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Thread: Appologies for the material being examined

  1. #1
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    Default Appologies for the material being examined

    A little thought exercise. What if one took a "classic plastic" bluewater boat like a Mason 44 or a landfall 38 perhaps that was written off by insurance and sold. How difficult would it be to remove the deck from the FG hull, brace it adequately and build a wooden deck on it. A cabin on deck, a boxy square thing like Ingrids or Pilot Cutters had. The interior could be reimagined to meet your needs, as well as every on board system. Maybe a new mast and rig. The rig would probably have to be similar without some reinforcing of the hull to make rig changes like adding a mizzen, or turning her from a ketch into a schooner. Which could be done I suppose while you have the deck off and the cabin out of her. I suppose you'd be starting "from a bare hull" and would need a certain book by a certain someone. Does a boat not designed to be home built like I'm suggesting stand up to that kind of change or is it better not to bother. And again, a thought exercise, I don't have a trashed Mason 44 in the back. Unfortunately.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    Almost anything is doable if you have enough time and money. I'm thinking that the economics of the venture would be the critical factor if it were to be done in a reasonable time.
    Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a boat that will pull right up next to it!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    I've seen a couple of boats that were begun as a bare fiberglass hull and totally finished out in wood. Of course this can be done. The biggest risk is having too much weight in the deck and cabin structure. But it's maybe as much as 2/3rds the work of building from scratch, and you have to live with the specs of the donor hull.
    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    As Dave said...lots of boats start out as a bare hull including some really nice Cape George cutters. I think several Masons were also sold as unfinished boats. I would have a reputable architect go over your design to check scantlings, load points and weight distribution, especially if you're changing the rig, but it could be a very worthy project.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    there was a thread here a few years (possibly quite a few years ago) of that being done on a smaller yacht - something like 26’ or so I think - and it looked like it was coming along nicely, no reason why it couldn’t be upscaled.
    Larks

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    Good point Dave. I think the thing keeping me from loving a modern production boat is the shape of the house. Always ruins it for me. It seems to scream "I was built to pop a deck out of as required" with rounded sloping sides that will easily come out of a mold. I love me some vertical cabin sides. Wooden ones.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    That's how the Kettenburg 41s were made. Wood decks, glass hull.
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    I'm sure it could and had been done, but I'd guess that for much cheaper you could get a solid wood boat with a leaky deck and just glass the deck.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    There was a rule of thumb that the rig cost the same as the engine and prop, cost the same as the outfit, which cost the same as the hull.
    So you would be saving 1/8 of the cost of a new build for which you will be investing the labour of the rip out.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    Plenty of early production glass boats had wooden cabin sides and tops. Why not? Refit the interior and off you go. Probably be a good idea to have a qualifed NA take a peek at it before you set sail....

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    Cheoy Lees were built that way. Just beware their nickname "Cheoy Leakys" due to the teak decks.

    I thought about doing it to my old SeaSprite 23. I was going to leave the 'glass decks, smooth them out and cover in painted canvas, and built a wooden doghouse and cockpit. Alas, her structural issues were too much for me to fix, so she went into the dumpster instead.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    I did it. Turned out pretty ugly, but we had fun with it. I even put a stained glass window in the cabin window. Sold it after a couple of years and was out on the bay one day in the new boat and saw a young fellow at the helm and a pretty girl in a bikini on the cabin roof. We passed within a few yards and I was glad to see that CATAIL had a new life.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    While it is really picking low-hanging fruit to trot out all the failings of boats built in that manner (that can be done with any construction method, i.e.; steel rusts, aluminum is prone to galvanic corrosion, allergic reactions to epoxy, etc., etc.) no one has yet to mention the upsides. No leaky garboards, never have to reef and recaulk, no worries about rotting frame ends, greater usable interior volume, etc.

    So, yes, it is a do-able and in fact, a very reasonable construction method. Like every other construction method, it just needs to be done right to be structurally sound and long-lasting. Talk to a designer experienced in both 'glass and wood boat construction.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Appologies for the material being examined

    Some years back, there was a thread started by RodB (?) where he was working with a friend to do just that with a donor sailboat -- The thread OP was banned, and I don't know what happened to the thread ....





    Rick

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