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Thread: Using old design for skin on frame boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Chicago, IL, USA
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    Default Using old design for skin on frame boat

    I just finished building Ruth designed by Dave Gentry. It's a great looking boat and a great design. But for some time I've been thinking of building something somewhat larger. I've inquired occasionally about a wooden boat, whether it could be built SOF. And I often get the answer: yes, but the lighter weight is going to cause problems with performance. The boat won't row / sail / handle the way it's designed. And yet most of the lightweight wooden boats that are now so popular are based on designs that were formerly built much heavier: e.g., dories, wherries, etc. What's the difference between building an old dory in stitch and glue and building a stitch and glue boat in SOF? Is there a standard way to adopt a design to a lighter displacement? I was for example, thinking of building a Drake 17 in SOF, but have read that it would be too light to perform properly.
    I'll be grateful for any enlightenment on this issue.

  2. #2
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    Back in the day when epoxy glued lap ply was a new thing I spoke with a couple of builders. The first small dink that they built was light but unstable, They built a second version with flatter floors and wider in the bilge to claw back form stability. The bigger the boat, the bigger part of displacement is light weight and led crew and gear, so the loss of light weight will have a bigger effect on total displacement, hence stability, tracking, and windage etc.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    I own a couple of glued lapstrake small boats: a 40# canoe and an 85# dory tender. I use ballast in both. The dory has a shot bag, the canoe I ballast with sand when I sail it. I previously owned a strip planked Melonseed that was much lighter than the glass versions. I carried a five gallon jug in that and filled it with water on breezy days. A modest amount of weight in the bottom of a small boat makes a big difference.

  4. #4
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    Heartily agree with John on the ballast. A SOF Drake would be an exciting and very cool project.

    If you decide to go ahead and build it I hope you can post some pictures.

    Woody

  5. #5
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    Apr 2020
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    Chicago, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    What a good idea. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. I should mention that I weigh 220 pounds, so there's a lot of ballast there already. But maybe I'll get two containers, one for each end, and experiment to see what works. I like the idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Connecticut
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    Few years ago, met Clint Chase at the woodenboatshow, I was there with Hilary Russell, and he had a sale on plans for Drake so I bought a set, intending to do a skin on frame version (fuselage frame) and talked to him about it. Clint was pretty interested and supportive and was willing to talk about maybe making cnc plywood frames even. Built a couple 3 sof canoes instead. A SOF Drake would be very sweet indeed.
    Rich
    Last edited by Gravy; 10-24-2020 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Typo

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    I appreciate the encouragement. I'm a great admirer of Dave Gentry's plans and was considering building a Shenandoah Whitehall, stretched out to perhaps 15 feet. But my first idea was to try to build an SOF Drake. I think I could do it, and the suggestions here for dealing with the lighter weight on the water give me more hope that it would work.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    Gentry fan, too. Built a Shenandoah Whitehall, 2 wee lassies, a disko bay dreadnought, and a mobjack bay. A Drake should be pretty easy to adapt. I found the way I did the transom on the Whitehall skin on frame a little unsatisfying, kind of awkward looking. Fine but not as pleasing as a double ender like Drake.
    Rich

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
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    4,356

    Default Re: Using old design for skin on frame boat

    I weigh 230#, so I have some leverage too. I find that the ballast gives me a little more time and security.

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