Where to obtain plans?

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2fish
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Where to obtain plans?

Post by 2fish » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:42 pm

I like the Jimbo design by Glen L. But, I would like to explore some other possible designs as well. I certainly dont mean to disrespect the gracious host of the forum. At the same time I would like to know of other places to find simple plans. Seems to be plenty for wood. I would like something in the 17' range. Center or side console that would be well suited for back bays and offer enough rough water safety to tackle the occasional near shore ocean run. I'm in NJ so we get some nasty seas.

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Roberta
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Roberta » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:38 pm

Most any designs that might suit your needs can be found in the Glen L catalog and I doubt you'll find more support anywhere else.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:59 am

2fish,
by posting in the metal category or threads I'll assume you're asking about plans for metal boats? Since the description of the Jimbo is used as an example I'll also remark based on your plan to be a welded aluminum skiff? I'm grouping garvey's in with the other hull forms for the sake of discussion.

The reason there are so few places to get, small, welded aluminum boat plans is: there are very few people (% of potential boat builders) who are willing to invest both the time and money to weld aluminum. Being few in number compared to those equipped to work in wood and glue(s) there are fewer designers who have taken time to design and publish plans sets for this very small market.

If there were thousands of small welded boats being homebuilt- I'd expect a greater variety of plans would be offered. I suspect the number in the entire country isn't 100 people in any given year?

I almost always decline to sell my designs (I design my own boats in most builds) due to the fact that most new builders face an incredible learning curve- and expect to be tutored in welded boat building (thousands of $ of effort) for the cost of plans (few hundred $) so its vastly less expensive of my time and effort just to avoid selling my plans to others.

Almost all the designs that can be may of plywood (without stripping and adding back into compound shapes) could be built of welded aluminum but the catch is the conversion may not be done well without the benefit of experience of building lots of welded skiffs? This sort of catch-22 applies to the casual builders' using plywood plans to create welded metal boats- and about the only way to break out of this loop is to begin with a welded design- build a few skiffs and gain enough experience to be able to judge or calculate the various differences between the two materials as applied to skiffs.

Finally, back to welding- not being able to weld well enough to properly assemble a small boat is the primary reason for build failures in my view. The material will wrinkle, warp, twist and distort and the welds will be weak, unattractive and cause undue stresses: unless there is sufficient welding skill developed by the builder/welder. Wood, and glass materials are cold worked, and don't distort the materials in forming, or final glue up. Many builders might want to work in welded metal but are commonly unwilling to spend the time developing welding skills needed to create a welded boat. I always encourage new builders to spend 100 hours on scrap and test break bends- learning uniformity and proportional welding skills. I am almost 100% ignored, and many of these boats suffer vast distortion and disfigured hull panels as a result of lack of skillfully applied knowledge - often ruining 1,000's of $ in materials due to lack of welding skills.

just my 2 cents as to why there are not nearly as many plans packages for small welded boats are there are for other materials.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

2fish
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by 2fish » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:08 am

This sounds like solid reasoning. I will likely go with the Jimbo design because of the ease of build and the fact that it hits most of my criteria pretty well. As far as welding skill. I am a great welder for a machinist. I have the equipment on hand an will practice up prior to touching torch to boat. As you guys mentioned. I think I am in the minority of having these things readily available to me the way that I do. Thank you for the replies
(I just took the time and re-read my post. I hope it didnt come across as being arrogant. "a great welder for a machinist" was intended to be stated jokingly. Meaning that my welding skills when compared to welders, are lacking. Luckily I do have a close friend who is willing to help and has a tremendous amount of experience welding aluminum boats/ships (NY Ferries, Scallop Boats, Fishing Boats, etc..) for Yank Marine. My personal welding experience is mainly stainless and super alloys. 99% TIG. I will do some practicing with the Miller MIG spool gun I have.)
Last edited by 2fish on Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:48 am

2Fish,
couple of remarks about your plans as related to your welding skills. IF you post images of aluminum seam welding practice beads then we can compare your work to others online and be able to understand the level of welding you'll be putting on your Jimbo. Not needed of course- you're more than able to make the comparison yourself and adjust warm up beads and bench welding time to make any adjustments you see you'll need to bring about a sucessful build.

What I'm remarking about is the fact the both Glen-L and Ken Hankinson didn't have the benefit of plans buyers sending in images of their welding work- so there are some 'defensive design' elements in some of the plans sets; I'm not sure about Jimbo's plans? One of the elements that a good welder can skip- but is a good feature to retain for the less skilled- both fitter and welder- is chine bars.

In order to give a wider 'target' and to allow for more people to be able to 'hit that target' both designers have, in some hulls, added a round, solid bar (6061-T6 is about the only alloy commonly supplied as solid rounds in wide distribution) as the 'foundation' or basis for the chine seam. By locating a solid round at the apex of the frames (if you use it only tack it or it will heat 'relax' and not remain fair- welding out only after this item is tacked to both topsides and bottom panels!!!) so the edges (chine) of the bottom's outer curve and the topsides lower edges' curves meet over the bar.

This would allow builders who's layout skills may be rudimentary, cutting skills may be less than accurate, and welders who have not spent much time refining their bead to a proportional weld size based on the scantlings called for in the plans; to weld against a huge heat sink alloying a more "forgiving" weld seam.

Further, by creating a chine seam with a large (proportionally) rod backing the outside weld; the designers also achieved a bullet proof - or rock impact proof seam even if the boat builder were less skilled. This is a good idea for general plans in the hands of those who may not have access to current levels of mass communications- but as you're both a machinist and welder; I'll assume your curve layout and cutting will be of a skill level that doesn't need a chine bar weld back up in your build.

The 3/16" (0.187") bottom panel's outer edges will weld to a 1/8" (0.125") topsides lower curved edge fine; using a single pass inside and outside of 0.035" wire in either a spool gun or push-pull MIG torch. The bead can be 'whipped'/patterned or an "LH-drag" (even though you'd lead!) and will result in a completely reliable joint- if your fitting and welding are up to the task, which I assume they are?

On the other hand, Ken Hankinson has a great article here in the reference section which includes several chine joints in section. I'd suggest you look that up and read it; very well presented ideas for several chine seams any of which could be used on the Jimbo to add functionality and overall strength if your layout skills will support their application? I'd venture that these metal sections will be easily within reach of a machinist's layout skills.

I sure look forward to learning more about your decision process and watching the boat take shape as you build your Jimbo. Hopefully you'll share with us as you move forward in your build?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Yofish
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Yofish » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:40 pm

2fish wrote:I like the Jimbo design by Glen L. But, I would like to explore some other possible designs as well. I certainly dont mean to disrespect the gracious host of the forum. At the same time I would like to know of other places to find simple plans. Seems to be plenty for wood. I would like something in the 17' range. Center or side console that would be well suited for back bays and offer enough rough water safety to tackle the occasional near shore ocean run. I'm in NJ so we get some nasty seas.
I don't have any boats lined up now. If you're interested, I might be able to make what you want, CNC ready. At this stage of my career I enjoy designing them vastly more than making them.

North
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by North » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 am

As a newbie builder of a (somewhat nearly) finished and useable Glen L Double Eagle - love the deign and am really enjoying the boat.

But, after Hand cutting all frames and hull sections, etc, mostly with a worm-drive skill saw, If I were to build another boat, especially as a 1st time builder, I would choose one of the specialty marine plans on the Glen L site, or buy one from someone like Yofish if the design fits- the idea being that these are CNC cut capable plans.
You get your aluminum most cases from the supplier/ cutter and you are ready to start tacking together...
I spent most of one winter (odd weekends) building a rotating jig (Great idea from Kevin's past) which was great for getting into better welding position, another winter laying out frames on the jig and then using thin ply as templates for hull sheet, etc.

When I watch videos of guys tacking together CNC cut kits on day 1... and pulling the sides up and in a few days having what resembles a boat.... I am very envious....
note- I wanted an inboard diesel, and could not easily find cnc plans for one I liked. Had i wanted an outboard design anyway, the choice would have been easy - cnc.. Looking back., I would now forgo my diesel inboard preference and just go cnc cut plans and get an outboard like 90% of others..to be able to save the hundreds of hours of cutting material (and the related shop cleanup...)

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:25 pm

Forum, 2fish, North and Yofish.

There are more than a few topics being introduced and generalized in a few sentences- so, for the less experienced reader who might not fully understand the implications of some of this recent discussion I'll back up a bit with the intent to make things a bit more "readable" for the less informed.

First, boat's like the Jimbo, Double Eagle, Chinook and others int he catalog MAY be built using frames and they may be built without 'standard' (read traditional wood methods) of framing. The reason is: aluminum can be purchased in huge sizes - in standard thicknesses. So, while wood (even ply) is not readily available in 8' wide 26'-30' long pieces of 0.25 (1/4") or 0.187" (3/16") - marine aluminum alloys are. The example is one that is large and may not be 'stocked' or even handled by a local metal supplier? However by simply calling Seattle and paying your own shipping/handling/trucking costs- instead of relying on a distributor- anyone - anywhere in the US road system can have sheets that will typically cover and entire 1/2 of the bottom or topsides!

This implies a method of building that is not readily used in wood- even though there are a couple builders in Seattle/Puget Sound who scarf up huge sheets (as described) and "stitch and glue" these large pieces into entire hull panels- pre cut to outlines/profiles/shapes as defined by: #1 Sheet Models (physical models as shown in my adjacent posts); #2 skillful lofting or, now, #3 using PC/digital systems to unfold the models' surfaces into very accurate outlines of the full panels of that portion of the hull.

Now for the heretical statements regarding metal boats from traditional plans: The entire boat can be 'tacked up' (like wire stitches in the stitch-n-glu method) without full size transverse frames! If you know the entire outside shape of the hull panels of a hard chine boat- you can cut and tack up the entire hull without a single frame.

But.... you can't weld it out! if you were to weld the entire skin/hull/sheathing without shape forms and frames the result would not be a very functional boat- but even that rule of thumb can be ignored in special circumstances which won't be addressed here.

Eventually you'll need to add some form of structural elements to the inside and outside of the hull surface to provide a stiffness adequate to allow the boat to travel in an uneven medium with reasonable load at expected speeds.

So, if you follow the computer numerical control path (CNC or NC) you'd use software to get the outlines of the hull panels (and the interior framing elements in many cases) and that 'data file' can be "read" by another PC that will control the cutting of the entire sheet (all parts) using high speed plaz, water jet, router, and laser cutters.

This saves lots of labor but not lots of costs. If you're paying anyone to draw and output these shapes that will have some cost- so the issue not being explored too deeply in the accompanying posts is that you pay with your labor and skilled effort or you pay cash to have these services done for you.

I've made many hours of decent wages laying out and cutting boats (40some years) because the effort to get the cut files, have them sent and then cut- is not always cost effective for me. North (now) and Yofish for a few years feel the effort to layout and cut the shapes is worth the costs to have the plans output to cut files and then delivered to the shop ready to work on shapes that are correctly shaped.

I'm not arguing, not saying they are in-accurate in their assessments- I'm just pointing out that the cost is non-trivial. Some builders may not be focused as much on time savings as they are "doing it themselves"; while others' priorities have the calendar higher up as a build priority?

Recently, I've been involved in a 34'er where we laid out and hand cut the curved panels and made nearly 70$ an hour when compared to those panels being NC cut, this is in rural Alaska so many costs may be much higher than you'll see in the old country where NC services are more wide spread.

So, a word about the assumptions in our discussion for those who're not as used to thinking in terms of NC cutting of their boats' parts- skin frames and all.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

North
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by North » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:14 pm

Kevin I agree with your ability to make roughly $70 per hour cutting out the frames and hull panels yourself as opposed to having someone else do it with a CNC router because of your level of experience and expertise. However in my case I would be lucky to have paid myself five or $10 an hour because of the large number of hours required as an amateur to first cut out the temporary Plywood And then slowly adjust the aluminum sheet in order to not cut too far when making Hall sections. Additionally, I had to drive an hour each way to work on the boat so additional gad and wear on my truck was incurred on top of the additional hours.
I am not trying to dissuade anyone from building but I think the task would be less daunting for a first-time Builder to use a CNC cut kit or plans. I think many first-time Builders of wood or metal give up part way through the build and I think this may be minimized if the build progresses at a faster rate.

North
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Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by North » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:14 pm

Kevin I agree with your ability to make roughly $70 per hour cutting out the frames and hull panels yourself as opposed to having someone else do it with a CNC router because of your level of experience and expertise. However in my case I would be lucky to have paid myself five or $10 an hour because of the large number of hours required as an amateur to first cut out the temporary Plywood And then slowly adjust the aluminum sheet in order to not cut too far when making Hall sections. Additionally, I had to drive an hour each way to work on the boat so additional gad and wear on my truck was incurred on top of the additional hours.
I am not trying to dissuade anyone from building but I think the task would be less daunting for a first-time Builder to use a CNC cut kit or plans. I think many first-time Builders of wood or metal give up part way through the build and I think this may be minimized if the build progresses at a faster rate.

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:59 pm

North,
I don't use ply patterns and really don't think they're needed- the methods I use are to use a take-off strip OR, when using software which I do now.... output to X,Y points from a sheet baseline/edge and fair with a batten (appropriately sectioned extrusion); then cut.

Yes, as I've done this quite a few times (in the hundreds) therefore my proficiency is not what a newbies' will be in regard time and accuracy. My point in the accompanying posts was to show how someone could do it themselves- no computer at all. Anyone with a set of lines can build a plate model and scale up the outlines- and from that; accurately cut the outlines/profiles of the hull panels.

But I'm not asserting that someone who's done it for so long is the same as someone trying their first build.

NC does save time-which has a "cost to save", but many builders projects are to take up quality retirement time? Or they're building themselves because the cost of a fully found welded aluminum boat is non-trivial even before they're fitting out! I was remarking about trading cash money for your time.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:36 am

Sometimes, after we have a series of questions and answers on a thread, I'll get an email asking about some aspect of the threads' ideas or answers. I've published my own email so that anyone can feel free to email me, if they don't want to post online for whatever reason.

In many of those cases, instead of sending an email, I'll post on the thread in order to answer a wider readership- if I think the question might be informative to others? IN this case, the question I've received is one we've seen before and tried to answer in different ways, on different threads. So I'll summarize the question and try to offer some aspects that occur to me; in reply.

"Can you convert Glen-L wood plans to welded aluminum?" That is the general question and my reply is "Yes & No, and there is no fixed method of doing this process."

First some notes about wood versus metal that are obvious but the importance of these items seems not to be VALUED adequately by non-welders.

1A) forming wood is a cold process, (except for steaming but that doesn't melt the wood) and gluing, pinning/fastening/caulking/coating are all cold processes that do not- warp, contract, wrinkle the wood: those facts are not true in metal as welding can cause distortions that are very difficult to overcome- once distorted.
So welding is a critical skill- no welding skill- no acceptable results.

2B) working in wood veneers is (once they're cut and thickness cut) not harder than working in larger pieces- some will report that veneer build up is easier than planking with thicker and heavier wood. Therefore, small, thin hulled, proportionally thick wood boats are no more difficult to build than a larger thicker and heavier boat- again the cold working processes do not require greatly enhanced hand skills to build.
Welded aluminum, thinner than approximately 1/8" is much more difficult to weld effectively. There is 5 t0 10X more skill required to weld 0.060" or even 0.080" aluminum as it to weld 0.125"- even if the thinner metal would be more a proportioned scantling for the design of a small boat converted from a wooden boat design to a welded aluminum design.
So, welding skill become more critically important to success if the hull's scantlings would translate below 0.0125"-1/8" thick OR the small boat design would have to be made very much over wt. This last consideration; making a small boat thick in order to be able to weld within someone's skill set would radically change how the boat performed- as it would be like adding one or two extra people to the boat.

2C) Any design under 14-16' (depending on the wood designs' use and therefore scantlings) will generally be very difficult to convert from wood design to welded design due to the factors above; welding skills requirements are usually much higher than are typically found in small boat builders. Project success is more likely in the boats 15' LOA or longer due to the scantlings' proportionality and the relative weld sizes needed to produce a sound hull.


Next (2nd) of notes about converting wood boat designs is welding as a skill, and the implications in costs.

2A) welding aluminum is a skill that somewhat different from welding steel- especially in regards travel speed of the rate of deposition of the weld- and this is even more important for MIG welding aluminum - which is the 90+% method of welding marine aluminum in welded boats.

If you're not willing to learn by practicing enough to become proficient (relative term! in this consideration) then: my advice is just don't do it. I'd estimate that at least 100 hours of actual 'arc time'- or 'hood time' be spent along with bend break tests (not included in the hours) is needed to even discuss building a small welded boat?

I do know people who have welded dozens of times that long- and still cannot reliably produce a small, uniform and proportional bead to weld on even 1/8" - for all sorts of reasons. Practice is not the end all to this skill. Vision, stance, balance, technique, settings on the equipment, and a few other issues all need to be mastered so the builder can produce quality weld.

2B) Since the welding equipment is expensive (new lower cost oriental origin imports have somewhat reduced the welding equipment costs) and floods the weld area with an inert (expensive) bottled gas that is not recovered, requires expensive consumables like brushes and buffing pads (like sanding equipment in the wooden boat build) : Practice is expensive! That fact, the investment and the consumables makes practicing adequately to fully prepare yourself to build in welded metal- expensive.

This leads to new builders doing work on their boats before they have adequate skills to do a good job and that leads to poorly built welded boats.

2C) There is another thread in the metal section discussing and exploring welding power supplies and equipment so we're not dealing with that here. However let's summarize some of the facts of building thus far?

Using expensive (you can equip and entire wood shop for the cost of one MIG or TIG system used by fulltime builders) welding equipment- and having practiced for long enough to develop good skills (in both MIG AND TIG!!) will take hundreds of work hours BEfoRE you begin on your boat project. Then, more hours will have to be spend to refine those basic skills (and perhaps you'll learn you need more refined welding equipment?) so you can weld effectively on thinner than 1/8" material to be in proportion to a smaller boats' scantlings when converted from a wood design.

Next post I'll explore the actual plans conversion ideas and concepts.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Kevin Morin
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Re: Where to obtain plans?

Post by Kevin Morin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:19 am

Rereading the last remarks- the emailer asks if I'm trying to discourage new welded builders? (!) Not at all... however, if you don't know what is ahead, and spend a lot of money to get ready to weld, buy some metal and start building without being sure what to do exactly...... or what to expect.... then failure is more likely than if you were aware of the preparations needed. At least that is why I'm writing.

to begin the discussion of converting wood designs to welded metal (and I'm assuming welded aluminum) ; there are several factors that have to be considered.

First; is the design- in wood- made with sheet materials? If the design is a flat bottom pram of plywood, then the conversion to aluminum will be much more realistic than if the boat has compound curves achieved with planking over frames.

#1 Shape; if the boat's surfaces can be "developed" or flattened into outlines that can be taken out of flat sheets of material- then you may choose to continue converting that plan to metal. However, if the design has true flair (not to be confused with flam) in the topsides and real tumble-home in the stern (again, to conflating compound shapes with flats, rounds, and cylindrical forms); THEN it will be much more difficult to make the conversion.

Metal can be shaped into compound curves- but the work is usually much more time consuming and requires tools not found that often in a small boat shop. English Wheels will roll or 'stretch roll' sheet metal and using this metal rolls combined with very clever patches of metal- almost any shape boat can be built. However, this type of metal forming is not practical for most first time builders.

Second, is a discussion of scantlings' comparative strengths, by dimension as well as combinations in structure.

#2 Metal vs Wood; and old discussion with many approaches. Simply stated: there is no really reliable way to convert wood boat designs DIRECTLY to aluminum (or steel). The primary reason of this condition is that material strength IN THE BOATS' final structure- comes from more than how much force it takes to bend or break a fir 2x4 versus the same dimension of aluminum.

To convert a design from wood to welded aluminum would require you to be able to figure the 'stiffness' and strength of the two structures; AS-Built. The main problem with this stage of plans conversion is that in order to have the experience to do this conversion- you'd have to have some experience in building metal boats! Kind of a Catch22- to do the conversion from wood structure to metal structure- you need to already know what is needed of the metal design. But unless you have already done this before- you won't have the experience to do that conversion wisely.

Alternatively- if you are able to do the math/wt. & balance calcs and CB/(L)CF - most people who can do those design stages themselves - aren't asking how to convert a wood plans package to metal! Again, if you know how to do "this" - you're not asking how, but if not? then you don't know (haven't self-educated) who to do the 'other' design steps required to confirm the conversion.

Next we'll try to draw some Rules of Thumb about scantlings.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

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