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  #21  
Old 10-25-2011
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Thanks Paulo. I really don't think about it much anymore. I did what I did because it was the only thing I knew how to do that would give me a living. I hope to continue to do it until I drop.

Years ago after picking my dear son Spike up from school he said, "When I grow up I want a job like yours." I said, "Oh, you want to be a yacht designer?" He said, "No. I want a job I like." Spike finally did get a job he loved working at the forge.
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
The only affordable way is epoxy saturated plywood. Many boats are made that way
I made a stitch and glue dinghy this way, and am going to make another this winter. I like the idea of building a big boat with stitch and glue plywood, but, I just don't like the way they look. I would also have to be convinced about impact resistance, etc.
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I will try to explain where I am coming from. Roughly ten years ago the marine insurance industry sponsored a report testing older hulls. According to the preamble of that report, there had been a consistent number of claims where the damage was in excess of what would have been expected from the impacts involved.

The testing in that report took actual panels out of older boats and examined them in a number of ways. They physically examined the layups. They looked at their strength compared to what their calculated strength should have been and compared them to panels that were laid up for the tests with a similar laminate schedule. There was also chemical testing and laminate to resin ratio testing. They also looked at standard boat building practices of the 1960's and 1970's.

The report concluded that a number of building trends were typical within the industry. The report indicated that the resins of the day were less ductile and so more prone to fatique. That the industry tended to use much higher concentrations of accelerators. The concluded that the way the glass fibers were made made them more brittle and the way the cloth were typically handled at the builders tended to snap individual fibers. The report indicated that resin mixes were not carefully formulated and so varied widely from lay up to lay up within the same section of hull. The report concluded that there was less care in laminating to assure proper resin to fiber ratios. The report indicated that there was a tendancy to use a larger amount of non-directional fabrics (mat or shopped glass, but mostly mat) as thickening method. That boats of that era lacked internal framing which tended to cause greater flexing and higher stress concentrations than the boats which followed. That this greater flexure and lack of ductility resulted in a greater reduction on strength due to fatigue and fiber break down due to work hardening.

When the historic panels were tested they were shown to produce far less strength and stiffness than would have been expected either by calculation and by comparason to the newer test panels fabricated for calibration purposes. The broad conclusion was that the strength of these older hulls were seen as being less reliable.

There is also that myth that these older boats were built stronger than modern boats because the builders did not know how strong fiberglass really was. In talking to pioneers of that era and reading the documents that existed at the time, these early designers knew precisely how strong fiberglass was. The US government and Owings Corning had published all kinds of data that had been developed during WWII. For example, guys like Carl Alberg was designing composite structure for the Military at the time that the Pearson cousins brought him back to yacht design.

In reality, the thicker hulls of the era reflected the known problems of the day achieving uniform strength levels in large laminate structures and the large amount of flexure typical of monocoque or near monocoque fiberglass structures which was typical in early glass boats. The insurance report suggests that these boats were not over-built when viewed over their entire service life.

In my own experience, when I worked in boatyards, it was not all that unusual to cut a hole for a thru-hull of some kind and discover lenses of either resin which was not fully catalyzed, resin rich pockets or resin starved mixtures. But more to the point, over the years I have seen cases where an older boat bounced off a dock once to often sheering the hull just below the deck line. I have seen cases were there are large, deep cracks (20-25% of the laminate depth) radiating out of higher stress areas.

So while these boats still exist, and are probably fine for coastal cruising, my point in saying "built at a time when glass work was just not all that good", is that I seriously question whether over time the older boats will make a good reliable choice for the day in and day out rigours of distance cruising.

Respectfully,
Jeff
Good info Jeff. There were certainly large variances in the quality of the layups in older boats like mine (1967 A35). I have seen pictures of other restorations and have looked at other boats of the same vintage that have obviously shoddy hand layup work. I have no doubt that modern resins, hull reinforcing techniques, and things like vacuum bagging have improved the overall quality of glass work. Having drilled into my hull for a number of reasons including hitting a rock at 6 knots and knocking off a chunk of the keel, installing many pieces of new hardware, and moving my chainplates outboard, I can say that there is no less than 1/2" of solid, void-free glass anywhere. At the keel, there is around 2" of mostly heavy roving. I know this because I had to feather out a Loooong way to repair the rock incident. The only flaw I can see is the spider crazing because they had not yet figured out how to match the expansion of gelcoat to underlying glass. Just one of many of these boats but I feel like this particular one is built very solidly. When I lean on the hull of a modern boat and it deflects with little effort, I have to question the safety of so thin a layup.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
I made a stitch and glue dinghy this way, and am going to make another this winter. I like the idea of building a big boat with stitch and glue plywood, but, I just don't like the way they look. I would also have to be convinced about impact resistance, etc.
About that you can certainly be convinced. RM are made that way and they are globe trotters. I don't now if you like modern boat aesthetics but a well designed plywood boat can be a looker. I remember that I did not like boats with chines then Lucas made a 40 class plywood boat that I remember to find "strange", it had chines.

The boat was a winner and it took no time that the fiberglass boats had chines too. Today they look well and normal in a fast boat and don't look strange anymore.

Look at these boats designed by Lucas in plywood:

mini cp lucas

I am not saying you to make a race boat, just showing you that they look good and are easy to build.

Regarding a fast performance cruising boat that I find beautiful, look at the Mistral:

architecte naval nantes loire atlantique plan voilier competition croisiere bateau moteur servitude 44

Réalisations - Designs Compétition

Lucas says that the building can be made by an amateur.

There are several NA, especially French that offer plans for fast cruising boats in plywood and normally they are small fast sailboats.

Regards

Paulo
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2011
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I built a pram/dinghy last year from stitch/glue using 1/4" ply as a core. It came out ok. My concern with any major project using this technique is that no matter how nice it comes out, you still have a hull with a wood core, prone to rot in the future and a sopping wet core. Using sheets of some rot-free material like foam would seem to be a better idea and in fact, I plan to build a nesting dink using 1/2" polyisocyanurate sheet goods as a core. This will lower the weight greatly, provide floatation and be rot-free. Closed cell foam also resists water retention. Another thought would be to use thin glass sheet material.
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Old 10-27-2011
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I like comfort on my boats, both below and topside! I like to be able to:

strentch out in the cockpit
walk along the deck without kicking something and breaking my toe
boom high enough that every tack/gybe isn't life threating
good water and sun protection
a berth that one can get in and out of without being a gymmist (sometimes the person on the inside needs to get up and pee at night)
a shower that all of your body fits into at the same time
doesn't look like a cave or wooden cabin inside
is dry!
has a sail plan that is easy to handle even if that is less than hull speed because I don't really want to have to hang on all the time
A boat that doesn't have a bunch of wood that I have to be a slave to
has a fold down swin platform at the helm because I don't want to have to crawl over the rail and step ont a little tiny step

I could go on, but as you can tell I like modern boats. There's a reason modern boat design replaced "classic" design, it's because that is what people want and like. Just because I feel a "classic" design is pretty, doesn't mean I would want to sail it!

Last edited by Don0190; 10-27-2011 at 07:24 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-27-2011
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I'm on my 3rd year of sailing now, on my 2nd boat. Unfortunately, I still don't have enough knowledge to really answer this question. My appreciation of boats is largely limited to their aesthetics and their known statistics. I can't look at a sail plan, a keel profile or a hull shape and interpret how that boat will perform, like a naval architecht can.

I can tell you I don't really like extremes. I can appreciate a pure, racing machine, but I wouldn't like to own one. I can appreciate a pure, blue-water cruiser with all of it's comforts and durability, but I wouldn't like to own one.

I like "performance" cruisers- Boats that can make a fast delivery, race at least casually, and that are still durable and have some comforts. I like fiberglass boats, but I like them to have some wood to give them warmth, even at the cost of maintenance that wood requires.

For my speed and fun itch, I have a Hobie 16, and I'm very interested in F-series (Corsair) trimarans. I'd love to crew on one, but again, I don't think I want to own one.

I purchased my Coronado 25 in total ignorance. My only criteria was a size and weight that I could handle alone, and that it be tough and cheap. It was all that, but nothing else.

Armed with a little more knowledge, and a more refined sense of what I want in a boat, I bought my Pearson 30 and I am absolutely in love. It is everything I want-

Tough
Simple
Much smoother in a chop
Faster
Higher pointing ability
A little wood trim for warmth and character
Galley
Enclosed head and V-berth
Ample storage
Smart cabin layout
Still small enough to keep maintenance costs affordable
Still small enough to singlehand comfortably and safely
Standing headroom
Tiller steering

I don't see me getting tired of her for a long, long time.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
...

Tough
Simple
Much smoother in a chop
Faster
Higher pointing ability
A little wood trim for warmth and character
Galley
Enclosed head and V-berth
Ample storage
Smart cabin layout
Still small enough to keep maintenance costs affordable
Still small enough to singlehand comfortably and safely
Standing headroom
Tiller steering

...
Whit the exception of the tiller (some would prefer a wheel) I guess that is what most of us want in a boat. Some would add a comfortable and good looking interior but that is pretty much that.

Of course, for most of us that would mean completely different boats

What is fast for some, would be slow for others and so on. I guess that not even in what regards standing headroom we would have agreement (there are guys much more taller than others)

Regards

Paulo
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2011
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I would agree with paulo as to standing headroom, spouse is 5'2", I'm 6', she has true standing head room in our boat, I need to tweek my neck to stand in some area's. My sons at 5'16" tweak there necks everywhere. A friend of mine at 5'23", I think would be on his knees in my boat! His islander 40 is close to having full headroom! Probably equal to me in my boat.

Otherwise, Bubbleheads list is pretty good in a general sense. Speed would be another that varies for the individual.

Marty
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2011
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The boat must be a delight to sail - responsive & balanced tiller.

Smaller is generally better

For a cruiser prefer solid Laminate in hull construction. there are so many quality questions with cored hulls, even to this day.
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