Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

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mrintense
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Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by mrintense »

Okay, so I am actively trying to determine which design of power boat I want to build. I'm leaning heavily towards the 21 foot Vera Cruise. Here is my dilemma. The boat is 21 foot overall length and so is my garage (there's about 3 inches to spare). I am already resigned to the fact that when I get to building the cabin, it will have to be move to a different location as the garage opening isn't tall enough either. But a good portion of the build could be done in the garage except for the length issue. So my question is this. When building the boat initially (frames ,battens, planking etc) which end of the boat requires more work and more room to access.

My thinking is that I can open the garage door to get plenty of access to one end but the other end will be very close to the back wall. My instinct tells me that the transom should be at the garage door and the bow near the back wall. My concern is the room needed when I am planking. I haven't finalized a decision on this yet but I am leaning towards cold molding the planking rather than plywood sheeting.

The weather is is warm 9 months out of the year so working with the garage door open is no problem. Renting a place to build this boat is a non starter right now, although it will be practical in a year or two (the earliest I expect to be working on the cabin). Looking over the available designs, I really would like to build the 21 footer, so looking for possible solutions at this point.

BTW, extending the garage is not an option either :lol:

Carl
Carl

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BruceDow
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by BruceDow »

Hi Mr. Intense...

I built at 19 foot boat in a 20 foot garage.

I shortened the design slightly. so that I could squeeze around either bow or stern without opening the door.

I built with the transom to the door.

I built a movable building form so that I could move the hull back and forth, and side to side, depending on where I needed to work.

Much of the work was done "doors open".

Good Luck.
Bruce.

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mrintense
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by mrintense »

Bruce,

Thanks for the response. I have been considering a movable frame, but was concerned about keeping it still when doing some of the heavy twisting, etc (processes that will tend to move the form around). It looks from the photos of your form that you used locking casters. Were these adequate to keep the form from moving around?

An idea I had was to create some strategically placed holes in the floor that I could slide a steel rod into (through the frame) when I wanted to keep it still.

Loved the pictures of your build. Those are very inspiring and its great to see what others have done to get through challenges.
Carl

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DaveLott
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by DaveLott »

Carl - I don't see an issue with the locking casters. Yes, there are times when you will be applying torque to the frames particularly when installing battens, chines and sheers.

However, here is word to the wise. When you install these but sure to install both sides simultaneously on the high torque areas. This does two things. I removes the stress on the frame from the bends causing the frame to twist and secondly it takes the stress off your floor mounts. Believe me when you start bending an oak batten at the bow, you will be applying some torque. My answer to this was that I extended bar clamps thru the frame and pulled the sheer, chine or batten in from both sides together. It kept my frame straight.

I would point the stern to the door. My boat is slightly under 21 and my garage is 23. I had my stern to the back wall and fixed my mounts to the floor. Working in 18" in the stern was tight work. Now be careful. You will have to roll your boat out of the garage by hand in order to turn it around. I did not have that choice. For those who have been to my shop would attest that for me to move anything out of my garage not hooked to some very large and heavy object (ie truck) immediately launch it 400 feet down hill into the lake.
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BruceDow
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by BruceDow »

Dave brings up a good point... part of your "stern in/stern out" decision is that you need to get a trailer under the boat at some point.

I recall one builder that did not have the space to turn his boat end-for-end to get it on the trailer.

As for the casters..... I agree with what Dave said. For extreme bending, you are clamping or winching the piece onto the boat itself, so that does not tend to move the frame around. On the few occasions where I wanted he form to stay put, and the locks weren't doing it, I just used some small wedges as wheel chocks. They did the trick for me.
Bruce.

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jprice
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by jprice »

I don't know how wide your garage is, or how much space you have "reserved" for tools/machinery, but you could try putting your building form diagonally. If your garage is square, you'd have almost 30' on the diagonal.
Try creating a paper or cardboard template of the plan view of the boat and move it around your garage to see what you can make work.

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mrintense
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by mrintense »

I looked at the diagonal option as well. The layout of my garage precludes that. But I've been doing some additional investigation and it looks like the locking casters and movable form are going to do fine. If I mount them away from the transom end of the form I can roll it out enough to provide clearance on the bow. And looking over Bruce's pictures I can see that having the ability to turn the form will provide any lateral room that I might need.

As for moving the boat out, turning it over, and getting it on the trailer, I believe that I will be able to manage that . My driveway is inclined down from the house but there is an alley there and enough room to do any work in the alley. It might be a bit tough to get it back up the incline and into the garage but I'll tackle that problem when I get to it.

The height issue is going to be a problem when building the cabin but I believe I can deck the boat in the garage. I saw how Bruce kept his boat on a dolly once it was turned and I think I will use that same approach. I am going to do some looking around this week to see what my options for remote building might be when getting to the cabin.

Thanks again for the responses.
Carl

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by Bill Edmundson »

Carl

I'm working on a similar boat. It's 24' but a double ender. My basement door is 7'-0" high. After the turn I'm putting it on a low cart 1" off the floor. When I take it out I'll have 1" above and 1" below. I'll have to build the upper windshield then take it off to get out of the basement. I hope to have 5'-9" in the cabin.

Hope I measure right :!:

Bill
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scottinwv
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by scottinwv »

Would it be possible to leave the garage door open and build a temporary 3 or 4 foot addition to your garage with OSB and framing lumber covered with heavy plastic?

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Lowka53
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by Lowka53 »

:lol: if its possible for him to or for somebody else to build with extending garage with temporary shelter. it can be done there are boats that have been built to completion under temporary shelters. the question is if he wants to :roll: :wink: :lol:
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mrintense
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by mrintense »

A temporary shelter is out of the question. My HOA would never allow that. But the castered form will work. I think I can manage with that
Carl

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ttownshaw
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by ttownshaw »

You can have a mobile platform on casters with temporary anchor points to tie it to the floor...just thinking out loud here.
Bill

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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by Lowka53 »

mrintense wrote:A temporary shelter is out of the question. My HOA would never allow that. But the castered form will work. I think I can manage with that
:? :evil: the HOA strikes again what ever happened to it my property and I'll do what I want on it. :( heck with everybody else :lol: 8)
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by scottinwv »

If using a moving platform to build on, any uneven places in the floor can cause the platform to distort. Be sure to level and brace the platform before fastening/epoxying any pieces. I leveled and screwed temporary legs to my platform so the boat would stay straight. Once the epoxy cured, unscrewed the legs and pushed it back into the garage.

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mrintense
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Re: Building a 21 foot boat in a 21 foot garage

Post by mrintense »

scottinwv wrote:If using a moving platform to build on, any uneven places in the floor can cause the platform to distort. Be sure to level and brace the platform before fastening/epoxying any pieces. I leveled and screwed temporary legs to my platform so the boat would stay straight. Once the epoxy cured, unscrewed the legs and pushed it back into the garage.
Definitely good advice Scott. One of the things I will be constantly doing is insuring the boat is level and true. The "Building With Plywood" book specifically mentions building with the form attached to the floor but I am going to have to make some allowances for the limited space I have available. More trouble perhaps but it makes an otherwise impossible situation, possible.

Perhaps I can mount some boards at the corners and in the center of the form using oval cutouts and bolts that I can then adjust up and down as needed. I will have to check my garage floor to see how much of a problem this is going to be.
Carl

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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