deck was taken off, like big solid wood above the stern frame nice big lamination was in fact....a box! ...with some little bits and pieces of wood here and there, and the deck just "touching" the stern bulwark for future leaks in these voids... sure rot in two months!
Allez! That's all boys! Let's do some repairs now!
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 08:44 PM.
Fascinating thread, thanks for posting.
So, after taking the whole deck off, we started the repairs and alterations.
The first job was to put thousands of little pegs into all the nail holes:
...and then to fill up all the voids around the stern with well adjusted pieces of wood. Certainly not as nice as one solid piece, but equivalent as far as "avoiding voids" is concerned!:
The other large void at the bows was filled with tar and sheathed with epoxy+ CSM. Epoxy and tar actually "work" together pretty well. Before that, a piece of hard rosewood was added behind the stem piece to transfer the compression back to the king plank.
At the same time, new beams and girders, all laminated, were made for the new deck extension:
The existing girder, which had to be kept but made shorter for the reduced cabin had been ...cut short on one side (Oh, the boy was soooo sorry!....but who does not make mistakes?), and they had to do a new one and assemble the side deck beams on it :
Then all the new beams and skylight girder were put in:
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-13-2009 at 10:52 AM.
The forward salon bulkhead, separating from the forward cabins, could then be made of two x 18mm. ply with epoxy/ WR in between (like all other structural ones), and fitted against the new beam and adjoining frame. Later, the access to the corridor through this bulkhead will be cut, and fitted with a watertight door (normally kept open). The door and bulkhead between the forward guest cabins and the crew's cabin are also watertight , as well as between the engine room and salon, and between engine room and aft cabin. Together with the collision bulkhead, that makes a total of 5 compartments. That is well above the rules for this class of vessel, but will comply to the most stringent ones for damaged stability!
All holes were filled, and extra blocks of wood glued in between the beams inside the bulwark stanchions, providing a large gluing area all around stanchion bases, in order to stop leaks at the inner stanchions edges. You can also see here the deck reinforcements and knees at the level of the main mast chain-plates:
All the deck was then faired, showing a nice, clean job. Here around the foremast-hole:
and around the new skylight:
Nice deck, isn't it?
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-03-2009 at 04:02 AM.
what grade of plywood do you use
This is B grade, formwork ply, resorcinol glued, but in a wood you will not have outside of Vietnam: botanical name: styrax tonkinensis. This wood looks lousy and not better than wood for matchboxes, but it takes the glue well, and is stable. I would say better than okoume. Faces are good, without defects, and only few voids inside. Mechanically, though, it is quite poor, and I would not rely on structural screws into it.
In several provinces in VN but especially in Bac Ninh, I see sheets of timber veneer laid out to dry along roadsides and river banks, often covering several acres. The quality rarely looks good enough for finish veneer so I'm wondering whether this is used for plywood - it would make sense to me, and I'm wondering whether this may be the timber you refer to above. It's a light colour, maybe just slightly darker than radiata pine, but I've seen some that's almost white. Do you know where the plywood you're using is made and whether it's made in various places? Rick
However, wouldn't quadri-axial or double bias introduce a lot of rigidity, contrary to what I think you are stating below?
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle...
After that, they sell it to plywood factories - and there are LOTS of them all over the country - and, just like for everything here, you have the best and the worst. Some do melanine gluing, leaving huge voids as they do not cut the sheets of veneer properly and sometimes let them overlap and just apply pressure - krunch! - while some assemble their veneers carefully and do good resorcinol gluing. The faces, anyway, look awful, not that they are bad: it's just the wood itself that is not nice, and it would be out of question to leave them visible: they will all be "panelled".
I have not done the final selection of manufacturers for the decking ply, but I have three highly recommended ones (near HCM area: Dong Nai ) that I shall visit soon. I will let you know the outcome.
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-04-2009 at 11:29 AM.
The fiberglass - or else - is there to allow building up a thick enough barrier, and to protect against some mechanical aggression better than the only epoxy would. It is then contradictory to use high modulus fibers, and that is why I am more than inclined to use CSM, whose short fibers will move inside/ together with the epoxy while WR or other long fiber fabrics will not allow much movement and rigidify the sheathing. As this sheathing is mechanically nil compared to the power of the wooden hull structure, I am afraid it may just part away from it - or break. If I cite quad or double bias as eventually usable is because their multi-direction weaving is less prone to induce excessive rigidity in one particular direction as WR would, and also is easier to put on a compound curve surface.
I am waiting for opinions from West System (the Gougeon bros Co.) manufacturers on this, for this specific boat and this specific wood. Will let people know, but in the meantime I just hope that this thread will not derail into this discussion about the sheathing, which is just a minor part of the whole construction...which is far from finished!
Wonderful project and best wishes and congratulations!
thanks for sharing,
I understand from a fisherman friend that a method used to sheath old wood hulls is to trowel on 3m5200 and then press/stick woven roving into it. When the 5200 has firmed up the overhead layup begins. Always made sense to me as the best way to ensure a bond between wood and glass.
Several coats of creosote and then copper sheathing.
Hmm, forgot to mention it! Really beautiful!! RickNice deck, isn't it?
As mentioned by many, very inspiring!! Thank you for the time it takes to share this build with us.
( quote)I am waiting for opinions from West System (the Gougeon bros Co.) manufacturers on this, for this specific boat and this specific wood. Will let people know, but in the meantime I just hope that this thread will not derail into this discussion about the sheathing, which is just a minor part of the whole construction...which is far from finished![/quote]
When you have finished the deck sheathing etc and then move to another problem, so the topic of discussion will change.
When people discuss things you are doin' on your boat, they are worrying about how the method or material list can be applied to their own boat. They don't really care about your boat, in fact some might hope parts might fail,( without of course endangering folk), so they do not make the same mistake or have already taken a more difficult route only to find they didn't need to.
Even myself, I think I am reading this thread to admire the putting together of a magnificent vessel and all the hardship and worry it must incur,well I am, but mostly I am thinkin' about how small a problem I have in finding good marine ply on the cheap here in the good ol USA, compared with what you are faced with, sheez.
Well done and good luck and if you need any help, gimme a call.
..don't judge a man till you've walked a mile in his shoes..
Very expensive, though!!!
Creosote, or various tars and other mixtures + copper sheathing is something I have advocated for a long time, but no more! Not only its cost has become prohibitive, but it causes a lot a problems with neighbors in marinas (I can tell you: it does: up to being "kindly" requested to go somewhere else by the harbor master!), does not finish with a surface as smooth as one wishes nowadays, is not that performing as antifouling, and also does not protect that well either: Even 99.9% "electrical" copper corrodes at waterline, gets damaged quite easily leaving entry for worms, and has become difficult to repair: no more nails, no more tarred paper (or felt)!
But oh! She was absolutely gorgeous, on the yard, with this shiny brand new copper!
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-06-2009 at 02:56 AM.
Well... I might have become a little too sensitive after seeing the way the other thread I had started about that boat had derailed. Anyway, I try to spare time for answering to most questions and keep this thread running, as I know that many folks are mostly investigating all around this forum about the best methods, products etc...for their own boat. Me too! That's the idea of this nice WBF!
I guess I am guilty of searching this forum to find answers to the problems involved with my project. Your worry about the derailing of the thread seems very reasonable to me. After I had made the post, I wondered whether it was ok to interrupt on your gorgeous thread with such a nitty gritty question, only relevant to me and maybe a hand full of others on the Forum.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and the continuous sharing of your knowledge with us hungry, curious, but often inexperienced bunch of rascals.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle...
As I said earlier, ordinary varnish had been put on all the interior. Since we want to do a deep epoxy impregnation (we use International Everdure for that, but other brands do just as well), all of it had to be taken off. On top of that, this varnishing had been done on a rather lousy preparation, and not nice at all. So, weeks of sanding after, the interior revealed itself in the splendor of it's beautiful wood. A pity, certainely, that most of it will be hidden later by the lining and the inside arrangement, but here it is, at the moment, all visible. The beautifully carved knees and the beams will be left visible and varnished with satin polyurethane before putting the first layer of the new deck on.
The inner side of the transom, Port and Starboard :
Do not think that sanding does not have it's funny moments!
In the future Starboard guest cabin, looking forward at the foremast reinforced frames and hanging knees:
The inner side of the planking in the saloon: beautiful , isn't it? Makes you wonder how come some boats are built differently, with other materials: what does compare, even by a long shot? Aluminum may be what comes closer...but then it is all hidden in ignominious foam ...and carbon fiber?: Hahahahahaha (ROTFLM) !!!!
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-07-2009 at 10:37 PM.
At the moment, the most delicious pieces of art are these carved knees. The are made from rosewood, a very beautiful wood that will be gorgeous after varnishing: you will see! This rosewood comes from a tree that had fallen during a typhoon years ago, and that Derek bought from the City Council. NO illegal logging and wood smuggling for this boat!
No comments needed: Just enjoy (and appreciate how the carving was done to receive the bolts and bungs...!):
By right, there should have been a stringer at the foot of those knees, but when you see the power of these laminated frames....mmmmmhh: will do!
Last edited by Lucky Luke; 11-08-2009 at 06:18 AM.
Just incredible. Beautiful boat and great updates. I've been really enjoying this post.