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Thread: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

  1. #1
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    Smile HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    This is my 1st post on this forum. I was inspired by some comments about how cheap can you build a micro cruiser... So I decided to find out. I had been collecting stuff (as we do) for about a year or so and commenced building on July 1st.
    It is about 13 ft with 6ft 3ins beam. Cat rig or gaff main and jib. I don't have any plans as I'm numbers dislexic, but I see it in my head. I'm an artist hence I am numbers illiterate but visually driven. The keel is laid, transom, stem, bottom sheets of ply, knees etc. I have most of the ply and so far it's cost me $410 AU.
    Much of the timber was from old Oregon pegolars etc that were pulled down and left as hard waste on the side of the road. I'm hoping to complete the hull for less than a $1,000 (but you know boats... Cost twice as much and take three times as long)
    There are some framing with bulkheads and longitudinals to eliminate twist, but much will also be epoxy complimented with single pack polyurathane glue. Love epoxy, I thin it with 50% metho as a primer, slightly thickened as an adhesive and mixed with baby powder (until gloss just off it) for fillets. My last 2 masted yawl I lived on until a few years ago was a multi chine frameless ply, epoxy with either metho or talc.
    So looking forward to seeing how cheap I can make it. I would like to make it clear cheap does not go with junky, I want a really decent vessel, not a floating dogs bottom. I look forward to enjoying reading people's thoughts. So thanks guys and cheers and happy boating DAVE

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    The proof, of course, is in the sailing.

    In the mean time, let's see some pictures.

    You have to post them on a site like Photobucket and link to them here. Thorne has a tutorial floating around here somewhere.

    Allan
    And the Binnacle-bats wore water-proof hats
    As they danced in the sounding sea.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    You started a 13 footer in the first of the month and are not done yet?

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    True mate, Its not only numbers, but I am computer illiterate too.lol! Still trying to work out the photos online. Might take a little, but I certainly will ASAP. You mentioned the proof is in the sailing, that can be so true...for me the reward is being on the water. It's a vessel that will never be fast or good up wind, as I'm old school and believe 'gentlemen don't sail into the wind... One can spill the bubbly'. My racing days are long gone, which is why it will probably be a long bowsprit and main boom, low aspect gaff. Plenty of power for down wind thru to just ahead of a cross the beam. I'm more interested in buckets of room, simplest build method possible and cheap as can manage. But we will see what happen. Cheers DAVE

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Plans don't really require numbers, just reading.

    But they use to build boats by eye, just that the eye needs to have experience.

    Pictures are the thing, and you are going to need a thick skin here.

    Have you seen some of the micro-cruiser threads here and on boatdesign.net?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    I was inspired by something I read on this site quite a while ago about cheap micro cruisers why and why not, no such thing as cheap etc... but I just want to say that I not trying to prove anything or impress anyone. I have now moved to living on land with my beloved wife who has MS, so dollars are shy, but I need to keep my mind afloat. Boats like art, food and wine are very personal. It's where you put the compromise of speed, room, freeboard eye candy versus floating shoe box etc. what I'm building will be appreciated by probably 5% of people because of where I put the priorities.
    I'm just doing what I want to do with this one, and thought I would share it just I case anyone else is of limited means, but wants to play with boats. Well then this may encourage someone to consider it for them selves. I am alway interested in other people's views and methods, as we all can get locked into our own way of doing things. I will work on some pictures for sure... But just want to restate... I'm doing this for me, like the others over the years, but thought I might share my progress. So thanks for your thoughts and please have a fantastic day. Cheers DAVE.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    You started a 13 footer in the first of the month and are not done yet?

    Another slacker, eh? Let's splash that thing!

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    What you say is so true, many old timers build boats by eye. Funny, I actually bought a set of plans many years ago, but got lost in a pile of lofting and station measurements. But as I said I'm not overly clever, but built a steel 40 ft 2 story house boat for $20,000 which is now worth $160,000 (sadly I don't own it anymore) I build it according to the steel sheet sizes so there was no waste. But I plans are the way to go if at all possible, and encourage people to use them if you can, as although I never make money on boats, I have never Sold one for less than it cost me. A boat built to a plan will generally be easier to sell unless it has an X factor of some kind. So if you can built to a plan... My CFS means my mind lives in a state of ongoing fog and confusion... So I just build what my mind see's, and what materials I have on hand as much as possible

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Dave, look forward to seeing what you have come up with. Cheap to me would probably be battens and polyurethane glue over epoxy and talc, i have not done the math between ringshank nails Vs epoxy and fillers, but i expect the nails would win out. What sort (if any) of keel does thing have and made from what? Welcome and good luck with your project.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    I'm in no hurry at all, in fact the 'feel good' for me is in pulling out the tools and building. I have quite a bit done already... But am happy just ticking along as I get the chance to do a bit. Cheers dave

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    G'day Mr Seagull, welcome to the forum.

    There are a few other blokes from Adelaide or thereabouts here too.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Look at dories for the biggest bang for your buck.
    Selway fisher pioneer scaled down of the sfb pelican in 16ft is really a 20ft boat but with the bow cut off.
    Or Paul gartsides 19' sailing scow easy to build and looks so sweet.
    I have plans I could post to you.
    Cheers james

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I'm interested in microcruisers and built my own but it wasn't my own design and it still hasn't been tested.

    In case you haven't seen them yet, here's a couple links with some good inspiration for this sort of thing.

    http://www.microcruising.com/paradox1.htm This is the one that got me wanting a microcruiser.

    and

    http://tomsrobbsboat.blogspot.com/ This is another microcruiser design build I have been following.

    Good luck and I hope you figure out how to post pictures.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

    P.S. Here's a good book you can read online about Robert Manry and his little boat Tinkerbelle. This is the book that got be interested in building my own boats. There's plans to build a boat similar to his online I can find if you are interested but the other ones are probably more comfortable cruising boats.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    G'day Dave. I'm in Adelaide. Currently (eternally) building a Scamp. How far from Largs are you? If you want photos posted but can't be arxed figuring it out, I could help by having a snoop at what you're doing with my camera.

    Cheers, Bruce
    When I first joined WBF they made me write a book to prove I was a real yachty. I was so gullible.
    Paperback E-book

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Sorry Dave, I didn't see your name on the end of your post.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Hi Bruce, I'm an import to Adelaide and live in Aberfoyle park. I build and lived on various boats in Tasmania until a few years ago. Yes I'm still working out the photos. I've downloaded an app and am close to working it out I think. It's all new to me this electric interweb business Lol! I'm not sure half the time if I'm responding to the right person. I do like the scamp design, lively and efficient lines. Good choice. Cheers dave

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    sorry, I'm still working this whole electric interweb business out, as a reference to my art stuff, I think I am user ... 'Starving seagull' (DAVE) my apologies please, I hope to tidy my act up as soon a my brain catches up with my one hyper- typing finger Cheers

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Thanks Peter, I'm not sure if I've done the right thing, as the building is like buttering bread, but to a simple chap like me, this forum business this can be a bit overwhelming... Cheers and best wishes DAVE

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Thanks for your kind offer James, I can't read plans but agree, sharpies and Dorys are a good cheap boat. The last boat I lived on until 7 yrs ago was a 20 ft Bolger type multi chine lug yawl, after a few years I became a bit materialistic and whacked another 4 foot into it. They are a virtuous design for sure. I built that for about $5000 and sold it after living on it for a number of years for $17000. As I was putting the sign up, a fellow came off the street and bought it. It was a bit different with stain glass windows, Siamese cat figure head and jotel wood fire on it, which you needed living on Tasmanias Huon river.. Lol! Cheers and thanks DAVE

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Starving seagull View Post
    my mind lives in a state of ongoing fog and confusion...
    On the bright side, there are a lot of people who spend a lot of money on things to put their minds in a state of fog and confusion. Think of how much you are saving.

    Wizbang built some plywood speed boats by eye in a ridiculously short time.
    See post #6 http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...?193481-Photos

    Looking forward to your build.

    Dave
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]Just testing the photo business... This vessel I built and was living on until a few years ago. It was 20 ft, but after a while I decided to ad an extra 4 ft to it. It is a multi chine lug yawl. It had stain glass windows and a cast iron jotel wood fire which was very necessary living in the bottom of Tasmania with the long cold winters.
    Last edited by Starving seagull; 07-22-2016 at 04:16 AM.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Glad to see you got the photo thing sorted. Nice job on the Bolger.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Yeah thanks, it's not a true Bolger, it was build from a picture of his boat and a couple of others. I think he was very gifted in many ways, and have found many of his ideas to be sound. His boats certainly helped me come up this this concept which was a mixture of his and others. They say to take one mans ideas is plagerising but to take many is research. Thanks

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Great boat!!
    Did you find the windows too small?
    What did you use in way of ballast?
    I have a 24' boat that I need to finish.
    But the finishing is taking longer than the building lol!
    Why are you going smaller 20' too long?
    I like gartside 24' houseboat and their might be a market for it.
    Cheers James

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Starving seagull View Post
    Yeah thanks, it's not a true Bolger, it was build from a picture of his boat and a couple of others. I think he was very gifted in many ways, and have found many of his ideas to be sound. His boats certainly helped me come up this this concept which was a mixture of his and others. They say to take one mans ideas is plagerising but to take many is research. Thanks
    I was a bit quick to jump to a conclusion, but close enough to Bolger inspired. I concur with your thought process, there is not much new and many take an old idea with a modern twist, i guess we can call that proper research and development! Look forward to seeing details of your creativity.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Hi James, my son put this picture up for me, I'm hoping tomorrow he will show me how so I can put up some of my current project, although that is very basic, as I want as easy build and cheap as possible, but without quality compromise. The 24 ft had about 160 kg of concrete poured into the bow. It initially had the bottom about 20mm out of the water at the bow. I did it this way as it's easier and creates less resistance to push water under a flat bottom than out around the side and fill in behind the boat which creates more turbulence.
    But living on it, it sounded like a tinnie at night with the forward bunks. The slapping under my ear. Lol! So the concrete put the bow into the water and stopped the slapping. Better sleep...ha ha. I found concrete good in a bilge. As a favour for a friend I put a new plank in an old converted lifeboat from a 1930s American destroyer. The timbers in the bilge were worryingly soft, almost waterlogged. I broke the concrete out of that which had been in for 20 years and found the timbers under it to be in almost original condition unlike to the rest of the boat which I would never take out of sight of land. I believe the alkaline actually acts as a preservative, although there are experts out there that will know far more than I ever will. I broke mine out after a couple of years because of nagging concerns, but replaced the concrete when I found the hull underneath to be in mint condition.
    Sadly a boat does require a lot of finishing, but a router does wonders don't you think? but each thing you do only has to be done once. I started work on 45 ft shark boats in bass strait and the Tasman sea, where we were out every day no matter the conditions. It taught me to never use yachty fittings, but make a boat simple, strong and basic. I like a really neat but Spartan approach. Maybe it's an excuse not to spend too much time with trim and knick knacks... Tee hee. But keep at it as I'm sure it's coming along a treat..
    Sorry a final thought as to why just 13 ft? I had a really good experience as a commercial fisherman out of an open 12 ft near flat bottom dinghy near port Arthur in Tasmania. I took it 14 miles out into the Tasman sea deep sea netting almost every day. I found it very safe, although many of the locals thought I had a death wish. So I guess I am comfortable with a boat that's small, if it shows some sea kindly qualities. But like I said, there are some real experts out there, who know more than I ever will about most things, I have no intention of debating any thing with anyone, what do I know? I just llike most of you guys enjoy playing around with boats doing my oun thing while trying to fly under the radar.. But Cheers and have a great day please.DAVE.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    you are spot on with your observation... Don't we all look at boats and say "I like this, but don't like that"? I think we all do it. Then we modify things to what we think is an improvement, or at least tailored for our specific requirements. Thankfully if we spend enough time pondering it before the tools come out, it works a treat and gives us a real sense of pleasure. No doubt you have found this too with your many exploits. Thanks and Cheers DAVE.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Instead of the concrete, couldn't you have filled a water tank to submerge the bow so you could pump it out for motoring, then fill it again for mooring/docking? Seems wrong to sacrifice performance. Water not heavy enough? Too much trouble?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Hi salt on brain, (love the name!) ... Water instead of concrete is a good solution. I used concrete because mine never came out of the water except for slipping. It was always on a mooring, marina or anchor. Because it was a live aboard, a home for my wife and I, and only 20 ft initially until I lengthened it, internal room was extremely precious as you can imagine. The boat was built strong but light in weight. Water weighs a kilo per litre, which meant I would have lost between 150 and 200 litres of very valuable space (depending on how much it took to dip the bow! which I didn't know until I started adding the weight). Water storage would have taken up very precious space up forward in our already cosy sleeping area. Plus, right or wrong I thought I would only ended up with more water sloshing around under my pillow area, but in tanks.
    I decided on concrete because it weighed more than water hence required less space, and I used rapid set concrete sprinkled directly into the bottom of the boat and under the lift out cabin sole, an unusable gap of about 70mm. Once I was happy with the amount required I just dampened it. I used rapid set too, because it was fairly thinly spread out and a non structural mix, I could break it out easily if I had to down the track (And it did break up and it come out quite easily too, probably because I only dampened it, not soaked the mix)
    I found too, that it was a great sound insulator from all the random gurglings under my ear while I was trying to push some zzzzz's up thru the hatch. A 16 foot micro cruiser I built earlier which also has a little firebox used water ballast and very successfully, but this one was permanently in the water and room was critical.
    So I suppose to answer your excellent question, you are right of course. Water is ideal, but within that unique set of circumstances, concrete was the best solution in this particular case, as I lost no usable interior space, lowered the stem into the drink, worked a treat and not being as lively up forw'd, sailed a little better into the wind I believe.
    Have a great day and thanks for your insightful comment... I'm always interested in people's thoughts and ideas, as that's how we keep on learning. Thanks...oh! and keep on salting.. Cheers DAVE

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    this is the little toy so far... I'm aiming at the cheapest possible and easiest too. The bottom has a compound curve with very simple lines. This one is also just testing the photo postings. I will put some more on tonight the ply to almost completion and timber, ply including top sides and most of the cabi and deck and 6 litres of epoxy so far has cost just over $400. Still require glass mat and heaps of other trim... You know what it's like when you go to the hardware. I will put a costing breakdown up soon. Cheers guys

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Are those vertical frame members made from some kind of "Tassie oak"? Interesting grain pattern. When you say compound curve, it looks like you mean just fore-n-aft rocker? Should have some stabilty by first appearance.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    this was the last micro cruiser I made a few years ago now. It had a little wood fire in it too. I towed it behind a little Mitsubishi Colt to Tasmania for a holiday. It had a lug main and staysail. It was 16 ft by 8 ft beam... It sail surprisingly well including up wind. It had 20 litres of water ballast in the bow and a 20 litre water ballast tank each side. I found I didn't need to use these, just the bow one. It had an offset daggerboard on the port side. It was no particular design, just a combination of many pictures stuck on the work shop wall, a glass or to of red, a tape measure... A bit of music ticking over and the 'Right Honourable Toad' evolved.... This one I started at Christmas and took it to tas a few months later to tas...

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    the stem area... Stem, keel, knee, ply and internal keel in place.

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    looking down on the stem. To this angled edge will glue the ply... Just a thought. I use a combination of epoxy and single pack polyurathane depending on what the individual joint requires.
    NEVER use sellers single pack polyurathane as in the very fine print it says 'do not use under the waterline... Water resistant' every other one I've used like Purbond says 100% waterproof' they look the same and are in the same looking bottle... But!

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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Love it, I'll be following this with interest!

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