Re: Frameless steel construction
Sounds like the op has been reading the internet and buying the hype, alot like me until fairly recently... for example, google "balanced lug rig" and you will see a hundred web pages extolling its virtues. Mostly old guys in pd racers on small midwestern lakes btw... I actually built a boat that utilized the rig, everything done on the cheap as the OP is saying, home depot blocks, homemade rope traveller, etc, and it SUCKED....
If you're gonna build a metal boat, do it right and build it in aluminum. A slow, heavy, tender rusty boat with home made blocks will get old fast, and will not be as sturdy as you think. A metal boat takes a loooooong time to build. The steel will have to be sand blasted in order to paint it properly (latex housepaint won't work here though it might on other types of hulls) not to mention the difficulty in transporting materials.
The absolute easiest, cheapest and quickest way to build a boat is undoubtedly chined plywood, ie stitch and glue. A very strong hull can be built in a minimum amount of time with no special materials or skills. If sheathed in fiberglass such boats can be "work boat" finished, and will still be weight competetive if built carefully.
But as many have stated here, and as I have found out personally from experience (and I am approaching this at the same viewpoiunt as the op just a few years down the road from him), nothing is simpler and faster than buying a used hull and fitting it out. You can glass up the hull/deck joint, add stringers and bulkheads, and a few crash compartments, and the boat will be almost as sturdy and crash resistant as a metal boat. Rip out the interior and add whatever you want. If you want a pilothouse plenty of people have added them to existing boats, the quality of finish will depend on you.
OP if sooooooo many people are telling you it makes little sense to build a steel 36 footer yourself at this time and in this market, and it is coming from peopl who have "been there, done that", there may be a reason for this...
but if you must, make sure you voice your opinions on boatdesign.net forums, and do some searches there. Great home and prof builder's forums there
Last edited by peterchech; 09-24-2012 at 11:27 AM.