Covered cabins on small boats?

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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DavidMcA
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Covered cabins on small boats?

Postby DavidMcA » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:11 am

In the search for my next project, I've bought the overniter plans.

My only concern is that if I went for a long-ish cruise on some of Ireland's mostly small rivers and canals, the Irish weather would kinda soak me.
Some days, even during the summer, can be continuous drizzle.

Does anyone have any experience of convertible covers like the one in the link below?

http://www.ladyben.com/SearchResultsZoo ... selID=2090
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Postby capt jake » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:43 am

I will have experience in a few days if the drizzle doesn't let up. ;) I have to launch my restoration before the show. :shock: I have a feeling that it will be rather wet. ;)

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Postby DavidMcA » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:49 am

Yep, rain is a problem in a small boat. Since reading Ray Macke's stories about all his cruises with his Cabin Skiff, its got me thinkin of doing some similar cruises over here. The squirt that I have would be just too exposed and cold to go any distance, even in good weather.
Ireland has about 1000 kilometres of inland waterways, canals, rivers and lakes, so there would be plenty of exploring to do!
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Postby capt jake » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:56 am

My next boat, if it ever really happens, will be a pilot house cruiser. Steering inside the cabin with a few amenities. ;) Gracious cockpit, but a very nice cabin to stay out of the weather while exploring.

Tom Lathrops Blue Jacket 24 (or possibly his new 25.5) or Sam Devlin's Surf Scoter 25.

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Postby basilkies » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:14 pm

I used to make tops. I"d say a top like that has a five year life, but that's pretty variable depending on use and care. Fabric backed or canvas style tops have a tendency to shrink over time. I've seen cases of this where people made small strips of snaps to extend the fit when they shrink.

The tops do a fine job of holding out the water. The front can leak if not done properly. You will find they will hold some heat, but tend to let it leak out pretty fast. The tops can handle boat speed and I've even seen some towed with the top up, but I've also seen tops get blown off boats towed that way.

They are definitely worth having in the rain. They are even nice to have for shade in the sun.

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Postby terrymc » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:23 pm

David,

I may have mentioned that we also have a big boat - a Regal 2650 cuddy cabin cruiser, and Admiral Antoinette and I overnight on the boat all the time. Here's a picture of the boat with the canvas up:

Image

Here in the states they call this arrangement "camper canvas" and it encloses the entire cockpit of the boat from the windshield to the transom, and is high enough that you can stand upright. It works really well. There is a warning label on the top that you should not run the boat above 35 MPH with the top up.

Normally, if the weather is bad enough that we need the full canvas up, I make it a point to be tied up in a nice safe harbor or anchorage. We did run across San Francisco Bay last year with the full canvas in place, but the water was rough enough that I never got over 20 MPH - just over minimum planing speed. If you do cruise with the top up, it's important to make sure taht you have adequate ventillation, as the low pressure area behind the canvas can pull carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust into the boat.

The pciture was taken last fall at Lake Mead, on the Colorado River in Arizona. A wild thunderstorm had just passed, and we were snug and dry inside the canvas.

Guess I could add that the canvas was custom made - cost me $1800 - for a 27 ft boat.
Peace,

TRM

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Postby DavidMcA » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Jake, the bluejacket looks really good, almost makes me want to change my mind again......doh! It reminds me of an old plan called the caballero, looks very similar. Only problem with the bluejacket is that the guy says its not designed for high speed, so he wants to putter along at 20 mph or so! I'm more of a speedy gonzalez myself.

The top on this overniter looks like a good fit, maybe it was custom made>>>
http://www.glen-l.com/designs/outboard/dsn-ovnc.html

I'm trying to visualise what it would be like to be under that cover for most of a day if the weather turned bad....maybe a bit claustrophobic!

I suppose really I should go for a pilothouse boat, given our notoriously bad weather over here.

But 90% of my time would be spent on short trips (couple hours or less) to the local lake for a splash and a quick run around.
Its only on the 10% of the time where I'd do any longish cruises that this would be an issue.
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Postby capt jake » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:25 pm

I've actually been on the prototype BJ24 with the designer. It is a great boat. To me, 20 is pretty fast and the actual cruising speeds of 10-12 seem very agreeable with me.

Your description of usage percentages is very similar to what I think I would be doing also. That's why you have to have more than one boat! :)
Perfect world; 5 boats:
1 - small runabout for skiing, etc
2 - larger cruiser for overnighting and exploring
3 - small daysailer
4 - larger cruising sailboat for extended voyages
5 - Tender to get around on all of them

I have the plans for both the BJ24 and the Surf Scoter 25. I see now that Tom has a BJ25.5. I was just corresponding with him today about getting the latest updates to the 25.5

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Postby DavidMcA » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:52 pm

Well, I've been doing some research and I've pretty much decided not to go with a canvas covered cockpit. A pilothouse would be more realistic for our weather. Its come down to a battle between:

Tom Lathrop's Bluejacket (20 ft)
Glen-L Cabin Skiff (16 ft)
Glen-L CS20 (20 ft)

I guess a "multi-purpose" boat is what I'm looking for, that would not be an epic task to trailer to the local lake for a quick splash in the evenings.

Any thoughts? Now would be a great time for me to buy plans, because the Euro-USD exchange rate is at an all time high!
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Postby capt jake » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:30 pm

David, Check your messages. ;)

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Postby terrymc » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:39 am

David,

I was thinking about this, and as an avid "cabin" boater, I thought I'd chime in with some "lessons learned". All of us often reply to folks asking "what to build?", and the answer is most often, "what do you wan't the boat to do?". Here are my thoughts on what's important in an overnighter:

1. The cabin bearth needs to be long enough that you can stretch out. Seems obvious, but it's very important if you actually expect to sleep. I'm 6 feet tall, and our previous big boat had a bearth that was 6'-2" long. NOT LONG ENOUGH! Give yourself at least 6" more than your height.

2. If you intend to be away from the dock more than a couple of hours (and certainly for an overnight), the boat needs to have an inclosed head compartment. Doesn't need to be fancy, even a porta-pottie chemical head is fine. Some local laws require that a chmical head be permanantly mounted with a pump-out fitting.

3. If you have a "significant other" along, make sure that the head can be reached without disturbing the berth cushions. Our first overnighter had the head under the vee-berth, and whenever (often!) my wife decided at 2:00 am that she had to pee, everything gets moved around. "Head under the vee-berth" is NOT a good design.

4. Cooking facilities may be simple, but the ability to make a cup of hot coffee (or tea) is a real plus. Our current boat has a small cooking area in the cockpit to give room for the enclosed head in the cabin. With the camper canvas (see my previous post) this works very well. (The "galley" consists of a one burner propane stove, a small sink with a pressurized water system, and a microwave oven - 110 VAC power from a 1500 watt inverter).

5. In an overnighter BIGGER IS BETTER. 2 years ago we stepped up from a 20 ft to a 27 ft. The bigger boat is 10 times more "livable".

Finally, I may catch some flack for this, but I'll say it anyway: Do your really want to build a boat this big? Maybe it's because I've been working on a 12 ft boat for three years, but building a 20+ ft boat is a MAJOR time sink. Everything is more complicated, heavier, and there are all kinds of "systems" - like electrical, water, head, lights, that add to the work. Even if you assume that you can save 1/3 of the cost by doing it yourself, I'm not sure that I wouldn't consider buying a MFG I/O cuddy in the 24-25 ft range.

Peace,

TRM

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Postby DavidMcA » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:58 am

Hmm some good points there Terry. I think 20 foot is about the minimum for comfortable cruising, to allow for a decent length berth and a pilothouse.
Not that I''ve ever owed or even been on a boat that big, but it seems to be the general consensus in the online boat-building community.

In terms of on-board conveniences, I think I'd try to keep it simple. Lights are a must I suppose, so is a portable head. Water could be kept really simple, no real need for a pressuirised system is there?
Cooking facilities could just be a gas stove! its amazing what you can rustle up with something simple like that.

A 20 footer would be a much bigger build than the squirt. But if it was stitch-and glued, it might not take just as long as a frame-batten hull. I would expect to spend two years minimum to complete it. I don't think I'd buy a boat...the whole idea for me is to do it all myself and have a unique classic boat at the end of it! Plywood and epoxy costs would be through the roof though, so I would really have to buy materials in small quantities as I go along. I wouldn't even consider finishing the hull "bright". White paint is the only way to go! It means you can be much less fussy. Accents of nicely finished mahogany as rub-rails/handrails/windshield etc can look nice against a white background.
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Postby capt jake » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:34 am

DavidMcA wrote:Hmm some good points there Terry. I think 20 foot is about the minimum for comfortable cruising, to allow for a decent length berth and a pilothouse.
Not that I''ve ever owed or even been on a boat that big, but it seems to be the general consensus in the online boat-building community.

In terms of on-board conveniences, I think I'd try to keep it simple. Lights are a must I suppose, so is a portable head. Water could be kept really simple, no real need for a pressuirised system is there?
Cooking facilities could just be a gas stove! its amazing what you can rustle up with something simple like that.

A 20 footer would be a much bigger build than the squirt. But if it was stitch-and glued, it might not take just as long as a frame-batten hull. I would expect to spend two years minimum to complete it. I don't think I'd buy a boat...the whole idea for me is to do it all myself and have a unique classic boat at the end of it! Plywood and epoxy costs would be through the roof though, so I would really have to buy materials in small quantities as I go along. I wouldn't even consider finishing the hull "bright". White paint is the only way to go! It means you can be much less fussy. Accents of nicely finished mahogany as rub-rails/handrails/windshield etc can look nice against a white background.


David, you must be a mind reader. ;) You encapsulated all of my thoughts that I have been pondering for some time now. I enjoy the build as much or more than the actual usage. ;) A little at a time is the only way for me to possibly make it feasible, though I would have to save continually because during the course of building there are spurts of excessive cost.

I have been pondering the BJ24 or the Devlin Scoter 25 for a few year now. I have plans for both. I am still leaning more towards the BJ (and now the BJ25.5) for cost, trailerability and cost of the powerplant.

Man, you have been reading my mind.... ;)

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Postby Oyster » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:22 pm

I have been pondering the BJ24 or the Devlin Scoter 25 for a few year now


ROFLMAO!!! A YAER? :wink: :P I bet I will complete mine while you are still pondering. It will probably not be enough varnish on it or done to the high standards as your pondering. :P But it will float at least in shallow water anyway, or I hope so..... :D

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Postby capt jake » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:37 pm

Oyster wrote:
I have been pondering the BJ24 or the Devlin Scoter 25 for a few year now


ROFLMAO!!! A YAER? :wink: :P I bet I will complete mine while you are still pondering. It will probably not be enough varnish on it or done to the high standards as your pondering. :P But it will float at least in shallow water anyway, or I hope so..... :D


Editorial mistake on my part. "Pondering for SEVERAL YEARS now". ;)


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