Care and craftsmanship and Brent are not bedfellows. For Brent to comment on aesthetics is a joke.
When you look closely at Brent's boat building you quickly see he's not at all interested in quality or longevity, only speed of construction. In the process he hacks a hull together with the poorest quality you will ever see from a boat builder. His detailing is abysmal and his welding is shocking which is why he’s so fast.
A good impartial comment from an intelligent observer ( Another Tom not the same one who found Brent cabin tops deficient in my last post )) is worth reading. It's a response to viewing the promotional origami video where Brent puts Alex’s boat together. This video sent what are best described as shock waves through the steel boat building community as Brent hacks the boat together with no symmetry and ill fitting parts and the worst welding you will ever witness. This puts it quite succinctly:
What struck me the most was the incredible lack of care and craftsmanship Brent showed in building Alex’s hull and the utter illogicality of it. It was stunning. I mean, he’s been hired to build someone’s dream boat, presumably because they don’t have the knowledge and experience to do it themselves which means they’re putting their faith in his abilities. He’s the “professional“ in this equation and his customers are hanging their hopes and dreams on him. In this case he was hired to build ON VIDEO; there’s $10k worth of material sitting on the ground… and he set about butchering it in a slapdash fashion that would get him fired from any jobsite in the world. I was amazed. I wouldn’t put together a barnyard gate without grinding the torch cut edges but Brent apparently builds entire hulls that way. It’s incredibly bad practice and there’s absolutely no reason for it. Brent, your “cost of labour" excuse doesn't fly because if money was an issue you could have simply had Alex grind the plate edges himself and call you when he was done, it would’ve taken a day; but of course you didn’t and he didn’t know any better. Your “6011 burns through slag” excuse is baloney, yeah it does but the likelihood of slag inclusions is far greater than with clean edges and since below the waterline welds are pretty damn critical what on earth is wrong with doing the safest, soundest job possible? Are you seriously going to argue that spending an extra day grinding is going to “cost someone their cruising dreams”? What a tired meme.
When you drew the plate shapes it looks like you mostly eyeballed it with with a batten which explains why the edges didn’t match up when you pulled them together to create the half-hulls, and why you had to cut an oblong piece out on each side to get the edges to match up. Assuming your drawings are accurate Alex could have lofted the plate shapes himself and done a perfect job of it but he apparently didn’t know any better and you’re on video telling him it’s totally normal, nothing to worry about. Who knows what that did to the lines of that boat compared to “as designed”, again assuming your drawings are accurate.
When you joined the half-hulls you apparently didn’t join them at the same relative point at the stem because once the centerline was welded up one half-hull had a noticeable overhang at the stern which you simply cut off. You also had to warp the bow over to one side with a come-a-long to get the stem to match up. In your book you write “If the plate for one side of the hull matches perfectly the plate for the other side of the hull – and they all attach to one another at the same relative points, it’s geometrically impossible for the hull to be anything but symmetrical” Well, by the same principle that hull is permanently warped, for no good reason. How much effort would it have been to take a piece of string and measure down each half-hull at the stem and scribe an accurate mark for joining them? Apparently too much. I’m running out of adjectives to describe how bad your work is here but suffice it to say; if I had welded a truck body that was 2” out of square when I was working that job I’d have had to fix it. If I’d tried to argue that it didn’t matter because it’s “just a truck box” I would have been fired and rightly so. You only get away with this appalling standard of work because you prey on people who don’t know any better.
That brings me to the worst part of this whole thing. Throughout the whole video you can feel Alex’s enthusiasm about getting his boat built and thinking he’s getting a good deal. I feel sorry for him because he seems like a nice guy who deserved a lot better. It’s sad that he’s tied his name to your “work”. You’re constantly going around accusing people of taking advantage of other people’s ignorance to make a buck but it is you who does this very thing constantly! It’s your entire business model! Your economics are provably false. What sound money saving advice you give (building your own deck hardware, used engines, etc.) is hardly exclusive to origami building. Your wacky class warfare narrative is illogical and I think it’s only an excuse to feed your messiah complex. I feel bad for anyone who has fallen under your spell, I would have if I wasn’t lucky enough to have some fabrication background. It was the video that gave me pause, I couldn’t trust someone who did work like that, I wasn’t even aware of the structural issues until I started reading these threads. Like most people who read your book I have no engineering background at all so your structural approach sounded logical. But even I can easily follow the thought experiments that the professionals on here have posted (thank you!) and see where you are in error; which makes your profound incuriosity all the more troubling. And it’s all so senseless because none of the people who know are saying origami in itself is a bad idea but you’re wedded to your narrative and apparently determined to stay out there on your branch; sawing away…
reproduced from: Origami steel yacht construction - Page 24 - Boat Design Forums
I posted some stills of his fit-up and welding here:
Origami steel yacht construction - Page 18 - Boat Design Forums
The current owner of that boat is extremely happy with her, and will be building my boats for others from now on. He has just done another 36. You can measure that boat any way you please, and you wont find anything out of line. For joining the two halves,we measured along the stem on each side, and made a mark at the same distance along the curve , from the point of the stem on each side. Then we began pulling the two halves together by first matching up the marks. An optical illusion in the photo made them look different lengths, but double checking the distance of the marks from the stem showed them to be exactly equal. When we pulled the last of the stem together,they matched up perfectly. If one were shorter than the other, there is no way you could compress 3/16th plate on end, yet that is exactly what my half wit critics claimed I did. That they claimed that I made the edge of a 3/16th plate shorter, by forcing it, demonstrates how incredibly dense my critics and their supporters were. Take two plates if different lengths, welded together at one end. How do you make them of equal length? By forcing one to be shorter? That is what Mike is claiming I did! The comments on that site clearly demonstrate that they have absolutely zero metal working experience , nor common sense, nor understanding of sheet material
When the plates are cut out, the slag ends up on the bottom, far easier to grind after the hull has been pulled up and they are off the ground, which is exactly what we did. With the plate on the ground, the only way to grind the part under the plate is to flip it over with a crane , at great expense, to get at a part which will be easy to access once the hull has been pulled together. Squandering money on that kind of foolishness is what makes a boat super expensive and time consuming, stupidity you assume I am dense enough to waste clients time and money on, when you question my building times.
Slag can be easily scrapped off, far more easily that grinding. If you take a big piece of half inch plate with a sheered end, and slide it along the plate until it hits the slag, it neatly sheers the slag off , instantly, far quicker and easier than grinding. If when you cut a piece of steel with a cutting torch, if you slant the torch slightly away from the piece you are keeping, and towards the one which will become scrap, the slag all blows over onto the scrap. I was vehemently attacked for giving these pointers on BD.net, as they automatically attacked every word |I said there.
When I suggested that a hull can be faired from inside, by forcing hollows out with a jack on a telescoping pole with a piece of flatbar , and suggested that when anything is permanently buried in foam, it doesn't matter what it looks like, they attacked me for suggesting that the inside is not as important as avoiding the need for filler outside.
One of my harshest critics Wynand Nortje, claimed that all cuts MUST be ground , on that site ,then on metalboatbuilding.org , he stated that a clean cut needs NO grinding. On BD ,net he said longitudinals should be left free floating in the frames until the plate welding was finished ( the right way to avoid distortion). Then on Metalboatbuilding .org , and his own site, he said they should be fully welded in before plating and plate welding, a huge mistake.He was the only one there with any serious metal boat building experience. Another, Pete Wiley , was building his first metal boat ever , and became an " instant expert " claiming to know more about metal boat building than some one who has built dozens of them over decades, just like the "experts" here.
The patterns we used on Alex's boat have been used since the 80s on dozens of highly successful boats, with no problems whatever.
I once did a hull at BCIT, with the students . I looked around and saw a huge amount of equipment. Rolls , plasma cutters, plate sheers, overhead lifts etc etc. I thought "In three weeks we should be able to get all the steel work done, including detail." Not a chance! We could have, had we been able to keep all the teachers out .As it was we only go the hull toigether, something we could have easily done in two days had the instructors not been there. A student would come in at 9am and spend the entire day trying to get one longitudinal perfectly spaced , within a millimeter, which is a total waste of time. I take a couple of minutes per longitudinal. Later ,I asked the owner, an electronics instructor there, if he got any more work done there. He said "No Way, not worth the politics ,its far easier for me to do it at home, and not get it screwed up."
Showing a detail unfinished is deliberately deceitful . Fools and children must never be allowed to see a work of art incomplete. Check out some of the uphand welds on BC ferries , a chicken can **** straighter in a gale. The welders there have every qualification you can imagine.
Amazon yachts had beautiful welds ,on one side only, and most of the welds ground off, flush. Id rather have strong weld, less pretty, but thoroughly done I see no point in pretty, permanently hidden under foam.There only strong counts. There is no clack of strength in the weld shown ,just no cruising time wasted on hidden pretty, which are the kind of things which turn a boat into a ten year project.
More to come.