M*CARBO Brotherhood

Boats, who likes boats?

Boats, who likes boats?

No one is interested in my thinking, but on the porch with beer, a fun exercise for me.

Decades back I moved to UpState SC. It is one of the last bastions left in the USA.
Snowbirds are moving in. Funny how they leave a place they hate for one they like better, then go all out to make it like what they left. Not all, as some are “salt of the Earth folks” one is glad to see move in.

I live on a large lake (952 mile shoreline). Just up my river is where Burt Reynolds filmed ‘Deliverance’.
I like to joke that when I tried to move in, one had to have a Harley, a truck, and a Bass Boat to be admitted.

My boat is near 20 years old and looks it.
I searced the web for the smallest Pontoon, had to drive miles to pick it up.
I like to fish, and this boat is set up for that. To be accurate, I like to put out a few lines and troll. The beer on board is too cold and the music is always too loud.
I do catch fish, but just as important is seeing a new lake bird or one not seen lately.
Time on the lake makes one feel fresh as to life.

A Bass Boat is not for me. I am in awe of what friends have, but I am too lazy to cast all day. I find that most fishermen put in and race “all out” way down the river to a better spot. These great Bass Boats can do that. Those folks down river race up here, so go figure.
A big part of fishing is letting the boat run. I like that!

For me a small pontoon seemed best, and I was right.
I have almost traded, but could not let it go. For $12K bought a new motor as this boat took years to get right. The guys at the dealer thought me crazy. I have ripped out the carpeting. In a fishing boat blood and guts fall on the floor. I don’t mean from fish, but me getting hooked. In my defense have only one time had to go to the emergency room.

I once went out with a neighbor, and he rasied hell as my nice NB shoes marked his boat. Shoe scuffs or vomit are not a big deal on my boat. On many boats I am afraid to breathe less I dirty it.
They are wonderful, but don’t they fit my needs. Dogs with muddy feet are welcome.

My tiny boat can run at 18mph with the Mercury motor and just me on board. In better days Rosey was always with me, now I fish alone. All are welcome, but few are into this.
99% of the time my boat is pulled with a 36volt trolling motor. This big guy can do the job for days. It is silent and does not scare the birds. I mostly boat along the shore line.
As you might guess, after decades, know the lake as well as my yard. I would like to claim I know where the fish are, but they move around.

In my humble opinion, the best lake boat would be a small triple toon.
My boat is limited to 60HP, which is more than enough for my small boat.
A triple toon can pull skiers . That has never come up at my place, but more power is a great thing. If I buy a new boat, it will be that.
My newest neighbors bought one. I think they made the absolute best choice for a lake boat.

Most would see my 20 year old fishing boat as a disgrace. Neighbors might wish it to be hauled away.
It takes a long time to get things right. Adjustments take years. My rod holders are the best availble and in the right places. My stereo is excellent, not like on new boats. If I get hooked, a little blood is no big deal, that is why we have rain.

No one here has a trolling motor the equal of mine. That is because their needs are different. Parading around the lake is fun for a time and get boring. To that end, most boats here float much less often than mine. In fact, I do less in Summer. In Winter folks pull their boats out and leave it all to me.

I putter along at 3mph and catch fish, or maybe see birds.
Why would I change?

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Im further south than you, got a wide, 12’X60" JON Boat with a older Mud Buddy longtail motor. also have a crow(sneak) Boat, 10’(eagle plastics) which is a canoe with a square butt, for mounting a trolling motor. I do mostly swamp and river, Edisto, Ashley, Santee and Wadmacaw whats rough is when a gator passes thats longer than your boat…
a day on the water is a good day, dont matter if you catch a fish or not…
I picked both mine up used, took me about 6 months to get the JON in shape, weld a few spots, tighten up the transom, re-rivet a few spots, I got more in the longtail motor (used) than I got in both boats combined. but boat motors be like that.

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@GOBLIN @YardCrap Well Done Posts! My First boat was a 14 ft Lund and a 30 horse motor when I was 40 something! Then a nice little Glasspar 17 Cuddy Cabin with a 100 Merc Stainless Prop Etc Etc did 40 mph, Which is fast enough to Miss the Log Floaters with the Tide change and (Shi*) Weather Here In old A.K. Lost that one in the Divorce!: rofl:
Found a 24 Bucaneer Sail boat’ with a tiny little wood stove,V berth and a Toilet’ And a old 15hp merc on it’ The Merc went into (Davie Jones Locker) :rofl: Replaced it with a New 15 hp extra long Shaft Honda with a Steering and Cables Gauges Etc.
Now I Cruise at max of 7 mph if the Weather turns to Shi* I can find a safe Haven and throw the hook and crank up the wood stove and Crack a beer’:sunglasses:

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your boat is the buisness:+1::+1: i used to fish mostly lake and from the bank ive been out on my mates boat a few times but every time they had to bring me back in ,i was pukeing my guts up ,im not too good on boats, we fished mostly macrel and pollack my bigest fish to catch was a 5 ft conger eel @YardCrap

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I don’t particularly like or hate boats but I do build them for a living.

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My dad had a boat shop from the mid 70’s until early 80’s. It started out as a side business tuning up trolling motors to make fishing money and slowly grew until it was out of hand. We only dealt with fishing/pleasure stuff. (no ski boats)
We were a Jonhson motor dealer, we sold aluminum Gregor and Westerns, and larger Seaswirl fiberglass inboard and outbourds. We also did a lot of trade in used boats and a lot of service work.

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Growing up in Margate, NJ one could not ‘entirely’ get away from boating. My father owned an inboard for a few years until he ‘nearly’ escaped death from a motor explosion! I had owned a small Grady with a 30 HP Evinrude and fished about the back bays for Sunnies awhile, but I was more happy with my ‘feet trolling the sand…’ Big smiles!

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The wife and I campaigned this old 1/4 tonner for a decade on the San Francisco, San Pablo, Grizzly Bays and adjacent waterways. One of my most fondest memories was sailing into Suisun, a feat most “sailors” would not attempt. It’s a Gary Mull design and did the 1976 worlds championship in Corpus Christi TX. We had to pack it in, in 2001, and donated her to the Richmond Yacht Club Jr. Sailing Program.

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I like ‘em…here’s mine. 18’ long, 21" wide, 34 lbs., 1 HP (human power), top speed heavily dependent on condition of meat sack in cockpit but typically average 6-7mph on flat water. Have plans in the works for a Red Cedar strip-built surfski, currently exists only in CAD and my feeble brain…

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@chilipepper get it out of the planning stage and build it Dave. I love the feel of a wooden boat. ive helped restore a couple of old chriscraft, and years ago helped a buddy build wooden “sneak” boats, lil 1 man rigs. spent hours shaping wood in a sweat box for that perfect identical bend… that composite surfski i imagine is fast and swift in the water, but to do the same in something that you build your self… thats gratifying.

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@GOBLIN I concur wholeheartedly. Right now it’s a matter of time to finish the design and build it as well as space to do so. I still need to detail the seat bowl and foot well (as indicated by the gaping void in the middle of the design above), which is the really tricky bit. Get it right, you have a usable and comfortable boat, get it wrong, might as well be flotsam, good for nothing but kindling. I’d really like to turn it into a business at some point, but I’m way ahead of myself there. I’d happily take a pay cut to build wooden surfskis and kayaks for a living…and there are some guys out there currently doing it.

The composite boat is quick alright, but that just adds to the challenge of building my own. I want to see if I can bring my creation in at or below the weight of the purchased ski with the same level of performance. I’ll be happy if I can get close, ecstatic if I bring it in under weight.

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yea, looking at the way those are laid out, fully adjustable footbrace seems the only way to go, but you have to be dead on position to make it feel right… when you get to the point of filling, you going to foam fill or air bladder/envelope it? looking at the EPIC V8 ELITE specs, with a 3K carbonfibre laminate,and a nomex honey comb core, with a final weight of 23lbs(thats weighs less than my everyday GHB) your going to have to ensure minimum thickness for structural, and perfect fit on the seams and be spot on on sealing.
But i think you can get it in right at 34lbs + or - 5 good luck and keep us posted.

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Yeah, the adjustable footbrace is key and it helps control the COG/COB a bit more regardless of the size of the paddler by keeping the paddler’s butt at a fixed location. The older style Aussie lifesaver skis were fixed seat and fixed footwell with rudder tabs, so they were essentially sized skis and had to be built in multiple sizes to accommodate different paddlers. Not sure if I will fab my own footbrace or purchase one yet, the manufactured foam/carbon fiber ones are hard to beat for the price and super light weight as well.

The elite layups are crazy light and I don’t think attainable with red cedar and a home build. Hard to beat the honeycomb core material for weight as well, it has a consistency that’s hard to match with wood. I think the key will be picking good wood stock, planing it down to a minimum uniform thickness and fitting the seems very tightly, as you mentioned. Also need to do a good job fairing it before glassing, and the glassing needs to be done with some precision as well. Extra epoxy only serves to add weight. I’m tempted to mix in a bit of carbon fiber cloth for the inside layup, particularly around the cockpit area. In fact, I’m considering a carbon fiber layup without wood for the actual seat bowl. This would reduce weight even more and eliminate the hassle of trying to build the bowl with all it’s compound curves out of wood. Of course, this will require making a negative mold to do the layup on and then carefully grafting it to the rest of the wood hull.

Much like the purchased ski, the inside will just be open air, possibly with some close cell foam braces or bulkheads and it will have a high self-sealing vent/drain. I recall seeing a guy online who built his using foam strips in lieu of wood, I think he used carbon and kevlar for the layup (I plan to avoid kevlar as it will take on water if the hull is compromised). He vacuum bagged as well, which means he likely made the best possible use of the epoxy, and used a minimum of it to boot.

Since I have it in CAD, I’m tempted to cut the formers using CNC, like a Shopbot. That said, there is no automation for stripping the deck and hull, that just takes time, attention to detail and skill with a tiny edge plane. I might kick a small bevel on the strips when machining them to help but there will still be a fair amount of hand work. Same goes for the fairing work. That’s where you really bond with the boat. :slightly_smiling_face:

Will definitely post progress as the design evolves.

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good similar grained wood, avoid knots and burl, but weight and stress points trying to bend in a hot box, ive had knotty board crack or warp incorrect. ive also angle edged the seams to get that perfect fit, but you have to be real careful on plank width to work out the final measurement…sounds like a real fun project…

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The strips will probably finish out at 4-5 mm and no wider on the face than 1". I can always reduce that width where needed for tight curves, but I don’t want to go wider as it tends to reduce the ability of the strips to flex and conform to the formers. Definitely looking for straight, clean grain raw stock with no knots, checks or burls as you said. There are plenty of wood options but Western Red Cedar seems to be the go-to material for the best strip-builts due to it’s low specific gravity. And if you finish the boat clear, the looks are hard to beat with WRC. There’s a well known boat shop on the other side of the bay from me that can supply machined and bundled strips, but theirs are 1/4" plus in thickness, which means I’d have to do more work to them. They also come in short length which means I’ll have to scarf all of them to get 18’ lengths. Tempted to purchase raw boards and do all the machining myself, probably cheaper in the long run though with added labor on my end. I’m looking forward to the challenge and the fun of it.

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as your going to shave and cut anyway, I would get the rough cut and trim/shave to spec.
be better in the long run.you going to screw and glue, and then back the screws out and dowel once cured? (save on weight, add on strength) or you got a different plan?
I love a ground up build, on anything.
LOLOL I still use western red ceder on my self bow arrows.(make my own arrows) doesn’t warp, takes a impact, doesn’t shatter like some of the other woods, flies straight and true, doesn’t warp on launch…

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Yeah, I think that’s probably what I’ll end up doing. The precut strips are more expensive and I kind of have to take what I get in the bundles. I can pick and choose the rough cut boards at the mill and I have more control of the pieces as well. From what I gather most builders glue and use long staples into the formers. The only downside to that is if you finish the boat clear, the staple holes tend to show like little snake bites everywhere. Not a huge deal depending on how anal-retentive one wants to be with it. Well, that and you have to pull all the damn staples at some point. I could do it by cutting inset slots in the formers and use clamps, and while that eliminates the staples and resulting holes, it adds quite a bit of time to the stripping process as you have to wait for the glue on the last strip to set before you can remove the clamps and move to the next strip. I suspect I’ll go the staple route for my first build (this assumes there will be more than one build). WRC is a great wood, unfortunately it comes at a bit of a premium in the mid-Atlantic/Northeast area where I’m located. Oh well, sometime you’ve got to pay for the good stuff and nothing else comes close for the weight to strength ratio. Sitka Spruce would be a second choice but it’s in the same boat (pun intended) as the WRC around these parts and it’s a little heavier.

I imagine you make out alright with doing your own arrows. I haven’t done any archery since I was a kid but I would guess good arrows aren’t cheap. And if you’re making them yourself, you always know what you’re gonna get. :slightly_smiling_face:

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12 old growth Heavy spine arrow shafts cost me abut 52$ but to me its worth it. use my own acquired feather fletch and top em off with Zwickey Eskimo series broad heads…
they last as long or longer than some of my carbon fiber arrow shafts…
steel or stainless steel staples? or alloy?

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And that’s saying something, no doubt. Plus, you made them and there’s something about making stuff yourself that trumps everything else, particularly if you know what you’re doing and you’re good at it (safe to assume you are on both counts :wink:)

As the staples get removed, just regular cheap steel staples fired from an Arrow staple gun. Bear in mind the formers are not a permanent part of the build, so the staples must be removed to separate the hull or deck stripping from the formers (after glassing the inside of each for stability). While aluminum is light, it tends not to play well with salt or brackish waters, I avoid it at all costs for anything that will be a permanent part of the build. Anything permanent and metal on the build will be stainless steel (rudder shaft, pins, screws, etc.).

Apologies to everyone else if it seems Buck and I have hijack the thread a bit here with the the wood boat building aside. Much like cars/racing and guitars, I get a bit chatty and lost when talking about boat building. One of my many weaknesses. :blush:

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I have fished there many times, not in this boat.
I looked at lots there as I neared retirement.
Low country life is exceptional.

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