Building The Vera Cruise

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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mrintense
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:56 pm

I am giving some thought to how I am going to make the laminated beans that make up the roof structure. The beams will need to be 1.5" by 1.5" with a 2" crown. Depending upon the initial thicknesses of the laminations this will likely be 6 to 8 pieces per beam assuming 3/16" to 1/4" thickness. I have my doubts about getting 1/4" to bend like that but I will do some experimenting.

But what I am currently wondering about is what woods I want to use. I would like the laminations to alternate between light and dark woods so half will be African Mahogany and the other half will be some lighter colored wood. Here's the question. Which lighter colored wood would be suitable for this given that it needs to be a similar composition to African Mahogany for strength (I guess??)

Cherry, Oak ??

I want to purchase the lumber soon so I can start on these while I'm off for the second week of July. The plan is to buy two slabs approximately 1.75" thick and 8-10 feet long and cut as many rough cut pieces off the edges lengthwise as I can. Then using the planer, plane them down to the final thickness (probably 3/16").

Thoughts??
Carl
a.k.a. Clipper

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

JimmY
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by JimmY » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:30 pm

Hi Carl,

What about cedar, like they use in strip canoes? It is light color, light weight, and it will bend. Most strip canoes are 1/4" thick strips, and they have no issues bending. I think the African Mahogany will bend as well at that thickness( I just checked on some scraps).

Also, you will probably have to laminate them with a higher crown and allow for some spring back. In fact it may be best to laminate one, wide piece and then rip your beams from it so they are all identical.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

Denon Osterman
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:35 pm

Hi Carl,

Boy, have I missed a lot. I don't envy the window decision - lots of great ideas but it seems like a compromise has to be made somewhere no matter what, which is never fun. Poly carb windows, even bigger ones like yours, are a LOT lighter than glass as I'm sure you know. I liked the idea of having them swing inwards but then they would be flush with the inside, not the outside, which I would prefer - but I understand you'd rather have them rest flush on the outside. Almost all of the cabin cruisers I've seen have the windows "set back" from the wood face, which I think looks really nice. So if space inside permits I would effectively reverse your suggestion, but such that the hinging, flushness, etc, is on the inside.

In terms of a lighter wood, on my boat I've used four woods almost exclusively -
-Mahagony of some form, which is actually a pretty light when stained...but great for structural members,
-Another kind of mahagony, which is much deeper / "more beautiful"...but not as great for structural members (floors, veneers that I then stained a very dark walnut)
-White ash, for the very light accent strips. This stuff is *hard* and stiff, compared to the mahogony, and has quite a few imperfections in it and a very different grain structure and patterning. But when ripped into thin veneers, I thought it accented things very nicely, and it's certainly the "lightest" wood
- Sitka spruce. Super strong, super light, they build masts out of the stuff. More of a light yellow than the ash, which was really almost white. sands more like the mahagony and almost seems to work easier, and lighter, but is still just as strong if not stronger from what I'm told. Expensive...but so were the others.

I do also use a lot of ceder in "non boat" wood working, but find (at least the red ceder I use) that while very lightweight, strong, weather resistance, etc that it's more of an orange colour than a lighter / brighter colour. If you'd like, I can slap some epoxy on all 5 (mahagony 1, mahagony 2, white ash, sitka, ceder) and take a comparison picture for you this weekend.

-Denon

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mrintense
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:08 am

Denon and Jimmy, thanks for the thoughtful and informative comments. I'll look into the various wood suggestions. I've known about Sitka spruce for a long time, but I am pretty sure that would have to be special ordered as ll we have here are gnarly little trees. Nothing like the beautiful forests that the northern half of North America has.

I'll experiment with thicker pieces Jimmy as I would prefer fewer laminations if possible. And thanks for the reminder of spring back. I am quite familiar with this in metal, but wasn't considering it. But I will now.

Denon, I am still not decided on the final disposition of the windows, but having them open inwards would be difficult as it looks like there will be very little clearance in the front. However, I spent some time looking over the plans, trying to determine just how the roof beams fit in and after I've done some additional head scratching and trial fitting, I may look at the inside opening windows again. One of the aspects of flush windows on the outside is the need to have a window surround to cover the gap around the window. I'll be looking at all of this before I make a final decision.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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chugalug
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by chugalug » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:43 am

On the old Chris-Craft,the cabin ceiling frames are rounded and battons fore and aft.there is a thin board attached to cabin sides and cut into frames
IMG_1159[1].JPG
I'm assuming the cabin top frames are cut from mahogany.the side windows are fixed -the front window bottom tips for'ward.
IMG_1162[1].JPG
:D
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mrintense
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:08 am

Thanks for posting the photos Tim, I think these will be useful as I determine how to make and mount the roof beams.


The last several days have been busy with work and home chores, but I did get the second cabin wall assembly shaped and sanded and it is now ready to install. However, There is a problem with the starboard carling which I've known about for quite some time, but was hoping was not going to be a problem. It had a twist and a bow in the forward end.

At first I thought I might be able to get around it by relieving some of the install side of the carling and the cabin wall. But this was before I realized how bad the bow was. After I placed the starboard cabin wall in position, I could plainly see that it curved on the forward end and was not straight from about 6 inches forward of frame 3 to frame 5.

I took the cabin wall down and started studying the carling. I determined that I needed to first separate the carling from frame 4 and 5 and remove the block attached to frame 5 that it was attached to. Then using various shims and a spreader, I tried various ways to straighten out the carling. I had a fallback plan to cut it forward of frame 3 and splice in a new piece, but I was hoping to avoid that.

Anyway, after awhile I got it fairly straight with just some minor bowing that won't be an issue. I had to glue in a spreader between the shear and the carling between frames 3 and 4, add a small spacer between the carling and frame 4, and shift the position and angle of the blocking holding the carling to frame 5.

So far I've glued in the spreader. Once that's set up, I can add the spacer and create new blocking for frame 5. Unfortunately, the veneered gusset on frame 5 was damaged and will need to be repaired. However, this was not the gusset with the wood inlay which I'm glad for. I think I can repair the veneer to where it won't look bad.

IMG_20190623_122443.jpg
The spreader here takes out a small bow between frames 3 and 4
IMG_20190623_122501.jpg
I'll need to add a shim between frame 4 and the carling
IMG_20190623_122511.jpg
The blocking at frame 5 had to be moved and the angle slightly changed. The veneer on the gusset has been damaged.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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DrBryanJ
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by DrBryanJ » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:36 am

Nice save Carl. The gusset doesn't look too bad to fix.
Bryan

Building a malahini "Mona Lisa"

My wife said "If I build a boat, she's getting a divorce."

Denon Osterman
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by Denon Osterman » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:11 pm

Hey Carl,

Makes sense on the trim if the windows are flush on the outside. I think it will end up looking amazing either way so nailing function is probably key at this stage.

Man, that sucks when you have to go back and fix stuff later on in a build. On the bright side now you know it's done right and it will make the end result that much better!

Cheers,

-Denon

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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:25 am

Thanks Bryan and Denon. It feels good knowing that nagging bit of a problem has been dealt with. I'll be doing the final fixes this afternoon. The veneer will have to wait until a bit longer so I can get some more material and match it up to the existing material.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Hercdrvr
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by Hercdrvr » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:58 am

It’s a journey of solutions, isn’t it fun?
Matt B

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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:59 am

Hercdrvr wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:58 am
It’s a journey of solutions, isn’t it fun? Matt B

Yes it is. Prefer the solutions happen the first time around though!! :lol: :lol:
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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mrintense
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by mrintense » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:04 pm

One of the defining characteristics of my boat build, throughout the last nearly 7 years, has been that it was a bigger boat than the average. Standing in the open hull three years ago, it look cavernous. But I recognized even then that the lengthy cabin of the original design, and the motorwell would leave very little room in the aft cabin for moving around. This is why I decided to shorten the cabin length by 18 inches and re-do the interior layout differently from the plans.

When I recently finished the aft cabin floor pieces and under structure and then laid the floor in temporarily, it looked like I would have lots of space and that my decision to shorten the length of the cabin was the right choice.

Tonight, I was looking at fuel tanks, trying to determine which one to buy. I took some measurements from one choice and went out to the boat to see if it would fit. While out there, I decided to set the helm station mock up I made several months ago, back into position. Also, using one of the interior cabinets as a stand in for the fuel tank, I placed it where I was planning on mounting the fuel tank. The plan has been for some time to hide the fuel tank underneath a cabinet with a small built in ice chest on top (big enough to keep drinks cold).

So I was standing there, in the boat, and then imagined the motorwell bulkhead in place, a bench seat forward of that and a seat at the helm station and I realized that all that free space was evaporating!!! :? :?

What happened to my basketball court?????

It is now very apparent to me that more mocking up of the aft cabin interior space is going to be called for. Although I am not expecting yacht sized areas to come out of this, I do want to do what I can to maximize the remaining space available. So everything aft of the cabin is up for consideration.

That includes the design of the motorwell, the design and placement of the helm, the fuel tank size and placement, and the bench seat.

I blame the small garage!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by Bill Edmundson » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:17 pm

Carl

Yes!!! That space goes away FAST! :lol:

Bill
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footer
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by footer » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:16 am

I'm all about space too. Too much stuff makes me claustrophobic.

Denon Osterman
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Re: Building The Vera Cruise

Post by Denon Osterman » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:08 am

Carl,

I know the pain. When I set about building a "bigger" boat I figured the rampage, stretched to 20 feet, would suit my needs. I knew it was very low profile so I raised it 4" to still look sleek but not make it seem like I'm driving a clown car. When the flip came around and I decided to space out where the deck ends and the cabin begins I knew I wanted to have two full bench seats and the engine in the "cabin", so moved the deck forward almost a foot.

Boy, does that space disappear *fast* - my rear bench is now more like something you'd find in a high end sports car that's only good for groceries and a set of clubs! And I'm lucky I'm not any taller or I would have had to move the front bench back even further. I think it strikes a nice balance of "fitting everything" while not being crammed in so tight you can't work with anything...but if I had to do it all over again I might start with a kingpin and lengthen it to 23.

I have no doubt you'll figure it all out, and to me designing the layout is actually one of the most fun parts of the build! If your floor isn't locked in place yet you could consider hiding a low profile belly tank down underneath it? Then it frees up some more space for helm / bench / motorwell, etc.

-Denon

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