Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

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gondolier88
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Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by gondolier88 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:21 pm

Dear All,

Has anyone here experience of building/sailing/viewing the 25ft fantail steam launch designed by Jay R. Benford in the late 70's?

Thanks in advance.

Greg
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Lopez Mike
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by Lopez Mike » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:55 am

I looked around to find plans for that boat but with no success. I think a lot of his designs. Have you found a source for plans?

I ended up with the 24' Reuel Parker hull that Steve Weaver and I are each building. I am quite pleased with the plans and the cost of them. I have chosen to diverge from the suggested method of construction but haven't had to make any serious changes in the shape.

If I manage to get my life in order before too long I'll be posting a build log. You can read Steve's blog here:
http://steamlaunchiona.blogspot.mx/2013 ... esign.html

If you are a serious wood worker you will appreciate his build. I've chosen to use stitch and glue construction. Close examination will show that I am a better metal worker than a wood artist.
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by SL Ethel » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:24 pm

I've never sailed one, but I believe I do have sketches with small scale lines for his 34' and 38' fantails. They were published in a book of his designs that I purchased 20 years ago in Vancouver. I could scan and email that if anyone needs. They certainly looked like lovely little boats.

Cheers,
Scott
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by gondolier88 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:25 pm

Lopez Mike wrote:I looked around to find plans for that boat but with no success. I think a lot of his designs. Have you found a source for plans?
Thanks Mike, I have plans, but I wish to know what people think of the finished hull design, proportions, sea-kindly or not etc.

Yes, slightly serious about woodwork being a wooden boatbuilder!
SL Ethel wrote:I've never sailed one, but I believe I do have sketches with small scale lines for his 34' and 38' fantails. They were published in a book of his designs...
The 25ft'er was also in one of his books, thanks Scott

Greg
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http://www.simpsonboatbuilding.co.uk
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marinesteam
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by marinesteam » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:37 pm

Greg,

You have probably found this already, if so disregard....

The Benford design group website has a page for the 25' launch Beverly.

http://www.benford.us/index.html?pcty/

The page and the SBA register lists it's owner as Carl B. Ziesmer, M.D. Maybe this will ring a bell with some of our California members

The old SBA register says this "Launch built for owner in England, first steamed 1993 on River Thames, shipped to U.S.A."

Cheers

Ken
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by DetroiTug » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:46 pm

I tried to get info and plans on those boats as well about 10 years ago and couldn't find anything, unanswered emails. Strange that the website is still up. Somebody is paying for it.

-Ron
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by Lopez Mike » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:52 pm

Great pictures of the Beverly on that page. I'm consumed with curiosity about how they managed to form that coaming out of Honduran mahogany. The literature on steaming talks down the ability of that wood for bending.

That's one of my very next construction details to solve. I'm considering some more steamable word like oak or ash and then laminating Honduran mahogany over it. I have a large supply of 1/16" stock. Then a cap over the exposed top edge.

Same problem for the deck to hull trim. Getting around the fantail curves presents issues. I may have to use more easy to bend wood and paint it.

Any advice will be gratefully accepted.
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by DetroiTug » Tue May 01, 2018 12:39 am

Mike, If you have enough 1/16" laminate/veneers, just lay the whole thing up on a former with epoxy. But I'd use 1/8" instead, would only be 3 or 4 lams to get to the thickness.

Trying to steam bend something like that nowadays is very difficult due to the availability of good quarter sawn straight grain green or at least air dried lumber suitable for steam bending. We can't get Philippine Mahogany anymore, so it's either Honduran or Sapele, the latter typically straighter grained. And too, steam bending requires a much more sophisticated former, and of course a steam trunk, and there is always the gamble the piece will fracture either while bending or later on. Laminating the piece does away with all that. As long as wood of the same type and color is used and laminates kept tight, no edge banding is needed.

I deal with a place in Toledo, Oh, Kencraft lumber. They only carry exotic lumber and are good to work with. Prices are very reasonable and they can ship anywhere. They can plane (accurately) to any thickness you want. I had some 1" taken to 3/8" and asked them if they could band saw them and get two out of one plank and he shook his head no and said "I can give you the shavings if it will make ya feel better" :)

-Ron
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by Lopez Mike » Tue May 01, 2018 4:06 am

I'm going from memory on the thickness of my veneer. It is no more than 1/16" and might be half of that! But I have a lot of it in 4' x 8' sheets.

The problem with laminating it up to 1/2" or more is that the whole thing starts to become more epoxy than wood and at $100/gallon that adds up. I'll give it some more thought though.

Steaming isn't an issue for me. I have bent stuff up in a plastic bag and left it in the bag until it cools on the form. I have a small shop boiler than has more than enough capacity and building a custom mold to match the aperture on my deck isn't a big deal. And then laminate the veneer over the oak or ash.

As I said, the other issue will be making the cap strip to run along the top of the coaming. I may have to make up some custom router guides and make the strips in relatively short segments. Same issue for the deck to topsides wood trim. Pretty sharp radius around the stern.

This has all been a very rewarding project. A metal whacker learns about wood. Everything I've made out of wood before has been rectangular!
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Re: Jay R. Benford 25ft Fantail Launch

Post by DetroiTug » Tue May 01, 2018 1:29 pm

If it's the veneer that is 1/64" - 1/32" with a brown paper backing, I wouldn't use that for laminating, agreed it's too thin.

Keeping in cahoots with woodworking technique for wooden craft, I would definitely get the right material 1/8" etc and lay it up. Sorry to sound like one of those annoying purists, but you've done a great job on the hull and it's worthy to be capped off with some nice brightwork.

-Ron
Last edited by DetroiTug on Tue May 01, 2018 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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