Scenes from a boat-building, 12/13/2011

David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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8 Responses

  1. James Hanley says:

    about five times as much lumber as called for in the original design

    [low whistle]

    Is that the original design upon which you based your design, or the original design prepared for you that you had planned to work off of?

    Do you have an estimated materials cost, and if so are you willing to share it?  I’m just plain curious.

    (For what it’s worth, I can’t seriously call myself a boat guy, not having grown up around them, not messing with them a whole lot, other than our canoe and kayak, but I seriously love boats. I can stand in a boat museum for a long time studying the hulls, and I can get as excited as a kid in a candyshop over a chance to drive a beat-up old pontoon.  If it floats, I love it.  So I’m fascinated by your project.)Report

    • David Ryan in reply to James Hanley says:

      I was unclear and have corrected in the post: The material for the stringers have been increased by about 5 times, which is an increased in materials cost for those members of several thousand dollars (like I said, vertical grain douglas fir ain’t cheap!)

      What the USCG requires is that the hulls be able to withstand full submersion to a depth of 22′, as John Marples, our project engineer puts it, “We basically have to build a pair of submarines.”

      Fortunately, the stringers do most of the heavy lifting, elsewhere there was little or no modification required, and overall, our weight increase is only about 6%.Report

  2. NoPublic says:

    I’d be interested to hear how you fare with the Meranti.  I’ve heard a few horror stories over pints and on the interwebs about falling standards in ply the last decade or so.  Delam, voids, uneven veneer thicknesses, etc.  I often wonder if it’s a supplier quality problem or a distributor problem (upgrading or re-marking ply or sliding in rejects or mishandled wood into orders) or just a “back in my day/get off my lawn” problem.

    I usually mentally file them in the “you should know and trust your suppliers” or “I thought I got a bitchen’ deal” categories but I do wonder if there’s a long term trend out there due to the general environmental and supply issues and the metric driven corporate culture we live in now.Report

    • David Ryan in reply to NoPublic says:

      Lumber has gone down in quality. The exposed 2x4s in my attic (house built in 1964) have tighter grain than the Super Special VGDF that we paid top dollar for. Same with plywood. North American softwood plywood is not suitable for a USCG Inspected vessels; even in “marine grade” the quality control isn’t good enough.

      For all of the above reasons, opted for Hydrotek, a brand-name BS 1088 ply, and purchased from a well established vendor.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to David Ryan says:

        The ceiling joists in my house (built in 1916) are honest-to-goodness 2″x4″ boards and they’re as hard as freakin’ iron bars.

        There’s a reason lumber companies cut down old-growth trees wherever they could/can find them.Report

  3. mac says:

    Submersion to 22′, static pressure, is a whole lot less stress than storm breakers at sea. After the many stories from teenaged girls getting shipwrecked in their cabin cruisers, it doesn’t seem an unreasonable requirement.


    • David Ryan in reply to mac says:

      In fact, the boat is being built to the no longer used ABS offshore racing boat standard, which is one of  a number of standards (lloyds, et al) recogniazed by the CFRs that cover T-boats.

      Operating a day sailing charter in the sorts of conditions the ABS offshore racing boat covers would be illegal and dumb, and plank on frame monohulls don’t have to be built to anywhere near this standard.

      Why catamarans have to be build this way is an interesting and convoluted tale of government and self-regulation and entrepreneurial ingenuity. Post forthcoming.