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Thread: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

  1. #1
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    Default 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Hi All,

    I was looking online at the Chesapeake Passagemaker and the Eastport pram, both small boats which are available as kits, and both of which have the unusual feature of a hull that breaks down into two sections (fore and aft) by using double bulkheads which bolt together.

    It got me wondering, whether a cruising, sailing dinghy built along these lines, might be a solution to a maddening practical difficulty I face here in the crowded UK. Specifically, I live right by the sea in Brighton England, but there's nowhere anywhere close to store my Wayfarer dinghy, and whilst I have a big backyard, it's only accessible through my house. A boat which broke down into two parts, each around 8ft long would be a positive boon, but obviously only if the assembled boat was a decent sailor.

    So my question is this: Is this design feature something that can be incorporated into a self built boat without really compromising its rigidity, strength and weight? Or is it like a folding bicycle - something that works, but somehow takes all of the joy out of the thing? I figure there has to be a reason that it's not a design you see used widely, given that it would seem to offer the potential to make a 16ft cruising sailing dinghy into a car toppable proposition that just one person could manage. Does anyone on the forum have experience of either of these two models? Or know of any other kit boats with the same capability?

    All thoughts gratefully received - even if witheringly dismissive of the general notion.

    Thanks,

    Simon.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Check out this boat made by PT Watercraft.

    PT Eleven Nest Dinghy

    This boat recently participated in a 70 mile overnight rowing race. I think it performs just fine.


    So the answer to your conundrum is Yes. You can make a take-apart boat that still performs just as well.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    I would agree, the two features do not have to be mutually exclusive.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Hello Simon, and welcome.

    Here is my friend's CLC Passagemaker, which can be made in two parts. In this gloomy photo we're sailing off the coast of Maine, and yes, they sail a lot faster than I do.

    The website claims that it only weighs 94 pounds!

    IMG_0068.jpg

    Kenny
    Almost everything about boats involves so much more time and money than one anticipates that rational and accurate planning will deter even starting. Ian McColgin

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Does it depend on what you call cruising?
    The PT11 was designed to break down. What you have in mind may not be designed to do so.
    I've been in the shop when one such dink (different brand and type) was being built from a kit. The thing has 2 middle bulkheads separated by cardboard. It goes together (built) in one piece and the 2 halves sawed apart through the sacrificed cardboard. There are 4 (I think) sturdy bolts holding her together on the water in use.
    I'd email/call the PT folks to discuss your needs.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Welcome aboard!
    I wouldn't call it a cruising dinghy, but the SeaHopper Kondor is a beamy 10' dink that folds flat. Handsome too, they are built in England.

  7. #7
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    Fife UK
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    How about Gary Dierkings Wa'apa - breaks down into 8ft sections, plenty cool, if you fancy disappearing down the outrigger canoe rabbit hole !
    He turns his head but in his ear the steady trade winds run
    And in his eye the endless waves ride on into the sun.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    First, I just finished my Passagemaker, the non-take-apart version. It sails like a dream with the gunter-sloop rig. I'm going to try to do the Salish 100 in it next summer. I also have built the one-piece Eastport pram and it didn't point very well at all with the lug rig, but it was very convenient. The take apart versions are the exact same hull shape, you just cut the boat in half at the sandwiched bulkheads, so there's no performance difference between the two versions.

    CLC is very clear about the difference between a "nesting" dinghy and a "take-apart" one. You can see where a "take-apart" Passagemaker doesn't quite fit perfectly inside itself while a PT11 does nicely. There are huge design constraints to make a dinghy truly "nest". CLC does have the Nesting Expedition Dinghy (aka NED), which was an interesting design exercise.

    Also, the Passagemaker comes apart at about the 1/3 mark, which means that for a 90 pound boat, the large half is about 60 pounds. I can see where this might be very convenient for a single-hander like myself. It might also mean that you can fit it in the back of the SUV or pickup instead of having to trailer the full 12' boat.

    I had a great conversation with John over on the CLC forum about the possibility of moving the take-apart location to a different bulkhead. He said that as long as you followed the bolted sandwich design, it would work just fine. I was interested in making it take apart at the midship bulkhead, which I thought would make the two halves closer to 45 pounds each or at least 40+50.

    The way I understand it is that the vertical bearing surface of the mating bulkheads, when properly bolted together, give sufficient structural rigidity to keep the boat from bending apart at the seam. With the Passagemaker, the seam is at the forward bulkhead which is barely in the water with the bow of the pram pointing pretty high while underway with my weight at the back, so less stress on the bolts. If the seam was further aft, there would be more bending force across the seam.

    Here's a pic of "TOY YOT" after having just sailed across Saratoga Passage from Camano Island to Baby Island. In the PNW, we have to deal with fluky winds and strong currents and she handles it with ease.

    IMG_6802.jpg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Last edited by koederfischgriller; 11-30-2018 at 09:36 AM. Reason: additional link

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    CaptainSkully, have you loaded up your Passagemaker with gear yet? I see John Harris rates that as having a 650 Lb payload...huge! I wondered how it sailed/rowed loaded down. The Norwegian prams were designed as workboats, I believe so payload was pretty important.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Klemper made a folding sailboat. That would solve the storage issue.

    http://sailingtexas.com/201101/sklepper12101.html

    Edited to add. As did Folbot


    https://www.shoppok.com/kansascity/a...--gardner-.htm
    Last edited by openboater; 11-30-2018 at 12:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    CaptainSkully, have you loaded up your Passagemaker with gear yet? I see John Harris rates that as having a 650 Lb payload...huge! I wondered how it sailed/rowed loaded down. The Norwegian prams were designed as workboats, I believe so payload was pretty important.
    No I haven't loaded her down yet. Just my 200+ pounds, a cooler and some safety gear. I will say that she barely flinches when I step in though. That's a pretty good indication. My Eastport pram groaned a bit when I stepped in and I was even swamped doing Duck Dodge one night and couldn't self rescue because the gunwales were 1" under water.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    A lot depends on the weight and size of each half, angles of hallways, location of furniture, how strong your back is and wide your doorways are.

    You might consider a SOF boat to meet your particular needs, built it to either nest or just take apart. My concern would be that you might build something that you **can** move in and out though the house, but don't **want** to. I find that beyond a certain point, all the work involved in setup and transport of small boats takes the fun out of using them...so they sit around.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    I built the nesting version of the CLC Eastport Pram from plans and like it a lot. As pointed out above it is a true nesting boat. The front half sits neatly in the back half and can fit in my Honda minivan. As far as the structural integrity of the joint goes, I have to say I haven't ever noticed any flexing or movement underway. The joint is separated by a substantial rubber-like gasket that compresses and really locks the joint together. The only thing that I don't like about the pram is the interior cockpit space. When I sail it I have to cram my 6' frame down on the floor between the seats. Due to the separating bulkhead the space is smaller than the non-nesting version.

    Another interesting very storable boat is Wooden Widgets Fliptail series. I recently built the Fliptail 9 and am impressed. It folds up to a 10" x 27" x 9' foot package and can also fit inside my minivan. It goes from folded to rowing-ready in literally a minute. Setting up for sailing might take a couple of additional minutes. I haven't had the chance to sail it yet but because it uses a leeboard the interior space is totally open and spacious. The only catch is that there is not a kit available, only plans. It is fairly easy to build, as long as you have access to decent woodworking tools.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 11-30-2018 at 03:48 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Maybe you need to install dingy davits to the front of the house? If you're tricky with your positioning, you'd have the added benefit of a front porch awning.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSkully View Post
    . I will say that she barely flinches when I step in though.
    Nice! I've been thinking about a Passagemaker take-apart for my frozen snot cruiser. On deck for offshore bits and used as a pull-toy in the San Juans/Gulf Islands.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    these guys are in your neighborhood, maybe they can help
    https://nestawayboats.com/wp-content...March-2015.pdf

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 'Take Apart' boat kits. Any thoughts/experience?

    All of these little nesting dinghys have their good points but none of them come close to the storage volume of the OP's Wayfarer in cruising ability. Beach cruising for more than a day outing needs to be able to carry lots of stuff to make the trip as enjoyable as it should be. I have built a couple of the proposals and beach cruised in 15 and 16 footers. There is a lot of difference in carrying capacity offered by those extra few feet of length. Another issued that more crew and load imposes is stress on the hull that will be concentrated on those connecting fasteners. They can be made strong enough but that adds extra weight and complication. Some take-aparts have been done in three sections and that looks like a better choice for the OP's limited passage room through his house.

    In no way can a practical and viable beach cruiser of more than 8' be built at 94# weight. That is the approximate weight of most 8 footers like an Optimist pram hull only. The process of cutting a boat into sections is pretty simple so probably the most promising solution is to survey the field for a suitable boat and make it in sections.
    Tom L

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