Under the trees in the village of Windward the rum-sodden boat builders of Carriacou carve out frames, and hew planks, and throw together boats using the tools and the methods employed by their ancestors – plus a few new tricks that they have picked up from the yachting industry. No sooner had we set foot on the sand than we were welcomed into the village; and no sooner had our interest been made known than we had a self-appointed guide who offered to take us to visit every boat and every builder (and every bar) in Windward. Carriacou boats are designed in the old-fashioned manner: by eye, and without recourse to a tape measure.
Once the skeleton of the boat has been constructed it is then decked over – because, as our friend pointed out, this keeps out the rain! The deck-sloops are planked with cheap Guyanese mahogany which is fastened onto the frames using silicone bronze nails.
Whereas the majority of the planks are as straight as the ones making up the sides of a wooden box, the planks at the turn of the bilge are massively tapered, meaning that the end grain is exposed and the unpainted construction is given a rather awkward look; or so it seemed to me.
Besides making racing boats the Kayak shipwrights also build small plywood runabouts, which skim over the waves, and big high-sided motor vessels which carry cargo between the islands. The first boat which Mem took us to see was no more than a shapely framework and, as such, she had no name. Unfortunately, Bernard’s latest project had not yet reached that tricky stage where the planks descending the hull and forming the topsides must meet the ones rising up from the keel, and so we were unable to study the way in which the master tackled this aspect of the construction. A: For a 28-footer it costs around ?40,000, including all of the materials and the labour but not including the rig. Summerwind‘s only ballast consisted of big stones, and Nick has happy memories of being put to work in the hold, shifting them up to the weather side after every tack. Jill started sailing at the age of three weeks and spent her formative years messing about in racing dinghies in Chichester Harbour. Jill has written a handful of books and has many more in the pipeline, but her true vocation is as an artist.
This is the story of the good ship Mollymawk, and of how she was built, and where, and why. Packed full of advice about such things as ocean-worthy design and sail plans, it will also tell you how to operate a cutting torch, how to avoid a leaky stern-gland, how to pour your own rigging sockets, how to handle a ferocious gander, how to sandblast, how to weld in mid-Atlantic, how to amuse three young children in a cabin space the size of a phone booth… and much, much more besides. Copious illustrations and photographs ensure that even the most complicated piece of engineering can be understood by all, and Jill’s observations and anecdotes, combined with the cartoons scattered here and there ensure that the account never gets too heavy. Please note that the writings, photographs, and entire content of this website are subject to copyright.
Actually, you have one great advantage that we, so blissfully ignorant about metalwork and boatbuilding as we were at the start, only wish we had at the time. If you can, get the plates for the boat hull you intend to build CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled; sometimes called simply NC) pre-cut. Higher elasticity than steel, yielding strength (at which it deforms permanently) about 35,000 psi, and about 45,000 psi to tear it apart.
Higher elasticity than steel (it takes nearly 20% stronger impact to bend out of shape), but about 25% lower breaking strength.
Because of its lightness, beamier aluminum boats with shallow draft tend to pitch and roll more than steel ones. Very solid strength and flexibility that prevents easy denting (see aluminum marine grades 5xxx and 6xxx for details). Except for the more expensive welding gear required (see "disadvantages" below), only very basic wood-working tools are sufficient.
Take the Platypus example: As you can verify on the pictures, the boat looks absolutely great as is.
Whatever is your choice of material for the hull of your boat, aluminum or steel, you will require specific tools. Originally Posted by Wynand N There is one building method I complete forgot about in post #1 and believe it or not, actually the FASTED way to get a hull in shape. Gerd wrote highly informative and fun to read book, (free download), about the method - design process and building. Originally Posted by Magwas Give me any developable shape in any format that freeship can import, and I produce an origami layout from it.
I believe you missing the point - you are bend on origami and if that is the case, rather pursue that in the origami thread. But, if you had cared to read the link Apex had given, you will notice that Micheal Kastens - well respected steel boat designer and builder of long standing, is very specific about the limitations of shape in this method and explained why.
Developable shapes are not necessary origami friendly and most of the time need heavy plate forming equipment to shape these developable surfaces.
If you want to pursue the origami method, perhaps it is best to post that in the origami thread as we have been there, done that and have badges.
However, if you care to count the posts on origami already posted here compared to other boats, and all but BS (in drag) from you, perhaps you would understand the tone of members remarks towards you, including myself. I appreciate your moderating effort, but I would like to ask you to use the same measure towards everyone. Originally Posted by Wynand N I believe you missing the point - you are bend on origami and if that is the case, rather pursue that in the origami thread.
Originally Posted by Wynand N If you want to pursue the origami method, perhaps it is best to post that in the origami thread as we have been there, done that and have badges.
I understand your attitude towards Brent (I do not elaborate here on why both sides fail to understand each other), but I don't think it should be a reason to dismiss the method he happens to use. Some folks insist their method (the one they are selling) is the only one worth bothering with. Location: Iceland Another angle Here is something that I have been thinking about that I think has a bearing on this subject. From my own experience I would say about 5-10% depending on the process and shape of the hull, to be clear I'm not counting the time spent on rolling plates for round bilge. Based on my observation I would therefor deduce that which ever method is used any time saved or spent is not going to have a major impact on the total build time or budget. Originally Posted by magwas And to be honest I am glad that I could drive him to silence.
As I have already pointed out, Kastens was not aware of certain facts about origami design. But one has to understand the limitations and drawbacks, which all the pro?s here do understand easily, but you don?t.
Originally Posted by magwas Also the question of mechanical strength and frames is not entirely relevant when we are talking about origami. To make such a comment simply highlights how little you actually know what is required to design a boat, safely and with confidence. No professional NA would engage is such nonsense, suggesting mechanical strength is not relevant when designing ANY type of vessel.
To establish whether your pure suppositions are supported by any evidence you need to either provide proof, or just ask those professionals that do this for a living so you can gauge if what you are saying is nonsense or has merit. A stance of ?I think my views must be right and carry weight?, based upon personal suppositions and no real evidence or otherwise, shall elicit replies that you have already received.
This thread is about exploring and understanding, for those that do not and have no experience in such real issues on a daily basis. Originally Posted by rugludallur Here is something that I have been thinking about that I think has a bearing on this subject.
With the understanding that plating-then-frames would be quicker than frames-then-plating, couldn't one design a female mould in such a manner that one could pull plates into shape, using comealongs, hydraulic rams & saddles (supported by the mould verticals, etc., to shape the hull bottom plates, then hull side plates? Aircraft design was once the same-when they were covered with fabric and dope, and native canoes covered in animal skins. Note monocoque car design, modern aircraft design etc where the outer skin is a structural part. BUT, as soon as you preload plating, by 'forcing' or 'pushing' or 'restraining' it into position, prior to welding, you introduce residual stresses, if still in the elastic range of the properties.


Thus, ones preferred method boils down to the attitude and hence professionalism of the person regardless of whether one is an amateur or a professional. Originally Posted by Robbo This isnt a comment on Bretts designs, I dont know anything about them-but how many have been built and how have any of them sunk (out of curiousity?) How many Hunters lost their keels when that was an issue with a certain vintage and how many sank?
Well the question of cost, as other's have pointed out isn't really about how the method in which the hull is built, the cost of materials is directly related to weight so if one boat is lighter than another it will have cheaper materials no? I didn't mean to be aggressive I am just trying to direct your energies into something that is more productive than it has been in the past threads.
Originally Posted by pdwiley OK, the plate thickness comment was aimed at the flat plate pulled together technique that Brent uses.
I've seen a 34' VDS built here in 4mm using the female mould technique so no problems there. The single chine frame-first design I'm building is going together nicely and I'm happy with it.
Point is, you need to consider what materials you can get at what price as well as the design if you're building on a budget. PDW If you can find a source of sand and build yourself a sandblasting pot the cost of blasting the steel on the ground shouldn't really be much, the priming has to be done anyway, best do it outside rather than inside the boat after it all closed in, it's a dirty job and you can't really see what you're doing, especially with sand since it's tends to float in the air, I used the black grit and it dropped a bit faster than sand but still hard to do. Originally Posted by waterdrop To me it seems that the origami method is the best suited for this but that there are a few flaws, pointed out by you folks, so I'll ask again, since we're trying to be constructive here, what would be necessary to fix these flaws?
The general consensus on this forum is that the origami method needs to have much more internal framing than what Brent claims is necessary.
No doubt Brent and others have used these types of boats and put miles and miles under their keels. The other threads went pear shaped because Brent made a lot of claims that just wouldn't hold water. For your own safety, go back and read the entire thread and just retain the important information. Originally Posted by waterdrop Sorry, if I didn't word that very well I meant, the calculations between the buckling potential between a pre stressed angle iron welded to the hull vs a compression loaded, It doesn't seem to me like it would make that much of a difference, and therefore seems counter intuitive that a piece already bent into a shape would resist force better than one that wants to stay straight and therefore is already pushing back.
Again, read the whole thread and try to get the information from it and leave the fighting behind. Here are some examples of a boat with floating frames, that does not touch the hull plating except in high load areas suck as keel, mast and rudder and is NOT made from angle iron.
A good prepared, epoxy coated steel boat is the easiest to maintain, compared with all other common materials, except Al.
I have no experience pricing out boats of the size you build, so I don't know those numbers.
The upper range of our toys can come down below 10% when pools, heli hangars etc are part of the game. Generally speaking, it costs approximately the same amount to build a piece of junk as it costs to build a perfect yacht (assuming no labor costs).
You will always be able to find a better used boat (for your budget) than making a new one, if they exist (none existed in my personal case). A used boat may be a better option, but a lot of boats aren't designed with that kind of budget in mind and will end up costing lots in repairs and upkeep. Here's the thing, I do not have the piles of money that would be required to have a boat professionally built, have never done it before so the framing first than plating isn't really even an option. If you don't have the ability to weld a boat to one method, you don't have the ability to weld to any method. I would love it if all you self titled professionals would stop arguing and put you heads together and come up with some fixes to these apparent flaws, You say you're professionals and experts so let's see some evidence of this. They are considerably stronger if they were sprung and then welded rather than being welded flat then bent with the plate. The standoff transverses would be the easiest method for a bent up flat sheet origami, when adding the transverses.
If a chined hull has straight runs in cross section then it can be transversely framed easily after the plating is pulled together, then you start with some widely spaced frames to give support for the shape and add the rest when the hull is completed. In my view that's a much better way than having shape derived from highly residual stressed plates. The strongest method will be longitudinally framed over widely spaced transverses and that's best built frame first, for a welld esigned chined hull the plate goes on quickly and easily if it's all well designed. If you have a seaworthy boat, you can always add fancier cabinetry and couches and all that other stuff later and start calling it a yacht. But if your boat is tragically undersized the only thing you can do is sell and start building new.
Mark I know of boats that had a very crude and minimal fitouts and cheap motors and junk yard equipment that were cruised that way for a few years until they had the cash to do it properly.
One of them had a fantastic fitout of the main part of the interior done in Indonesia for less than $20k after 3 years of extensive cruising with crappy plywood bunks temporary cabin soles and plastic water containers as water tanks etc. I've met ather boat ( 45 feet) that never had more than the cabin soles put in and everything was in that one big cavity, he lived alone and cruised the Pacific extensively working as a cook and even a caretaker for a year or two at Palmyra atoll. To be precise, Maamari was lying in English Harbour, and in the absolute poll position at the head of the harbour; fifty-odd yards from the dockyard and fifty from the Slipway. Eddie just happened to be the owner of a rather special boat called Summerwind; and thus it was through his work at Slipway that Nick came to be one of the crew aboard a genuine West Indian deck-sloop. Instead it is to be found in one of the smallest villages, in one of the smallest islands – and it is to be found on a beach, under a tree. Rumour has it that the forefathers of the present-day builders learnt the art of producing fast boats, rather than long-lived ones, because that was what was wanted: a design, and a boat, which could out-run the customs and excise cutter.
According to Paul Johnson (himself a boat designer and builder, of course) this timber is good only when it is cut at exactly the right time of year. As a rule, boats are planked from the keel upwards, the pieces of wood being carefully tapered on one side so that they adopt the required shape. Like the double-enders these high-powered machines are ballasted only by a centreboard and by their acrobatic crew.
The runabouts are a new thing, inspired by the sighting of an imported speedboat, but the cargo vessels are as old as the village. When ready for the sea they are carefully lowered down onto their starboard bilge and dragged over the sand on logs. Around here, boats are not named until they hit the water and receive a baptism of Jack Iron. She was first launched a year or two ago and was very successful, but she is now being made longer and much wider. With a name like Compton this fellow can certainly claim to have Scottish blood running in his veins, and his skills also seem to confirm the idea of kinship with those first Carriacou boat builders:  Bernard is renown as the number one Master Shipbuilder in Carriacou.
Noting that the new boats make use of modern materials he wondered whether the builders have also moved on to modern methods of keeping the sloops upright – and this proved to be the case. She made her first blue-water passage at the age of 18 but it was to be a further ten years before she was shanghaied by the skipper and started her career as an ocean-going hobo.
It is a DIY instruction manual, a travelogue, and – at times – a comic tragedy, all rolled into one. One simply could not know less about boatbuilding and working with metal than we did at the beginning. We very successfully built our Platypus, one of the finest boats in its class that you have ever seen. Also, beamier flat-bottomed designs may benefit from the extra weight, as the heavier hull would generally pitch and roll less.
Aluminum actually oxidizes quickly, but the process stops at the surface, as the outer layer of "rust" protects the inside.
Due to the extra weight, wide flat-bottomed hulls in steel will exhibit a more seakindly behavior with less pitch and roll than the same hulls in aluminum.


The type of the hull design and the intended use of the boat are strong factors in the selection of the material for the hull. It is one of the most important decisions to make at the start of your boatbuilding project (or before you buy a boat). These hulls are pulled into a sort of conical bow and stern section and midships has a piece of steel cut out to help the steel forming. However I am yet to encounter a real-world boat shape which needs much more effort than the amount needed for the usual origami builds. However let's try to stick to measureable quantities: the length of cuts and welds are necessarily less with an origami build than with the same boat built chined.
He may be well respected, but this lack of information have driven him to false conclusion.
Yet you continue as if you have the ?right? as if this statement is an absolute and must be listened too and debated further. When I put my fishboats together, it was the mechanical, electrical, interior fittings - which were very basic - that took so much time to complete. Good in their day but maybe time to move on Id guess it was an "older" designer? But they weight difference in a 36' steel boat designs can't be that much regardless of frames or no frames, it's the labour which is the large variable in a hull right? I'm just asking about ways to build a steel boat, fast cheap and with little skill, experience or equipment.
I've chosen to only build with primed steel so I can avoid blasting inside & out at the finish.
I find it especially surprising that there would be a large difference in strength between these two methods.
So far the hull deck and hardware on it (which is all kinda one piece so i'm including it in the price of the boat) is a pretty large share of the cost of a boat.
I've welded just enough to know that I don't have the skills necessary to put something like that together in a timely manner and come out of it with a fare hull (certainly not without using fairing compound). Build your cheesy boat any ******* way you like and you can spend hours of time talking about it on the origami site.
And the fruit of this tradition is a classic boat which outsails the competition and wins every regatta throughout the Windward Islands.
After the keel has been laid, and the boat has therefore become something more than a rum-shop boast or a smoker’s-dream, the village celebrates the event.
The Kayak (Carriacou) boat builders choose their own trees, fell them themselves, and arrange their haulage down to the shore. Nowadays the decks, and the low cabin tops, are built from very cheap, poor-quality plywood which is nailed to the deck beams and sealed all over with epoxy. Indeed, we have come across plenty of boats, both on our travels and in the motherland, which were built using nothing better than galvanised nails. Here in Carriacou work begins at the deck, instead of the keel, and the planks are all of uniform width. They seemed to us to be unique to Carriacou and the Grenadines, and we were struck by the fact that they are completely different from the traditional racing boats in the more northerly islands.
In fact, it was the need for cargo boats which caused a Scottish land-owner, in the 19th century, to call in a team of Scottish boat builders; and it is from these boat builders that the current practitioners claim descent. Her frames have been cut, half-way up, and new pieces have been scarfed in to take up the new shape. Not satisfied with this fact, the young man plans to take her up-island to Antigua and, having wiped-up again, to sell her; then he will be able to build another, even faster boat. Bernard’s latest boat will be fitted with an external keel made of lead and weighing one ton. His method and application of origami technique is truly fantastic and a joy to look at, compared to some creations from BC. All they are doing is ignoring the caveats which come as major baggage when constructing in such a way.
What I am saying is that a designer shouldn't wait until one of their designs sink before they make improvements.
I like the idea of this system but until there's engineering data on what framing needs ot be added after the hull is pulled together I won't build one. I bought a 120 cfm air compressor so I can do some of my own blasting but I still prefer to farm it out.
The only ones' who keep screwing up threads by, re-directing them to Brent's monstrosities, are Brent and his flock. The buoys purporting to mark the channel often drift from their allotted stations, and the post which is supposed to mark the end of the inner reef has now fallen over… In short, entrance to Windward is not a thing which should be attempted in poor lighting conditions, when the sun is low or keeps ducking in and out behind the clouds, because in poor light the coral is invisible. When the planking reaches the turn of the bilge the men start work from the other end – at the keel. Some are so beautifully fair that I at first mistook them for fibreglass boats, built in a mould. There will also be a certain amount of loose ballast, but again, this will consist of lead pigs rather than rocks, pigs being less inclined to roll around. I do think that discussing building methods don't have to be done in the tone which is in the origami thread. Forming, for complex curvature, can only be achieved, by plastically forming (or deforming) the metal over a die (as you mentioned) or similar. WAGES rather than my own time of which I have lots and don't mind spending but would rather spend efficiently since to go sailing IS the goal here. You just need to think outside the box a bit and scrounge stuff out, it really does work, i did it. Most of the frames are grown (which is to say that they are cut from one piece of wood which was especially chosen for its appropriate shape) but we noticed that in each boat a few of the frames were made from timbers which had been scarfed together. Where the upper and the lower planking meets they must then be bodged together; or at any rate, that was how the matter appeared to my untrained eyes. The double-enders are 16ft long and are fitted with a very unusual, very high-aspect sprits’l rig.
Seemingly, just as each town around the coast of the British Isles evolved its own type of fishing boat, so too, in the days when there was little communication between the Caribbean islands, each one developed its own little racing dinghy. The West Indians do much the same thing to their houses, building a new, bigger one outside the old, and so I suppose it would not occur to them to consider this style of boat building unusual. The boat will also carry sandbags, which can be emptied after the weather mark has been fetched and they have become redundant. This is why I do not post there, and I try hard not to be carried away from factual statements. Sandblasting if you do it yourself will be quite cheap I did mine for 850 and 500 of that was the black copper slag, if I had used free sand for the whole thing it would have been even cheaper. The scarfs (or joins) were short (ie they had a only a short overlap) and they were doubled (or reinforced) with pieces of plywood nailed and glued onto one side. Everybody is nice here and your rambling against the names of the members is not very nice nor constructive Quote: or is this one of those manly_********ing_sessions where you are all just patting each other one the back for reiterating what has already been said. But, wouldn't the discussion of a specific designer's work be better discussed on another thread?



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