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

  1. #71
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    That's true about Discovery with possible leaks. It was likely as a planked boat, trailering was probably not a serious consideration back then either because of weight and construction methods. A planked boat always does better left in the water, on a mooring where it would not open up and leak like a sieve each time it was put in the drink. If I was too leave one in the water I too would have a keel as it would be a better boat for it. My thought primarily with the keel was that it could be made much more pleasing to the eye. I find the one they have offered looks very average, but I'm sure it would work. The points you made are very valid. Thanks cheers DAVE-seagull

  2. #72
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    I like the idea of frames too, they can make building a boat predictable and easy.as you say it eliminates the need for much interior structures. Twist is always a problem with a bare boat. Bulk heads do little to prevent twist, it usually requires longitudinal stuff running thru the hull to create rigidity. Like an egg carton, it needs shapes with in itself to firm up. As a ballast, Lead is great as it's very volume, weight compact, you can get the weight very low in the keel where it's needed, but it's not cheap stuff and hard to collect in any quantity. Another option for the financially strapped could be cast iron bolts or whatever you can get from an industrial place packed with concrete or GP resin. (The only valid use I could think of for using this aweful stuff) it's got to be cheaper than epoxy. But I like your thoughts, thanks cheers DAVE-seagull

  3. #73

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

    Some years ago there was another of the "Discovery" boats built by a young guy who lived aboard with a family. It was called "Stormalong" and from memory was in the San Francisco Bay area. It had quite a thread going here in W.B. forum.
    I am following with interest Dave, but if I build it will be a smaller type of motor boat after the Atkin "Heron" a 24ft tunnel stern cabin launch. The area here where I live in S.E.Qld has miles of knee-deep water and I want a boat that will sit upright when dry

    Wm. Garden designed several flat bottom d/e boats around the 18-20 ft. range. "June Bug" and " Boat" were a couple. My build will be constrained by the stupid boating laws we have where h.p. is limited to under 5 hp or the equivilant in crazy kilo things. More than that and you have to have a drivers license. I do have a brand new 3.5 Tohatsu clamped to the end of my bed just awaiting the boat.
    Dave, what is your depth of hull? that transom looks to be close to 3 ft deep, there is nothing to get a comparison by, and your midship side frame looks like nearly a full sheet, 4ft. How close are my guesses??

    Keep up the good work and the interesting posts. Ray.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Wow! Thanks ray for that interesting info about 'Discovery'. I wouldn't like to live where you are with all those laws, it must be a delicate ecological area or something? Where I intent to use mine is also very shallow, the Currong national park. So I've put a big emphasis on shoal draught too. I've taken my thing from several designs. But I was intrigued with the simplistic lines of 'Discovery', but am not building one. I also like 'tomcat' and 'Stevensons pocket cruiser' and a 12 ft X 6 ft boat I had registered as a commercial fishing boat and made my living from when I was in my 20s. That was a very seaworthy flat bottom vessel which I relied on every day to get me home whilst working in the Tasman Sea. My present one is not in that caliber due to the high freeboard etc, but still hopefully will allow me to wake up in the morning and cook some bacon on a Primus under a blue sky. Lol!
    The bottom of mine is about 5 ft 2 ins at the widest, and the beam on deck us about 6 ft 3 ins. The length about 13 ft. The transom is about 5 ft on deck I think. I wanted it quite wide so it doesn't sink aft and its nose in the air with a couple of people in it due to the short length. I also want the cockpit open room as my wife has MS and moving around is not easy. So it will sail quite nicely for a bath tub I expect, but I have compromised quite a bit of decent sailing ability for 'drinking red' area and decadent living space. It will probably be close to 17 ft with bowsprit, which will be removable. I expect when my belove wife comes, it will be primarily a little overnight motor boat. But for me I love a bit of rag and shut the motor off at every opportunity. I'm definitely 'it's the getting there, not the destination' type of guy. The transom height and freeboard I don't actually know, I just hold a bits of wood up here and there and say "that will do", but I will get some measurents and and let you know. I know the freeboard is high, but I will break it up with some half round moulding running lengthways with a contrasting colour above it, That always tricks the eye.
    You are a lucky chap having a new outboard for a bed head, I'm enviously! mine still has cost just over $400 so far. And that includes all the ply for the top sides and cabin. So keep working at it and wishes ... Cheers DAVE seagul

  5. #75
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    'STELLA'... I found this picture of my old house boat in the water... That one took ages to build, about 4 yrs I think on and off while living on it. All this proves you can build what ever you want to if you can dream it.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/
    iIMG] I found another one that everyone was horrified to see me put on our poor Toyota by myself. It was a very light sailing canoe/ dory, with rowlocks and oars and motor provision. It was 17 ft long and 3 ft beam. It was just a simple stitch and glue frameless job, but worked a treat. I would lift the bow onto the roller which extends off the tow bar, then just push it forward. This way the weight was shared by roof racks and the aft support. Everyone else was nervous by the overhead bulk, but I don't know what the drama was... Like most of you guys, I've played around and made stacks of things, so now is the time to build the one you really want. Come on, you can do it... Go to bed tonight and think about your next project... The one you really want to make, but stop before you rationalise ... 'Oh may be its too hard' . cheers zzzzz zzzzz

  7. #77
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IM
    This is the area in south oz where I hope to use my 'HOW CHEAP CAN YOU BUILD A MICRO-CRUISER'. This may help explain why a small trailerable shoal draught overnighter is almost a month into being built. When any of us are planning a project it's this sort of stuff that must have input.
    How seaworth does it need to be? When I was living in Tasmania that was high on the list of priorities with lots of unforgiving open waters. On a trailer?, what size car have I got? What will it weigh? A mooring or marina perhaps? All things to consider so that after you have finnished it, you are not wondering if you should sell it because it's harder to use than you thought. I recon, if you are not yet ready to build because of circumstances or dollars, use the time to really work out what would best suit your needs... Then google Google and Google.

    ONE AREA THAT I HAVE NEVER ATTEMPTED IS SAIL MAKING. I AM GOING TO NEED A JIB AND GAFF MAIN. IM OPEN TO ANY SUGGESTIONS HOW TO MAKE THEM PLEASE. BUYING IS NOT FINANCIALLY AN OPTION. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY SITES THAT YOU HAVE FOUND USEFUL FOR DUMMIES LIKE ME.. THANKS AND CHEERS DAVE

  8. #78
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Hi ray man, I went and revisited some of Atkins boats, he's a clever bloke. The Heron looks good, so does the 'seven days' which may suit an absolute beginner that wants to build a neat boat. Check out Bolger as well, although the Atkins ones all look pretty swish, I hope you manage to lay a keel soon, Keep busy, keep happy please. DAVE

  9. #79

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

    Hi Dave, I got myself a bit mixed up, the launch I like is a tunnel stern flattie "Heron" by wm. Garden but I have had for many years Atkins plans to build "Red Onion" 18ft flattie (sail) but the hull would suit as a power boat. Right now I am up to my eyeballs in ride-on mowers, 8 of them, so must sell a few off and get building. I have a good single axle boat trailer which I can drop the axle off and use that frame as my strong back. I have a half built 12ft punt "flat pack" that I was going to assemble on the river bank and spend a summer going down the Mighty Murray, that's why the new o/b on the bed head. but I broke my hip and now am not very flexible in my joints when it comes to getting in and out of small boats. (they can be a hea

  10. #80

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

    As I was trying to say, small boats can be a health hazard. I also have plans for Jim Michalic's "Sows Ear" a 15ft simple flattie with cabin, ugly as sin but floats and goes. I am not into sail anymore, just putt-putt boats.
    Keep up the good werks ray

  11. #81
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    Hi ray, sounds like you are super busy.. I did what you have planned. Someone threw out a rectangular RHS galvanised water tank stand which I scored with the view of making into a simple flat bed trailer. In the mean time I'm using it to build my vessel on, plus it's up off the ground to, like a work bench... Love it! I like the idea of motor boat, sailboat combination. A broad flat stern, not too much rocker aft if you want to plane or semi plane, but not so it sits deep in the water creating drag when sailing. None of that is a problem to build into a boat. it's just finding the point of compromise that suits your individual requirements. Don't worry about anyone else, they won't consult you for the rights and wrongs when planning their pride and joy. Lol! This is your baby. We too have mobility issues with my wife's MS.and that is a big design factor in my project. But look forward to see how you go. Don't get so busy, that you forget to live thou please. Cheers DAVE.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Ugly is in the eye of the beholder... I often look at people and ask what did the other person see in them? Love?
    What can I say....
    Boats are the same. Funny thing is my sister laughs at me as every time we visit a gang of boats, I'm attracted to the oldest, most unloved mis fit amoungst them. I have a thing in boats and people. The more odd, the more interesting I find them. So ignor, ugly... Odd... Just build it. There is no greater feeling than seeing all the toffs run and hide when they think you may tie up along side them at the club house. A good way to make some coin is to accept a small bribe when they ask you to move on... Snigger snigger... Oops sorry.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IMG]
    a few more sheets of ply fitted today... the cost of this micro cruiser has risen to about $460 with a few more 20 mm screws aquired today. Soon a cabin will be fitted and some minor internal longitudinal anti-twist supports and seating.
    The rig will probably be a balanced lug mainsail and bowsprited jib. Total about 140 sq feet? A friend has offered to knock them up for me... Cheers all DAVE seagul

  14. #84
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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
    [IMG][/IM
    This is the area in south oz where I hope to use my 'HOW CHEAP CAN YOU BUILD A MICRO-CRUISER'. This may help explain why a small trailerable shoal draught overnighter is almost a month into being built. When any of us are planning a project it's this sort of stuff that must have input.
    How seaworth does it need to be? When I was living in Tasmania that was high on the list of priorities with lots of unforgiving open waters. On a trailer?, what size car have I got? What will it weigh? A mooring or marina perhaps? All things to consider so that after you have finnished it, you are not wondering if you should sell it because it's harder to use than you thought. I recon, if you are not yet ready to build because of circumstances or dollars, use the time to really work out what would best suit your needs... Then google Google and Google.

    ONE AREA THAT I HAVE NEVER ATTEMPTED IS SAIL MAKING. I AM GOING TO NEED A JIB AND GAFF MAIN. IM OPEN TO ANY SUGGESTIONS HOW TO MAKE THEM PLEASE. BUYING IS NOT FINANCIALLY AN OPTION. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY SITES THAT YOU HAVE FOUND USEFUL FOR DUMMIES LIKE ME.. THANKS AND CHEERS DAVE
    nice coast!... here's the streach of coast I'm building Centennial for, Ipswich Bay, Cape Anne and the open Atlantic to the left o photo.


  15. #85
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    What fun! Go Seagull, go!

  16. #86
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the cabin. The designs I have been looking at are sail from inside microcruisers with no cockpit at all. The Tinkerbelle boat I originally wanted to copy had a small cockpit and a small cabin. I would rather be inside and dry instead of out exposed to the weather. Of course, nice weather you might want to get a little wet but a dry cabin still sounds good to me. Especially if that is your bed for the night.

    Keep posting your pictures and progress on this cruiser. It might not be a big following but I'm interested enough to keep checking in for updates. I bet others are watching this boat go together and thinking ... Just thinking ... for now!

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  17. #87
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Thanks sea dreams for your comments. Everyone should build what they feel is right for them. We get a week or two in summer of 40 degrees Celsius plus, in summer. So I'm after an open aft section with some seating and ventilation, a cabin to sleep in and to get out of the breeze, and a tarp over the boom if need be. But decking and cabin is the easy part.
    My only reason for even doing the forum thing is to encourage the nervous to have a go and build something if that's where their heart would like to go. I am particularly interested in de-bunking the myth that 'you need a stack of money' to even dream let alone start to build a modest vessel. It is certainly true that an open cheque book makes it easier, but that's not everyone's circumstance. Best wishes with your own project. I estimate mine rigged will still be between $800 and $1000. I still need to glass or Donal the bottom, although I have the epoxy already. But the point is you only need enough for a plan to start. Cheers guys and please have a great day.

  18. #88

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

    As we are showing off our cruising grounds, I live on the southern end of the "Great Sandy Straits" in S.E.Qld. more than enough knee deep water.
    Dave, your building style is how I have built various dinghys, I do not build fine furniture or a musical instrument, only ever workboats. House paint and galvanised nails, I see beautifuly crafted small boats down at the launching ramp and the owners get quite hysterical if a stickybeak even puts a hand on it, I would put up pics here but reading those stupid cyber speak instructions make my eyes glaze over and my head throb. I am too old to be bothered, my phone is fairly old, you stick a finger in the numbered hole and turn, it used to be called "dialing"
    Keep up the good work and more progress to you.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Hi Brian, I was thinking about what you were saying. You no doubt have, but Google '500 days at sea by Serge Testa'. He sailed a 12 ft enclosed micro cruiser solo around the world. He went thru stacks of hurricanes, and didn't mind them at all. He was very casual even going around Cape Horn in wild weather, because he was cocooned inside his micro boat. It was an aweful lay good read, with drawings of his lay out included. Cheers DAVE

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    hi rayman, sounds great where you are. I miss the untamed, under used tasy waterways and river systems, but what we have here in SA will do. The beauty of building a boat is that it's your thing. If you want a fancy thing, then that's what you should build. If you want a work horse of the most basic kind, then that's for you. I have build with marine ply and Bunnings exterior, and found fault and virtue with both. Now days I use structural exterior ply and galvanised screws, and single pack polyurathane easy use glue from a squeeze bottle. Some joints require baby powder thickened epoxy thou. The gal screws work a treat, I have never used nails thou. I use the coated screws which are the same price. I usually glass the bottom, but just mix 50% epoxy with %50 metho and roll it all over the finished vessel. I give it several coats as the thinned epoxy wicks and penetrates deeply into the raw ply, which straight epoxy doesn't, because of its heavy viscosity. I trick I have found is to wait until the epoxy is still slightly green (not fully cured, but not soft) then paint the boat with a primer.(acrylic works well) the not fully cured thinned epoxy creates a chemical link with the primer that is unmovable. If you wait for the epoxy to fully dry, you must sand it before coating with any paint, and even then it does not adhere as well as the method I use. House paint is fantastic, oil or acrylic. Paving paint is great, I've used that on my house boat for years. It's super tough, chemical resistant and hard wearing. I mean how many paints would you put on the ground, drive on them, spill oil, scuff and drag things and expect it to stand up ok?
    I have an 80 yr old clinker dinghy in tas that was painted in ordinary white exterior acrylic. It has lived in the water for years at a time and been recoated every 3 or 4 years. I used to take it out every month or so and just scrub it. Then put it back in the drink to swell up again. Works a treat. It has never lifted, peeled or flaked. It's generally just thoughtful preparation.
    Anyway never feel you are too old, please... Or apologise for your product in comparison to anyone else's. Just have fun and keep dreaming. Remember... Noah's ark was built by 1 st time ameuters, and the titanic by professionals. Cheers dave

  21. #91
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Wow Daniel! That looks a treat. You have a lot of fun ahead of you. Looking forward to seeing some of this area with your boat in it? Cheers dave

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    Bill, care to share some pics of your project or plans there of? Even if not in the immediate future? Maybe someone will be emboldened to start something of there own with a little encouragement. I don't know about you but photos get my imagination working a treat! ... Cheers DAVE seagull

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

    [IMG][/IMG]
    a couple of build pics to show how easy it is to build a boat even with out a plan. But a plan is the way to go if you can manage one. The keel and stem were cut from an old verandah facia 13 feet long. 200mm X 45mm that someone had pulled down and put out as waste. The stem joint was rebated with half cut off each piece and epoxied together with 2 screws. Easy peasy..

  24. #94
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    [IMG][/IM
    i cut a large dovetail on the end of the keel to attach a stern post which will hold the large sheet ply transom and allow the rudder to swing off. Just simple cut with the jig saw.

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    [IMG][/IMG]
    because the grain is running up and down, I put a couple of 70 mm screws to prevent the tongue from breaking away at any stage, hence weakening the joint. Then the whole thing was epoxied (primed with neat epoxy, then thickened to a paste with 'baby powder') which prevents the glue slowly running out of the joint before it drys. Some joint epoxy is important like these primary structural ones. Others just use single pack polyurathane straight from a squeeze bottle like PVA. Could it be any easier...cheers dave

  26. #96
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    I think that your wife is awesome for being willing to live in that Sea Gypsy with you! But I'm guessing you are moored to a house now, judging from the photos.

  27. #97
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    [IMG][/IMG
    cut out a transom from 12 mm ply. This one is 2 ft deep and 5 foot wide across the top and 4 foot at the base. It was glued onto the stern post which is on the outside of the ply. The bottom ply was then cut out out of 12mm structural builders ply, making sure both sides are the same. It's good to also try and keep everything vertical or horizontal to prevent building in any twist. Then a few cross supports. Notice some chocks to prevent the ply sagging around the edges I cut the cross frames with a slight curve to put strength and tension in the bottom, especially when it combines with the lengthways rocker. For the side frames I just duplicated the angle on the sides of the transom. Nothing particular, just what looked good at the time.
    That will do for now, but I wanted to show these to show that building a boat is not a massive sleep depriving job... It's just one little step at a time, a lot of little jobs that when they are all put together will get you afloat. You can build something deep and meaningful, a work of art, or really cheap and simple. I hope this encourages someone to dare to dream. Cheers DAVE.]

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

    What timber species did you make the keel from? Those growth rings are pretty far apart, nothing like that this far North!

  29. #99
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    E The timber for the keel is common radiata pine, it's is the most common pine here, a very budget variety. Almost anything is good although I prefer Oregon, celery top or meranti. I find when the whole boat is soaked with thinned metholated spirits and epoxy, that it works a treat. I know of a boat builder that used MDF soaked in epoxy for deisel tanks. He's gamer than me. But epoxy soaking and properly prepared has never let me down. Bottom line is I use what I can. Cheers

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    Life and circumstances change. I am now land locked in body but at sea in my heart.

  31. #101

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

    Dave, I think Serge Testa managed to avoid Cape Horn but he did get blown ashore near the Cape of Good Hope, an equally nasty place to be. Some of the perfectionists who frequent this forum will be horrified at your building practices but what the hell, it's only a boat and it's yours to do as you will. In Daniel N's post, that is how my father and I used to build our flatties but on alternate plank edges we formed a groove by hammering a piece of no' 8 wire along the center making a depression then laying a thread of heavy wool well greased with lanolin, then cramping all together and nailing cross cleats. The two of us could build a 14ft flattie with three planks a side painted and ready to go over a long weekend, and not a power tool in sight. A rip saw, crosscut saw hammer each and a cobblers last for clenching the nails. All radiate pine, build it too nice and some mongrel will steal it.
    Please keep feeding us the pictures, you are getting me more motivated every day.

  32. #102
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    Default Re: HOW CHEAP CAN A MICRO CRUISER BE BUILT? Let's find out...

    Quote Originally Posted by rayman View Post
    Dave, I think Serge Testa managed to avoid Cape Horn but he did get blown ashore near the Cape of Good Hope, an equally nasty place to be. Some of the perfectionists who frequent this forum will be horrified at your building practices but what the hell, it's only a boat and it's yours to do as you will. In Daniel N's post, that is how my father and I used to build our flatties but on alternate plank edges we formed a groove by hammering a piece of no' 8 wire along the center making a depression then laying a thread of heavy wool well greased with lanolin, then cramping all together and nailing cross cleats. The two of us could build a 14ft flattie with three planks a side painted and ready to go over a long weekend, and not a power tool in sight. A rip saw, crosscut saw hammer each and a cobblers last for clenching the nails. All radiate pine, build it too nice and some mongrel will steal it.
    Please keep feeding us the pictures, you are getting me more motivated every day.
    great story about the wire and wool, on a dory traditionally built, the bottom boards would be beveled 5 degrees across about half their thickness, cleated tight together then a wisper thin strand of calk driven hard into the bevel, this tighten the cleated bottom even more and made the boats water tight even when launched dry.

    here is the bottom partially cleated up, a heavy one at 3 ft wide and planking a whopping 1 1/4 inches thick.


  33. #103
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    Thanks ray, as soon as you said cape of good hope, I realized my error, thanks for that correction. I have had a few people blink when I tell them how I use baby powder and metho with epoxy. Sea gypsie was built as a frameless stitch and glue method with this method, and is still going strong a decade on. I'm not a perfectionist, but it has to be the strong. I've done umpteen tests on many glues and won't use anything where the adhesive breaks before the timber. Life is involved when at sea, my cousin drowned as a 16 yr old at wineglass bay when he and his boat dissapeared.
    But I will make life as cheap and easy as possible within that boundary. I'm a belt sander, power saw guy. I'm not interested in the smell of shavings from a hand plane or micro dust from 400 grit paper on a cork block. etc. I know many are, and that's what they should do. I hope to inspire some to think about boats and the possibility of making something,m, but either way I'm having fun. Thanks again for correcting me. Cheers mate ... DAVE seagull

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

    MDF diesel tanks! I would not be brave enough to try that, though tanks from ply and epoxy seem to be common enough not to raise too many eyebrows. Always nice to see how different people use a material thats aviliable, and in some cases better than having a hardwood log shipped across the planet for the same purpose. I always remember a fellow worker ranting about 7 sets of toilet seats and lids he had to make, because the wood had to be American Oak; i have no idea why, i dont know anyone whos butt can tell the difference from English oak and American, but when a bloke is spending 25 million, they usually get what they ask for. They were very nice bog seats though!

  35. #105
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Adelaide South Australia, Australia
    Posts
    141

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

    Wow, nice job on the dory, I remember the old corking days, especially around the garboard, which often proved a problem area. Thanks for sharing the pics and info. cheers DAVE
    Last edited by Starving seagull; 08-03-2016 at 06:11 PM.

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