2 plansThere are several ways To go once you have decided to builda boat. you can build from scratch using plans from one of the many sourcesavailable nowadays, buy a boat kit, or buy full-size paper patterns for hullparts. refer to a current boating magazine or use online search for plans. The boat of your dreams may be a simple rowboat, a boat for both rowingand sailing, a daysailer or cruiser, a power craft for waterskiing or fishingor both; or you may set your sights higher, and be satisfied only by a largerpowerboat for cruising. whatever the type and size, take your time selectingplans. remember, it takes only a second to decide to build your own boat,but it might take years to complete it. There is a wealth of plans for plywood composite construction methodssuch as the stitch-and-tape method, sometimes called stitch-and-glue ortaped-seam. This method is discussed in Chapter 11. some designers offerfull-size patterns for the hull parts to be made from flat sheets; othersfurnish thoroughly dimensioned scale drawings for the parts. lofting, discussed at length in Chapter 7, is the process of drawing hulllines full size, working from the designer’s scale drawing. Much, if not all, ofthis work is eliminated when building a hull by the stitch-and-tape method,but such hulls are limited to the shapes that can be formed from flat panels. There are also designs available for a number of other construction tech-niques including lapstrake plywood, strip construction, and traditional 15
16 Boatbuilding Manual wooden construction, as well as for other methods and materials covered by this book. regardless of their source, try to determine whether the plans that interest you are sufficiently detailed for you to completely understand the vessel’s construction. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that good plans are well worth their price, because their cost is but a fraction of the total cost of the boat. The cost of the plans might be considered as insurance that the fin- ished boat will be a success. when designers do not draw the profusion of details that the novice builder would like to have, this book should be very helpful in filling in some of the missing information. I would warn you against making changes in the hull lines, heights of superstructures, or locations of major weights. such procedures can result in unsatisfactory performance at the least, or even downright reduction of seaworthiness. Consult the designer before making any major changes, and if he advises against them, you will be better off using plans that will give you what you want without departing from the drawings. ExamplEs of plans I am using plans I drew over the years as examples of adequately detailed drawings. The Rudder magazine, which unfortunately disappeared many years ago, was once known far and wide for its down-to-earth practical content and “how-to-build” small craft plans. I was fortunate enough to be selected to do a number of these. In fact, in 1950 The Rudder collectedFigure 2-1. Plans for this Herreshoff descendant, the Somes Sound 12½, by Brooks Boats Designs, run to 16 large sheets. (Brooks Boats Designs)
plans 17a series of my monthly boatbuilding articles and published them as SmallBoat Construction, which was actually the first edition of this book. Themajority of the illustrations from that first edition, drawn in 1949–1950,still appear in the edition of Boatbuilding Manual you are reading now.when it comes to building wooden boats, the old expression really is true:The more things change, the more they stay the same. Figures 2-2, 2-3, and 2-4 are plans for a 19-foot arc-bottom daysailer Idid in 1948 for The Rudder to the general specifications of the magazine’seditor. I named this boat “Triton” (a name I do not think had been used fora class of boats at that time). over the years I have heard good things aboutthe design from as far away as england (where the builder obtained theframing lumber from an obsolete British army truck), Brazil, and Cuba, justprior to the Castro revolution. Figures 2-5, 2-6, and 2-7 are for a 1984 design for an 187" inboard-powered launch I christened Barbara Anne. respectively, the figures area combination outboard profile and arrangement plan; the lines plan; andthe construction plan. a separate written specification for the various partson the construction plan is keyed to the circled numbers to avoid clutteringup the drawing any further. running to three or four dense pages of scant-lings and hardware, the specifications should of course be included in theplans package you purchase for a boat. over the last several years there has been a proliferation of small designfirms focused on the amateur boatbuilding market. The tendency has been forthese designers to develop and refine their plans packages to make them muchmore understandable and user-friendly than they were years ago, even to thepoint of providing fairly detailed written step-by-step instructions. Take sometime to identify and compare some of these designers, and remember that thequality of the plans and the support available from the designer may end upbeing as important to you as the size, construction type, and general configu-ration of the boat itself. lots of them have websites nowadays, and those whodo not may be happy to talk to you on the telephone. If they don’t have time foryou before you become a customer, they probably won’t later on! The plans package for a somes sound 121 ⁄2, a plywood lapstrake design byBrooks Boats Designs, for example, includes seventeen plan sheets, a thirty-two-page specifications manual, and twenty-seven pages of lists as well as sevenfull-size pattern sheets covering dozens of individual parts. Brooks, like manycontemporary designers, has free study plans available online. Figures 2-8, 2-9,and 2-10 show details from the full-size pattern sheets for this boat. another approach to plywood boatbuilding that has gained consider-able prominence over the last few decades is the stitch-and-glue method, (continued on page 28)
18 Boatbuilding ManualFigures 2-2, 2-3, 2-4. These plans were drawn by the author as part of The Rudder’s “How-to-Build” series and appeared in the February 1948 issue of that publication. Large-scale blueprints were offered by The Rudder for use by home builders. The arc-bottomed form makes this a relatively simple boat to build. (The Rudder, reprinted with permission)
Figure 2-8. plans Forward sections, web frames, and mast bulkhead—full size in the original—for the glued-lapstrake Somes Sound 12½ design from Brooks Boats Designs. (Brooks Boats Designs) 23
24 Boatbuilding ManualFigure 2-9. Details of the stem profile, forefoot filler, and deck stringer from the full-size plan sheets for the Brooks Boats Designs Somes Sound 12½. (Brooks Boats Designs)
28 Boatbuilding Manual described in greater detail in Chapter 11. sam Devlin is a west Coast designer who has refined and developed this method and has even written a book on it. his plans, or study plans, for the 22-foot powerboat he calls the surfscoter can be purchased at his website, devlinboat.com. Figures 2-11 and 2-12 show a few details from those plans demonstrating the attention he gives to the specifics of construction and the needs of the amateur boatbuilder. plans for Boats Carrying passEngErs for HirE every year there is a great number of boats built to carry six or more fare-paying passengers, whether it be for sightseeing, dinner and dancing, or, more likely, fishing. If you are contemplating building such a craft, you should be aware that, in the interest of safety, the construction and equipment of passenger- carrying boats are regulated by the U.s. Coast guard. The regulations are not unduly strict, but you should not start construction without at least obtaining approval of the hull construction. The routine is fairly simple if you take the time to consult with the closest office of the U.s. Coast guard. In general, an application is made for the inspection of the boat, specifying the service, the route, and the number of passengers to be carried. If there is a complete set of plans, it should be submitted; otherwise, if construction is to be started quickly, general arrangement drawings are necessary and also details of the hull construction. The Coast guard has a book of regulations that spells out the design and equipment requirements and lists the plans that must be sub- mitted for approval. They no longer offer the book for free, but they can tell you the location of a government bookstore that stocks the publication. The regulations are also available online. you will find a great deal of guidance at the Coast guard’s website. vessel construction and inspection information can be found at the “Passenger vessel safety Program” page. rEstoration restoring old wooden boats and even early fiberglass boats has gained con- siderable popularity. This is easy to understand since many of the older designs have more appeal than the look-alike plans turned out today. Much restoration is done by amateurs, but a good many professional shops are kept busy catering to those who prefer the older, sometimes classic boats, both sail and power, and can afford to have others do the restoration. an amateur planning to restore a boat that has caught his eye should be wary of one that has deteriorated beyond his ability to repair it, or one that will require too much time and money—even if money is not important, an excessive amount of time can destroy his enthusiasm before the job has been completed.
plans 29Figure 2-11. Detail from Sam Devlin’s plans for the Surfscoter 22 showing connection between hull and keel/stem. (Sam Devlin)
30Figure 2-12. This detail from the General Details sheet of the Surfscoter 22 plans might help the first-time builder evade a major pitfall of stitch-and-glue construction. (Sam Devlin) Boatbuilding Manual
plans 31hardly a month goes by in which a boating magazine does not carry a classifiedad reading “1945 classic mahogany runabout, partially restored. . . .” In any event, the situation is not unlike choosing plans from which tobuild your dream boat—first be absolutely certain the design is exactlywhat you want, and then, if you are not personally capable of making anaccurate judgment of the boat’s condition, hire a surveyor for the job. anddon’t use just any surveyor: get one that is unquestionably familiar withthe type of construction employed in the craft being considered. BOATS BuiLT FROm PLAnS AnD KiTS Building a boat from readily available plans is one tried-and-true approach. Shown here are several boats for which plans and/or a kit is available. An elegant line drawing of the Coquina, a traditional plank-on-frame interpretation of a classic Herreshoff design available from D. N. Hylan & Associates. (Doug Hylan) (continued)
32 Boatbuilding Manual Over the years, thousands of junior racers For modest ambitions, here is a trailerable have trained on the Blue Jay, a 14-footer 25-footer, a Roberts design. designed in 1947 by the venerable design (Bruce Roberts)firm of Sparkman and Stephens. (Sparkman and Stephens) The Paper Jet is a hot little number—on a reasonable scale—from Dudley Dix. This Dix 43, built in aluminum, is shown at (Billy Black) anchor in Antarctica. (Franz Joho)
plans 33 This interpretation of the traditional Nova Scotia Tancook Whaler was designed by George Stadel and built by Bill Rogers of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This photograph was taken before the internal ballast was installed. (Bill Rogers)The Surfscoter 26 is typical of the wide range Thousands of builder/sailors have livedof boat plans using the stitch-and-glue method the tropical dreams on the innovative available from Devlin Design Boatbuilders. catamarans of James Wharram. This is his (Sam Devlin) Tiki model. (James Wharram)
34 Boatbuilding Manual BuiLDinG SeA KniGHT Glen-L sells a variety of plans and other materials to support home boatbuilding. Bill White purchased Glen-L’s plans for Sea Knight, set up his shop, started build- ing, and launched the boat sixteen months later. (Photos and captions courtesy Bill White.) 1. 2. Building the form. The framing is white oak; holes were drilled on the frame uprights before assembly. 3. 4. The plywood for the hull was scarphed on Polyurethane enamel was applied over the floor into 18-foot lengths and installed resin-based epoxy primer. No antifouling as single sections. No fiberglass was used on paint was needed. the boat.
plans 355. 6.Once the hull was turned upright, epoxy Building the cabin.was applied to the bilge. From this pointon in the construction process, attention was paid to the placement of fixed weight to achieve proper fore/aft and port/starboard balance. 7. 8. The cabin was built, and a flexible White polyurethane enamel was applied to texture finish was applied to all exterior the topsides. surfaces above the bumper rail. 9. Sea Knight after launching.