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Boat building - Wikipedia

Many people wonder how modern fiberglass boats are built, and boat building today is not at all like it was back when antique and classic powerboats were built. These days, boat building is actually pretty high-tech. In the modern age, building a boat begins with a mold. These one off fiberglass boat construction analysis be used to create Bavaria powerboats.

Overhead cranes are often constrjction to lift major boat parts, like this hull for a Regulator fishing boat, out of the molds and into position for further assembly.

The development of serious speed boats, like this Mystic catamaran, played a significant role as one off fiberglass boat construction analysis learned how to minimize weight. Fibegrlass was the cost of construction, however, that spurred on this trend among boat-builders of all types. Two examples of fiberglass cloth: the fiberglass at the left is significantly thinner and lighter, but provides less stiffness.

You can see the core with checkered appearance in this part, construuction to be vacuum-bagged at Sabre Yachts. Photo Credit: Sabre Yachts. Although many modern boatbuilders eschew the use of wood, on high-end custom yachts like this Jarrett Bay, methods like cold molding one off fiberglass boat construction analysis often considered superior to more modern techniques. Back Explore View All. Back Types View All. Unpowered Boats Kayaks Dinghies.

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By receiving your personal tiny trimaran. Or, weed. What if I put this stone upon this water. There have been times when One Off Fiberglass Boat Construction Company a usually process to find out one off fiberglass boat construction analysis the since product (even if it is compelling similar to hotcakes upon Ebay) can be essential is to boay it by handling only the couple of auctions.

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Applying heat softens them a bit and greatly weakens them indeed, they have very low heat resistance compared to most metals , and they may be set on fire, but they cannot melt and become fluid again. The glass fibers come in rolls of fabric. The most common sort is electrical-grade glass, known as E-glass, which was originally developed for use in electrical circuit boards.

The alternative is structural-grade glass, called S-glass, which was developed for use in airplane construction. S-glass not surprisingly is a much better structural material than E-glass. It is nearly half again as stiff and has much better impact resistance. Unfortunately, it also costs three times as much, which is why most boats are built of inferior E-glass.

Quality builders often use limited amounts of S-glass to reinforce certain heavily loaded areas of a hull or deck, but only rarely do you see an entire boat built out of it. To make something as large as a boat out of liquid resin and floppy fabric, you need a mold to shape and support the materials until they solidify.

In both cases, multiple layers of fabric are built up into a laminate, and after the resin in all the layers has set up hard and cured, the now solid part can be separated from the mold. When working with a male mold you are building up laminate from the inside out; the outermost layer goes on last, and if you want the outside of your boat to look nice and shiny you must fair and polish the exterior surface afterward.

With a female mold, the outermost layer goes on first. Either way you must take the trouble to fair and polish the entire surface at least once. But with a female mold you need do it only once though some intermediate cleaning and polishing is required and can then pop multiple fair-skinned boats from the mold thereafter. This is why production builders always use female molds.

They also use gelcoat, a thin coat of resin thickened with colored pigment, as the very first layer in the laminate so boats emerge from their molds prepainted as well as prefaired. One advantage of fiberglass construction is that it facilitates the creation of complex hull shapes.

But some shapes are still easier to form than others. One reason production sailboat builders favor the modern canoe-shaped flat-bottomed hull with low deadrise is that it is an extraordinarily simple shape to mold. You do have to bolt on a keel afterward, but that is a relatively simple matter of drilling holes and installing fasteners. A classic full-keel shape with lots of deadrise and deep bilges, by comparison, is more problematic since it is often impossible to extract a deep, narrow keel from a one-part mold, no matter how carefully the mold is waxed beforehand.

To ensure success a two-piece mold is often used, so the molded part can be more easily released by separating the halves of the mold. It is also difficult to properly lay up and wet out fiberglass fabric in a deep mold with hard-to-access spaces. In other cases, with tumblehome hulls, for example i. Molds themselves, of course, must also be created. To build one fiberglass boat, it is often said, you must in fact build two boats: the finished product and the mold from which it springs.

With a female mold, you normally build three boats to get one--first a male plug on which the female mold is formed, then the mold, and finally the boat itself.

Capital costs, therefore, are quite high, which is why truly custom one-off fiberglass boats are quite rare. It is possible to build fiberglass boats cost-effectively, but only if many boats are born of the same mold. This is what is unique about fiberglass construction. What special considerations are designers faced with when developing a new design for offshore construction?

For US designers and possibly for a large portion of Canadian designers, there will be the issue of differing measurement systems. It is more or less the case in North America that all construction trades still use the Imperial measurement system, whereas in most other countries of the world the Metric system is in use. As an example, in the US and Canada, whether you are purchasing plywood for fiberglass mold construction or for interior joinery, it will most often be supplied in feet and inch dimensions.

The same is the case when specifying metal structure: The metal components will virtually always be supplied in Imperial sizes. This situation means that a designer must know the construction venue as early on as possible in the design process.

For example, with metal construction, the difference between Imperial plate thicknesses and Metric plate thicknesses can have a dramatic effect on the overall weight of the structure. In addition, the designer must make frame size and spacing allowances in order to create a structure of equal strength, using materials which will be locally available to the builder of choice.

For example, my 25' tug-yacht Boojum was originally designed using all Imperial dimensions for construction in the US, in aluminum. When it was discovered that the vessel would be built in New Zealand, we made changes to the called out dimensions on the plans, and left the Imperial scale as it had been drawn.

Since Boojum was to be NC cut, there were quite a few changes to be made to the hull model, and to the computer defined parts. Fortunately, the decision to build in New Zealand was made prior to having expended much time on creating the actual NC cutting files, and it was a relatively simple transition. The main adaptations required in the NURBS surface hull model were to accommodate Metric sizes of aluminum tubing where Imperial aluminum pipe sizes had been originally specified.

Having been designed at first using Imperial materials sizes, of course all the plating, framing, and longitudinal members' strengths needed to be re-calculated via the ABS rule, using the Metric components' new dimensions.

This did require additional design costs, but those added costs did not amount to a great deal. I had originally sized components and their spacing quite conservatively. As an example, there were no changes of location required for the longitudinals, only changes of dimension. Several of my current vessel designs are being considered for construction in New Zealand.

These vessels have typically been designed using metal hull, deck, and house structures. In all cases I have encouraged the clients to pursue estimates for construction as early on as possible, in order to establish a relationship with a yard, and therefore to know in advance the country in which the vessels will be built. With this decision made early on in the design process, I will be able to begin the NC cutting files sooner, and be that much farther ahead of the process when construction begins.

In addition to differences in the available sizes of materials and differing measurement systems in use, there will be differing standards with regard to stability, structure, and safety.

Whether construction is to be done in the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, one will need to choose which body of standards to apply. For my design work, I most often make use of the ABS rule for structure. If the vessel makes use of a wooden structure, it will be according to Lloyds.

I have also come to appreciate the simplicity of the German Lloyd's rule. With a few minor exceptions, the ABS rule books are clear and well organized. The ABS rule provides the benefit of being flexible in terms of skin thickness, as well as frame and longitudinal spacing. Other scantling rules, such as the one recently put forth in Elements of Boat Strength, by Dave Gerr, instead provide a prescriptive or "cookbook" approach, giving the designer a much simpler rule, but one with much less flexibility.

The MSA also provides inspections during construction. The specific stability criteria used will vary somewhat according to the type of US registry that is being sought. Nevertheless, it is the standard. By comparison to the US CFR criteria, the ISO criteria are uniformly applied, therefore they are relatively easily calculated for a wide variety of sailing vessel types.

These criteria can be excessively restrictive in terms of sail area due to induced heeling angle. However for small offshore sailing yachts or passenger carrying sailing vessels, in particular if they are relatively light displacement, the CFR criteria are at best difficult-to-impossible to satisfy.

For smaller sailing yachts, say below feet, it seems far more appropriate to make use of stability criteria for offshore sailing yachts recommended by the International Standards Organization ISO. The DSF method was originally proposed by Moon and Oossanen using stability data gathered after the well-known Fastnet race losses.

Now in its final form, the ISO criteria for sailing vessels are contained within ISO - applicable to yachts from 6 meters to 25 meters in length. Although complex, the criteria are rigorous. Rather than establishing a simple range of positive stability, eight separate seaworthiness factors are calculated and accumulated into a "Stability Index" STIX which rates the yacht for service in one of four categories: Ocean; Offshore; Inshore; Sheltered.

As an assessment of relative seaworthiness for sailing yachts, I have found both the original DSF and the final STIX criteria to be highly appropriate and extremely useful. For construction in New Zealand, unless a given feature or equipment item is specified otherwise, builders there will ordinarily defer to the requirements of the New Zealand Maritime Safety Authority MSA.

Weld quality, structural arrangement, safety, and other types of inspections are easily accommodated through the MSA. Prior to choosing a yard in New Zealand to build the tug-yacht Boojum, the client invited me to accompany him on a trip there with the purpose of meeting with the prospective builders, and to discover if other yards might be more suited to the project than the few which we had already contacted.

We toured New Zealand from Invercargill to the Bay of Islands, and in the process met nearly every significant builder on the South Island, then began looking around the North Island. We discovered that the level of experience in the boat building work place in New Zealand is very good. New Zealand has an apprenticeship program for boat builders, and the results of that seemed to be evident in the quality of the work being done at the yards we visited.

In other words, we were impressed. In the US where GRP construction is most common, it often seems somewhat unusual to consider a new yacht built in metal. As a result, it can at times be an adventure to find a qualified US metal boat builder with shop space available. In New Zealand by comparison, metal yachts large and small are everywhere, and the metal working expertise is readily available for their construction.

During the last several years, internet connectivity has become widespread. We can now take advantage of quick and inexpensive worldwide communication via email and via the web. We have all become increasingly dependent on email as a working communication tool, even locally.

As a tool to help manage projects on the other side of the world it has proven to be indispensable. Using the Boojum project as an example, we made use of email right from the very start.

Sending documents as PDF's permits all formatting to be preserved including special fonts that may not even be on the recipient's computer system. The recipient can view the document and print it out as it was intended to be seen. Perhaps of greater value, they are unlikely to edit what they receive. Using these methods we negotiated the contract via email and kept the yard up to date with the most current Vessel Specification.

Except for the Lines Drawing itself, the plans sheets for Boojum were hand drawn, so updates were sent via international courier. Parts were nested onto metric plate sizes that had been specified by the New Zealand metal cutter. After a "pre-flight" process of verifying the accuracy of the files, the parts were cut, then delivered to the builder. By email the New Zealand yard provided us with weekly updates on the progress of construction and using a digital camera they emailed photos of the vessel taking shape.

The emailed photos were used primarily to keep us informed of progress, but also to verify the yard's interpretation of the drawings. Occasionally they were used in order to ask for clarification of some detail or other. This worked extremely well. In my view, internet connectivity is what made building Boojum in New Zealand such a smooth process. Since then, email has become central to all our communications and even to the work flow, allowing our design team to be 'location independent' not just with regard to the project, but with each other.

During the design and construction of Boojum I researched product specs on the web. This was especially useful for items available locally in New Zealand for which I did not previously have information. In recent years, a large book case full of catalogs is totally obsolete On other vessels we've designed I have made use of public and private web pages. As drawings are completed, they are posted either to a private page for the client, or to a public page, whichever is appropriate to the situation.

A yard building a boat in New Zealand for export may also import materials and equipment for that vessel without customs duty being imposed on import to New Zealand, or on export from New Zealand. Importing a Vessel to the United States: As mentioned, there is currently no duty imposed on a vessel that has been built in Canada when imported to the US.

For a vessel built in New Zealand there is a 1. When the vessel is completed and launched, there will be a period of Sea Trials, done either by the yard, or by both the yard and the new owner. In New Zealand, as in the US, Sea Trials are considered to be an extension of the construction of the vessel, during which time no taxes are levied. In New Zealand, after Sea Trials have been completed to the owner's satisfaction, title to the vessel is completely transferred to the owner, and a period of "in-country" use begins.

In the case of Boojum, the builder asked the New Zealand authorities for a three month in-country trial period for the owner, to allow cruising around New Zealand without taxation. If Boojum then exits New Zealand within the allowed three month grace period, there will not be any New Zealand taxation. We have not investigated whether this grace period could be extended, but we anticipate that it would not be a problem if requested in advance.

According to pricing provided by the builder in New Zealand, shipping Boojum to the US as cargo on the deck of a ship would cost approximately the same it would cost to truck the vessel across the US. Boojum is 25 feet long, and weighs around 14, pounds light. For an ocean going trawler yacht or sailing yacht the use of a delivery skipper is always an option.

Most of them will quote on the basis of a cost per mile, plus consumables and expenses. Despite her relatively small size, Boojum was designed for long range passage making so is capable of making that kind of voyage on her own bottom.

We can see that building offshore can provide a decided cost advantage to a US client, and in particular that New Zealand, Australia and Canada are quite good places to build a boat. New Zealand for example has a well trained work force, and a very boat-oriented population. As a confidence factor, New Zealand, Australia and Canada are familiar cultural environments in which to do business, and there are no language barriers to US customers. New Zealand and Australia are pleasant to visit, the people are friendly, and the countryside is stunningly beautiful.

As a bonus, we can visit "down under" during our winter and get a good dose of summer sun! What Will the Design Cost..?

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