Turn it over to the professionals?

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  • 16 Jun 2018 00:28
    Reply # 6315706 on 6290195


    I think the last phrase in my comment is possibly the most important. Do not run out of steam!! It is not good for the soul and definitely no good for the project.

    I have seen so many boats abandoned because the owner/builder ran out of steam. Set a target that you know you can achieve, then better it if you still have steam left over. Often the achievement of the lower target will renew the steam level and allow the builder to then achieve a better level of finish. If the boat is finished to a minimal level to start with, then sailed for a few years, energy levels and enthusiasm can renew and better levels of finish can then be incorporated into the boat.

    If you feel that you are starting to run out of enthusiasm for the project, this is probably the time to consider employing professional help. If the boat is able to be used you have an asset. If it is not usable you have a liability.

    All the best in your new building project, David.

  • 15 Jun 2018 22:09
    Reply # 6315498 on 6314086
    David Webb wrote:

    The main thing is to make the boat strong and watertight, then finish it to a standard that you are happy with and will allow you to get sailing before you run out of steam and abandon the project.


    Well said David! I would add another priority which would perhaps come before appearance, and that would be robust electrical and mechanical systems. For me that means keep everything simple. For example, unless the vessel can carry large quantities of water, stick to manual water pumps. Although a good manual pump may not necessarily cost a lot less than an electric pump these days, it is ultimately going to be a lot more reliable, and use no electricity which means that the electrical system can in turn be more simple. 
  • 15 Jun 2018 10:44
    Reply # 6314086 on 6290195

    I have built three boats from scratch and carried out major rebuilds on five other boats. I have always had a a priority list for working on a boat.

     First. Strong. You can always pump if it leaks but you can not get anywhere if she falls apart!

     Second. Watertight. Leaks are uncomfortable and annoying and detract from the pleasure of sailing. They also lead to rot in a wooden boat and rust in a steel boat.

    Third. Appearance or finish. This depends on several factors, patience of the owner/builder, pocketbook, personal preference. If you are happy with a workboat finish that is fine by me, it is your boat after all. If you want a luxury yacht finish that is fine as well, you are the one who is going to have to pay for it in the first place, both in time and money, and then for its upkeep. Resale value will reflect the level of finish but has no effect on the enjoyment that you may get from the vessel. In my opinion there is no "correct" finish for a boat it is a matter of the owner/builder's personal preference. 

    The main thing is to make the boat strong and watertight, then finish it to a standard that you are happy with and will allow you to get sailing before you run out of steam and abandon the project.


  • 14 Jun 2018 13:21
    Reply # 6311607 on 6290195

    To add to the 'horses for courses' idea, a friend of mine recently launched a forty foot boat that had been 17 years in the fitting out (from treated steel hull).  He bought the hull at age forty with retirement in mind, and spent a month each summer with the tarpaulin shed removed doing serious work on the boat, with a collection of friends and family helping him out.  For the rest of the year, the boat was covered and he would only potter about with things - particularly the stunningly beautiful teak work - when he had time and was in the mood.

    For him, it was as much about the process as anything else and he is in equal parts disappointed and elated to have the boat on the water.

  • 14 Jun 2018 12:48
    Reply # 6311474 on 6295550
    Gary Pick wrote:
    David Thatcher wrote:

    So, having spent half the day sanding and finishing off all twelve bulkheads for my new catamaran here is my Boat Building Tip of the Day;

    DON'T DO IT - Buy a ready built boat!

    Tip #2, and Memo to myself:

    Don't be lazy and use left over glue mix to fill screw holes. It is too hard to sand off, use proper filler mix.

    Add microballons to the mix and it will be easier to sand.:)

    I was sanding the hull of my building-project-in-progress yesterday and couldn't help remembering this comment and in particular tip #2, David. I also use left over glue to fill screw holes etc. I just thicken it up a bit so it won't sag. No doubt it's harder to sand than a microballoons thickened mix (I use microfibres in glue), but I don't find it too difficult as long as I've done a good enough job of the actual filling - ie. getting it pretty flush.
  • 14 Jun 2018 07:03
    Reply # 6311160 on 6310922
    Annie Hill wrote:
    It's horses for courses.  There is no more 'the right finish' for a voyaging yacht than there is 'the right material' for a voyaging yacht. 

    Well, it's all about the look one likes, versus the time taken to achieve the look, versus one's priorities. I was very recently on an almost new Hanse yacht, and being a fan of modern interiors and architecture I actually liked the interior of the yacht very much and could happily live with it. But I very strongly suspect the 'wood' was not wood at all but some kind of plastic, and in twenty years time will not be looking anything like as good as what Footprints does now with her very real 'wood' interior finish. But it was a production boat built for a mass market, and did in fact sail very very well. Additionally my nephew and his wife had just completed a circumnavigation of New Zealand's North Island in the yacht which is a commendable feat. But the money involved, just thinking about it makes my bank account shrivel up and hide in a corner!
    Last modified: 14 Jun 2018 07:47 | Anonymous member
  • 14 Jun 2018 05:09
    Reply # 6311092 on 6308584
    Oscar Fröberg wrote:

    Does this mean that you will be selling Footprints? 

    Yes, My plan at this stage is to sell her next year once we have had our summer sailing.
  • 14 Jun 2018 01:27
    Reply # 6310922 on 6305110
    David Tyler wrote:

    I agree, David, absolutely. Lots of glossy varnished joinery is strictly for selling a boat at a Boat Show, and shouldn't be attempted on a boat intended for voyaging. Plain plywood, epoxy coated before it goes in; easily sanded epoxy filler to make good; high build epoxy primer that can be sanded flat; two coats of satin finish off white paint applied by 4in gloss roller: that's a voyaging finish. Add a minimal amount of varnished trim and make doors of  canvas with zippers or canvas fasteners, and you'll be voyaging a lot sooner, even if a pro is doing some of the work for you.

    David, this is how Tystie was finished; you took this boat a-voyaging; therefore this is how a voyaging boat should be finished.  This is a complete syllogism.  A preference for varnish inside or out, does not indicate lack of backbone, moral turpitude or an effete, dilettante attitude towards 'serious' sailing.  It indicates ... a preference for varnish.  Badger, Curlew and Wanderer III all had plenty of varnish on them; Sunstone has a varnished hull.  Far from being boats that are fit only to be shown at boat shows, all four have been owned by CCA Blue Water Medallists and have racked up an impressive number of sea miles between them.

    Moreover, paint-over-epoxy requires more fairing, sanding and number of overcoats than varnish-over-epoxy.  It has taken me a lot of self-discipline to paint out the lockers in order that it will be easy to find things in them and keep them clean: it would be a lot easier just to put on a couple of coats of varnish.

    We have debated the various reasons for getting a boat finished faster.  However, for some people, the joy of living with a certain type of finish once the boat is sailing, outweighs the joy of getting sailing sooner and then wishing that more time had been spent on finishing the boat.

    It's horses for courses.  There is no more 'the right finish' for a voyaging yacht than there is 'the right material' for a voyaging yacht. 

  • 13 Jun 2018 16:37
    Reply # 6308584 on 6291274
    David Thatcher wrote:

    So, at age 65 I have just started building another boat. But I hope I have made an intelligent choice in what I am building. It is a six meter sailing catamaran, very light weight, but with comfortable, for the size, accommodation, and hopefully an easily achievable build, but the project is also balanced by the fact I have a boat I can sail on while doing the build, and I have other things going on, including working 4 ten hour days in a job I enjoy, but that leaves me 3 days free each week. 

    Does this mean that you will be selling Footprints? 

  • 13 Jun 2018 07:00
    Reply # 6307902 on 6290195

    I should add a further comment about quality of both interior and exterior finish, that Annie is producing some very fine detail and craftsmanship, (craftwomanship??) on her Siblim. I expect though that she is getting a good degree of satisfaction and enjoyment from this work. But the difference is that she is working full time on the boat, not trying to fit into into a regular working life where up to 40 hours or more a week are devoted to 'the boss'. And she is not having to pay someone else to produce this high quality work. From what I saw of the Siblim project a couple of months ago it is going to be one fine boat.

    A suggestion regarding time saving construction is the way I have done improvements to our yacht Footprints. I have installed a complete head compartment, and a number of storage lockers to the galley, and changes to the nav-station, and rebuilt the forward cabin. I had to match the varnished interior of the boat, and the trim used. To the casual observer it all fits in with the original high quality interior, but it is actually all 'quick and dirty' type boat building. All this was done while the boat was on the mooring. Everything was prefabricated and finished in the workshop. Any gluing on individual components was done with water resistant PVA glue, which is actually stronger than epoxy. Nothing is glued into the boat, it is all screwed in place with hidden screws. Where there was a need to seal against water, (such as the vanity top), components were bedded down with a good quality sealant. I do not recommend doing a lot of work while the boat is in the water because it does involve quite a lot of to and fro doing a trial fit of components before final finishing, but finishing complete units in the week shop before installation also is a type of time saving.

    Last modified: 14 Jun 2018 05:12 | Anonymous member
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