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Thread: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

  1. #1
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    Default Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    So I've been dreaming of building a boat of about a year now and had planned on starting when I got a job (just graduated college last fall). Well I still don't have one but have been rereading Buehler's backyard boat building book for the 4th time. In his description of the plans for Hagar, he says that he built him for $3500. Granted that was back in the 70's, but thats still pretty cheap. I think he'd suit my needs pretty well, and from everything I've read, the real blue-water sailors wanted smaller boats anyway (i.e. Moitessier). I'm getting ready to say to heck with it, I'm not putting my dreams on hold just because the economy has gone south.

    My goals with the boat would be live-aboard, mostly in a dock for a while, then to do some eventual real offshore cruising once my student loans are paid back. As such, I want something really sturdy, with minimal maintenance, and I don't much care about winning any races. Moitessier had me convinced I wanted a steel or aluminum boat, but Buehler's convinced me that would cost too much. I'm considering building the ballast, keel, stem & stern post, the frames (and maybe even the bottom plates if it didn't cost that much more), while everything else was wood.

    I am posting here to get some feedback on these thoughts. Thoughts on design? How would the steel below the waterline, wood above it work out?

    I also haven't been able to find any photos or critiques of Hagar outside of Buehler's own. If anyone has any leads on that I'd appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Cheapest not to build, but buy used and fix up. Cheapest / lowest maintenance = fiberglass boat. Can we assume you know all about livaboard regs and availability in your area? If living aboard is essential, you may need to buy a boat in a slip already approved/used for liveaboard occupancy.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    I've heard that live-aboard regulations can be especially stringent, but I do know of at least 2 people doing it in my area currently. One of which, however does have the advantage of working for the harbor he is docked at. The other pays the city $7 a day to anchor in the middle of the Potomac river. He then uses a kayak to commute to shore. I've been told that at most docks, if I only spend 3-4 nights a week on it I'd be fine.

    The reason I'm considering building rather than refurbishing is the second part of my objective: bluewater sailing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    go to the Virgin Islands a week after the next hurricane with $2000 cash.
    Mixing steel and wood is a bad idea.
    student loans, ouch. now you wanna go sailing?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Ya. Ouch indeed.

    I was under the impression that if you bed the steel well enough that no condensation would be able to make contact with the wood, and it would be safe enough. Buehler mentions that he's heard of a number of boats that were built the way I described.

    Oh, and I'm residing in DC

  6. #6

    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    if you want to really sail as mentioned by others buy an old "classic plastic"kinda boat. (1) Why take time building when do could be sailing, and (2) let someone else take the money hit with depreciation. Boats to think about might be Contessa 26, fiberglass International Folk Boat, a Cape Dory 28' to 30' or a pocket Pacific Seacraft. Although very controversial you might also want to read Jerome Fitzgerald's books Wind and Tide and Saling with Purpose. Jerome talks about sailing engineless which people get hung up on---the two books have a wealth of information if you ignore Jerome's notions on engineless sailing

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    I'm easily influenced by countermajoritarian ideas. I have a feeling once I start reading, I'll be hooked on the notion.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Cheapest not to build, but buy used and fix up.
    A harsh and absolute truth, the dirty secret of a forum where there is so much building discussion going on. Building is for its own sake and an expensive way to get a boat. I bought by 32 foot fiberglass boat for about what it would cost to outfit her with a new set of berth cushions, sails, and standing rigging. If I'd built her, I would have needed to buy all that stuff anyway as well as an engine, a shaft, a prop, lead for ballast, hull materials....... I'm corresponding with someone now who just bought the same boat for 1/5 of what I paid for mine 5 years ago.
    Roger Long

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    There's a good old Pearson Triton (28 foot) sloop here in the SF Bay area for sail for $3,500. It's got an inboard diesel and enough sails to get you started. That's just an example. I could list twenty more.

    You couldn't even buy the lumber to get started on a boat more or less like a Triton for that sort of money, and Tritons are built solid. If your goals are to 1.) sail ASAP 2.) sail for cheap, then the truth is...buy a late 60's to 70's vintage boat, drop 4-5 grand in replacing vital stuff, and *go*.

    TRUTH.

    Building boats is for guys who love to build boats. Guys who want to sail, and don't have a lot of dough, buy used fiberglass boats.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    Building boats is for guys who love to build boats. Guys who want to sail, and don't have a lot of dough, buy used fiberglass boats.
    It's the same for most hobbies. We have those who live for the technical part and those who enjoy practicing. Let's concede that the two are sides to the same coin.
    ____________________________________
    Alexandra
    True North Plans

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Having owned several plastic boats, built a tiny plywood boat, and now building a strip plank cruising boat... I agree with all the opinions above regarding the cost. No way is there a cheaper way to get a cruising boat than to buy an existing one. When Buehler wrote back yard boat building, plastic boats were still a relatively new thing and one imagines would have had expensive price tags on them just because they were new. In addition, raw materials of all types were cheaper, more abundant, and better quality. Buehler's economic rationale was written in the context of a world which now in 2017 is just not comparable.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Buehler's principles stand as true today as they did back in the day... that is, think outside the box and do anything you like which works, it isn't mandatory to do as the marine industry tells us... but the mechanics of applying such principals in 2017 might need some critical evaluation to figure out what makes sense now.

    There is more to boats than economics of course. Getting a cruising boat cheap is a worthy objective... but, if Jake works out that the only way to get what he really wants is to build.... then the sooner he starts the better. In that case I could only advise, build something even smaller than you think you can... once into it even the tiniest project will be a lot more time consuming than can possibly be imagined for the uninitiated. Jake, take a look at the first 'cruising' boat I built here. She is absolutely minuscule at just 14 feet, but it still took years of time, many thousands of dollars, and absolute dedication to see that build through to the end... which isn't meant to put you off... I say go for it, but just be ready for what you're about to start. You have to be totally psyched for what lies ahead if you head down this path.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Jake still around? Here is your hurricane.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    While I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, the hangar was one of the best investments I made and it's worthwhile... hurricane or not.
    ___________________________________
    Alexandra from Summerwood

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Keep the systems to a minimum. fresh water kills wooden boats, so does stray electricity. If you want to save some bucks, lay the deck straight with simple covering boards and caulk her tight, a good caulker will make her dry if the seams are payed carefully. I pull my plans for Hagar out about once a year.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    I'm near DC, about 30 miles west. Seems it would be difficult to find a good place to build a boat around here unless you already had a bunch of land. I keep a (fiberglass) boat in Maryland, 1.5hrs away. There are a few liveaboards. Not sure how marinas are about wooden boats. My marina would likely be hesitant as they've had at least one abandoned and had to destroy it.

    Good luck in working towards your goal.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    well, its been 8 years, Jake probably is halfway around the world by now.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDelorean View Post
    well, its been 8 years, Jake probably is halfway around the world by now.
    You jest surely? He must be on his second circumnavigation no?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Quote Originally Posted by Project-Avalon View Post
    I'm near DC, about 30 miles west. Seems it would be difficult to find a good place to build a boat around here unless you already had a bunch of land. I keep a (fiberglass) boat in Maryland, 1.5hrs away. There are a few liveaboards. Not sure how marinas are about wooden boats. My marina would likely be hesitant as they've had at least one abandoned and had to destroy it.

    Good luck in working towards your goal.
    That's funny, all the derelict boats arout here are glass. The ones that sink at the marinas are glass too. The wooden ones are out making a living.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Some of the wealthiest people just leave their boats to rot. Don't try to blame it all on the poor or on the existing liveaboards.
    Repeat after me.....We cannot control what others do.

    If anyone actually questions you about living aboard just tell tell them you came down to do some repairs.
    So on the week ends you will not be questioned.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building Buehler's 28' Hagar

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeJ View Post
    So I've been dreaming of building a boat of about a year now and had planned on starting when I got a job (just graduated college last fall). Well I still don't have one but have been rereading Buehler's backyard boat building book for the 4th time. In his description of the plans for Hagar, he says that he built him for $3500. Granted that was back in the 70's, but thats still pretty cheap. I think he'd suit my needs pretty well, and from everything I've read, the real blue-water sailors wanted smaller boats anyway (i.e. Moitessier). I'm getting ready to say to heck with it, I'm not putting my dreams on hold just because the economy has gone south.

    My goals with the boat would be live-aboard, mostly in a dock for a while, then to do some eventual real offshore cruising once my student loans are paid back. As such, I want something really sturdy, with minimal maintenance, and I don't much care about winning any races. Moitessier had me convinced I wanted a steel or aluminum boat, but Buehler's convinced me that would cost too much. I'm considering building the ballast, keel, stem & stern post, the frames (and maybe even the bottom plates if it didn't cost that much more), while everything else was wood.

    I am posting here to get some feedback on these thoughts. Thoughts on design? How would the steel below the waterline, wood above it work out?

    I also haven't been able to find any photos or critiques of Hagar outside of Buehler's own. If anyone has any leads on that I'd appreciate it.
    He pass away two months ago. I was intresting another design just like Hagar, Grizly Bear. I asked some questions to him. But informed that he died. I also bought his book and especially the rig of Grizly Bear is so suitabe fo single hand sailing.

    Last week I send another mail to learn about the situation.. No info. yet.. My opinion is for such small boats , marine plywood provides enough strength ..

    I also investigste Devlin's Means Of Grace, is a glue and stich version of Hess BCC. I bought study plans and compare with original Hess design..

    During my investigation double enders long keel and Work boats long keel are different than each other.. Sorry for my insufficent English , not sure the correct terms but Work boat'a aft just like duck shape.. And the keel is that part become a triange wing. I beliave this is the reason that , work boats were fast according to their shape.. But double enders there is no such deep keel..

    And this boat has a good interior volume.. I beliave this plan can give an idea about your requirements..

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