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Thread: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

  1. #1

    Default Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Does anyone know how many sheets, and what thickness, go into an Oughtred Tirrick or an Arctic Tern? I am trying to estimate building costs. - John
    Last edited by Landlockedvoyager; 08-13-2017 at 02:25 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Guys, here is my dilemma. After years of frustration, I will finally have a place to build a boat. The main difficulty now is the cost of good merranti or okume plywood. It is not available locally and the crating and shipping charges put it beyond my means. That leaves me three choices: 1) Use cheap construction plywood, 2) build something smaller like the Skerry Skiff 17, or 3) build something in strip.

    I wouldn't mind using cheap ply on a simple 8-12 foot sailing dingy, but it would mean a lot of additional fuss and cuss for a beach cruiser. It is also much more likely to come apart on the larger, heavier boat. The Skerry Skiff is doable in quality ply, but is noticeably narrower and a lot lighter. I am a rather big guy and I am afraid it would be overly sensitive to my movements. Building a canoe yawl in strip is where I am leaning now. I can buy quality western red cedar at reasonable prices locally as I use it. It would not be any cheaper, and might cost more for the completed boat, but it would be easier to manage.

    I still have a strong liking for the Oughtred beech cruisers. I have found a supplier that might be affordable. A little info on the plywood required would be a great help. Thank you for taking the time to read this. - John
    Last edited by Landlockedvoyager; 08-13-2017 at 02:13 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    I hope the silence is because it is a lovely day and everyone else is out on the water (crickets).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Well, in the interest of breaking the silence, I can offer my 2 cents.

    Do NOT build something as beautiful and functional and time-consuming as an Oughtred double-ender from crap plywood. It sounds like your best bet would be the strip method you mentioned.

    As to your question, I can give the two examples I am familiar with. I built a 15 foot Oughtred Whilly Boat using 5 sheets of 1/4 inch Aquatek. I got it for about $50 a sheet. I didn't build in the flotation tanks which would add a bit more, maybe a sheet to be safe.
    I wish I had built those tanks in, and I am putting the designed flotation into my new build...

    For my current build, a 14 and 1/2 foot Ilur, the designer recommends 3/8 marine ply- 10 sheets. I got occume this time and it was about $100 a sheet! It was a lot of money for me to come up with all at once. I definitely understand the need to pay as you go. It's why I didn't go for the kit version of the Ilur.

    I think Tirrik and Arctic Tern would both need 3/8 marine ply. One builder made his own "plywood" planks from cedar, but he seems like a pro. Don't know if vacuum-bagging is part of your skill set. Here's a link. http://johnrollit.com/Tirrik/Tirrik

    They are two lovely boats. I hope you find a way to build one!

    Here is SWIFT with flotation bag and daggerboard visible:

    [IMG]solosail by Michael Owen, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Cheers!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    You will have a much better time and an much better boat if you can find a way to use good material. I went through quite a bit of internal debate on my last project. I worried, and shopped and compared and researched plywood for almost a year before buying locally available Hydrotech. I bought 6 sheets about $60/sheet. For the year's delay in decision making I could have put aside $30/month into my plywood fund. Point is, use the best materials you can. If you need to save up for a big purchase, slow down a little, and hone your skills making the little parts such as spars, foils, centerboard trunk, etc. Making all the little bits while you save for the big "buy" will help you become more skilled. You will be surprised how much time all of those little parts take to make.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Thanks for the response, Mike. I like the look of your boat. It seems I will be building in strip. Good luck with your build. - John

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Landlockedvoyager View Post
    Does anyone know how many sheets, and what thickness, go into an Oughtred Tirrick or an Arctic Tern? I am trying to estimate building costs. - John
    Hi John-
    if you fill in the location info in your profile, you could get suggestions about where to find/order plywood. Hey, if I can get occoume delivered to New Mexico (via MacBeath in SLC), you can find a way. See a recent issue of WoodenBoat for advice on finding the best quality goods.

    If you strip build vs glued lap, there is more money later in glassing the hull. But maybe that will help you get started.

    I hope you can figure something out. If you have the itch to build but not the scratch, consider a skin on frame design like the 13' 8" Shenandoah whitehall I built. Dave Gentry has plans for an SOF Chamberlain dory that looks like a hairy-knuckled beast. Probably 1/4-1/3 the cost of lapstrake.

    Cheers, Dan
    Last edited by snaildrake; 08-13-2017 at 05:54 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Thanks, Doswell. That is good advice. I am eager to get started on a build after years of being stymied, and so it looks as if I will be building in strip. I will be watching the forum for a picture of your boat. - John

  9. #9
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    Sep 2014
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Mike is right about the 3/8 ply. Planking stock for Tirrick would be 5 sheets, same as the Wemyss skiff. Add one or two more sheets of 1/4" if you build fore and aft decks, use ply for thwarts, etc. Two or three sheets of OSB for molds, on top of however you build your strongback. -Dan

  10. #10

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Thank you, Dan. Now I am back to maybe! I will wait another day or two before my final decision. - John

  11. #11

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by snaildrake View Post
    Hi John-
    if you fill in the location info in your profile, you could get suggestions about where to find/order plywood. Hey, if I can get occoume delivered to New Mexico (via MacBeath in SLC), you can find a way. See a recent issue of WoodenBoat for advice on finding the best quality goods.

    If you strip build vs glued lap, there is more money later in glassing the hull. But maybe that will help you get started.

    I hope you can figure something out. If you have the itch to build but not the scratch, consider a skin on frame design like the 13' 8" Shenandoah whitehall I built. Dave Gentry has plans for an SOF Chamberlain dory that looks like a hairy-knuckled beast. Probably 1/4-1/3 the cost of lapstrake.

    Cheers, Dan
    I live in the Kansa City area. The only marine quality ply here is either Douglas fir or MDO, both in the minimum size of 1/2 inch, much too heavy. I believe I have found a lumber yard out of state with lower shipping charges than the others, but I will have to call them tomorrow to be sure. The prices they list for df, merranti, and okoume are close enough that the lighter okoume is the way to go.

    I welcome all suggestions. If the word tomorrow from the supplier is good, then I will be calling Mr. Oughtred for a set of plans. - John

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    I second, third, fourth, or whatever the suggestion that an Oughtred boat is beautiful, functional, and time consuming to build that it is a false economy to build one out of cheap materials. I built a Ness Yawl in 2005/2006. I am a professional furniture maker with a very well equipped shop and it still took several hundred hours (I did not keep track!). Back then, 3/8" occume plywood (from Harbor Sales in Maryland) was about $70/sheet. I used it for everything, including the decks, and the NY required most of 9 sheets. So that was about $700. I probably spent about $200 on plywood and lumber for the molds and strong back. But the real costs were a) the rest of the wood, b) hardware, c) lines, d) sails, e) trailer, f) custom cover, and so on. If I remember correctly, the all up price of my boat was around $7K. I could have built a much more bare bones boat for around $5K or so, but I could afford the upgrades. Regardless, the plywood was a small part of the overall cost.

    Bottom line, I spent over a year of my time building the boat and now, 11 years on, she is still a wonderful craft that I enjoy every chance I get and I don't regret a single penny spent. There are many cheaper ways to get on the water under sail (buy a used FJ) but if you're going to invest all of this time, build the best boat you can.

    That's my opinion, anyway....

    Best of luck,
    Garth

  13. #13

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Thanks, Garth. My biggest concern at the moment is the plywood because of the crating and shipping charges. I can buy quality wood for everything else as I need it locally. Epoxy, rigging, sail cloth and the rest I can order online as they are needed. I agree on using the best materials. - John

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Landlockedvoyager View Post
    Thanks, Garth. My biggest concern at the moment is the plywood because of the crating and shipping charges. I can buy quality wood for everything else as I need it locally. Epoxy, rigging, sail cloth and the rest I can order online as they are needed. I agree on using the best materials. - John
    John,

    You're welcome. What part of the globe are you on? Is there a lumber/plywood supplier within a reasonable distance that might add some occume plywood to their next order? Spread the shipping pain around a bit? Just a thought....

    Garth

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Check out the recent thread "New Member! Obtaining lumber for build?" by themrbruceguy. He is close to KC also. He's looking at strip plank but you might be able to help each other out down the road. Cheers, Dan

  16. #16

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Garth and Dan, thank you for your suggestions. The plywood cost is a concern to me as I am getting ready to move and needing to acquire furniture, appliances, and take care of a number of other expenses. This limits what I can spend at one time. I suppose this might sound wimpyesque and probably is, but I am being a bit cautious. The simple truth is I am excited! I will soon be building a beautiful and sweet sailing double ender. The only thing still to be determined is glued lap or strip, Iain Oughtred or Paul Fisher. I will find out tomorrow and make my final decision then. Thanks again to everyone who responded. - John

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Some points.

    1. Some of Iain's lofted paper molds show a round bilge hull with the plank and lap lines marked on round lines. My J2 and the new multistrake CY spring to mind.

    2. But most of Iain's boats show the lofted paper molds chined.

    3. Clearly if you were to strip one of these, and I think the Tirrik molds are shown chined, your going to have to break out the lofting battens to fully resolve the round shape, loft it out from his table of offsets, or build to one of his lofted planset with round mold patterns shown.

    4. You will then need to bother Iain with scantlings for strip and glass construction...since you are looking at the mid sized double enders, it would better to build Gartside's 147 double ender, which is already drawn with scantlings for strip and glass. Its also a very very nice refined hull shape. I've had a Tirrik and its the only mid sized double ender I'd take over it and expect it to be better.

    5. If you can't get decent Occume easily, but you can get local durable softwood like WRC or AYC or similar then I'd strip and glass #147. At 15ft its a nice size if your sailing around other moored boats and will row well. You have the opportunity to loft the boat out from offsets, which is fun.

    6. If you are rowing it the strip and glass bottom will have less resistance all else being equal as the laps add significant wetted area which at slow speeds is important. This is apparent with multistrake as for example 5 narrow strakes with 9mm laps is 45mm of added wetted area on each side. There's also the turbulence of laps, allthough they might also facilitate laminar flow - that's probably a wash. At higher speeds the multistrake options in theory should have less resistance, but will be wetter. The Oughtred's have loads of forward flare, so you shouldn't see much spray though.

    7. My memory of the Tirrik was that it was very good and comfortable in chop. When healed the sheer was skimming the water which I didn't like, though Iain refines and changes his designs all the time. I think techinically the version we bought was a 'Ness Boat' (not the Ness Yawl) which later became Tirrik, which might be different. It had a metal plate which worked very well. had a bermudan sloop which pointed very well, though I'd have swapped it for a lug sailing solo. Never got around to rowing it. Never had a go in a Skerriskiff which Dad bought prior to the Tirrik. Each boat can be made good or indifferent dependnet on build choices etc, but I remember him thinking that it rowed very well but sailed poorly...I think he found it too unstable with its flatter bottom when it got pressed, but I never got out in that one. I remeber him saying he thought the Tirrik was a much much better boat.

    8. I'd sail a Tirrik into the gates of hell: waves from the side or front can't get hold of it much- they swoop along the water, but as you go longer, the room in the middle opens up more. Solo a lug Tirrik would be very good, but if you've got room a Ness Yawl might be even more awesome, possibly even 'betterer'. It's got the 16tt waterline which seems to be optimum all round. Personally I like V bottom in chop and to make the floors easy to fit - no joggling. The way Iain positions the (fewer) plank laps to resolve the same bell shaped displacement curve of areas, whilst making it aesthetically pleasing makes it really clever in my eyes: a confluence of engineering and high art. I think when I've looked at it, with the longer Ness Yawl yawl rig the lug boom is more forward and clears your head which is a good thing. I think with smaller Tirrik the lug boom end doesn't pass in front of your head if you sit on the aft tank (which is actually a bit far behind the lcb, but its nice to face forward). But you need a 20ft+ space to build one.

    9. Plywood wise, I'm pretty sure the Tirrik and Ness Yawl are best built with a stiffer garboard than other other topside planks because of the width, or swap in a sapele plank instead of Occume (it will also be more durable where the water collects). I think Iain specifies a size up on Tirrik and Ness yawl garboards, just something to consider when ordering to know what your plan is. You also have to take a bit more off the inner stems if you do this where the garboard meets the stems equal to the extra plank thickness. Because its's thicker, its stiffer, all great until you reach the stems, where it puts up more fight. The multistrake options put up less of a fight as the planks are narrower and the stiffening of the laps means the garboard doesn't have to thicker.

    If you've got good WRC/ AYC or White pine nearby and a tablesaw and don't have easy to find Occume, I'd look over Gartside's 15ft 147 for strip and glass rather than convert one of Iains. Its got a really sweet hull. A good handy solo daysailer. There were once pictures of a black one on the net but since have gone as these picture sites close. It would also be slightly greener and responsible to use local softwoods, or at least ones from your own continent and you've been gifted the best softwood in the world over there.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 08-14-2017 at 06:23 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    For the Ness Yawl Iain specifies either 1/2" ply for the garboards OR some extra stringers with 3/8" ply, which is what I did. Over eleven years of sailing and trailering, I have had no issues there.

    Cheers,
    Garth

  19. #19

    Default Re: Plywood question for Oughtred beach cruiser

    Thank you Edward and Garth. I have taken a couple of days away from the forum to clear my head and make my decision. I have decided on a Paul Fisher canoe yawl. At least I had. I read your last post Edward, mentioning your J2 and once again my head is spinning. The J2 is the boat I have admired most. The possibility of doing it in strip is enticing. I will call Mr. Oughtred tomorrow and ask his opinion. Thank you, Edward and thank you everyone who responded. - John

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