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Thread: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

  1. #1
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    Default A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Howdy folks! if you'll bear with me, I find myself in an odd position of having no boat plans I want to build but a rather large trove of boat-building materials that I've accumulated over the last few years (via persistent bargain hunting, a few lucky breaks, and the inability to turn down ridiculously good deals).

    A little back-story: I'd originally planned on building Richard Woods' Strike 18 (I've posted about it here before) to do some local cruising in before moving on to a bigger build. But for various reasons (in part because after doing a "test build" in 3D modelling software, I realized it is too small for a 6' tall person to cruise on without modifying the design), I've decided it won't work for me. I then was seriously considering Woods' Sango or Wizard as I love that design. But I don't currently have all the materials for it and unfortunately have discovered that I need to re-roof my house this summer which is going to use up the rest of my budget (and then some). The additional epoxy and fiberglass costs of the Sango or Wizard are another $3k alone, much of which is needed early in the building process. I've been putting off a boat build for several years due to various house projects and life events (always "1-2 months away from starting") and I was really looking forward to actually starting this spring. I'm afraid I just can't get myself excited about building a dingy at this point, I want something more.

    So, I turn to you fine folks for advice. I've read several threads here from others looking for boats similar to what I want and have looked at more than a few boat designs. But I thought I'd see if the wise people here might have some further suggestions based on my unusual constraints.

    My criteria for the boat:

    1) Easily trailerable and launchable from a trailer. Max ~5000lbs including trailer. I have a truck and live 2 miles from a boat ramp (unfortunately Woods' other designs don't launch nearly as easily as those I mentioned above). I'd like to be able to launch it for an evening sail if the mood strikes, so no assembling of amas, etc.
    2) A sailboat that can sail upwind and tack well. I live in Portland, OR which is at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers. River sailing = lots of tacking upwind. (yes I know that catamarans aren't known for this. Woods' designs are better than most, but this was probably the biggest drawback to the Sango/Wizard for where I live). I'd rather sail than row, and would rather row than motor.
    3) Also something that can handle PNW coastal cruising in various weather, particular the light airs which predominate here in the summer. The Columbia and Willamette are amazing but tacking up and down gets old after awhile.
    4) Interior space to get out of weather. We have a short sailing season here and a cozy interior would help prolong it. A space I could sit up straight in and have a hot beverage without feeling like I'm in a coffin.
    5) bonus points for a place to steer the boat out of the weather.
    6) And here's the catch: minimal additional material costs. There are unavoidable costs like rigging, sails, and trailer down the road. But I'd rather avoid purchasing much (if any) more epoxy, wood, fiberglass, etc. Yes, even I'm rolling my eyes as I type this because ALL projects go over budget and there are always unexpected expenses. But those obstacles can be cursed at when I get to them, and would hopefully be down the road a bit.

    A couple designs that caught my eye recently were the Bear Bay and the 19.5 Pogy by Tad Williams. I've emailed him to see if he'd share the materials lists for the two boats. I'm bummed that John Harris never made his Pensativa available, but I enjoyed his write up. Christopher Cunningham's Hesperia is delightful, but I have a feeling it would require motoring to go upwind against a current (plus he's never shared plans).

    I'm not partial to any particular constructions method at this point, but as you'll see below, the materials I've accumulated potentially lend themselves to a stitch and glue ply or ply lapstrake build. I also like a broad variety of boat types, modern multihulls to classic monohulls.

    A general rundown of what materials I've got on hand:
    - 10-12 gallons of various epoxy resins and hardeners
    - 45 sq yards of 6oz fiberglass cloth (plain weave)
    - 85 sq yards of 4oz "
    - 10 sq yards of 2oz "
    - okoume marine plywood: 2 sheets of 12mm, 5 sheets 9mm, 16 sheets 6mm, 10 sheets 4mm, 3 sheets 3mm, and a couple sheets worth of offcuts of 1in fir, 6mm meranti, and 6mm and 4mm okoume
    -200bf of reclaimed purple heart (probably closer to half that after cleaning it up)
    -20bf of Alaskan Yellow Cedar
    -50bf of CVG Douglas Fir
    -60+bf of various mahoganies
    -60+bf of clear white pine
    -16bf of cvg Port Orford Cedar
    -114bf of cvg Sitka Spruce
    -10bf of spanish cedar
    -113bf of clear (mostly cvg) Western Red Cedar
    -aluminum mast sections of various lengths and conditions
    -some 316 stainless steel bar.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Something like this should fill the bill. Bolger's Chebacco with the big cabin. This one went all junk rig, but regardless it will have the sheltered room you want, be really quick to set up and sail (unstayed mast in tabernacle) and they are reputed to sail well.

    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Here's another variation on the design, which turns out to be a very flexible platform.

    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Thanks, Dave. That's certainly an interesting design! Unfortunately, it looks like the only way to get plans is by writing to a PO Box in Massachusetts that may or may not still be in use?

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    It's mostly 6mm you've got. One option to build a cabin monohull using that (other than a Bolger Micro) would be to consider radial chine plywood construction.

    Two designers Dudley Dix and Francois Vivier have radial chine boats.

    You've got most of the materials for a Didi Cruise Mini (need some more 9) though the mast would be spendy.

    If you look at Vivier's Pen Hir (a 25ft'er) construction pictures it gives you a sense of how you can construct a radial chine boat: it's sides are a double layer 6mm around the bilge n topsides.






    Other smaller 'round' bilge designs could be adapted and built 'radius chine' though, like say a small gaffer. Maybe his 20ft Meaban centerboarder for trailering built radial chine instead of strip plank would suit? I guess it's a question of the 6mm's bend radius.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-17-2022 at 07:56 AM.

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    A Turnpoint design Skate 15 is mostly 6mm. Will go well in light air with the genny. Lift keel. High aspect foils. Cuddy.







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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Karstan View Post
    Thanks, Dave. That's certainly an interesting design! Unfortunately, it looks like the only way to get plans is by writing to a PO Box in Massachusetts that may or may not still be in use?
    Someone here on the forum purchased Bolger plans from Susan Altenberger, (?? I'm terrible at remembering names) who handles the business now. But I don't know what address was used.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    His book 'Boats with an open mind' has the Chewy in it (3 versions) inc. offsets.

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    It's mostly 6mm you've got. One option to build a cabin monohull using that (other than a Bolger Micro) would be to consider radial chine plywood construction.

    Two designers Dudley Dix and Francois Vivier have radial chine boats.

    You've got most of the materials for a Didi Cruise Mini (need some more 9) though the mast would be spendy.

    If you look at Vivier's Pen Hir (a 25ft'er) construction pictures it gives you a sense of how you can construct a radial chine boat: it's sides are a double layer 6mm around the bilge n topsides.






    Other smaller 'round' bilge designs could be adapted and built 'radius chine' though, like say a small gaffer. Maybe his 20ft Meaban centerboarder for trailering built radial chine instead of strip plank would suit? I guess it's a question of the 6mm's bend radius.

    Thanks Edward, that's definitely some food for thought. I had heard of Dix's radius chine before but wasn't aware of how it worked. And I'll look into that Bolger book as well. Though if any other boats come to mind, please feel free to share!

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Much more experienced sailors than me on this forum, but were it me I'd very thoroughly research what design features make a sailboat point high, and go from there. I think in general, that usually means (as alluded to in above posts) high aspect sails and foils (keel) for maximum lift, and a low drag and low profile (low windage) hull. I'm guessing if you're serious about tacking your way up river you'll want to shop your design very carefully or you'll just end up sailing back and forth across the river instead of up it. Otoh, for comfortable PNW coastal cruising I'd want a different boat. Have you looked at some of the PNW designers like Tad Roberts?
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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    My brain is telling me that a B & B designs EC22 is mostly 4 and 6mm ply to keep it light enough to plane. Its skinned over bulkheads and stringers for supporr. Genny too. High aspect foil and easy to make alloy masts from two sections that gives you a more flexible tip. Thats won the Everglades challenge a few times i think. Might be worth asking for a materials list so you can see.



    My brain is also telling me Gilles Montaubin’s Lili 6.50 is mostly 6mm. Both have small cabin.



    With both of these two committing to internal structure reduces unsupported panel length so you can have a lighter skin.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-17-2022 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Karstan View Post

    1) Easily trailerable and launchable from a trailer. Max ~5000lbs including trailer. I have a truck and live 2 miles from a boat ramp (unfortunately Woods' other designs don't launch nearly as easily as those I mentioned above). I'd like to be able to launch it for an evening sail if the mood strikes, so no assembling of amas, etc.
    2) A sailboat that can sail upwind and tack well. I live in Portland, OR which is at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers. River sailing = lots of tacking upwind. (yes I know that catamarans aren't known for this. Woods' designs are better than most, but this was probably the biggest drawback to the Sango/Wizard for where I live). I'd rather sail than row, and would rather row than motor.
    3) Also something that can handle PNW coastal cruising in various weather, particular the light airs which predominate here in the summer. The Columbia and Willamette are amazing but tacking up and down gets old after awhile.
    4) Interior space to get out of weather. We have a short sailing season here and a cozy interior would help prolong it. A space I could sit up straight in and have a hot beverage without feeling like I'm in a coffin.
    5) bonus points for a place to steer the boat out of the weather.
    6) And here's the catch: minimal additional material costs. There are unavoidable costs like rigging, sails, and trailer down the road.
    A trailer boat that makes afternoon sails a pleasure; that calls for a free-standing mast. Standing rigging will eat into your time and desire.
    Going to weather in light wind can be done with a traditional free-standing four cornered sail if you pay attention to details. I have experience with balanced lug rigs and recommend them. They are simple and therefore inexpensive, a great bang for the buck.

    Whether you buy the sails or make them from Tyvek use the services of a pro that understands them. The pro may want to know the deflection of the spars as well as general boat details. Look at post #31 on this page. It illustrates an eye strap on the yard at the throat to isolate luff tension from the head tension.
    The foils reward care and attention. A NACA profile is best but can be a challenge. At least do a bullet nose profile on the leading edge and taper the trailing edge.
    These details are not expensive but make a big difference.
    You are describing two boats though. An achievable budget boat with good sailing performance and a comfortable cruiser that will cost more and not keep up. A textile bow dodger may be a solution.
    No standing headroom for you if you want a boat that will sail to windward. Sitting headroom on a bench will cost too. Inside steering station? That's what foulies are for.
    We are in the same area and I'm having an open 17' balanced lug boat built and have specified a small canvas bow dodger.
    Last edited by Autonomous; 01-17-2022 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Fixed brain fart. I meant free standing
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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    My brain is telling me that a B & B designs EC22 is mostly 4 and 6mm ply to keep it light enough to plane. Its skinned over bulkheads and stringers for supporr. Genny too. High aspect foil and easy to make alloy masts from two sections that gives you a more flexible tip. Thats won the Everglades challenge a few times i think. Might be worth asking for a materials list so you can see.



    My brain is also telling me Gilles Montaubin’s Lili 6.50 is mostly 6mm. Both have small cabin.



    With both of these two committing to internal structure reduces unsupported panel length so you can have a lighter skin.
    Thanks again, Edward! I came across the EC22 after falling down a rabbit-hole based on your earlier suggestions. I'm having trouble getting that site to fully load, but it certainly seems to have an impressive pedigree. I'll look further to see if I can find photos of the interior.

    The Lili 6.10 is a bit sparse on accommodations for what I'm looking for. But I see why you recommended it.

    For what it's worth, your prior recommendations also led me down a rabbit hold to Devlin Boats' Song Wren and Welsford's Penguin, both of which are now on my list. I also ordered that Bolger book from my LBS. Someone off-forum mentioned Bolger's Jessie Cooper and from what little I can find on it, it seems interesting.

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    A trailer boat that makes afternoon sails a pleasure; that calls for a deck stepped mast. Standing rigging will eat into your time and desire.
    Going to weather in light wind can be done with a traditional deck stepped four cornered sail if you pay attention to details. I have experience with balanced lug rigs and recommend them. They are simple and therefore inexpensive, a great bang for the buck.

    Whether you buy the sails or make them from Tyvek use the services of a pro that understands them. The pro may want to know the deflection of the spars as well as general boat details. Look at post #31 on this page. It illustrates an eye strap on the yard at the throat to isolate luff tension from the head tension.
    The foils reward care and attention. A NACA profile is best but can be a challenge. At least do a bullet nose profile on the leading edge and taper the trailing edge.
    These details are not expensive but make a big difference.
    You are describing two boats though. An achievable budget boat with good sailing performance and a comfortable cruiser that will cost more and not keep up. A textile bow dodger may be a solution.
    No standing headroom for you if you want a boat that will sail to windward. Sitting headroom on a bench will cost too. Inside steering station? That's what foulies are for.
    We are in the same area and I'm having an open 17' balanced lug boat built and have specified a small canvas bow dodger.
    Good points all, Autonomous. Thanks! Yeah, I do realize that there is some contradiction in my design wants. I realize I'm most likely going to have to compromise on them a bit. Sitting head room with a canvas dodger that can be removed for those light-wind summer months sounds like a good balance.

    I definitely haven't ruled out alternative rig. Though I think a well-set up bermuda/marconi rig can be trailer launched without too much hassle, a deck-stepped traditional rig can be even simpler (not to mention cheaper).

    I'd be interested to see that boat you're having built! Sounds like a great gunkholer.

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    The limiter is your pile of mainly 4 & 6mm ply. Certainly plenty of trailer sailers but they’re mostly 9 and 12.

    Kees Prins converted an Oughtred Fulmar to a small cabin boat. With internal bulkheads etc you could get away with 6mm skin probably, i’m guessing Iain specs 9 for a more open boat. Called Fetch. I think the added burden stopped her planing so easily, it will increase the hump and make progression less linear by adding weight.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...all-cabin-boat


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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    I'll echo the argument by Autonomous that an unstayed mast with a square sail of some sort can sail to weather just fine. I've tacked up narrow channels in my Autumn Leaves with its balanced lug main no problem. And not having to work jib sheets on every tack makes this kind of sailing a laid-back pleasure.

    If you really want a boat that can be set up and launched quickly and easily for a late afternoon sail, it really has to have a short mast in a tabernacle with yards, sails and lines all in place and ready to go. Get beyond that, and the effort and time involved in setting up and breaking down the boat will keep you from using it.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: A rather unusual conundrum: Materials in search of a boat

    Some great ideas here and, Karsten, you seem to have a good grasp of the field.
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    Just an update that I believe I have settled on a design. Bob Wise (purveyor of several blogs, including Boat Bits and Volkscruiser) was kind enough to offer several suggestions after I reached out to him. He mentioned that Michael Schacht was working on a new design for a pocket cruising scow and suggested I contact him. Michael generously got back to me rather quickly and shared a sneak preview of the design as it currently stands. As someone who loves weird little garveys and scows, I think it's brilliant. Picture a sort of squared off micro Mini, 18 feet in length.

    Since the design isn't done yet, I'm not sure how Michael would feel about me sharing it here so I'll hold off until it is (or he gives me the okay). I just thought I'd post an update for any who might be curious about where I had ended up.

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