Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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gbostard
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Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby gbostard » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:15 am

Hi All,

Just got the plans in for the Nor'wester. I'm a first time builder who has spent more time than I care to admit admiring projects on this thread, following conversations, and just learning as much as I can in general. I've been considering many different boats to build over the years, but a realistic observation about where I'll be when the boat is complete, what I'd like to use it for, and who I'll be using it with (my wife and young children) as well as where I'll be using it geographically, has me settled on on the Nor'wester. That and it looks pretty awesome. I'm excited to finally get started with it. With that said I have a few preliminary questions before I start the frames -

1. Plans call for vertical grain DF, spruce, or mahogany. I'm leaning toward the DF - I've seen a few builders on here who have built similar size boats to this one use it, and it's a little more cost effective than mahogany. Anyone on here use the DF and wish they hadn't? Or alternatively, like the product the DF has provided?

2. The fastening schedule indicates the number of fasteners at each location, but not the configuration. I can come up with a configuration, but are there any rules of thumb regarding how close to an edge the fasteners should be?

3. I've seen it both ways - coat the frames with epoxy prior to hanging on the jig, or wait and coat the whole thing once the hull is flipped. I'm thinking I might coat the frames once complete because realistically they might not get hung on the jig until summer (I promised my wife I would do the frames this winter and that's it until summer). I figured if I coat them after they're assembled they might be better protected. Any downside to doing it this way?

-Greg

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby Bill Edmundson » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:36 am

Greg

Sounds like a great project! I used DF for the frames on the Tahoe. My reason was weight. The 2004 Ford Explorer that I had had a 3000# tow limit. I didn't want to buy a new truck. You won't see a significant cost savings by the time you finish. A few hundred dollars in the frame are insignificant compared to the engine, trailer, electronics, ...

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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mrintense
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Re: Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby mrintense » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:48 am

Hi Greg, welcome to the forum. The Nor'wester sounds like a great boat to have. It's cool to see some of the less common designs getting tackled. I look forward to seeing this as it progresses.

I thought I would comment a bit on your questions.

First off, I cannot comment directly on the use of Douglas Fir, but I can say that African mahogany is definitely more expensive. Assuming you are going to paint rather than build a "Woody", I am not sure that the use of mahogany is necessary. That being said, I did go that approach, although in the end only about a quarter of the boat's wood will be visible. Nearly the entire hull, interior and exterior will be painted with most exposed wood in the cabinetry, the cabin sides, and the transom veneer.

I found that screw from edge distance is dependent upon what it's being fastened in most of the time. My experience with metal working on aircraft wants me to provide an adequate edge distance, but it's not always possible with the boat. However, the use of epoxy goes a long way to adding strength to the build. It really is the primary source of strength. Steve41 in California is building a large trawler out of wood and his postings are a valuable resource for these larger boats.

As for encapsulating during the process, I am no longer sure which is the better way to go. Doing it during the process of building is definitely easier as the epoxy tends to bubble on the first application. This is easier to deal with when the parts are lying on the table. However, I am finding that many areas I previously encapsulated end up getting sanded again either because I need to epoxy something at that location, or because it gets messed up in some manner. Probably in the long run, it's better to do it as you go. Certainly there will be areas that are hard to get to and trying to get a nice finish on these will be more difficult later.

Anyway, good luck with the build and please post pictures as you go. Feel free to come to the forum anytime because there will be times when you get discouraged and the forum is great for reinvigorating yourself.
Carl
a.k.a. Clipper

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise named "Some Other Time"

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

gbostard
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Re: Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby gbostard » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:04 pm

Thanks for the reply's guys.

Bill - the plans actually do recommend the DF because of the weight factor - I forgot about that, I'm glad you mentioned it. I know that you had used it on the Tahoe, but did you use it on the Bartender (awesome project by the way) as well? That's a little more similar in size to what I'm going to end up with. How did you feel about the quality? I reached out to Ray Macke a little while back because I know he used DF for his True Grit - another project I enjoyed following. I'm in Buffalo, and I'm fortunate to have a few lumberyards close by that stock both material. I'll probably take a ride around this weekend and get a feel for the qualities of each.

Carl - I hadn't considered the fact that if there was any future bonding required than the epoxy would have to be sanded off. I was going to coat them as I go, but now I'm thinking that because I'm a first timer and I'm not sure what I'll run into, it might be better to just get on my way and take my time and do a throrough job of coating the interior after the flip. I have been following Steve's Klondike build (another awesome project). I'm on here about every other week wondering if I'll see pictures of it in the water! Incredible project he's got going on there. I'll post pictures as I go, but unfortunately for other people like me who love to be entertained by the progress of others' builds, mine will be quite slow moving. My wife and I just had our first child, so I'm hoping that by the time she's around 10, I'll be able to teach her and her siblings to ski and fish on the Norwester. Awesome project in the Vera Cruise. Looks like its going to be a beauty.

-Greg

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby Bill Edmundson » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:47 pm

Greg

I used African for the Bartender frames. Good wood was easier to find. The keel, chine, and shear are White Oak. I used some Southern Yellow Pine as well.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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hoodman
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Re: Nor'wester Build - Preliminary Questions

Postby hoodman » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:20 pm

I think white oak is a great idea for longitudinals. It holds fasteners very well. If you pre-coat your frames you don't have to completely sand off the epoxy to glue something on later. Just need to scuff it up with 80 grit. I put a couple of coats on my frames prior to assembly just because it was easy to do while they were laying flat on the assembly table.


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