Hello and a few questions!

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old.bodger
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Hello and a few questions!

Post by old.bodger » Sat May 19, 2018 4:17 pm

Hi, Please excuse starting with a load of questions ! As retirement approaches (a few years hence yet) I’m becoming tempted with the thought of pandering to my long facination with boat building and steam! Past years have seen dinghy building and kayak making so some practice, along with a working life involved with wood and a bit of model engineering.
I have just purchased (more out of facination than anything else) a 1973 plan for a ‘Wide a Wake’ .....seems that these have been built as full size boats and models. The plan was only a few pounds so if no use then not a lot wasted and perhaps some understanding gained.
My questions......is anyone familier with this design - seems to be 25 ft ( or 16ft 8”) 12” prop is mentioned? Is it usable or rubbish? The plans also include a boiler plan .....for a vertical thimble boiler w.p. 700 psi. Any comments? No engine details so what is needed?
The plans are for clinker build........could the same be used to build with bead and cove strip, or is that just silly?
Lastly (for now) thoughts on all up weights/ lengths. Wondering if it would be trailable?
Treat me gently!

Jim
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by Lopez Mike » Sun May 20, 2018 12:48 am

I have no knowledge of that design but hearing 700 psi tells me that it was for a model boat where such pressures seldom threaten life and limb! 150 to 200 maximum is much more common in normal sized boats.

If you have the lines, you can build it many ways. Bead and cove or carvel or whatever. At around 25 feet it will weigh anywhere from 2000 to 4000 lbs depending on many, many factors. I am building a 24 foot boat and expect it to come in under 2000 but I am weight phobic. Whether you can trailer it depends on your tow rig.

I found it very useful to build a 24" long hull model. I then took the lines off of that model to lay out my sheets of plywood for a stitch and glue build.

The more planning and contemplation the better up to a point. It doesn't sound like you are thinking about building your own power plant. That can save a lot of time but costs more.

Others with good ideas will post here shortly.
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by RGSP » Sun May 20, 2018 8:08 am

Thimble boilers have their devotees, but most of us, including most boiler inspectors, regard them as toys of The Devil, with a certain amount of logic. Unless you have your own private lake, a steamboat will require at least public liability insurance in England, and it's dubious whether you'd get it for a thimble boiler today, and certainly not for running at 700 psi, which is a very different regime to the 100 to 200 psi we normally use in launches.

Cove and bead strip planking can be used for ANY hull form, though some will be more difficult than others. Bear in mind that good quality Western Red Cedar, or Brazilian Cedar, or indeed any reasonable quality strip wood, is going to cost over a thousand pounds for a 24' boat, so it's a significant investment. Likewise, the usual thing to do with strip planked hulls is to skin them with epoxy and glass cloth, either just outside, or inside and out. If done right, this makes an excellent, long-lived hull, but the cost of epoxy is a bit wince making, and you can only sensibly use it in the summer months in England unless you have a very warm workshop.

I would suggest you look at the Steam Boating Association website, and go along to a few steamboat events: there are a number in the summer easily accessible from the SE: "Puffing-a-Wey" for instance. Now, if you go along to these, you will find a bunch of nutters, male and female, but friendly and knowledgeable nutters, who are well aware of the effort needed to build and run a steamboat, which is almost certainly more than you think.
old.bodger
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by old.bodger » Sun May 20, 2018 8:33 am

Thanks both for the replies. Yes I thought 700 psi was rather a lot of stored energy! My guess, standards have shifted since 1973! I’m only 10 miles from Guildford so have the ‘Puffing a Wey’ event firmly in the diary! I will go and seek some thoughts from those willing over a cup of tea!
I am tempted with bead and cove because I like working with it, that was all.
Any boiler, or engine thoughts very welcome. Willing to undertake that work if my skills and lifespan permit, would all depend on the cost / time comparision. That all up weight is pause for thought, not many vehicles in the uk will pull that and stay the right side of the law, I think this would have to become a ‘weight phobic’ build.
Anyone any other plans that are worth a look at? Many I have seen just don’t look ‘British’....... is that a stupid thing to say? To my eyes many look ‘American’ ( no wish to offend our US friends) but I feel they would look ‘odd’ on Windermere!
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by Mike Cole » Sun May 20, 2018 5:21 pm

Hi Jim

First of all, go and look at boats and talk to the owners. There are many 25 foot boats ( and over) in the UK which are towed all over the place. Most use LR's of some type but not all.
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by PeteThePen1 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:10 pm

Hi Jim

Welcome to the Forum and glad to hear that you are joining the hobby.

As somebody who got it all wrong can I offer a few thoughts?

Which element of the hobby is it that appeals to you most, the building of the boat or the sailing of it? If it is the latter, then go for a second hand one and get some experience under your belt. Second hand steam launches in the UK are dirt cheap. The impact of the Bankers' Folly culminating in the 2008 crash are still being felt. There are some superb boats out there for very little money.

If it is the build in wood that appeals, there are various routes. Lionell's postings and blog show you what can be done at the top end. Lopez Mike's plywood hull (Come on Mike give us some more photos!) show how you can get a very nice hull pretty quickly with plywood stitch and glue or plywood and framing. There are some other links on the site to strip planked boats.

In terms of boat weights, seek out the thread on Weighing a Boat with Bathroom Scales (Anorak's corner). There is now some data about boat component weights for my boat and some from Lopez Mike.

If you are self taught machinist (Like me) don't even think of trying to build your own engine unless you have a very handy mentor to guide you every step. It will take you for ever. You would be much better to buy a second hand or even new engine in fully working and tested condition. There have been some very good ones offered for very little money recently.

Buy your boiler after much consultation and make sure that it matches your engine. One can build one's own, but retirement is finite and you may find that your loved ones expect you to put in an appearance on a regular basis and possibly to do other things than hide in your workshop. The boiler and engine bit are going to cost you substantial sums unless you hit lucky in the second hand market.

Do think where you are going to keep this boat when finished. On its trailer it will be bigger than the garage in which you built it. Do you have a level drive or is it all up hill? Is the road on which you live wide enough to allow you to reverse your boat onto your drive? Do you have a vehicle that is powerful enough to pull the boat. Bear in mind that 2500kg is a common maximum boat, trailer and tow car weight. The bigger your boat, the more difficult it will be to get out onto the road and to deal with at your destination. A smaller manoeuvrable boat and trailer combination is likely to get more use than a big one. Of course, you could have mooring, but then you need to think deep pockets...

This is not meant to be negative, but just to share all the things I had to find out expensively by experience.

Good luck.

Pete
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Re: Hello and a few questions!

Post by malcolmd » Sun May 27, 2018 7:28 pm

Suggestions about the SBA are good ones - they helped me a great deal, lots of experience, proven designs etc.

But don't be dissuaded, this is achievable stuff and managed to maintain my sanity as I migrated from work to retirement. But it's not quick, it has taken me 8 years to build hull, boiler and engine - but better engineers are faster!

I wrote it all up, which will give you an idea of the decisions I made in choosing and building a design....but (as I have discovered) a 25ft boat is MUCH bigger than a 16ft one - something about cube-laws I think :-)

If you want to read how I got to this point see my bloghere <click me>

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