Rough and Ready - Monaco Build Update

Designs for inboard or outboard power

Moderator: BruceDow

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen » Thu May 01, 2008 4:48 pm

Good looking Bruce, vary nice build you got going on there.
Thanks for taking the time to share. Looking forward to seeing her shine.
One day.

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Post by gregggrundon » Sun May 04, 2008 2:48 pm

Congratulations Bruce, she looks great. Is it getting hard to sleep at night?
I'd be like a kid on Christmas eve, if I were you.
She's gonna look great on the water in Alabama.


Jolly Roger 30'(Extended)
Marshall Islands, R. M. I.

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Transom Drawings

Post by garrys » Thu May 08, 2008 5:54 pm

Having just started my Monaco project I have completed the cut out of my frames, gussets, stem, breasthook, and floor timbers. However I'm stuck on the transom????????

I've stared at the drawings for a week now, turning them left, then right, then upside down, and I still can't figure out how to cut out the pieces. The lines are all overlaying each other.....some with solid lines, some with dashed lines, and they aren't labeled well. Does anyone have any photos of assembling their transom, or can point me to a resource where I can figure out how to interpret the plans and cut out the appropriate pieces?

I'm frankly disappointed with Glen-L, the company. I've called several times begging for help and I've gotten responses like "There's nobody here today", "Go read your instructions", "call back next week", "go to the forum", etc.

As a newbie I guess I just don't know my way around yet.......where to go for help, etc. I'm working on this project 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and when I get "stuck" on something it pains me to just stop all work, but I can't move on until I figure this out.

Any suggestions from you experienced experts out there would be appreciated!

Garry Stout
Tampa, FL

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Bill Edmundson
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Post by Bill Edmundson » Thu May 08, 2008 6:04 pm


Drawing convention is solid lines are what you can see looking at the piece from that side. Dashed lines (hidden lines) are what is on the far side which you cannot see. It is meant to show you how it fits to other pieces.

And, don't call us
experienced experts
! We all are learning here.

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

Brian Eager
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Post by Brian Eager » Thu May 08, 2008 6:26 pm

Garry, Hang in there, we will not let you stay stuck. Look in the customer photos section, project registry section, I'm sure we can find you somebody who has done those cuts and can help.

I just checked the project registry, it looks like there are at least eight Monaco's listed with email addresses for the builders. Surely one of those guys has the info you need.
Noah was a first-time boatbuilder

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Post by BruceDow » Thu May 08, 2008 7:26 pm


Yes... the transom construction was a real head-scratcher.

Here's what my finished transom frame looked like. I needed to reach way back to my first year university "engineering drafting" course to figure out how the compound 3-D curves all worked together at the bottom.

Here are a few pictures of that stage:





If you want to PM me, I'd be happy to talk you through some of this.

~~ Do what you love, and love what you do. ~~
~~ To me - only my boat is not yet perfect. Everybody else's is to be admired for I know the path they have walked (Dave Lott, 2010) ~~
Dow's Monaco Project

Lewis Barrett
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Post by Lewis Barrett » Fri May 09, 2008 1:09 pm


Hang in there! I've been working on my Monaco for about 2 years now. It takes time. I'm a contractor and deal with plans everyday, Glen-L's are very good. Most of the questions I've had, after looking and working through it by taking my time, I've found it somewhere on the drawings. There have been times when I totally screwed something up and later found the answer right there on the drawings. Along with Bruce's pictures you should do fine.

Let me know if I help.


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Post by gregggrundon » Fri May 09, 2008 11:23 pm

I love this forum!
nice work Bruce.

Jolly Roger 30'(Extended)
Marshall Islands, R. M. I.

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Thanks to Everyone

Post by garrys » Sat May 10, 2008 5:11 am

Many thanks to Bruce and all who responded and offered me encouragement. As they say.........a picture is worth a thousand words! As soon as I saw Bruce's photos, the whole thing snapped into focus and I was able to decipher the plans. Whoopee!!!!!!!!!

Having said that, I wonder why with all the great photos and websites from builders, that Glen-L doesn't provide more than a 4 page typed instruction package. I built a Vans RV-7A airplane and it came with a three inch thick, 3 ring binder of instructions, complete with photos of each step in the process, and a step by step set of instructions. And you know what?.........they (Vans) have sold more plans and kits than the rest of the industry combined. As of today, they have 5,600 planes registered and flying. Do ya think there's a lesson to be learned here?


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lessons learned?

Post by gregggrundon » Sat May 10, 2008 6:08 am

Yeah I do.
What did you pay for that set of plans? :shock:
Jolly Roger 30'(Extended)
Marshall Islands, R. M. I.

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Post by garrys » Sat May 10, 2008 8:28 am

There are two paths to building an RV airplane. The first path is to purchase the plans and scrounge your own parts, materials and supplies. The second path is to purchase a "kit" in which all the parts and raw materials are supplied (minus engine, avionics, paint and upholstery).

When purchasing the kit, the plans and instructions are free.....included in the purchase price of the kit. When buying "plans only", the plans run about $300.

Either way you choose to go, the company has a 10 hour per day technical support hot line, which is staffed by 5 or 6 "experts". They encourage you to use the hot line whenever you have even the slightest question on how to proceed with a particular build process. It is to everyone's advantage, manufacturer and builder, to ensure that the finished product is of the highest quality and safest that it can be. Of course in airplanes, a poorly constructed or out of spec airplane can cost you your life.

The Vans RV company enjoys a completion rate somewhere around 90%, meaning 90% of those who purchase plans or a kit go on to finish, register and fly their project. Other airplane kit manufacturers who simply supply a set of plans, then dust their hands and forget about the customer, have completion rates down around 10%.........and have a terrible reputation. The airplane homebuilders community is rather small and the word gets around quickly as to who supports and encourages their customers, and who is only in it for the buck.

As a businessman, if I were in the airplane, car, boat, etc. plans/kit business I would model my business off Vans RV. They are enormously profitable, successful and have a stellar reputation.


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Bob Perkins
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Post by Bob Perkins » Sat May 10, 2008 8:55 am

Hi Garry,

I've always wanted to build a plane - because it would be fun. But the expense of being a pilot is more than the average person could handle.

At $300 - Those plans are largely subsidized by the number of kits that are sold I would guess. I doubt anyone could just make a set of plans for a plane, and not sell a significant amount of the components at some point along the way and stay in business.

I had to dig around a bit to determine how to do certain things on my build - in hindsight - none were difficult. At the time, a few seemed insurmountable.

What you are seeing with boat plans is tradition. Boats were built by eye for a very long time. Plans for boats are very recent (last 150 years I think?) and left many of the details to the builder.

The liability in a plane kit along would not allow to leave many details to the builder.

I found most, if not all of the detail I needed in the plans/instruction sheets to get the hull built. If we were building the traditional way - we would have got a lines drawing and a grid with a bunch of numbers to plot on a 20' section of floor.

Good luck
Bob Perkins

All the Fun Stuff

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Post by boat-bill-der » Sun May 11, 2008 8:47 am

I think that is part of the fun...having just enough information to get by, and leaving the rest to your imagination. But to each his own.

I don't think I looked at the plans after I attached everything to the building form. After that most of my research was trying to figure out the butt joints, the transition joint, epoxy, varnish and how to build the interior I wanted. (all of which is in Glen-L's great "Boatbuilding with plywood" book)

As bob p said, most of the work after the initial setup was done by eye and my boat performs pretty well (even though I think it's underpowered)

Granted, cosmeticcally a few things didn't come out the way I wanted, but that's because I was in a huge rush to get on the water and I have the attention span of a 5 year old sometimes.

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Bruce Dow

Post by Falcon » Sun May 11, 2008 11:25 am

Be who you are, say what you want those that mind don't matter an those that matter wont mind.

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Post by Smith Brother » Sun May 11, 2008 9:41 pm

Billy C,

Your quote of PABLO PICASSO is CLOSE, but not guite there.


Nothing personal.

Dale in Indy

Opps, In looking further into his quotes I do find that he said it BOTH WAYS. SORRY.........

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