Page 1 of 8 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 252

Thread: The no committments cruiser

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    7,466

    Default The no committments cruiser

    Reading the two recent threads begun by Keyhavenpotterer and further on my postings within those, I figured there was room to start a discussion on the subject of economy long range cruisers.
    So, to set the rules, I hypothesize, a sudden change in life’s path that leaves a middle aged blue collar worker with a very modest amount of money and just enough boating experience to have a desire to live aboard a boat self built. We can leave the circumstances to your imagination but you can take it that there none of the sort of commitments that mean most of us dream but cant, or wont go.
    The money might be enough to rent a small factory or warehouse for a while, say 12 months. ( on a 10 hour a day 6 day a week basis that’s 2500 hours) Any longer bites into the funds that will sustain while cruising. That limits the time available to build, and the same can be said for every dollar that goes into the boat. $100 on the boat, or on the rent means a week less cruising, and when the rent is, say $250 a week with utilities a month in the factory is getting close to 3 months cruising, and a new sheet winch ( for example) could be 6 months worth of what Lin Pardey called “freedom chips”.
    We will assume that the subject is not only out of a partner, but out of a job as well and will be living in the office that comes with the factory; bathing in a bucket will be good practice for later on.
    We assume that our protagonist has very ordinary woodworking skills, a reasonable range of tools but nothing that he or she cannot lift with one hand which means no planer, no shaper, no drill press or jointer but yes to perhaps half a dozen common hand held power tools and the hand tools inherited from his handyman granddad.
    He ,or she, this is not a gender specific discussion as these upheavals and dreams are not confined to the masculine among us, has not built a boat before but has helped a friend build a small plywood cruiser ( well, he called in regularly and occasionally held something while a screw or two was driven but did get some idea as to the process) . He is though a keen sailor having been regular crew on several boats over the years, and has done overnight races as well as cruise races which have had the boat hop from one harbor to the next for the several days it took to get back to base so has had a taste of what cruising might be like.
    So she, or he has some experience of boating and sail trim, some idea of what is involved in a build, and a real need to be free of the pressure, anger and angst that has characterized their life for the past ( put your own figure in here) years.
    So, build time costs cruising time, dollars spent ditto. Skills are very basic, tools same, and the ambition is to get their butts afloat and away to some peaceful anchorage for as long as possible.
    What do we need to consider?
    Build time, every week is a month less cruising.
    Dollars, every $100 is a week less cruising and we all know how quickly a hundred bucks can disappear when building even a small boat, a very small boat at that. But sometimes spending a few dollars can speed up the build so save rent.
    Amenities, what are the minimum creature comforts in which our less than optimally fit, no longer agile and beginning to feel the wear and tear on the body that a life of heavy work has imposed, wannabe skipper prepared to live with?
    Materials, some will say that carvel plank will be a good bet, some like strip plank, a few would espouse foam cored fiber glass (wash my mouth out ) and many will plump for plywood. Be prepared to argue your case.
    What kind of boat? Well, as this forum is hosted by people at the top right hand corner of the USA, we’ll say that he’s based a little further south but not much, say around Boston or a little north of there. Cold enough in the winter to want to sail south, but as he or she has friends and family in the area the boat will be one with the birds, migrating back north with the spring.
    The lure of the Caribbean is strong, maybe as far as Venezuela, and the thought that Nova Scotia might be an interesting place at the height of summer has occurred to our subject.
    But to be honest, weeks at the headwaters of a quiet creek in North Carolina is more likely, so we need an ability to go offshore some, but not world girdling. Shallow draft, or at least moderate draft would be desireable. The ability to dry out alongside a piling or jetty to scrub and repaint the bottom is essential as the cost of a haulout is at least three weeks cruising time.
    It will need a range under power of maybe 100 miles at a speed that might not be high, but will need to be able to buck a three knot tidal current, but you can think a bit laterally about that, and everything else about this project for that matter.
    A dinghy will be absolutely necessary, marine berths are totally out of the question financially unless he gets a job as night watchman or some such, and that’s not very likely.
    Further on that, maintenance of our boat has to be totally within the skippers capability. There will be no paid yard work here, not even yard space or marina berths, this boat has to be able to be independent to a degree uncommon among modern cruisers. What price would you put on another two or three weeks afloat rather than having to go ashore and search for employment to provide groceries and rent?
    Its an attractive dream in a world that seems so much less than was promised when you were little.
    Lets hear it, what would you design and build if you found yourself in that position?

    John Welsford
    Marine designer and dreamer.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    for starters it would have to be,for me at least,ply on frame.....and not a gob of epoxy in sight. One problem with this dream cruiser is that people in diffrent parts of the world will have different prices to pay for the same materials....in which case ,epoxy is outside the budget.

    Size....interesting you said no moorings/harbour/slip as too expensive....this allows us to have a slightly longer boat than we might have chosen,and hence probably more space and speed,and easily driven by low power.

    Im immiediatly thinking of a plywood 28ft egret type sharpie,but with a long shallow outside concrete ballast keel. A small outboard for power.

    Could be built well under the 2500 hour time frame. I could think of many other designs for different purposes,but for the scenario you have imagined,an egret sharpie would do fine. This should be an interesting thread. Cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Also what materials to build with? We bought some very high quality latvian Birch ply locally to make jigs and moulds from. It has no voids and completely even veneer, resorcinol glued. People seem to frown on Birch ply, yet from what we understand it is strong (the strongest according to Gougeon) and although considered less resistant to water than mahogany ply, it is the equal of ocume which many boats are built from. Its quite standard in aircraft construction. Wwith epoxy coating are we looking at a strong, low cost material with good sustainable environmental credentials: its FSC certified. The costs are very much lower: £15-20 per sheet. it would be a big saving and produce a strong boat. I will try and dig out the prices and some pictures of the ply veneers.

    A problem seems to be worldwide availability of manufactured products. For example Resorcinol is available in the UK but less so in the US. The Birch ply above is available in Europe but I think less so in the US and Australasia.

    So for a worldwide buildable low cost boat it may be neccassary to look at unmanufactured products to build it from. If so it would be the local softwood/ hardwood fastened mechanically rather than with adhesives. High quality plywood (LLoyds Mahogany) is four times the price of the best 'real' woods in the UK in price per cubic ft, eight times more expensive than green oak/ larch straight out the mill, so a real lapstrake or carvel hull is actually much cheaper to construct than one requiring plywood and epoxy: mahogany plywood is now £200/ cubic ft. Best dried woods e.g. quarter sawn yellow cedarare £50/ cubic ft, green oak etc is £25/ cubic ft. Also often worth more secondhand too.

    Regarding ballast, lead is very expensive - £2 per kilo in the UK, so it is a very substantial part of the build cost on a larger scale. In the past people used shingle, sand or locally concrete in the bilges of the real Itchen Ferries. It has advantages - the lime preserves the timbers and it distributes weight throughout the hull, which can make it more stable, rather than a deep pendulous keel arrangement. Concrtete is available anywhere and is pretty cheap. As are local softwood/ hardwoods and fastenings: bronze is best but galvanised fastenings will be available anywhere and are much cheaper. Yes they deteriorate, but his voyaging will be well over by the time this occurs.

    Regarding fittings - I think it has to be galvanised for strength and cheapness, not bronze castings. There are welders and galvanising shops everywhere in the world.

    The real Itchen Ferry type isn't the 30ft gaffers made famous by Hess, the real type were the 20fters. They had a small cuddy upfront to sleep in. This could be enlarged obviously made like Hess and Gartside have done. The real type are cheap to build - softwood planking on oak, galvanised fittings and inside ballast of concrete. For masts aluminium is cheapest upto 5m long but longer than this its not so available, so I think it would have to be wood. There are also many design elements that make a boat much quicker to build - no sheer, straight stem and transom etc which are also important. Boats built like this: Itchen Ferries in 1850 for local fisherman, had to combine the best approach for maximum seaworthiness, cheapness of build, speed of build and thats what they came out with - a proven speedy type, copied the world over into the standard cruising gaffer. The factors they required 150years ago are exactly what this chap needs today. A real one would be pretty cheap to make and require few tools, but would require understanding lapstrake or carvel construction - something that some would perceive (I think wrongly) as more difficult than glued construction. The Itchen Ferry type is refined and proven. The lines, sail area, specs etc are available in Dixon Kemp.


    The best boats for this contemporary individual paradoxically are the designs for fisherman 1800-1900 before engines were invented - the boats HAD to be seaworthy, controllable without engine, heave to when trawling and lifting pots and hit the sweet spot for cheapness of construction in material and time. This means he doesn't need an engine (he has time and won't be going in marinas anyway) which saves cost, maintainance, installation and seacocks, fuel tanks, fuel smell etc. His boats shape and sail area will be designed specifically not to have the engine. It will have a stronger stern post as it won't be bored, and it won't have a hole cut in the rudder for the prop, so it'll steer better. Without the prop drag it will be faster, by a not insignificant amount on a cruise. They are not extreme, maybe a little more beam than typical for form stability (to reduce rolling at anchor and rolling downwind for our cruiser and lower ballast needed inshore) but also and some reserve keel stability. Either just concrete or the racers went for outside lead keels in the end to 'win'. Hess advocated non extreme form or keel ballast arrangements for his proven cruisers.

    This was before lead became widespread for racing around courses to help the boats go upwind - so the Itchen Ferries used concrete mostly, except the specific racers. The boats were thus developed for this ballast arrangement and had bigger rudders that trailer aft so they still steered well at low speed and sailed pretty straight without a hand on the tiller: good for offshore and singlehanded. This makes less work for a tiller pilot or windpilot. The transome hung rudder allows easy rudder inspection/ removal and a trim tab type wind wave to be fitted which is home buildable. The gaff rig is also not dependent on high tension wire and purchased fittings. Three strand running rigging is cheapest, and all the boat needs. Also easiest to splice. The 'give' helps to soften rigging stress. He can also make and repair his own wooden blocks that will save hime alotof money and suit the type.

    The Itchen Ferry type has a flat keel to dry out easily. While firm bilged minimise how far over they go, they are easily fitted with beaching legs to keep perfectly upright on a slope for a free scrub. A covering of creosote when it was built (cheap and available anywhere) will keep out the ship worms. Easy scrubbing though will allow cheap re antifouls for our permanent cruiser in warmer climbs saving alot of money and keeping a further barrier to worm. Straight baulks of Greenheart are cheap and can be used as this type uses a straight keel, to keep worm out here too. The stems were oak crooks normally. White oak is available in the US, Red in Europe. Lots of cedar planking in the US or Larch in the UK traditionally if using locally grown woods to reduce CO2 impact is important for him. From a local mill they will be very cheap. He can use partially dried keel timber as he'll be going in pretty quick building full time and the boat will be staying in. Swelling contraction issues are an issue if built in cold damp climbs and taken into a warm dry environment - using dry topsides planking will mean little shrinkage occurs as he enters the carribbean especially if he paints the topsides white on the way down. Painting the hull black (as was traditional) keeps the heat in the topsides and the planking dry as he returns north. This is why Olin Stephens was wrong when he said only an idiot would paint his boat black.

    Boats requiring an exterior water impervious layer such as epoxy strip plank are less suitable, as they are more prone to erosion on a long voyage that may take a grounding. leading to ship worm etc. and require the boat to be lifted for inspection and repair. This all takes time and money that he doesn't have. A real timber boat from durable materials will not require a water impervious coating - indeed it is sitting in its salt water preservative, happy as Larry. In hot climates epoxy can lose its structural integrity due to softening by heat, UV exposure and direct sea water exposure, leading to a delamination event if joints are exposed. This may let in further water, leading to swelling and further structural breakdown - a vicious circle.

    Other suitable types would be the Essex smack (but tend towards 30ft) or the Mounts Bay Luggers - smaller ones the Pilchard drivers would suitable, for those in love with the dipping lug - but changing the yard over is difficult close to shore singlehanded - but the Beer beach boats get around this by swinging/ pivotting the yard forwrad of the mast instead.

    Our individual has the time to learn carvel (made especially easy with Larry Pardey's excellent book), is an age where he can learn new skills, and this new skill will find him casual work and income in boatyards on his travels. He requires just basic tools to build it, and then can take the same very compact tool set on his boat with him on his journey to earn him a living or repair his boat. Some would baulk at learning carvel, but its this inertia for people to learn, that gives him his 'skill', that people will pay him for. Also carvel can be repaired in subzero conditions, a glued boat may need to be hauled out (at a cost) to be put into a warmer environment for adhesives to go off properly. His hull is watertight due to very simple physics, not dependent on chemical integrity or durability. The original 18ft Cornish Toshers by Percy Mitchell were even built without caulking.

    He'd be able to race at classic yacht regattas in his 'real' Itchen Ferry, so meet some nice people, with big classic wooden boats to look at, maybe get a dinner or two, and get his business repairing or maintaining them right then and there: most of these boats will be carvel too.

    My vote is for a 20ft Itchen Ferry. Built exactly how they were. It is low cost, fast, heaves to, sea proven, and a looker. He needs just a copy of Dixon Kemp, the lines of Nellie (from the British Maritime Museum) and Larry Pardey's book.

    Brian
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 09-06-2010 at 09:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
    Posts
    26,478

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    I would tend to use strip planking and laminated frames. The epoxy would be more expensive, but used cautiously would allow the use of wood not ordinarily available for fine boat building, The hull could be two layers of strips, perhaps 2 inches wide, scarphed as needed with the second layer covering the seam of the first, then a layer of xynole or dynel cloth covering the outside. Two variations could emerge, one strictly power, such as a ballasted itchin ferry cutter, less sails and spars, with a small wheelhouse, using a very small economical engine for intercoastal waterway running, or a similar design with spars and sails and no engine. It is expected that the sails/spars etc would cost the same as the engine. The interior could be as spartan as desired....or as so as would be allowed by a possible female co-pilot.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    I'd add to my Itchen Ferry cruising list a £300 walking foot Singer mechanical sewing machine from Ebay (as they used to use for making sails), and he can make and repair his sails in his boat without requiring electricity or batteries (or chargers), make dodgers for himself or others, and add leather rubbing strips to his sails where they chafe going downwind. Another source of income, he'd be everyones friend in any blue water cruising anchorage.

    It would have paid for itself, after he'd made his first jib for his boat. He can then triple stitch his sails for extra durability and use his sail cotton to stitch in his eyelets so they don't pop out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    3,504

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    The problem here is that any boat capable of cruising safely will require a sizable commitment to build and especially to outfit. Also if it is to be a true live-aboard, standing headroom is a reasonable requirement. Fortunately someone has already designed the boat and someone else wrote a book on how to use it. I'm referring to Jay Benford's 34' dory, Badger, and Annie Hill's book, Voyaging on a Small Income. If the poor guy decides he can't afford the standing headroom, then Benford's 26' dory cruiser looks very good to me. This particular boat, the 26 footer, is designed with a twin keel option which would allow it to take ground and sit up nice and pretty at low tide for bottom maintenance. It's also a small enough boat that could take an outboard in a well if the poor guy could not afford the designed in-house diesel. Somebody pass the Bean-No!

    http://www.benford.us/dories/34.html
    Last edited by kenjamin; 09-06-2010 at 09:35 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpena, Michigan
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    I'm thinking a traditionally constructed scow schooner would fill the bill. Simple to build of locally available lumberyard materials. Build her heavy and nail her together with some PL construction adheasive in the joints. Plywood/ dynel decks would require some epoxy but keep the fresh water out for longevity. Shoal draft comes with the design as does lots of intial stability for comfortable living aboard. A used outboard in a well for propulsion. Galvanised rigging clamped together to hold up her spars made of real trees. Sand bags for ballast. Running rigging and nautical bits purchased used on EBay. I'd make her about 38' with a 12' beam. Lots of deck space and stowage spaces but the "stand-up" living space would be limited. I would finally have a use for the beautiful BRONZE SWAY HOOKS I've been saving.
    When the last tree is cut
    When the last river is dry
    When the last fish is caught
    Only then will Man realize that he cannot eat money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    21,998

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    I'd say a Wharram inspired catamaran, with a relatively open bridge deck, say about 30 feet, enough of a platform for a standard tent on the bridge deck at anchor, to make it palatial. Daggerboards for windward work. I'd go with motors with their installation being dependant upon what can be scrounged. Solar panels and windmills, but a real engine powered alternator too. I might be tempted to blow $5000 on a watermaker, probably a 12 volt one. Water independence is really a great thing to have. I'd like refrigeration too, I've tried the propane powered ones and they are innefetive and dangerous in my experience.

    If I were to really do this, I'd get a job in a yard that services racing yachts, and spend my evenings dumpster diving, making that privilege part of my contract.

    Any boat that I built for cruising would have to have space for a tender capable of various tasks: Spirited sailing trips, load carrier, shore trips in extremely inclement weather and beach bus. Perhaps that's another thread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
    Posts
    26,478

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    With careful scrounging, metal cleats can be obtained or made for use on anchor lines only, all other cleats can be wood, deadeyes for rigging, leathered eyes on the mast......
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    21,998

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    You don't need leather if you use Spectra for standing rigging, Chuck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Zürichsee
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    This is a great thread! Thanks, John, for starting it.

    I wonder after looking around a few websites for this kind of thing myself, what the most financially efficient way of going cruising like this would be. It seems there are quite a few half finished boats, or boats with very sound hulls in need of an interior refit which could "easily and quickly" relatively speaking be brought to the 'minimalist cruiser' standard. But that eliminates the joy of building her yourself.

    There are always a few half finished, not fitted out Ganelys in NZ for example (but they are almost invariably St33L).

    I once read that the most expensive parts of a boat are all the things you fit her out with. The main structure is often the cheapest part, and if so, why would you skimp on glue and so forth if using ply when it might be a relatively small cost in comparison, and have a large effect on the durability and seaworthiness? It kind of depends upon the level of skill our protagonist posesses. If they are a slow learner then epoxy and silica will give them gap filling and strength, to make up for less than perfect cutting, and allow decreased build time.

    Am I right in assuming that carvel will require quite a fair degree of skill to allow the same build in the shortest time possible? Remember our person has some simple tools and power tools, and probably won't spring for a bandsaw to cut nice frame shapes or bevels. Then there is caulking..

    In Switzerland and NZ, my two reference points, I'd go for ply, and proper boat ply 1088 or so because suitable raw lumber is either very hard to get (ie NZ - what's macrocarpa like for boats?) or prohibitively expensive (Switzerland). If I could get reasonable larch cheaply then I'd build it out of larch. Smells good too.

    Cutting knees from crooks is lovely, but ply will be MUCH faster, and far easier to find...

    Buhler addresses things like this - building and ocean capable cruiser with things from your local lumberyard. Hard chine is faster and easier to plank aparently (I've only built my skiff so far so mostly I'm going on what I've read and what I know from my Poppa and a yacht design friend, both now deceased).
    R
    __________________
    Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer -- Voltaire

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    29,315

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Plywood over sawn frames, dory or single chine vee hull, cement ballast, beamy (and likely slow), lug or junk rig for the home sail maker, or a variety of rigs based on very popular production boats for which second hand sails are often available - think Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, etc.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    You don't need leather if you use Spectra for standing rigging, Chuck.
    Really? I bet you need some sort of chafe gear... maybe fire hose or hell garden hose might do the trick. I've always wanted to build a deadeye & lanyard rig with amsteel shrouds. My experience with "exotic" synthetics is that they just don't hold up when put on the chafe machine (a boat under way a lot).
    The cure for everything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    JW...you have opened a tin of worms.......maybe you should have put a price ceiling on this thing....

    Building a carvel style Itchen Ferry will not be cheap or quick in comparison to other methods....i thought the whole point was "disposable", building plank on frame can have waste of well over 50%....and so losing cruise funds.

    $5000 on a water maker?? Maybe this boat could be built for less than that??

    Everyone will,and obviously does have different ideas,without any design or price specifics in place,and how long this boat is suppose to live for....... Cheers

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    21,998

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post


    $5000 on a water maker?? Maybe this boat could be built for less than that??
    Salt water showers and it's attendant SYB (spotty yotty botty) get old very quickly as does paying 25cents a gallon for water\.If I were to buiild my boat for less than $5K and remember the Tiki 21 Cooking oil cost $8K more than a decade ago. I'd still add a watemaker. I like to drink the stuff

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia - USA
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Of course, Phil Bolger already designed a slew of boats around this sort of proposition. All of them are more or less capable, more or less live aboard boats, that are more or less easy and inexpensive to build. Some are boxy plywood, some are more curvaceous strip planked designs.
    And there are already plenty of other designs that would fit the bill - depending on the degree of comfort desired (more and more as I get older!). A Monroe Egret, a Sea Bird Yawl, a Benford Dory, Bolger's Jessie Cooper, Wharram or Tom Jones multihulls or even fitting out an unfinished project.

    However, for likely much less money, and, say, a year's less effort, the "no-commitment" man or woman could just purchase one of the thousands of dirt cheap, small to medium sized cruising sailboats that litter the docks all over the country. For example, in our Pacific Northwest, you can get -and fit out - an older but decent Catalina 27 for far less than you can buy a decent used car. Compared to a Monroe Egret, that's living in a palace (albeit one that you have to anchor out a lot further)!

    With the plethora of older used boats available, I think that building an economy cruiser is definitely a losing proposition, both time and money wise. Build the dinghy if you need the satisfaction of having built your own boat - but if you want to go cruising, then you could be cruising in a few weeks, instead of in a year. Heck - who knows what could happen in that year? He/she might even find a new significant other!

    I do think the disposable boat idea, from both another thread, and also another forum, has real potential, though - how much cruising boat can you build for $1000 or so, in as short a time as possible? Mr. Welsford has some good experience with that, too, apparently.
    Last edited by DGentry; 09-06-2010 at 11:47 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Old school rules, I'm sorry.

    1. High tech line like Spectra chafes real quick. I know its on my dinghy. You also don't get the benefit with a low aspect low tech rig, as will probably adorn a cheaper boat. You can't get high tech stuff beyond chandleries. You can get 3 ply anywhere in the world. The locals will use it.

    2. A real Itchen Ferry will not be expensive. Its building material costs £25/ cubic ft. This is the quarter the cost of good plywood and still cheaper than cheap plywood. You can get real wood to repair your boat anywhere in the world, on any desert island with trees even. Not plywood.

    3. Building a plywood boat I accept for designs like Egret or a Bolger Black Skimmer, if you wanted real shallow draft would be a good choice. Its certainly quick and appears easy. Also the plywood glue lines will limit how far ship worm gets in. The boat still relies on glue and a water impermeable covering mostly. The boat will need to come out to dry for repairs. The epoxy will need to go off at the ambient temperature you find yourself at, which is a restriction. No one will pay for a guy who can build plywood on chine in a boat yard. The older carvel hull boats need carvel skills and a guy who can use a plane, not trying to avoid using it.

    4. There is no cost to a bigger boat if you are anchoring off, but a long boat will start to cost in materials, boat shop space and fitting out. The boat won't get built if its greater than about 25ft maximum unless he's really got huge motivation time and funds. Thats just the reality.

    5. A boat built traditional carvel or lapstrake/ clinker can be built outside in the rain, in the snow in an uncovered space. Epoxy anything needs cover (cost) and temperature and humidity control. So there's less heating costs, a shed isn't even needed and you can work in the winter, when the epoxy boy has stopped and be finished for the spring.

    6. Anyone who is prepared to go off travelling will have many problems to overcome. If he can't read a book and cut and screw some planks together, because he's frightened to, he never will go anyway. He wouldn't be the 'do er' who gets things done, built and sailed anyway. So it would filter out the dreamers.

    7. A carvel built boat will be worth a huge amount later at resale. A plywood chine boat won't unfortunately. An Egret perhaps excluded.

    8. Flat bottoms are great for beaching I accept, but at angle - say on the edge of a river - the boat can't dry out flat. A long keel boat, with beaching legs of the true sort can dry vertically, even when the ground is canted. You don't build the midget legs of a fixed length. The real gaffers used long legs, about twice as long. This meant the poles were put down to the ground then anchored to the boat. Excess stuck up above the boat, but so what. the legs were adjusted to the bottom slope and the boat stayed upright. Old school and the best system.

    9. Caulking. A small carvel doesn't actually need it. I've read Percy Mitchells account of building his Wooden 20ft Toshers before and after the war. He built them without any caulking. The wood swells and seals it. Bigger boats yes, but you can even get away with this if you wanted to, but caulking is a cheap procedure. A carvel hull boat if it springs a leek, has a physical defence: wood swellling at the seams to restore integrity. A plywood chine hull leaking at the seams has no defense mechanism. Neither can you poor goop in.

    10. Going for a Sharpie I accept would be good in the bahamas I expect, but these hulls put there eggs in one basket - form stability. The Itchen ferry has also reserves of keel stability to keep the the correct way up when inverted.

    11. One guy on his own: definately no watermaker. Rather than dive into the boat when it rains. I'd delight in the tropical downpoors - a free freshwater shower from god, and by attaching fabric pipes to the sail cover you can drain fresh water into the tanks each time it rains. You can also have a drain into the tanks from the lowest point on the deck, to collect rain water from here too.

    12. The only engine you really need is to transit the Panama and Suez canal in the time limit. Without one you can do it, but need to be towed, which costs alot more I understand. A small boat can be pushed with an outboard - cheaper, easier to buy locally then resell when your through.

    13. The boat has to be capable of sailing in light airs without engine power. The transit from panama canal to galapogos is usually windless or flukey I understand, and it can use a lot of diesel getting there under engine. Also exiting the red sea south is usually windless and you need good light air performance: Old boat designs were designed for this, not 'auxilliary' propulsion. You can't simply carry enough diesel. An older design built for use without an engine il have greater sail area for light wind sailing and will get there faster than a big boat part using the engine the limping alon with less sail area. It also costs alot and stinks the boat out. You have a dripping seal in the bilges, so your bilges stink and look filthy, right above where your sleeping, but I accept that a cruise inland and up rivers though generally requires close quarter manouvering that is facilitated easiest with an inboard engine and shallower draft.

    14. Young guy or girl doen't need standing headroom - look at how many people cruise Contessa/ Taylor 26's successfully. He won't have possessions, kids or family to accomodate. He hasn't the funds to build a massive interior. Its also less to fall in a roll over and easier to brace in a seeway. He only needs one berth and a bucket. Sub 40's this individual is full of testosterone - his body will respond to hardship by getting stronger. He'll have endurance, enthusiasm, confidence and responses to cope. Being ignorant of life's luxaries his adventure will not be delayed. He's going with a hand held GPS (one spare in a metal tin in case of lightning), a sextant, trailing log (to work out current if the GPS shows not what he's expecting), he's got GPS cross track error for side currents, a few charts and a compass. A camping stove on refillable gas bottles will be all he needs - he'll be drining water only and cold food happily. Young men can't cook anyway. Won't even know what to buy to cook on it and he won't care. Pass the peanut butter sandwiches..no..

    15. The only rig modification to make is swapping the gaff rig main for a bermudan. This avoid the swinging gaff problem in high winds when reefing and reduces the halyards to to one. It also reduces weather helm as the main is sheeted in, and compliments reefing the cutter rig - as the front sail is removed, the centre of effort of the bernudan main comes forward as it reefs, so the C of E stays the same. Laurent Giles advocated this on his Vertue design - called it a 'slutter rig' and the Pardeys have shown its worth in both their boats. It also allows a backstay to the mast head which triangulates the support the mast head is getting downwind or in a roll. It also allows headstay tension to be adjusted tighter. Its better than gaff singlehanded. I'd also look a real square sail for true downwind sailing - no gybing, low c of E and a full inboard sail aka the Vikings. Those that have tried it don't go back. Compliment my Itchen Cutter nicely.

    Old school really is best. Carvel or Lapstrake is cheaper, more durable, can be built and repaired anywhere at anytime, is worth more finished and is a source of future income to keep cruising, or when he's finished and takes a job in a boat yard.
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 09-06-2010 at 12:18 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    seems to me you all have too much money to spend and would be better off buying a second hand boat......then theres NO commitment to building it, and certainly NO commitment when its time to get shot of it. Start your cruise up here in Scandinavia by buying a second hand Albin Vega for less than $5000.....and just go.

    JW. You started a thread about dreams.....needless to say there are plenty of dreamers here. There are far too many variables to get just one solution,so it will be intersting to see how different ideas from different countries will differ. There is no right or wrong here....just whats right for the person involved. Cheers

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    This is an important point. A 40yr old GRP boat of a good design, is now just not fit for purpose. It will need new sails, new rigging, new upholstery, repainting, fittings worn coroded, metal fatigued, osmotic blisters to repiar, seacocks corroded, dicky engines, fuel tanks full of crud, old wiring, lights and instruments and masts...they are a bag full of trouble. I call them 'stinky old boats'. I've had plenty of them. Unfortunaely they won't just die, because the hulls are made of GRP. They now litter and environmentally stain every anchorage, harbour and back garden.

    It takes time and money to refit a smelly old boat. I'm not saying that doesn't make sense either, but building a clean new boat that you can trust, can be preferable for safety, to an old boat that you can't. Most boats are sequentially neglected. At 40 plus years most 'seaworthy' grp boats aren't fit for purpose as they are. You can also repair easily a boat you've built yourself and can put the best (hopefully) materials and fittings into it as your labour is free.

    Cruising is a romantic ideal from start to finish. Hence for some their boat of their dreams will have to be built, as it can't be bought, afforded or will need to be built really well by them to be really trusted and for less future maintainance: to fullfill that personal dream. I don't think its so much for the actual travelling: if you really wan't to travel for the least cost you'd just get on a plane.
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 09-06-2010 at 01:04 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    It's going to be nice watching different solutions emerge for different situations and preferences.

    A recent design competition in our UK Classic Boat mag for an Eco inshore fishing boat had many entries but it was a new Wharram design which took the prize. Much to everyone's surprise - I guess including the judges and Wharram Design.

    So here's a look at her, low cost build and fishing as a income - presuming the local fishermen don't chase you off their grounds.



    http://wharram.eu//live//article.php...00715135624601

    Another classic solution has to be Paul Johnson's Venus 28 design. Doing all things described in the "rules" for over 40 years.



    http://mark_boden.tripod.com/index.html

    Brian

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    as we all know,the price of the hull is only a small percentage of the complete cost. I have never heard of any Vega hulls either cracking,splitting or falling into pieces just because its getting old.....but i know many wooden boats of the same age that are completely shot. If we are to take your comments about replacing rigging,interior,sails etc as being needed,then you also need all these things for the cruiser you are building. The fact that there are so many of them built,that getting hold of new sails or spars is not a problem. You can build them yourself from timber and galvinised wire if you really want to. It will take less time to refurbish what does need replacing,and will be cheaper than building a new carvel boat. A young Norweigian chap recently took his Vega from Arctic to the Antarctic,via cape horn,and back to Europe.....he didnt bother fixing the broken inboard engine,and just went with what he had.....a true adventurer. He could never have flown to some of the places he visited,and if he could have,he would still had to find accomodation.....flying from London to Antigua may be cheaper than building and outfitting a cruising boat,just to sail from London to Antigus ,BUT if you are stopping off at the many places on the way,and needing somewhere to stay each time,then flying is not always the cheapest option.

    Yes it takes time and money to refit an old boat......no different from building from scratch.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Brian......how is a Venus 28 a disposible boat? I costed the materials in that boat at 35,000 sterling some years ago. She is a boat for life,rather like your Itchen Ferry,you wouldnt bother putting in the time and effort unless it was for keeps. I couldnt afford to build her in one session,and i didnt fancy a 10 year,peice by peice project......she still remains one of my dreamships.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Brian......how is a Venus 28 a disposible boat?
    Isn't that another thread?

    Brian

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Zürichsee
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    I'm very much in favour of some of the old school rules, such as enough sail area for ghosting and so forth.

    I'm not sure this cruiser is nessecarially as young as we would like to imagine them. John wrote:

    "Amenities, what are the minimum creature comforts in which our less than optimally fit, no longer agile and beginning to feel the wear and tear on the body that a life of heavy work has imposed, wannabe skipper prepared to live with?"

    And with this in mind it seems like this person, ficticious as they are, is not looking to have to do work to suppliment their cruise, but rather just do nothing, and live off what they have left. Moreover, if this person were a woman, how many yards (esp inless 'enlightened' countries) would employ a female boatwright, especially one with no formal training?

    Good point about building or repairing anywhere in the world. I think I would use a combination of ply and lumber though. Ply just makes it so much faster in some areas, as I mentioned, like in gussets and knees, and easily gives a watertight deck.

    Can a boatwright comment on the level of skill needed to make carvel planks fit so well they don't need caulking? I know it can be done, but how fine do your seams need to be (depending on timber species of course). Also carvel planks will require a certain amount of spiling, and that means wastage. Will that be more or less wastage than sheet material?

    I'm fully in favour of these Itchen ferries and really like the lines, etc, and a proper balasted keel would personally tempt me. I will look up more on these in a few minutes and chase down the other threads. I agree that a round bilge carvel boat will be worth more afterwards, but I'm not sure that's the primary consideration in this case.

    An outboard would work fine and be far cheaper to use, service and install. Only downside being that some countries won't let you leave if you don't reach a certain safety level... like NZ (Cat1) and I'm not sure a 5 horse in the locker is going to cut it when the inspector comes knocking. Can anyone comment on this?

    SO,

    I would consider the requirements for this person to be:

    Comfortable bunk, and yes only needs to be one, but no man is an island and it is nice to entertain at least one other person occassionaly.

    Standing headroom. I'm 36y, and I need standing headroom now. 10y ago no worries, but now, definitely. I'm also 6'2"... but i guess that'll get less.

    plenty of fresh water capacity, but no watermaker.

    An oven. Sorry I can't agree on the cooking skills of young or even middle age blokes. being able to make a good meal is essential to happiness and that is mostly what this endeavour is about. a camp stove is fine for a week or three but for extended cruising, I want an oven.

    Enough space to allow good ventilation of your bedding and stores and books - and the bilge. NOTHING worse than being forced to live damp and cramped.

    A toilet with holding tank, esp when you're spending weeks in relatively enclosed waters.

    possibly a cockpit shower, but only because I'm considering fitting one to my 23' VdS...

    Sound and with an easy motion in a seaway, when hove to or riding to a sea anchor... so overly high form stability and high accellerations wouldn't work

    And lastly, a great smell of wood inside
    R
    __________________
    Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer -- Voltaire

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    29,315

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    JW...you have opened a tin of worms.......maybe you should have put a price ceiling on this thing...seems to me you all have too much money to spend and would be better off buying a second hand boat...
    I agree. Either this is to be seriously inexpensive and quick and easy to build or it becomes just another big resource glutton out of reach of its intended customer in which case buying second hand makes far more sense. For me, styling might be the key, a design that looks special.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
    Posts
    26,478

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Gareth, leather is cheap compared to the synthetic line, which, from my experience, chafes like the dickens. I always carried 2-3 each 50 foot garden hoses with me to cut up for chafe gear, and lotsa small stuff. I found dumpster diving in Tandy Leather cutoff barrels quite rewarding with some good oak tanned leather also....it made for less worry in less than perfect anchorages. I never stayed in marinas until much later in life when my "fortunes" were a bit more secure.
    You don't need a sink....a bucket works, as well as for other things unless you have a lady aboard, a 2 burner stove is sufficient and a large heavy cast dutch oven works for baking almost anything, a cast iron skillet makes tortillas, either corn or flour, you don't need refrigeration, especially if you can get 6 inches or so insulation under a settee. A pressure cooker conserves cooking fuel and allows you to can foods on the move.

    keep it going folks....
    Last edited by paladin; 09-06-2010 at 01:36 PM.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    i apologise....johns after suggestions for an economy long range cruiser,(not disposible)..... a 2 ton egret will be chaper than a 10 ton venus on the same length. you pays your money....take your choice.... Cheers

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    22,587

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    My boat is a Paul Johnson Venus 34! (#20,#22) strip Planked with epoxy , I built it in 700 hours for 6 thousand dollars for the hull , another 8grand to get her cruising. (1983) no brag, just fact

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    22,587

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    ....we do not see sharpies sailing around the Caribbean. Hardly any open boats ,come to think of it.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    29,315

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    This 29 footer is yours for $10,000 CDN. Its just down the road from me so I could buy it this afternoon. Its hard to contemplate building a boat this size with deals like this around.


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    24,232

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    There is a BIG (HUGE) difference between a boat and a yacht. Yes, yes, a yacht is a boat with no job, but I mean Yachts. There are plenty of boats sailing the world's waters built by ham-fisted idgits. There is NO WAY to build a Yacht cheaply, but boats can be made from nothing, for nothing, as in all those "Third" world boats (didja read about the cats in Haiti using rebar for drift bolts?).

    The #1 priority for a boat of this nature should be repairability. You can get your hands on wood pretty much anywhere, and even fasteners are fairly common (you could make trunnels, if you need), but (decent) plywood, cloth, and epoxy? Ditto galvanized wire, leather, and plain old rope, and mild steel. Bronze and spectra? Yes, yes, shipping and all that, but we are talking budget, here.

    Chesapeake, or "Maryland", or Buehler style cross planked chine boats can be built with no special wood, just plain old 1 and 2 by if need be; you could even build one from a box store if you're that type. Not the best, maybe, not the prettiest, maybe, but built and in the water, and repairable by the owner just about anyplace. Ditto the flat bottomed types.

    And I'll second the idea that I'd rather make my own headaches than buy someone else's (even if it cost more).

    Oh, yeah, and damn you Mr. Welsford, for putting ideas back into my head! There're a ton of empty warehouses around here!


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    Wizbang.....just goes to show the diffrence in prices in various parts of the world. You will get a lot of different options put forward on this thread. Cheers

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    7,466

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    There is a price ceiling, its invisible but every dollar, pound or euro spent is a little less cruising time so its very definitely there.

    I'll be back this evening my time and will be commenting on quite a few of the posts.

    Its going well so far, thanks all and c'mon those who are thinking about it.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  34. #34

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    key ,p

    [/QUOTE]

    itchen ferry

    A real one would be pretty cheap to make and require few tools,

    dream on


    you need a machine shop to build this in a reasonable time, it would be better to build a multichine ply/ epoxy hull
    Last edited by peter radclyffe; 09-06-2010 at 03:56 PM.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    12,826

    Default Re: The no committments cruiser

    redeye......you made some interesting comments. Yes, close seamed carvel construction is quite possible,even by an amatuer builder.....but it takes LOTS of time,and demands good timber,a friends boat is built in this method from Honduras mahogany......and i have not seen any wood the same quality for a long time.....im not saying you cant get it, its just expensive when you can.

    I think many people have read Pardys` book "the hull"...its an interesting read,and gives a good account of why and how you can construct a carvel boat. Larry Pardy is a man of much skill, possessing the book wont make you an instant craftsman,but it will tell you how,and why, you should do things....if you have the time....and money.

    Wastage factors can be high with carvel planking. The oak framing in a recent build had a wastage factor of over 60%, thats the price you pay for having the best bit of wood in the right place...as usual with buying rift sawn timber,there will be sap wood to deal with as well.....but you still pay for that in the price per cubic ft. Planking stock wastage will depend on the size of planks and the boards you want to get them out of.....again,wastage of up to 40-50% can be suffered. Strip planking will not have so much waste. Boats designed for ply ares sometimes designed with economical sheet use in mind,and so can be very cost effective....

    A chine boat as liked by Buehler would be a fast way of getting a wooden boat...again,it depends on this persons skill, how much time they have and how much money,they may prefer a round bilge with reverse curves in the framing.

    Who is this bloke and how much money does he have?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •