Boat Building and Design

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Building Boats with Fiberglass (5055)

You can work with fiberglass either from sheets prepared in the factory, or you can work directly from the component materials, molding the fiberglass mat or fabric with polyester resins in one or more laminations. Either method presents the amateur boat builder with that timehonored word--challenge. Many optimistic boat builders, unfortunately, miss the challenge and quit halfway through the job--for working with fiberglass is not simple--but those who stay with it get that peculiar satisfaction known to the man who builds his boat himself, plus a bonus: the sense of accomplishment. There are, however, certain aspects of building a boat from fiberglass which remain the same as those involved in building from wood or plywood. For one thing, the designs are identical in concept. It is the translation of them that differs. The interior for the most part remains the same, except that flotation material must be l~luded because of the non-porosity of the fiberglass hull, which is thus unable to float on its own.

32 pages

Building With Annular Ring Nails (5261)

by Independent Nail & Packing Company

The strength and permanence of fastening which can be achieved with annular thread nails and the substantial savings in time, labor and cost which result from their use, make them ideal for boat building. This booklet explains the reasons for their superiority to other methods of fastening, and will show you how to use them in your boat.

33 pages

Lofting--Making Full-Size Boat Plans (5276)

by William D. Jackson, Naval Architect

You can build better boats by learnng the loftsman’s trade.

If you can do a good job of~Iaying down boat-design lines full size, you can qualify as a mold loftsman which incidentally, is a well paid profession. The job of the mold loftsman is to enlarge to full size and fair certain portions of the naval architect’s drawings (basic designs shown as the lines), so that templates and patterns can be made and the actual form, of the boat obtained with true fair lines. (A line is fair when,it makes a smooth curve with no abrupt change in shape, and is pleasing to the eye.) Making full-size layouts also serves to avoid the errors that occur when dimensions taken are scaled directly from the architect’s small scale blue-prints and applied to the actual construction.

10 pages, 2 plate(s)

Building of the Boat-The Snark, The (5510)

by Jack London

reprinted from Harper's Weekly (ca. 1920)

"Spare no money," I said to Roscoe "Let everything on the "Snark" be of the best. And never mind decoration. Plain pine boards are good enough finishing for me. But put the money into the construciton. Let the "Snark" be as stanch and strong as any boat afloat. Never mind what it costs to make her stanch and strong: you see that she is made stanch and strong, and I'll gonon writing and earning the money to pay for it." And I did . . . as well as I could: for the "Snark" ate up money faster than I could earn it. In fact, every little while I had to borrow some money with which to supplement my earnings. Now I borrowed on thousand dollars, now I borrowed two thousand dollars, and now I borrowed five thousand dollars. And all the time I went on working every day, and sinking the earnings in the venture. I worked Sundays as well, and I took no holidays. But it was worth it. Every time I thought of the "Snark" I knew she was worth it.

8 pages

Taking off Lines (5538)

A quick introduction to how to take the lines off of an existing boat for rebuilding.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

General Concepts of Ballasting (5638)

(Includes using concrete as ballast)

The principal function of ballast in a boat is to increase its stability by means of the increased weight. For the underlying principles and theory of stability a standard text on design should be referred to. The three greatest factors influencing the stability of a boat are: (refer to figure 1).
1.    The vertical position of the center of buoyancy (B).
2.    The vertical position of the center of gravity. (G).
3.    A point called the meta center (M).
    These various points are determined by design calculations and are too lengthy to explain here. The point G will always fall above the center of buoyancy in a motor boat and it is only the resistance of the waterline plane to capsizing that keeps the boat in an upright position. Ballasting a boat or keeping the weights low will lower the point G and increase the distance between the points GM; and increase in the bdam of the boat raises the point M and increase the distance GM, thus improving the stability. In this case the ratio of the distance between BM and GM approaches unity. The stability increases or decreases as the cube of the beam dimension. So it is readily apparent that an increase in the beam or an increase in the waterline plane has a beneficial influence on stability.

16 pages, 2 plate(s)

Casting a Lead Keel and Other Castings (5641)

(Includes plans for casting other smaller parts)

Lead has the advantage over other metals insofar as its use for keels is concerned in that it has greater weight for equivalent volume. Iron can be substituted for lead; the cost will be approximately the same, but the weight will be less. Iron weighs only 65 per cent as much as lead. Where the iron substitution is made it will be necessary to place the difference in weight as ballast inside. It has been generally conceded that the placing of ballast inside contributes greatly to the ease of the hull afloat; this would be especially the case in very rough water. If the design specifies the use of a lead keel, it had better be a lead keel and not iron or other ballast, as the weight has been figured and iron is too light. The lead must be cast and the builder or moulder should be warned at this time that it is a task of considerable magnitude.

20 pages

Caulking (5642)

When miniature waterfalls begin to find their way into a boat through opened seams it is high time to think about recaulking. It is best to do this job during the winter lay-up, and a good job will eliminate much embarrassment and profanity during the active season. With a little care and knowledge a boat owner can do a creditable job of recaulking, as it is not extremely difficu1t to learn.

36 pages

Simplifying Boat Plans for Amateur Builders (5657)

by Sam Rabl

To the seasoned boatbuilder the terms used by a naval architect in describing the design and building of a new boat have a world of meaning; to the beginner they can be as puzzling and incoherent as a foreign language. Laying down is the term applied to the process of enlarging the small scale drawings of the architect to full size; this must be done before a single timber can be cut for the boat. Taking off is the term applied to the transferring of curves and dimensions on this full size plan to the frame timbers of the boat. Before we go into the mechnisms of the actual laying down, an explanation of the terms used in this process will be a great help. The complete set of curves that depict a boat shape is called the "lines". The lines plan is usually divided into three views. The profile depicts the shape of the boat as we see her from the side in normal position. The plan is really a "fish-eye view," showing how the boat appears when looking at her from a point directly beneath her keel.

10 pages, 3 plate(s)

How to Plank Small Craft (5658)

Years back a boats keel was considered the most important part of its construction, but today's application of engineering to boat design arranges the planking to form a sort of fore and aft girder, using it not only to keep water out but also as the most important strength member. This makes it necessary to use the type of planking specified in the plans of any boat you may be contemplating building. For instance, if the designer specified batten seam construction, indicating thin strips to be let in frames behind the seams, he figured the additional strength and help from the battens to keep the seams tight would permit frames being kept twice as far apart as if ordinary planking were used. If you leave out the battens and plank the usual way the absence of enough backing frames will result in a leaky boat. Much of the popularity of the common flat-bottomed skiff results from the ease with which it can be planked, particularly on the bottom. Here planks are run athwartship, or across, and being on the heavy side, and usually in short lengths, necessitate only one keelson, or fore and aft inner strip, to keep them from working. Still, satisfactorily planking such a boat is not as simple as it sounds.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Fastenings Make the Boat (5659)

by J. Emmett

No boat is any better than the little pieces of metal that hold it together, and every prospective or actual boat owner should know all about them. Before you start any building, buying or repairing, read this article.

Watch an expert examine a used boat and youll notice him checking its fastenings carefully, not only their type and condition but to see how they are spaced and driven, for he knows such points determine to a great extent whether the boat is a good buy or not. Even in cases where the boat is comparatively new with its wood in good condition, he may advise some refastening because he has found evidence of members pulling apart or working one on the other, or of metal of the fastenings having failed through fatigue or corrosion. All this can be guarded against at the time of building by using good fastenings and by seeing they are spaced as planned, bored for and driven correctly.

12 pages, 1 plate(s)

Build Your Boat Right (5660)

(Another good basic primer on traditional boat building)

A complete text; from lofting and laying out to framing to planking right through decking and rigging

40 pages, 1 plate(s)

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