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Thread: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

  1. #1
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    Default Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    So, I've been around boats my whole life, built a few, owned dozens, and sailed even more.
    I'm borderline retired, and I want to build a boat to take on a slow cruise along the east coast, maybe including the Hudson, Erie Canal, etc. Maybe for two people (if I get "lucky"...)

    I've been mostly a sailor my whole life, but I'm thinking I want a powerboat, I'm getting older. But if I go at sail boat speeds, and can do it consistently, I can cover lots of ground and I'll be pretty happy. I like the fuel efficiency of a sailboat under power, and, let's face it, most cruising sailboats spend most of their lives under power anyhow.

    So, something low powered that will go 5/6 knots, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon with a diesel inboard. That leads me to a low power hull, like a steamboat hull, maybe on the narrow side, and maybe 32 feet? Longer? Shorter?

    There are a number of plans out there, and even some hard chine versions. I'm thinking that for ease of construction I might go hard chine - will I lose much in the way of fuel efficiency if I do that? If instead of 1 chine, I build one with 2 chines, will the efficiency improve enough that it will be worth the extra work? Should I build two (or three) models to compare them?

    Another topic is the power train. Almost no one is building low power cruising hulls, so I don't see much info on this idea - what about a version of a Kort nozzle for this boat? They say it can add 10 to 15% efficiencies at low power, and they call it improved "thrust." What is thrust if not power to move the boat ahead? Any thoughts? Thanks.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Harbormaster, great dream so get stuck in otherwise it will become the project.
    Here are my steps
    1) Get a good experienced launch designer to draw your boat. This will save a lot of time and is an excellent knowledge transfer.
    There is a high initial cost, but they have the expertise and knowledge to ensure a satisfactory boat for your needs.
    Tad Roberts is often on this website and has some suitable designs in his portfolio. http://www.tadroberts.ca/services/sm.../displacement/
    There are other experienced designers like him.
    2) If this is the first boat you have built from scratch, consider hiring a boatbuilder to build the hull and decks and offer to help and assist with the project.
    You will learn a lot about the craft of boat building, sufficient to finish the project in your own time and backyard.
    3) Do not complicate the engineering. Diesel power, a reduction gearbox and large propellor on a shaft drive are what you need.
    Displacement launches for sedate cruising do not need Kort nozzles which are used for added thrust and pulling/pushing power with small propellers at full engine noise.
    What I would consider a good idea for shallow water cruising is tunnel drive (reduces draft) and that is part of the hull design.

    My next birthday I am 65......launched my 30' boat in 13 years ago this month - wished I had done it 10 years before after launching.
    My advice, is you have a good vision of what you want, so get stuck in and make it happen quickly.
    Hasten now and enjoy the rest of your life sedately cruising your boat.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    The 33' Diesel Duck, by George Buehler (LINK)



    I think most of the small designs said to be for cruising are simply too "busy." The designer tries to get to much stuff in 'em, and as a result, nothing is quite big enough to be actually comfortable. I do have a number of smaller cruising sailboat designs, but they don't pretend to be anything other than what they are; a "minimalist" approach to get a couple on the ocean safely and cheaply. EMILY,at 28' and JUNA,at 37', are my two favorites. My powerboat designs have approached the subject a bit differently since we all seem to want a decent wheelhouse and mechanical space. It's hard to get that in a smaller design and still have something that is reasonably seaworthy, although the minimalist approach can work with power too. My PILGRIM design is a good example of that idea, as is the big WUNDERBURG. Anyway, my DIESEL DUCK series has captured a lot of folk's fancy and since the first one hit the drink back in 1989 or 90, there's been a bunch built and cruised, going everywhere from down the Red Sea to around Cape Horn. Here again, I tended to look at longer because I like elbow room, I want a stout structure (and the necessary displacement to carry it!), enough fuel and water capacity to actually go somewhere, and, at least a minimal degree of comfort. The actual "degree" has raised a bit with my age. I don't care to do "roughing" anymore!
    DUCK 34 Estimated Power/Speed stuff FLAT Calm Conditions:

    Figure one gallon diesel gives you about 18 HP an hour to get an idea of fuel usage in CALM conditions. Benno & Marlene cruise with their sails up, running the engine at a fast idle. Or, no engine in 15 knots, where the boat goes 4 knots.

    V/L ... Knots ....Projected HP Required
    1 ...... 5.69 ............. 4.8 HP
    1.1 .... 6.26 .............7.4
    1.25 ...7.1 .............. 15.8
    1.3 .....7.4 .............. 21.5
    1.35 ...7.68 ............ 29.2 HP

    #include [std-disclaimer]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Don, Thanks for the advice, I'll just leave it at this - I know enough about boat building to be dangerous, and I'll be damned if I'd let anyone else build my boat for me!
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Sharpiefan, since that's not a boat that appears to be an easy to move hull, those numbers appear to be in line with my fantasy, though the hull really isn't. The sailing rig complicates the whole thing for me, and I think that I'm headed away from a "split-level" vessel.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
    Sharpiefan, since that's not a boat that appears to be an easy to move hull, those numbers appear to be in line with my fantasy, though the hull really isn't. The sailing rig complicates the whole thing for me, and I think that I'm headed away from a "split-level" vessel.
    Sharpie hulls are famously easy to move.
    Commuter 36, by Reuel Parker (LINK)

    Commuter 36, revised Big Girl model

    This boat started life as a custom design for a Key West developer. We worked from sketches and photos of older boats and added some modern ideas and curvaceous “art-deco”-inspired forms. “Commuters” were classic early cabin cruisers used by prominent businessmen to come to work in style in the 1920’s. The “power sharpie” is an extreme shallow draft hull form of very light displacement. This specific hull is a modified sharpie form having a deep, short V-bottom bow, which flows aft-ward into a shallow arc bottom. While the model is not as sea-worthy as deep V shapes, it can be poled like a flats boat in a scant eight inches of water. This makes it an ultimate shallow-water “gunkholer,” bone-fishing boat, and wetlands explorer. The prototype “Magic” is used extensively in the Everglades and Florida Bay north of Key West. She is ideal for exploring wildlife in remote places, running up shallow rivers and mangrove creeks, anchoring behind keys and exploring deserted beaches that no other boat of this size and accommodation could even dream about approaching—and she is capable of staying there for days at a time.

    The cabin provides six feet of headroom, and there are berths for four, plus a large galley and head with a shower. The cockpit is huge, with a PT boat-style helm station, and a large awning for shelter from the tropical sun. The boat is outboard-powered for simplicity, easy maintenance, and so the boat can be poled across bars and flats.

    Construction is very simple, light, strong, fast—and inexpensive. The hull is planked with sheets of ½” plywood—two layers on the bottom laid at opposite diagonals, and one layer for the topsides, joined with butt blocks. The hull is built over ½” plywood bulkheads set up on a strongback. There are no frames or floors. Sheer clamps, chine logs and bilge stringers are ripped from conventional 2x4 stock. The deck and coachroof are foam-core plywood—1/4” over 1 ½” closed-cell polyurethane foam with 1/8” plywood headliners. Internal deck beams are sawn from 1 ½” spruce 2x12’s and are spaced between the two ply layers in the same layer as the foam. Fore-and-aft web frames are ¼” (now upgraded to 3/8") plywood and extend from bulkhead #2 to the transom. All blind compartments are foam-filled, giving the boat enough positive floatation to make her unsinkable—the foamed compartments also prevent vibration and noise from pounding. There is a huge 110g. fuel tank under the bridge deck, and two 30g. bladder-type water tanks under the settees. There is a large ice box, and a 30g. holding tank for the marine toilet. All exterior surfaces are covered with Xynole-polyester (Defender Industries) fabric saturated with epoxy. This composite is vastly superior to fiberglass as a covering system for cold-molded wood construction.

    Although the original Commuter 36 was ideal for her purposes, clients interested in the design were concerned about her extreme shoal draft; in particular her inability to run at high speeds into large chop. Hence in 2004 I designed a modified version with deeper V-sections in the bow, increased draft (to 12”), increased displacement (to 6,000lbs), and increased power (to a maximum of 175hp).

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    There are a few Atkin plans that may interest you. Esther, wader, dasher, dodger and nanuk III are a few I have scribbled down here at my desk - I would eventually (maybe) like to build a similar craft to what you describe. You should definitely look thru some plans on the Atkin website.

    Jeff Spira (Spira international) may also have a design or two that appeals to you, his boats lack some stylistic qualities but they are straightforward to build and offer a lot room for modification

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Some designers and builders wander through the forum occasionally; you might ask their recommendations. If there are designs you like, post pictures of them. It may take a few rounds of "20 Questions" to find what you're looking for. The more accurately you can answer, the more likely you are to find your dreamship.

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Buehler believes that a power cruiser should have some sail for steadying, for saving fuel, and for limping home. If you follow that idea, at least consider an easily used perhaps high tabernacle so you won't get stuck with the odd bridge.

    If you want something a bit more classic looking and suitable for inland/coastal cruising - not as all ocean as Buehler's - check out some of Reuel Parker's designs. Were I to go motor, something like his "Commuter 50" might be a bit long and pricy if you're stuck with dock fees but if you like anchoring could be a real pleasure.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Our 24' Gartside 'cabin launch' has all you (and I) need design/speed/accommodation/economy-wise.

    Vee-bottom hull, vee berths, head, propane stove, icebox, inside and outside helms, chartplotter, chart table, radar, 33 hp diesel, seven knots cruise using 1/2 gph, 3/4 gallons per hour WOT (9 knots). He has another larger version at 34' too. He also designed a 'sistership' to ours that is intended for exactly the routes you listed. Whiffle, a WBF member had Paul design it for him, #143. Geoff Kerr of Two Daughters Boatworks and he built it together. See his designs here, pp 2-3 https://store.gartsideboats.com/collections/power-boats

    Doug Hylan's vee-bottom Marsh Hen has possibilities too, and now that a Yanmar diesel outboard is in the offing that could be a best choice for a quicker simpler build. http://www.dhylanboats.com/design/pl...rsh_hen_plans/ Hewes & Co. cuts CNC kits for his boats also: http://hewesco.com/cnc-marine/

    Good Luck. It's an excellent dream and no time to lose.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Smaller and simpler and very good for he interior waterways would be the Karl Stambaugh designs.



    http://www.cmdboats.com/trailercruis...2ab322c55fd8c9

    Dave

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    BTW -- I totally agree with Ian's remark: any displacement hull might as well have provision for a lugsail, or gaff. Why not?

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Where and what type of Cruising will you be doing? Will you live aboard all/part of the time, or weekend/occasional week? How comfortable is your finance...?
    I was /am a sailor....got a power boat to live aboard/ cruise when I can.... great... 45' cruise at 7 knots 1.5 GPH. It was nice to be able to plan a trip and reasonably predict my eta....I just did not enjoy moving from place to place. I was board...not for me...
    Still a really good plan, though. 6 to 8 knots can be a civilised pace.
    The designers previously mentioned would be my first scan.
    So...where and what and how?

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Ian, Yes we were just discussing some of Reuel's designs this evening. I like that one, maybe I'll check out some of his newer designs.

    I just looked at his design for this one, and the best part of it is the engine placement - all the way back aft with a v-drive so that the engine is out of the pilot house. I wonder if I can incorporate that without adding too much weight back aft.

    I haven't seen Reuel in years - as far as I know he hasn't been back to Maine since that night at the Water Works in Rockland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post



    Last edited by Harbormaster; 10-26-2017 at 11:50 PM.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Thanks, I'll look at some of those, I haven't looked through the Atkin catalogue in years.

    Quote Originally Posted by telenorth View Post
    There are a few Atkin plans that may interest you. Esther, wader, dasher, dodger and nanuk III are a few I have scribbled down here at my desk -
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Yes!, all good designs, and good ideas.
    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    Our 24' Gartside 'cabin launch' has all you (and I) need design/speed/accommodation/economy-wise.

    Good Luck. It's an excellent dream and no time to lose.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  17. #17
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    This is still the boat that sets my heart all a flutter. I'm just wondering if I build a hard chine version, either with one, or two chines will she give me the kind of efficiency that I want. It sounds like, from the examples given, that driven at 5 or 6 knots, I really should expect good fuel consumption numbers either way. A bit shorter than this, and since she won't be steam, proportionally a bit wider, but I just love the grace and the lightness of the design.

    The Blue Wing, a National Fisheries boat.

    Blue Wing.jpg
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  18. #18
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    I'm hoping to live aboard full time. Coastal cruising, I'm at that stage where the kind of excitement I lust after is red wine, or white. Having cruised in smaller boats, I'm looking for a little comfort too, maybe a real winch, and a shower? The part of cruising that I like the best is sitting at anchor off the beaten path, and watching the birds.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Where and what type of Cruising will you be doing? Will you live aboard all/part of the time, or weekend/occasional week? How comfortable is your finance...?
    I was /am a sailor....got a power boat to live aboard/ cruise when I can.... great... 45' cruise at 7 knots 1.5 GPH. It was nice to be able to plan a trip and reasonably predict my eta....I just did not enjoy moving from place to place. I was board...not for me...
    Still a really good plan, though. 6 to 8 knots can be a civilised pace.
    The designers previously mentioned would be my first scan.
    So...where and what and how?
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    I was going to suggest some of Sam Devlin's designs right up until I saw the part about wanting a liveaboard. I think most of his might a bit cozy. But I'm enjoying seeing all of the suggestions!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Get a copy of "the v bottom boat" by Harry Sucher, there are designs for single chine type skipjacks, Cheasapake workboats,Mullet skiffs etc etc, from 24 to 48ft with several in the 32ft area. All the offsets are in the book with basic scantlings. There are boats very similar to the photo you posted.

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Perhaps unconventional, Richard Woods' Skoota 28 has made some wonderful, well documented voyages.

    http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/ind.../264-skoota-28
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Harbormaster, you might do well to check out the work of our fellow Forumite Tad Roberts's work at http://www.tadroberts.ca/services/new-design/power/. Tad has a series of classic-looking, high-efficiency powerboats, and if you don't see what you want, I am sure he would be happy to design one to your specifications. Here's an example:

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    The Skootas look very interesting yet more complex to build. Probably bias on my part.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Why do you think hard chine is easier to build?

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    The Skootas look very interesting yet more complex to build. Probably bias on my part.
    Agreed, and I've a multihull bias from decades of building, maintaining, and sailing them.

    Richard's boats tend to fall on the easy to build end of the spectrum - a conclusion drawn from my own experience with multihulls and supported by what seems large numbers of successful home-built and yard built boats. Certtainly for the sail powered boats Richard draws and builds.

    Cheers,

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Why do you think hard chine is easier to build?
    He wrote "ease of construction", take that how you want, but maybe using straight sawn timbers rather than having to cut numerous bent timbers, steam bending or even laminating frames. Some people can get their heads around 2 sticks, a couple of gusset plates and some bolts, but go a bit foggy or lose interest with anything that may appear to be more "complicated".

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    I guess, having built lapstrake, carvel, flat bottomed and v-bottomed boats, I feel that the vees give the best performance for the ease of lofting and planking. I may be wrong, but big sheets of wood seem to take me less time to put on than lots of smaller pieces.

    Why, what do you have in mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Why do you think hard chine is easier to build?
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  28. #28
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Think I would go strip on this. Hard chine ply is easy when smaller, except Devlin uses it on bigger boats, with laminations and lots of époxy. Covey Island managed some nice boats in strip, up to 50ft or so.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Ummm... Covey Island Boatworks' schooner Tree of Life is 72 ft LOD, 91 ft LOA. Just sayin...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    A lot of the Reuel Parker boats are hard chine, even the bigger ones. I think either strip or hard chine can be built and would work. What are the other pluses for strip planking? Wouldn't it be more labor intensive? I'd go that way if I thought that the hull would be more fuel efficient, like 10 or 15% more efficient? That's why I'm thinking about making some models and testing them against each other. Any thoughts on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
    Think I would go strip on this. Hard chine ply is easy when smaller, except Devlin uses it on bigger boats, with laminations and lots of époxy. Covey Island managed some nice boats in strip, up to 50ft or so.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  31. #31
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    I've long contended that the most efficient shape is a sailing boat. If I were in the same position as you, I'd consider a classic plastic for a knock down price, saw half the keel off, dump the rig, build a permanent dodger, and Bob's your uncle

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
    This is still the boat that sets my heart all a flutter. I'm just wondering if I build a hard chine version, either with one, or two chines will she give me the kind of efficiency that I want. It sounds like, from the examples given, that driven at 5 or 6 knots, I really should expect good fuel consumption numbers either way. A bit shorter than this, and since she won't be steam, proportionally a bit wider, but I just love the grace and the lightness of the design.

    The Blue Wing, a National Fisheries boat.

    Blue Wing.jpg
    NW Cruiser 39 (LINK)



    The interior shows a real galley and an actual table and 4 chairs for dining. This aft cabin is spacious with large windows. The pilothouse has great visibility in all directions and is large enough for a group of people to gather in. The bow has a real bed, 5’ x7’, walk around style, and a head and shower. The head is barely big enough. It’s bigger than the typical production boat head but not the 5’ x7’ area I like to spec. There simply wasn’t the room. But it will work and in return we have a real pilot house. Note the engine room below the pilot house is a full 7’ long and the full width of the boat. This gives lots of room for easy access to all parts of the engine, something far to rare in today’s production boats. On deck we have a short aft cockpit and of course outside steering and engine controls. That’s because part of he NW lifestyle is trolling for salmon and tending crab and shrimp pots, and this boat is set up to do all that well. I gave her 18” side decks making it easy to walk the decks, with 12” bulwarks and 36” heavy pipe life rails to make deck travel secure. Construction is for plywood or steel, and she can also be aluminum. Regardless of the material chosen, her hull lines are simple with "easy" curves allowing material to flow around without much fuss. Power is 60 to 100 HP but in practice, I doubt you’ll run it much more than 40 HP very much.

    Particulars
    LOA: 38’ 10” LWL: 37’ 7” Beam: 12’ 3”
    Draft: 3’ 10” Displ.: 33321.80 lb.

    RATIOS
    L/B Ratio: 3.19 D/L Ratio: 280

    Projected speed/power requirements, CALM conditions

    V/L .......... Knots .......... HP
    1.0 ...........6.13 ........... 5.4
    1.1 .......... 6.44 ........... 8.4
    1.2 .......... 7.36 .......... 13.5
    1.25 ......... 7.66 .......... 17.8
    1.3 .......... 7.97 .......... 24.2
    1.35 ......... 8.28 .......... 32.8
    1.7 ......... 10.42 ......... 443 (just for fun)



    #include [std-disclaimer]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Gareth, There's a facebook page for boats like that - it's called "Terminal Trawlers," and that's the whole premise. Lots of good ideas kicking around there too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    I've long contended that the most efficient shape is a sailing boat. If I were in the same position as you, I'd consider a classic plastic for a knock down price, saw half the keel off, dump the rig, build a permanent dodger, and Bob's your uncle
    Last edited by Harbormaster; 10-27-2017 at 06:40 PM.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  34. #34
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    Given your parameters, I'd be looking at George Buehlers Diesel Duck series. These are V bottom, reasonably easily driven, modest power, economical, and roomy.
    I'd build strip planked, like Wizbang, I like the idea that when the boat is finished end of life...it will largely return to the environment. It is more labour intensive, but simpler...a lot of small bits of wood rather than fewer larger pieces. Probably save 20% on hull cost.
    V bottom is easier to loft, frame, and slightly easier to plank. The rest of the boat will be the same work and cost.....

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Yet another pie-in-the-sky boat design question

    I would not recommend to lean on power...you will some day need some power to punch your way in to shelter. You need more power to keep going in crappy conditions.
    For the size I am thinking for your project, I'd be thinking about 100-150 HP. Than run the engine 60-75 % ---90% of the time, on blast 90% for ~ 10% of time to keep the engine happy and clear the exhaust ports....
    With a properly designed drive train you should get ~1 GPH +-.

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