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Hard dinks, nesting dinks, and why we like them


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So I asked about dinghys of at That Other Forum and was subject to a lengthy reading from the Book of RIBs on how the One True Way is for me to get a 10' aluminum bottomed deflatable with a 15 HP Yamaha Enduro, and hoist these two pieces of kit every night to the foredeck and the rail, respectively, locking them with cables to ensure their continued presence on the morrow.  Sermon then followed on how I would understand once I got Out There in the Bahamas and southern Florida, because I would then want to leave my big boat at anchor 7 miles away from shore and haul a load of laundry and gin hither and yon at 15 knots with the dink.

I see a number of problems with this line of reasoning:

  1. I actually like to sail; my vision of cruising does not include leaving the big boat on the hook for weeks at a time in one spot.
  2. Docking the big boat once in a while on, say, laundry/grocery day doesn't seem to me like it's necessarily a bad thing
  3. There is very little to like about deflatables other than ease of storage
  4. I am actually OK with rowing a reasonable distance every day
  5. While the RIB+15hp approach may make sense in Florida and the Bahamas, other areas of interest to me don't have the shallow flats and shallow inlets these areas have, at least, not to the same extent  (Great Lakes, East Coast, inland rivers, balance of the Caribbean)
  6. Having a dink that is fun to sail wouldn't be a bad thing
  7. Having a dink that moves through the water well enough that a trolling motor or 2.5 hp gasser can push it would be a good thing

I presently have a 25' plastic basket case of a boat from 1975 that I am hoping to upgrade to, say, a Valiant 40 with blisters or something

I took a serious look at the PT-11 and Danny Greene's Chameleon, both nesting designs, and have sort of shelved them out of concerns about sufficiency of capacity and ability to handle rough water.  Also have looked at the trinka, fatty knees, plans for GV11 and others.  For that matter a cheap 12' aluminum utility hull would be an aesthetic improvement over a RIB and would row better.

Looked at the Porta Bote and don't think it's right for us.

It seems to me that many of the 8-10' hard dinks are too small for serious use from a capacity and seaworthiness standpoint.

I note that many of you have hard dinks of one kind or another, and that there is a greater acceptance of towing.  I'd appreciate any advice on designs or commercially available dinks to look at, real-world capacity, seaworthiness, what fits on the foredeck, where and when it is possible to tow, etc.

I like to scuba dive and Lake Superior has rocks, which make it that much harder to find something suitable, I guess.

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It depends on the build quality. We've sold lots of prototypes for 7- 9000 dollars with rigs and foils. I think a really carefully built PT 11 should be worth $10,000, but that seems a bit nuts. It's

I built a tender for when I was a full time liveaboard. I had a couple of neighbors in the anchorage build variations on my original with varying degrees of success. I ran the cabinet shop for the lar

somersault 26 Newick

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I will continue to sing the praises of that not-cool but supremely practical minivan of the dinghy world: the Walker Bay 10' RID.

Great at nothing but good at everything. It has massive volume compared to a big-tube inflatable of the same length. Its tubes are relatively unobtrusive but greatly increase the weight carrying capacity. It will happy continue to float even if you flatten both tubes. It rows reasonably well. It sails reasonably well. It goes reasonably well with a 2.5 horse four-stroke that you can carry with one hand. Said 2.5 horse motor will go for days on a gallon of gas. You can find one on Craigslist for $1000 or less and if you're patient, you can get oars and a sailing rig for that price.

Annoyances but not deal killers: the ride's a little wet in the bow in any kind of chop. It wants weight forward so you'll need a tiller extension on your outboard. It weighs about 110lbs dry. If you're making better than 4 kts, you're flying.

Note: none of this applies to the Walker Bay 8' boat, which is good at almost nothing. 

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22 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

So, an old valiant 40 has around 8’ of cabin top space forward of the mast.

what sort of length is acceptable before you need a nester?

Doesn't that pretty much depend on how much stuff/people you want/need to carry in a single trip? And how far?

Friends have a Fatty Knees and it suits them perfectly. I have a Chameleon and think the freeboard is a bit low. One up you really need a tiller extension for the outboard, too. Also got an 8' tinny that's way more stable than the Chameleon but I haven't tried fitting it to the cabin top yet - measurements say it *should* fit. If not and I still want it there I'll cut 150mm off of the pointy bit and weld a bit of flat plate there.

FKT

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Ooohh, timely topic.  I was going to open a similar thread but I was searching around first, to make sure I wasn't duplicating. Since we're all here anyway...

After fooling around with various inflatables (but no RIBs), I've decided that I *really* prefer a hard dinghy. 

My observations:  The "pros" of an inflatable are boarding stability, flotation and stowability* (*doesn't apply to RIBs). The cons are-  doesn't row worth a shit (oarlocks are often sub-standard, oars are vestigial and nearly useless), eventually degrades and develops air leaks, often ships water while towing in rough weather.  Lack of internal volume.

My spousal unit and I are not the most graceful people so the initial instability of a hard dinghy while boarding and exiting were a concern. Boarding from a bobbing stern ladder is just a big "Nope!"  So what to do?  A friend offered me his Dyer Dhow 9' dinghy.  That was the answer.

The Dhow has a broader, flatter bottom than many dinghies its size, giving it good boarding stability which is the biggest "pro." The blunt, round bow deflects water in a pretty rough chop so it tows very dry. It has a capacity of 650 lbs.  Lots of internal volume. It sails well, rows wonderfully, speedy with little effort. A 35lb. thrust trolling motor or Torqueedo is very fast with low current draw.  The Dhow has integral flotation foam in the thwarts.  The sailing rig mast collapses into two pieces and stows in my q-berth with little effort. The boat itself is attractive. 

The cons of the Dhow are- weight (106 lbs), stowability (doesn't deflate), boarding stability still not as high as an inflatable, can be swamped and sink or nearly sink. Not self-bailing.

My T-33 has 10 feet between the stem and the mast, so I can stow it on deck but I haven't actually done it yet.  My wife was skeptical at first, unhappy with the boarding stability...until one night when she ungracefully tumbled into the boat from a high wall. When the Dhow didn't dump her into the water, she was greatly reassured and now sings its praises.  We rig a ladder amidships at the axis of the boat's motion so boarding and exiting are much safer and easier.

Like @2airishuman,  I've noticed that the One True Way while Big Time Cruising appears to be an inflatable, preferably a RIB...until I found the How to Sail Oceans guy on YouBoob:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTmJcC_Yw3IL7Bvtf_7nTLw

He built two prams (both ran over and destroyed by power boats) and subsequently bought a Fatty Knees. The guy has circumnavigated in an engineless, gaff rigged cutter and rows hard dinghies pretty much exclusively.  Now, he bounces back and forth between the East Coast and the Caribbean, using a hard dinghy.  So it can be done and it's not crazy.

I think one important trick to cruising with a hard dink is to develop a trustworthy, convenient hoisting rig that makes the boat quick and easy to stow on deck.  If the recovery rig is easy to use, you're less likely to be lazy and leave the boat in the water. I think it's more important to stow a hard boat out of the water than an inflatable, especially while sailing any significant distance in open water.  Once a hard dink is swamped, recovery is difficult and hard on the hull and towing hardware.  I also think the aspiring cruiser should take a hard look at the dinghy and be willing to make modifications that make it tougher, safer, easier to recover, etc.

Yeah, I think there are some real advantages to a hard tender if you're willing to deal with the inconveniences.

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We managed to fit a Minto on the foredeck of a Tartan 30 with no problems, towed it in enclosed waters easily as well.

Didnt bother with a motor, but we did change the standard oars for scooped blades.

It would meet all the OP’s issues except stability and beam, didn’t really bother us though..

 

 

3C4AFC2F-1F06-4F3B-A923-E8480AE37D8C.jpeg

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Back here in Tassie we always use the ubiquitous Purdon 10 dinghy, it is very stable but still rows well, we still don’t bother with an outboard here as we have excellent spoon bladed oars.

just trying out a small electric trolling motor in this pic

 

ED26669D-AB17-469B-BDEF-A6DA26987A30.jpeg

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I'll only say, are you sure you're going off shore enough to have to stow the dink often? 99% (my guess by observation) of boats along the coast tow their dinghy. Maybe get a stowable inflatable when you're off shore enough to need it? 

 

I've towed dinghy's for decades from Canada to the Exumas, because we the dinghy's were too big to stow on deck. They (prams) towed very, very well and I never lost one (I was always resigned to cast a dink that was a problem, off). 

 

If we were blue water sailors, I'd have to find a different way. But along the coast we've been very happy with a hard dinghy. We like to row, - love actually at most times and want the excercise(sailing is sedentary).

 

We had a noisy stinky oily little outboard for a bit in the Bahamas that cured us of ever wanting to deal with one again. We ended up rowing more in the Bahamas, two trips from New England in fact, because we preferred the rowing. 

 

We still get a kick out of sailing our 9'6" Nutshell Pram that I built over 20 years ago to replace an 8' pram that became too small (we added kids and dogs). 

 

These days, I especially appreciate the simplicity of our hard dinghy. There are so many systems to maintain on a coastal cruiser, a nice rowing dinghy with two stout oars is such a simple reliable system. Like an ice box (which I also appreciate).

 

No bingo wings on my wife (or me). 

553674325_RowingPdogsbalanced(1of1).thumb.jpg.579e2b194ea58a5763dd54a467cb9956.jpg

 

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"A lengthy reading from The Book Of RIBs" yep good stuff. Most of those people are engaged in a battle to be cruisier-than-thou and are pathologic conformists also.

I drove around in a big RIB to be a sailing coach, but as others have said, the disadvantages of a deflatable are numerous.

post-30927-127176744791_thumb.jpg

This isn't really The Perfect Dinghy for anybody but me and the dog. It's 9' LOA but really more like a pram with a pointy (well, pointy-ish) bow grafted on. The dog weighed 70 lbs, twice as much as the dinghy, and obviously had no boat sense, so high initial stability was a high criteria for the design. This came in very handy, getting in/out under awkward circumstances, kedging out an anchor, etc etc. It also rows very very well, although just to find out how it behaved I put a 2 hp outboard on it once.

It's a major PITA to design and build your own, though. In fact if these http://biekerboats.com/project/nesting-dinghy/  had been available, I'd have done one of these in a heartbeat (I still might, although the lapstrake look is priceless).

I got the same ranting from almost every "serious cruiser" we met out cruising, some of whom tried to claim it was actually dangerous to not have a 10~11' RIB with an outboard blah blah blah. Ignore them. Most are actually good folk, and could even be friends if you overlook this little foible.

FB- Doug

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@Kris Cringle  What are "bingo wings?"

Sure, I'd tow a dinghy along the coast with a good forecast and reasonable opportunities to duck out.  I don't think I'd risk it sailing to the Bahamas and points further south from the east coast.  Once in the Bahamas, etc. I might revert to towing it.  I never put the Dyer on deck in the Chesapeake.

I love the prams but they lack the capacity I need. I like the CLC 10 foot Tenderly but the Dyer still carries more.  I love the CLC Passagemaker. That fits the bill but I'd have to get the nesting version to fit it on deck.  The Dyer Dhow is the only boat I'm seeing that gives me over 600lbs. in a 9 foot sack.

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@Kris Cringle  What are "bingo wings?" [I had to google it because I thought the picture showed two dogs hanging ourboard of the dink, like wings, and thought perhaps the dogs were named Bingo1 and Bingo2.]. 

According to Urban Dictionary, "...bingo wings unknown the flabby fatty skin which hangs down between ones elbow and shoulder. most obvious examples are older women who have not learnt that holding a feltip pen at a bingo hall does not constitute exercise..."

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I grew up with Dyer dhows - great boats.

I'm surprised you think the PT11 has insufficient capacity or can't handle rough conditions.  What do you plan to carry?  How rough is rough? I've had no issues rowing long distances into chop and wind with groceries, jerry-cans and laundry.  However, I can see an issue if you had a large pet, a hard dinghy might not be a good choice.  It also fits perfectly under my boom. 

 

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It's also light enough to carry up a beach - though here we didn't have far to go. 

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Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't want a PT11 as a cruising dinghy. Too pretty. I'd be worried about nicking it up, scraping the bottom, etc. I have no qualms about abusing my Walker Bay and I like that it's an appliance, not a work of art. 

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I designed the GV10 and GV11 for bateau. The 11' is enormous and too big for most people as a dinghy. We had a GV10 for a few years on our cat before it was stolen in Australia.

Then it was replaced with a RIB - because lived on a pile mooring in the Brisbane River and we needed a replacement RIGHT NOW today. We lived with the RIB for several more years of cruising.

On our previous boat we had a bateau FB11 nesting dinghy (inspired by Danny Greene's Chameleon). We had it for 8 years (4 cruising/4 living aboard but used for commuting to work)

So I think I have a good understanding of the pros and cons of both types of dinghies for extended cruising.

11 hours ago, 2airishuman said:
  • Docking the big boat once in a while on, say, laundry/grocery day doesn't seem to me like it's necessarily a bad thing
                     > yeah but sometimes where you go that just isn't an option
  • There is very little to like about deflatables other than ease of storage
                    > few really deflate their deflatables. Most store them inflated on the foredeck or in davits
  • I am actually OK with rowing a reasonable distance every day
                    > Good for you. A hard dinghy sounds like what you need
  • Having a dink that is fun to sail wouldn't be a bad thing
                   >  unless it's fast & easy to rig it will be used very infrequently IMO
  • Having a dink that moves through the water well enough that a trolling motor or 2.5 hp gasser can push it would be a good thing
                   > any dinghy will do this, hard or inflatable

Thoughts on all my dinghys:

FB11

- super compact when nested

- great for 2 largish adults + groceries, not so great for 3 (not quite enough freeboard)

- sailed OK with a Sabot rig (slightly faster than an Opti/Sabot/El Toro) but hull twist limited performance

- very seaworthy. Rowed it in >25 knots of wind to carry out a kedge anchor and have been in big seas with it

- hard to get into with scuba gear. But we were young and agile and made it work

- durable and easy to fix

- light enough to easily carry or drag up a beach

- 3.5 HP motor we eventually added after several years for longer trips was plenty

GV10

- huge capacity (4-6 adults)

- planing hull so not designed as a row boat

- never going to sail well

- but it rowed OK with 7-1/2' long carbon sweeps I got a deal on

- very stable (could stand on one side and pee over the side)

- great for scuba expeditions with 2 or 3 (just plane with 3 adults + scuba gear + 15 HP)

- very beamy so not good for stowing on foredeck

- would have made a better lifeboat because it was so roomy

- with decent gunwhale fendering it wasn't too unfriendly

- durable and easy to fix

RIB (AB I think)

- stable

- better ride in rough chop than GV10 because tubes deform and cushion the ride

- poor at rowing

- wet bum from sitting on tubes

- big tubes are better than small tubes

- fiberglass bottom easy to fix, tubes kept getting leaks

- nice to mothership topsides

- best for scuba diving

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Take a look at B&B Yacht designs - lots of hard dinghy options, and an active builders’s forum online (and advice also available from the designer).

https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/sail/catspaw/

I’ve never built one, but have been planning to for a long while (will this winter)...I know that for a hard dinghy (perhaps along with with a simple roll up inflatable, for scuba, carrying big stuff??), I’d go with either the Two-Paw 8 or Two-Paw 9 (both nesting).  The 9 is preferable, but can only fit on our deck, aft of mast, if a deck-mounted storage box that I built isn’t there (I.e., is not mounted).  (This box is extremely handy for carrying wetsuit, crab trap, etc., given limited storage in our 33’ boat, so would most likely be mounted on deck for an extended cruise...which is precisely when you’d want a large-capacity dinghy!)

Which I think leaves me with basically only one good hard dinghy choice, a Two-Paw 8, since its nested dimensions (specifically nested length) will work perfectly on our deck aft of mast).  It’s also not super heavy, esp. if built w/ 3mm ply (I think) and no fibreglass, which the designer told me wasn’t that necessary (he’s had his, made of thin, un-glassed ply, for decades, he said).  I’d likely raise the gunwhale a bit (I believe there’s good info on the forum about how people have done this). 

In short, compromises... :-)

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I built a tender for when I was a full time liveaboard. I had a couple of neighbors in the anchorage build variations on my original with varying degrees of success. I ran the cabinet shop for the large beach resort in the VI and just sort of folded up my skiff in the shop with little hard fast design work. I had dimensions of the top of the trunk cabin plan view of my Passport 40 and wanted the dink to sit upside down just within the handrails and cover the hatch over the fwd head on the Passport with the Pullman bunk which put the head right at the front of the cabin trunk. The idea was to be able to leave the head hatch open and the dink to act as a big Dorade vent offshore and not intrude with the side decks or the foredeck. The biggest feature was what I called a 'Split Vee' bottom shape that was the result of a parallel tunnel hull of sorts and a false bottom sole. That made it self bailing and gave a soft ride at speed and it tracked like it was on rails. It was very stable along side and at speed with a 9.9 Yamaha but probably would have planed well with two and a 6HP 4 stroke. I made some pretty ambitious open water passages in it in search of surf in the VI and Culebra and the biggest drawback was being a bit sticky (wetted surface) when rowing and the sharp v's dug into the sand when trying to pull it up a beach. Later versions had wider keel flats which help in both respects. 

     I worked out the hull form in my 3d CAD software a couple of years ago and could offer plans or patterns for building one if anyone is interested. The recent re-design was sort of a WLYDO project with Bob P and he had a small boat manufacturer out in the PNW who wanted a nesting version. The tunnel hull sort of scared them off but they ended up knowing what they really wanted and we sort of gave up with them. I did two nice more conventional designs for them, a rowing weighted version and then a more outboard oriented planing hull. They were such a moving target that neither went past the computer design. The final submission was rejected for 'looking too much like a Bob Perry creation' which had been the object all along. I was told this by another PNW designer who they had commissioned for the concept and he didn't get as far with them as I had. He told me that 'looking too much like a BobP design' was about as good a 'backhanded' compliment that I should ever hope for!

 

image.thumb.png.501100806776986c1a684cc418ba4137.png

      I never got around to doing the cut for a nester on this one but might dust it off if anyone is interested. 

image.thumb.png.0235262cab2779bdfbd479be8eb6244e.png

 

     One of the nicest things about it is the wide 'pramlike' bow that makes it easy and stable to step over the bow when landing on a beach. I have hauled a lot of groceries, jerry jugs, ice bags and kids in the slightly longer original version and will probably add a notch in the transom to get the OB motor weight further fwd and have the notch straddle the base of a mast for less projection down the cabin trunk. The 9'9" version fit the Passport like a glove almost like the dink was made for it, wait, it was!

image.thumb.png.05c7567d311255d43c985d62e1199c52.png

 

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34 minutes ago, Ajax said:

@Elegua What's the carrying capacity of a PT11?  I can't find anything about it on their website.  I see that the boat itself is 90lbs.

I think the CG rated capacity is pretty light: about 600lbs or so? I forget what's on the builder's plate. 

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Thank you all for the replies.

Kris Kringle wrote : <<I'll only say, are you sure you're going off shore enough to have to stow the dink often? 99% (my guess by observation) of boats along the coast tow their dinghy. Maybe get a stowable inflatable when you're off shore enough to need it?>> 

Quote

Kris Kringle wrote : <<I'll only say, are you sure you're going off shore enough to have to stow the dink often? 99% (my guess by observation) of boats along the coast tow their dinghy. Maybe get a stowable inflatable when you're off shore enough to need it?>> 

I anticipate spending a good deal of time on Lake Superior, which is notorious for its erratic weather.  I wouldn't want to get caught out by a squall.  Otherwise, still some passages outside given the condition of the ICW.

IStream: I've received some other recommendations for the Walker Bay but not for the version with the sponsons.  I agree that it is a sufficient, if utilitarian, answer.  There is something to be said for being able to just buy it rather than take on another construction proejct.  I looked at the PT-11 and came to the conclusion that I am unwilling to spend $6000 on a kit for an 11' dinghy, no matter how nice it is. 

Zonker: I'd looked at the study plans for the GV10 after you mentioned it in another thread, and find it intriguing.  Thanks for the other insights, also.  Is there much of a difference in hull shape between the FB11 and the Chameleon?  I have the Chameleon plans but FKT upthread and others have mentioned initial stability and capacity as problems. My wife is perhaps not as nimble as some, she struggles to get into a canoe from a dock.

Rasputin22: Thanks for that, intriguing design.  I'm adding it to my notes.  The shape looks like it should fantastic initial stability.  I like the idea of notching the transom forward for both of the reasons you mention.  Did you seal the tunnels completely or do they open to the air somewhere?

 

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Compared to Chameleon my FB11 is a better rowboat (I think) with more rocker and a finer bow shape. When you have 2 people in it, the bottom of the transom just kisses the water. The rear passenger seat moves forward about 12" to do so which helps trim.   It's not super stable but it's certainly more stable than a canoe. No worse than a typical 9' glass hard dinghy. It was optimized for rowing first, and sailing was a distant second thought.

FB11_350.jpg

Yes, the PT11 is a nice boat but really is it $6K for the kit now? I assume that includes a sailing rig and every conceivable option. (Went and checked. Base kit is $3K). I really like the PT11 and think Paul and Russell have done a great job on the design. A lot of work has gone into writing the manual and designing all the fancy fittings to assemble it in the water. It will be a better sailing dinghy than the FB11 (more powerful hull form) but it is a lot more work to build.

The FB11 is a Kia, the PT11 is a BMW without all the irritating check engine lights.

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52 minutes ago, Zonker said:

 Rasp - how was the turning with that hull shape? Did it stay flat, lean in or lean out?  What was it like with a heavy load (tunnel slamming?)

Zonker,

     That little tender was really pretty much spot on for what I intended. I had worked a couple of years earlier with Mike Peters who knows a thing or two about fast planing motorboats and he had told me first hand the story about the evolution of the 'split Deep-Vee' hull at Cigarette or whichever incarnation of Don Aronow's boatbuilding was at the time. Don had things pretty much figured out on L/B and deadrise angles and Mike told me that in fact that Don had really only ever designed one fast powerboat hull, the 32'er that he won his first Offshore Championships with. Everything that followed was Don just sitting down with that first table of offsets and a hand calculator and multiplying the lengths, widths and heights by different factors to get the subsequent hull forms. Mike came along later and added the transverse steps to the old deep vee hull shapes and added a lot to Cigarette which is who we working for in New Orleans after Don had sold it to Halter Marine. We got Mike with that deal for a couple of years until the board of directors forced Harold (Halter) to sell Cigarette back and focus on the workboat origins of the company. 

    So the story goes that after Don had sold his boatbuilding companies once he won a championship under a particular name, he would just move further down the street (Thunderboat Alley) and start a new company and usually was back on top of the race course competition within a year or two. After a long string of besting the guys who he had just sold the company to someone put a 'non compete' clause in the contract for the sell. The terms were that Don could only build 12 new Deep-Vee powerboat hulls in the next year in the thinking that Don would just build deluxe luxury models for the big bucks (which he did) and not bother with the smaller pure racing boats. Don sold out his 12 hulls under the name Squadron XII for the 12 hull limit) early in the year and was really bugged that he had to stop until he figured a loophole. It occurred to him that if he split one of his Deep-Vee hull molds down the middle and add a narrow tunnel he would not only get a more stable hull with more deck area but would also fall outside of the definition of Deep-Vee and he could build as many as he liked. As it turned out once they got the proportion of the tunnel worked out that the cat hulls were faster on the inshore courses such as Key West. The Bimini race across the rough Gulf Stream still favored the traditional Deep Vee's but the cat was out of the bag so to speak. 

    It wasn't long before Don had convinced his old buddy George Bush that the Asymmetric Split Vee hulls would be perfect for the DEA drug interdiction patrol craft since they sit dead in the water in the dark awaiting the smuggling boats listening for the load powerful motors. A typical Deep-Vee will roll its (and the crews) guts out laying ahull like that and the wider split vees did help a lot in that manner. So along come the Blue Thunder boat and Don pissed off the drug barons who boat their smuggling boats from him. He assured the drug lords that the ZF transmissions in the Blue Thunder boats (with no auto throttle or really skilled throttlemen) would never keep up with the drug runners. A Split Vee can get a lot of air under it if it launches and flip before landing hard and the CG crews liked sitting around waiting in those boats but were scared to death of them in a chase. I heard a story from a reporter who was sent to go on a Blue Thunder Mission and when he showed up on the boat, the crew handed him a flack jacket and a life vest. He asked which he should put on first and they told him to wear the life vest on his chest and to sit on the flak jacket in case the under specd ZF transmissions blew up and he might survive the shrapnel coming up through your seat!

    Anyway, I digress but the little Split-Vee tender was a result of picking Mike's head and the little boat ran fast and smooth for its length and the flats on the bottoms of the Vee's broke up the water into spray and froth and you really didn't get solid water hitting the top of the tunnel. One of the later versions a friend built at 15' still had the same tunnel proportions and sharp vee's to 'cut the water' and it just let solid water slam into the top of the tunnel hard and the extra length just meant that the air would get compressed and it would spit out the front of the tunnel in some conditions. That boat lacked volume in the bows and it would bow steer and submarine and was prone to lean away from a sharp turn while the original stayed pretty flat in turns. Hard to make a split V bank inboard but the flats on the keels and the downturned chines can keep it relatively flat and under control. I also made custom hand shaped 'Dolfin' foils for the cavitation plate long before the molded plastic commercial ones show up on the market and I think that the lift from the foil on the lower unit help with the 'hole shots' to get up on a plane as well as mitigating the outward roll. It is the thrust of the motor that is the biggest effect on the tendency to bank to the center of the turn and the foil really helps vector the thrust to help with that roll without the 'plank on edge' effect of a single deep vee. 

    Funny that you ask all of this because my copy of Pro Boatbuilder came today and there is an article about the old inverted Vee Hickmann Sea Sleds that I am looking forward to reading.

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4 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

I built a tender for when I was a full time liveaboard. I had a couple of neighbors in the anchorage build variations on my original with varying degrees of success. I ran the cabinet shop for the large beach resort in the VI and just sort of folded up my skiff in the shop with little hard fast design work. I had dimensions of the top of the trunk cabin plan view of my Passport 40 and wanted the dink to sit upside down just within the handrails and cover the hatch over the fwd head on the Passport with the Pullman bunk which put the head right at the front of the cabin trunk. The idea was to be able to leave the head hatch open and the dink to act as a big Dorade vent offshore and not intrude with the side decks or the foredeck. The biggest feature was what I called a 'Split Vee' bottom shape that was the result of a parallel tunnel hull of sorts and a false bottom sole. That made it self bailing and gave a soft ride at speed and it tracked like it was on rails. It was very stable along side and at speed with a 9.9 Yamaha but probably would have planed well with two and a 6HP 4 stroke. I made some pretty ambitious open water passages in it in search of surf in the VI and Culebra and the biggest drawback was being a bit sticky (wetted surface) when rowing and the sharp v's dug into the sand when trying to pull it up a beach. Later versions had wider keel flats which help in both respects. 

     I worked out the hull form in my 3d CAD software a couple of years ago and could offer plans or patterns for building one if anyone is interested. The recent re-design was sort of a WLYDO project with Bob P and he had a small boat manufacturer out in the PNW who wanted a nesting version. The tunnel hull sort of scared them off but they ended up knowing what they really wanted and we sort of gave up with them. I did two nice more conventional designs for them, a rowing weighted version and then a more outboard oriented planing hull. They were such a moving target that neither went past the computer design. The final submission was rejected for 'looking too much like a Bob Perry creation' which had been the object all along. I was told this by another PNW designer who they had commissioned for the concept and he didn't get as far with them as I had. He told me that 'looking too much like a BobP design' was about as good a 'backhanded' compliment that I should ever hope for!

 

image.thumb.png.501100806776986c1a684cc418ba4137.png

      I never got around to doing the cut for a nester on this one but might dust it off if anyone is interested. 

image.thumb.png.0235262cab2779bdfbd479be8eb6244e.png

 

     One of the nicest things about it is the wide 'pramlike' bow that makes it easy and stable to step over the bow when landing on a beach. I have hauled a lot of groceries, jerry jugs, ice bags and kids in the slightly longer original version and will probably add a notch in the transom to get the OB motor weight further fwd and have the notch straddle the base of a mast for less projection down the cabin trunk. The 9'9" version fit the Passport like a glove almost like the dink was made for it, wait, it was!

image.thumb.png.05c7567d311255d43c985d62e1199c52.png

 

Interesting, for a long time I have been thinking of building a 10’ version of Bolgers Diablo, with an 8’ bottom panel and a shortened transom bow.

this boat is a sort of mirror image of a five panel hull.

link to Bolger Diablo https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Farchive-media-0.nyafuu.org%2Fn%2Fimage%2F1487%2F64%2F1487647419047.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Farchive.nyafuu.org%2Fn%2Fsearch%2Fusername%2FDiablo%2BGuy%2F&tbnid=kWbT3gsY3ECU4M&vet=1&docid=QqOdqYqC1USBzM&w=1305&h=2000&itg=1&hl=en-au&source=sh%2Fx%2Fim 

Its sort of a hard dinghy version of a RIB.

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Just to be complete, I have had a lifetime of good service from Bolger Elegant Punts or Bolger Nymph dinghies, just widen the bottom panels and transom by 6” to get 4’ beam.

Bolger kept them skinny to get the boats out of two ply panels, but they are much more useful if built a bit wider.

Havnt sailed them but they row well, even with a good load.

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12 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

Interesting, for a long time I have been thinking of building a 10’ version of Bolgers Diablo, with an 8’ bottom panel and a shortened transom bow.

this boat is a sort of mirror image of a five panel hull.

link to Bolger Diablo https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Farchive-media-0.nyafuu.org%2Fn%2Fimage%2F1487%2F64%2F1487647419047.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Farchive.nyafuu.org%2Fn%2Fsearch%2Fusername%2FDiablo%2BGuy%2F&tbnid=kWbT3gsY3ECU4M&vet=1&docid=QqOdqYqC1USBzM&w=1305&h=2000&itg=1&hl=en-au&source=sh%2Fx%2Fim 

Its sort of a hard dinghy version of a RIB.

I built a Bolger Nymph dinghy. It rowed amazingly well for such a simple shape. Yeah, there might be some influence there from Phil.

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I've owned a few rigid dinghies now.  The one that I spent the most time on was a Dyer Dhow Midget, but I never got it to tow well (it didn't want to plane).  Now I have a Gig Harbor Ultralite 9, which has much more volume, is a lot lighter, and rows and tows more nicely.  No sailing kit, but I'm saving that as a future project.

About every year or two a NN10 nesting dinghy kit comes up on Seattle's CL, and I'm always tempted by those.  There is one now:

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/d/seattle-nesting-dinghy/6933530905.html

I think the freeboard is a little shallow for a tender, but I got to row one and it was pretty nice.  They run a tiny little jib instead of being a cat rig for some reason.  The sails on the one that I tested were just made out of tarp material and weren't very good.

 

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I know you said you didn't think a PB was for you, but did you try one out? Rows well (not as well as a proper rowing one though but a million times better than a RIB), planes with a 4HP or less and can be dragged up beaches/on deck fairly easily without having to use a halyard. Also pretty much indestructible. And they break down for easy storage. 

Disadvantages are they are fairly weird if you are not used to them, it IS kind of a pain assembling/dissembling them, the 8ft is fairly tippy (the 10ft is a lot better in that regard) and they are really ugly. Though it makes it less likely to get stolen.

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1 hour ago, alctel said:

I know you said you didn't think a PB was for you, but did you try one out? Rows well (not as well as a proper rowing one though but a million times better than a RIB), planes with a 4HP or less and can be dragged up beaches/on deck fairly easily without having to use a halyard. Also pretty much indestructible. And they break down for easy storage. 

Disadvantages are they are fairly weird if you are not used to them, it IS kind of a pain assembling/dissembling them, the 8ft is fairly tippy (the 10ft is a lot better in that regard) and they are really ugly. Though it makes it less likely to get stolen.

I have not tried one out but have corresponded with several people who have them.  I would agree that they're better than a RIB.  Trouble spots for me are:

1) They do not stow well for passage.  Received wisdom is that the big piece ends up on the stanchions where it poses a risk should green water come over the bow, and the transom and seats require additional stowage below.

2) They are a complicated niche product, and factory support is iffy.  Reflecting upon unrelated purchases that have gone poorly for me over the years, this is a red flag.

3) Several users say they're a little bit twisty and squirrely, which my wife would not like.

4) As you point out, they are really a power boat that rows OK, rather than something that is a joy to row.

I have heard elsewhere that the 10' is the size to get, and that setup/disassembly time is perhaps more than one might like (though this is also true of ribs and nesters).

 

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20 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

This isn't really The Perfect Dinghy for anybody but me and the dog. It's 9' LOA but really more like a pram with a pointy (well, pointy-ish) bow grafted on. The dog weighed 70 lbs, twice as much as the dinghy, and obviously had no boat sense, so high initial stability was a high criteria for the design. This came in very handy, getting in/out under awkward circumstances, kedging out an anchor, etc etc. It also rows very very well, although just to find out how it behaved I put a 2 hp outboard on it once.

Doug, was that the carbon fibre one I remember you talking about maybe 15 years back? I've been meaning to ask you about how it survived.

One of the things I dislike about the Chameleon is, it's heavy. I didn't build it so have no idea just what went into the construction, just a few of us were toying with the idea of making up some epoxy infusion CF panels and then building a dinghy from them. It was a 2 bottle of wine discussion I may add so absolute practicality didn't feature too highly. A nesting dinghy the length of a Chameleon but a bit more beam & freeboard, under 30kg, would be great IMO. Sort of tempted to weld one up from 5083 ally but my thin plate aluminium welding skills suck.

Someone made a comment re midships versus stern boarding. I spent a number of years as fisheries biologist doing foreign fishing vessel boardings in the Arafura Sea and NW Shelf area. We used to launch from a mother ship & board the FFV for a few days to check on catches etc then go home again. We trashed a number of RIB's where the davits were stern mounted and almost damaged people too - the stern would go up on a swell, RIB would get sucked under, slam.... I HATE stern boarding setups, they're dangerous & useless in anything except a flat calm. That isn't a RIB versus hard dinghy problem, the RIB's were great, it was a boarding and recovery problem. Not an issue I guess if you only ever use a dink in a calm anchorage but my boat is set up for midships boarding.

FKT

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17 hours ago, Zonker said:

I designed the GV10 and GV11 for bateau. The 11' is enormous and too big for most people as a dinghy. We had a GV10 for a few years on our cat before it was stolen in Australia.

Then it was replaced with a RIB - because lived on a pile mooring in the Brisbane River and we needed a replacement RIGHT NOW today. We lived with the RIB for several more years of cruising.

On our previous boat we had a bateau FB11 nesting dinghy (inspired by Danny Greene's Chameleon). We had it for 8 years (4 cruising/4 living aboard but used for commuting to work)

So I think I have a good understanding of the pros and cons of both types of dinghies for extended cruising.

Thoughts on all my dinghys:

FB11

- super compact when nested

- great for 2 largish adults + groceries, not so great for 3 (not quite enough freeboard)

- sailed OK with a Sabot rig (slightly faster than an Opti/Sabot/El Toro) but hull twist limited performance

- very seaworthy. Rowed it in >25 knots of wind to carry out a kedge anchor and have been in big seas with it

- hard to get into with scuba gear. But we were young and agile and made it work

- durable and easy to fix

- light enough to easily carry or drag up a beach

- 3.5 HP motor we eventually added after several years for longer trips was plenty

GV10

- huge capacity (4-6 adults)

- planing hull so not designed as a row boat

- never going to sail well

- but it rowed OK with 7-1/2' long carbon sweeps I got a deal on

- very stable (could stand on one side and pee over the side)

- great for scuba expeditions with 2 or 3 (just plane with 3 adults + scuba gear + 15 HP)

- very beamy so not good for stowing on foredeck

- would have made a better lifeboat because it was so roomy

- with decent gunwhale fendering it wasn't too unfriendly

- durable and easy to fix

RIB (AB I think)

- stable

- better ride in rough chop than GV10 because tubes deform and cushion the ride

- poor at rowing

- wet bum from sitting on tubes

- big tubes are better than small tubes

- fiberglass bottom easy to fix, tubes kept getting leaks

- nice to mothership topsides

- best for scuba diving

Unfortunately, I can’t access the Bateau plans anymore.

Jacques has morphed to “ Boatbuilder Central” and the site is useless...

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2 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Doug, was that the carbon fibre one I remember you talking about maybe 15 years back? I've been meaning to ask you about how it survived.

One of the things I dislike about the Chameleon is, it's heavy. I didn't build it so have no idea just what went into the construction, just a few of us were toying with the idea of making up some epoxy infusion CF panels and then building a dinghy from them. It was a 2 bottle of wine discussion I may add so absolute practicality didn't feature too highly. A nesting dinghy the length of a Chameleon but a bit more beam & freeboard, under 30kg, would be great IMO. Sort of tempted to weld one up from 5083 ally but my thin plate aluminium welding skills suck.

Someone made a comment re midships versus stern boarding. I spent a number of years as fisheries biologist doing foreign fishing vessel boardings in the Arafura Sea and NW Shelf area. We used to launch from a mother ship & board the FFV for a few days to check on catches etc then go home again. We trashed a number of RIB's where the davits were stern mounted and almost damaged people too - the stern would go up on a swell, RIB would get sucked under, slam.... I HATE stern boarding setups, they're dangerous & useless in anything except a flat calm. That isn't a RIB versus hard dinghy problem, the RIB's were great, it was a boarding and recovery problem. Not an issue I guess if you only ever use a dink in a calm anchorage but my boat is set up for midships boarding.

FKT

Yes, that's the one. It's held up fine, when we sold the cruising boat the buyers did not care enough about it to ask for it, so I kept it. Doesn't get as much use now, but I still take it out for a row in the creek.

It's also a very practical utility boat. You can board it over the bow, or the side, and it lets you know "Hey I'm only a 9 ft boat here" but it doesn't swamp or throw you in. Our local wildlife monitors use it (my wife volunteers with this group among others) for patrolling small creeks  and ponds that are difficult to get to. They used to use a canoe which many of them disliked.

The idea of using infused or vacuum-bagged panels is a good one IMHO, I've heard about a couple of people doing it. You have to deliberately make the panels flexible (unless you do something like "Constant Camber") and then add another layer of glass (or carbon), so you'd still have to vacuum bag a boat-shape, which is a PITA, to get the full benefit. The math for small boats says the weight savings is less dramatic, but I can tell you that people are still surprised picking up the 35 lb dinghy. It's also hella strong, and doesn't rot. I have little patience any more with boats you have to be careful to not put your foot thru.

I have spent a small amount of time getting on/off boats & ships in open water (never actually out at sea though). I love open transoms and stern platforms but yes they are not good for this. Our cruising boat (a 36' diesel trawler) had a gate in the bulwark amidships, and I build a small boarding ladder that could be hung there. In a rowing boat, you have to be a bit more careful coming alongside than rowing up to the transom. Recovering a person overboard should be done amidships IMHO.

FB- Doug

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43 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yes, that's the one. It's held up fine, when we sold the cruising boat the buyers did not care enough about it to ask for it, so I kept it. Doesn't get as much use now, but I still take it out for a row in the creek.

It's also a very practical utility boat. You can board it over the bow, or the side, and it lets you know "Hey I'm only a 9 ft boat here" but it doesn't swamp or throw you in. Our local wildlife monitors use it (my wife volunteers with this group among others) for patrolling small creeks  and ponds that are difficult to get to. They used to use a canoe which many of them disliked.

I'll be back home in ~2 weeks now I've finished my consulting work here in Sydney. Might send you an email sometime after that and get some more info about that boat (maybe send you a new pic or 2 of my boat out sailing if the temperature warms up a bit).

Dinghies are always a PITA. Too big to easily stow if a useful size, too small to carry much otherwise. At least, IME, on a boat less than say 45'. Over that there's usually room on deck and/or sufficient transom width/height for davits. I do like the nesting dinghy options. Dave Gerr has the plans for one in one of his books too, IIRC. I now have an empty workshop.....

FKT

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3 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Unfortunately, I can’t access the Bateau plans anymore.

Jacques has morphed to “ Boatbuilder Central” and the site is useless...

Yep, it's a mess.  The plans are at https://bateau.com/studyplans/GV10_study.php?prod=GV10

Here's a construction video.  Not much to it, much less work than the nesters.  I would be tempted to put at least some thin cloth or kevlar over the whole thing, in addition to taping the seams, but that's how light boats end up getting heavy so maybe not. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Yes, that's the one. It's held up fine, when we sold the cruising boat the buyers did not care enough about it to ask for it, so I kept it. Doesn't get as much use now, but I still take it out for a row in the creek.

It's also a very practical utility boat. You can board it over the bow, or the side, and it lets you know "Hey I'm only a 9 ft boat here" but it doesn't swamp or throw you in. Our local wildlife monitors use it (my wife volunteers with this group among others) for patrolling small creeks  and ponds that are difficult to get to. They used to use a canoe which many of them disliked.

The idea of using infused or vacuum-bagged panels is a good one IMHO, I've heard about a couple of people doing it. You have to deliberately make the panels flexible (unless you do something like "Constant Camber") and then add another layer of glass (or carbon), so you'd still have to vacuum bag a boat-shape, which is a PITA, to get the full benefit. The math for small boats says the weight savings is less dramatic, but I can tell you that people are still surprised picking up the 35 lb dinghy. It's also hella strong, and doesn't rot. I have little patience any more with boats you have to be careful to not put your foot thru.

I have spent a small amount of time getting on/off boats & ships in open water (never actually out at sea though). I love open transoms and stern platforms but yes they are not good for this. Our cruising boat (a 36' diesel trawler) had a gate in the bulwark amidships, and I build a small boarding ladder that could be hung there. In a rowing boat, you have to be a bit more careful coming alongside than rowing up to the transom. Recovering a person overboard should be done amidships IMHO.

FB- Doug

Is the Dyer Dhow still being made?   If not, find someone in the "industry" to pop a mold off of an old one and vacuum-bag a carbon 9'.   Paint it white and amaze your friends with your strength when you pick it up.   Likewise, it will add probably 50lbs of carrying capacity.

- Stumbling

Update - Google fu just found them, still in business.    Might want to ask if they would be willing to add "special black" to one.   It might turn into a marketable item for them.

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17 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

Is the Dyer Dhow still being made?   If not, find someone in the "industry" to pop a mold off of an old one and vacuum-bag a carbon 9'.   Paint it white and amaze your friends with your strength when you pick it up.   Likewise, it will add probably 50lbs of carrying capacity.

- Stumbling

I got a quote for a new midget from Dyer a couple of years ago when I was looking for a dinghy. 

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5 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Unfortunately, I can’t access the Bateau plans anymore.

Jacques has morphed to “ Boatbuilder Central” and the site is useless...

 Olaf, count your blessing not being able to access Bateau plans anymore!     

     Jacques was pretty useless all along. I did a nice design for him and he had no concept of how to model 'developable surfaces' which was one of the biggest gripes from his customers for the plywood kit boats. On his forums his home builders would describe and show in photos of how the hull bottom panels would not lay down properly against the SNS cut frames and bulkheads especially in the forefoot oh his V-hulls. His lack of understanding of how to create 'conic' sections in the ply planking was preposterous for someone posing as the guru for the home boatbuilder. He would advise his customers in these cases to soak towels in boiling water over the balky areas and then just use webbing clamps to pull down the panels to the bulkheads. That often would not do the trick so Jacque would further advise making shallow kerfs in the area that was being balky and not pulling down to the obviously incorrect bulkhead shapes for true developed panels. Sort of a 'if it don't fit. force it' hack which left many customers with cracked and shattered expensive Brunzeel and Meranti panels. 

    I did the design work for the Panga 22 that Jacques was offering and it was based on a 23' Trinidadian Pirouge that a good friend had been building in FG for about 10 years. I had bought a 22'er in the Islands and sent to my friend who made some improvements (more freeboard aft and more rake to transom making it 23') and built about 100 on a semi-custom to order basis. Still very much in demand and you rarely see used ones for sale. In 2008 he closed up shop and I wanted to make the design available in a CNC cut kit for home builders and approached Mertens about marketing it through his site. He was thrilled and I did a full 3d model which I provided to Bateau and insisted that it was a misnomer to call it a Panga as is evolved in an entirely different manner and source that the Panga. The high sharp bow is nothing like the ugly true Panga 'horsecollar' bow but Jacque insisted that the Panga name and popularity was more important than the true source and design intent. I should have known then to beware of the mans motives. 

    He made a few minor tweaks to my design 3d model which warped the true conic bottom panels which had been carefully modeled to be developable and would bend properly to the frame and bulkheads which had been digitally 'spiled' to the bottom panels rather that the other way around. When I reviewed Jacques modifications and 'unrolled' the panels in the design program instead of one simple elegant conic surface his 'tweaking' had broken the single surface into multiple surfaces (polysurfaces) of which some were developable and some just pure garbage. I tried to point this out and suggested that many of his previous designs had the same sort of flaws resulting in him having to put out those customer related fires with poor craftmanship rather that address it with proper design.

     Long story short, the guy is a thief and I never saw a dime from him and he later did a simple scaling of his ersatz Panga 22 up to a Panga 25 and then a cabin Panga 25 which I had showed him in the beginning. His only claim to fame is to having set up the first online Marine website for selling overpriced epoxy resin and plagiarizing others design work.

 

Not like it was the first time

Default Did Jacques Mertens pirate a design from Joe Dobbler?

I raised this point on another thread, but I think it deserves its own thread. I'm curious to hear what other people think.

While looking at Joe Dobbler's designs on Duckworks a few weeks back, I ran across his LISSA for the first time, a 15'6" design for oar and sail with a five-panel stitch and glue hull. I immediately noticed the striking similarity between Lissa and Jacques Mertens' OTTER.

If you compare the two side-by-side (see drawings below), you'll see that Otter appears to be a rather obvious copy of Lissa with a few modest changes. The hull shape, size, frame placement, construction method, and sail plan are all quite close to being identical. Both boats are listed as 15'6" long with a beam of 4'1", and Otter has a slightly larger sail, 65 sq. ft. versus 60. The similarities are so striking that it's hard for me to imagine any scenario whereby the two boats might have been designed independently of each other. I assume Lissa was designed first -- Joe died in 1997, I believe.

Joe's drawings went to his son-in-law when he died, and the son-in-law is now selling plans through Duckworks. 

So what do you think? Did Mertens copy Lissa?

Here's LISSA: http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/do...issa/index.htm

234-L.gif

And here's OTTER: http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/OT1....htm?prod=OT16

OT16_plpr.jpg
 

 Re: Did Jacques Mertens pirate a design from Joe Dobbler?

 
Quote Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
As a boat designer, if I were Dobbler, I would not be particularly upset. A lot of traditional designs are going to look similar. Unless someone recycles the exact hull shape or the boat has some particularly unique features, I wouldn't spend forum space on a question like this.
That's interesting, Roger, because I've heard second hand (from someone I trust) that a couple of people whom I won't name are not happy with Mr. Mertens ... they apparently feel that he's gone too far in copying their work without attribution or payment.

And while these drawings are small, it's quite possible that the hull shapes are an exact copy, with perhaps a small change to the shape of the bow. I'd love to see plans for both Lissa and Otter to see how closely the panel shapes match, and how much difference (if any) there is in the outside dimensions of frames and bulkheads. (I used to have a set of plans for Otter ... If I still had them I'd order the plans for Lissa and take a look.)

 

     

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3 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

 Olaf, count your blessing not being able to access Bateau plans anymore!     

     Jacques was pretty useless all along. I did a nice design for him and he had no concept of how to model 'developable surfaces' which was one of the biggest gripes from his customers for the plywood kit boats. On his forums his home builders would describe and show in photos of how the hull bottom panels would not lay down properly against the SNS cut frames and bulkheads especially in the forefoot oh his V-hulls. His lack of understanding of how to create 'conic' sections in the ply planking was preposterous for someone posing as the guru for the home boatbuilder. He would advise his customers in these cases to soak towels in boiling water over the balky areas and then just use webbing clamps to pull down the panels to the bulkheads. That often would not do the trick so Jacque would further advise making shallow kerfs in the area that was being balky and not pulling down to the obviously incorrect bulkhead shapes for true developed panels. Sort of a 'if it don't fit. force it' hack which left many customers with cracked and shattered expensive Brunzeel and Meranti panels. 

    I did the design work for the Panga 22 that Jacques was offering and it was based on a 23' Trinidadian Pirouge that a good friend had been building in FG for about 10 years. I had bought a 22'er in the Islands and sent to my friend who made some improvements (more freeboard aft and more rake to transom making it 23') and built about 100 on a semi-custom to order basis. Still very much in demand and you rarely see used ones for sale. In 2008 he closed up shop and I wanted to make the design available in a CNC cut kit for home builders and approached Mertens about marketing it through his site. He was thrilled and I did a full 3d model which I provided to Bateau and insisted that it was a misnomer to call it a Panga as is evolved in an entirely different manner and source that the Panga. The high sharp bow is nothing like the ugly true Panga 'horsecollar' bow but Jacque insisted that the Panga name and popularity was more important than the true source and design intent. I should have known then to beware of the mans motives. 

    He made a few minor tweaks to my design 3d model which warped the true conic bottom panels which had been carefully modeled to be developable and would bend properly to the frame and bulkheads which had been digitally 'spiled' to the bottom panels rather that the other way around. When I reviewed Jacques modifications and 'unrolled' the panels in the design program instead of one simple elegant conic surface his 'tweaking' had broken the single surface into multiple surfaces (polysurfaces) of which some were developable and some just pure garbage. I tried to point this out and suggested that many of his previous designs had the same sort of flaws resulting in him having to put out those customer related fires with poor craftmanship rather that address it with proper design.

     Long story short, the guy is a thief and I never saw a dime from him and he later did a simple scaling of his ersatz Panga 22 up to a Panga 25 and then a cabin Panga 25 which I had showed him in the beginning. His only claim to fame is to having set up the first online Marine website for selling overpriced epoxy resin and plagiarizing others design work.

 

Not like it was the first time

Default Did Jacques Mertens pirate a design from Joe Dobbler?

I raised this point on another thread, but I think it deserves its own thread. I'm curious to hear what other people think.

While looking at Joe Dobbler's designs on Duckworks a few weeks back, I ran across his LISSA for the first time, a 15'6" design for oar and sail with a five-panel stitch and glue hull. I immediately noticed the striking similarity between Lissa and Jacques Mertens' OTTER.

If you compare the two side-by-side (see drawings below), you'll see that Otter appears to be a rather obvious copy of Lissa with a few modest changes. The hull shape, size, frame placement, construction method, and sail plan are all quite close to being identical. Both boats are listed as 15'6" long with a beam of 4'1", and Otter has a slightly larger sail, 65 sq. ft. versus 60. The similarities are so striking that it's hard for me to imagine any scenario whereby the two boats might have been designed independently of each other. I assume Lissa was designed first -- Joe died in 1997, I believe.

Joe's drawings went to his son-in-law when he died, and the son-in-law is now selling plans through Duckworks. 

So what do you think? Did Mertens copy Lissa?

Here's LISSA: http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/do...issa/index.htm

234-L.gif

And here's OTTER: http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/OT1....htm?prod=OT16

OT16_plpr.jpg
 

 Re: Did Jacques Mertens pirate a design from Joe Dobbler?

 
Quote Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
As a boat designer, if I were Dobbler, I would not be particularly upset. A lot of traditional designs are going to look similar. Unless someone recycles the exact hull shape or the boat has some particularly unique features, I wouldn't spend forum space on a question like this.
That's interesting, Roger, because I've heard second hand (from someone I trust) that a couple of people whom I won't name are not happy with Mr. Mertens ... they apparently feel that he's gone too far in copying their work without attribution or payment.

And while these drawings are small, it's quite possible that the hull shapes are an exact copy, with perhaps a small change to the shape of the bow. I'd love to see plans for both Lissa and Otter to see how closely the panel shapes match, and how much difference (if any) there is in the outside dimensions of frames and bulkheads. (I used to have a set of plans for Otter ... If I still had them I'd order the plans for Lissa and take a look.)

 

     

That is a bummer.    There were a few of the small fishing boat designs that looked appealing on the old "bateau" site.   Glad I did not pull the trigger on that.

- Stumbling

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3 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Yep, it's a mess.  The plans are at https://bateau.com/studyplans/GV10_study.php?prod=GV10

Here's a construction video.  Not much to it, much less work than the nesters.  I would be tempted to put at least some thin cloth or kevlar over the whole thing, in addition to taping the seams, but that's how light boats end up getting heavy so maybe not. 

 

 

But the issue is storage space.  A nester is chosen *specifically* b/c of limited on-deck storage space.  

Love the GV10 - but no way I could store it on deck.  (Maybe it’s time I upgrade to that big custom aluminum cat I’ve always wanted :-) )

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7 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Unfortunately, I can’t access the Bateau plans anymore.

Jacques has morphed to “ Boatbuilder Central” and the site is useless...

 https://boatbuildercentral.com/wp/#

I have a long term relationship with Jacques. He found me on rec.boats.cruising and has resold my FB11 plans probably for 20 years. I designed a number of other boats for him (GV10,11, kayaks, mini trawlers), finished the 18' sailing sport boat, and did some other completing of his initial design work. I've gotten regular royalty payments every month for years. One of my boats is the Maia 24, named after my daughter. The royalty payments have helped her university fund. I've always found him to be honest in my dealings with him. 

What  you report about developable shapes not developing don't seem to be a current issue. I do know some of his Carolina style bow boats require kerfs but he says that in the study plans. Some people use crappy exterior grade plywood that doesn't bend as well as good marine ply.

I'm sorry to hear that you weren't paid for your design work; that's not the guy I know.  He sold the site 2 years ago and is now semi-retired but still replies on message board.

 

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27 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I would be tempted to put at least some thin cloth or kevlar over the whole thing, in addition to taping the seams, but that's how light boats end up getting heavy so maybe not. 

If you plan to use it as a fast planing hull you need to add a single layer of 400 gm / 12 oz biaxial to the bottom, inside and out. Though some people don't.

 

3 hours ago, Ajax said:

What would be the weight savings if the GV 10 were constructed of carbon fiber?

GV10 is all 1/4" ply except the transom. It is very hard to get lighter than 6mm okume plywood and still have panels stiff enough. 

6mm ply = 21 lbs for a 4x8 sheet = 3.2 kg/m2

Similar to an I-14:  300 gm carbon / 10mm foam / 300 gm carbon = 2 kg/m2 so a fair bit of weight savings BUT a a single layer of woven carbon will not be very durable. Dinghies need to be strong enough that a random sharp rock on the beach don't punch through the skin. The laminate I describe would have to be carefully carried to the water and placed in. Not very practical.

A more practical layup would be 600 outside / 400 inside. = 2.8 kg /m m2.  There go almost all your weight savings.

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17 minutes ago, Zonker said:

 https://boatbuildercentral.com/wp/#

I have a long term relationship with Jacques. He found me on rec.boats.cruising and has resold my FB11 plans probably for 20 years. I designed a number of other boats for him (GV10,11, kayaks, mini trawlers), finished the 18' sailing sport boat, and did some other completing of his initial design work. I've gotten regular royalty payments every month for years. One of my boats is the Maia 24, named after my daughter. The royalty payments have helped her university fund. I've always found him to be honest in my dealings with him. 

What  you report about developable shapes not developing don't seem to be a current issue. I do know some of his Carolina style bow boats require kerfs but he says that in the study plans. Some people use crappy exterior grade plywood that doesn't bend as well as good marine ply.

I'm sorry to hear that you weren't paid for your design work; that's not the guy I know.  He sold the site 2 years ago and is now semi-retired but still replies on message board.

 

Well I'm glad to hear you had good dealings with him. He must have been more forthright 20 years ago. The boat business can do that to people. 

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42 minutes ago, Zonker said:

If you plan to use it as a fast planing hull you need to add a single layer of 400 gm / 12 oz biaxial to the bottom, inside and out. Though some people don't.

 

GV10 is all 1/4" ply except the transom. It is very hard to get lighter than 6mm okume plywood and still have panels stiff enough. 

6mm ply = 21 lbs for a 4x8 sheet = 3.2 kg/m2

Similar to an I-14:  300 gm carbon / 10mm foam / 300 gm carbon = 2 kg/m2 so a fair bit of weight savings BUT a a single layer of woven carbon will not be very durable. Dinghies need to be strong enough that a random sharp rock on the beach don't punch through the skin. The laminate I describe would have to be carefully carried to the water and placed in. Not very practical.

A more practical layup would be 600 outside / 400 inside. = 2.8 kg /m m2.  There go almost all your weight savings.

Misquote :-) (you probably miscopied/pasted - someone else wrote in the thread, “I would be tempted to put at least thin cloth or Kevlar...”)

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It's a mix of carbon and olefin (polypropylene). I guess the PP gives it low density. Got to see if you can get the stiffness in single skin that I want.

I've also looked into a recycled carbon mat but the properties weren't there

What was your little tender made out of?

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59 minutes ago, Zonker said:

It's a mix of carbon and olefin (polypropylene). I guess the PP gives it low density. Got to see if you can get the stiffness in single skin that I want.

I've also looked into a recycled carbon mat but the properties weren't there

What was your little tender made out of?

1/4" Fir marine ply, 1/2" AC Doug Fir transom, foredeck and one frame at the aft edge of the foredeck. 2 layers of 1/8" doorskin to make the wrap around bow. That 1/8" luan was very suspect for glue as it was the sacrificial cover pieces that by cabinet ply bundles came packed in but was the only thing that would make that bend. I think the whole outside was wrapped in 6 or 8 oz surfboard cloth and West Epoxy. I had cutoffs from some bullnosed edged oak stairtread stock that I clamped both sides at the side panel sheer. I actually glued the inside sheerclamp before setting the boat up to get a sweet sheerline. Stitch and glue at its finest! 

     Funny thing is that while in the middle of that project I got invited to a Christmas dinner on St Thomas and was introduced to my friends father who was down visiting for the holidays. Nice retired gentleman who in asking what I had been up to I told him about my little boat project. I had done twisted wire S&G boats previously but this was the first time I had used nylon electrical tie wraps. I was singing the praises of the Tie-Wraps TM for gradually pulling the panel seems together and the fine tuned ratchet feature of the nifty wraps and the old guy got a funny look on his face. I thought he was trying not to laugh at my enthusiasm but he finally let out a chuckle and stopped me and asked if I knew who had invented the electrical Tie-Wrap. I was puzzled and said I had no idea and he smiled even broader and told me that he had and held a patent of the simple item and how it had bought the fine mountain top in which we were sitting! I had always wondered how the young couple who were our hosts had afforded such a place but it was Dad's royalties on the tie-wraps that micro penny at a time had bought the fine property.

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

If you plan to use it as a fast planing hull you need to add a single layer of 400 gm / 12 oz biaxial to the bottom, inside and out. Though some people don't.

 

GV10 is all 1/4" ply except the transom. It is very hard to get lighter than 6mm okume plywood and still have panels stiff enough. 

6mm ply = 21 lbs for a 4x8 sheet = 3.2 kg/m2

Similar to an I-14:  300 gm carbon / 10mm foam / 300 gm carbon = 2 kg/m2 so a fair bit of weight savings BUT a a single layer of woven carbon will not be very durable. Dinghies need to be strong enough that a random sharp rock on the beach don't punch through the skin. The laminate I describe would have to be carefully carried to the water and placed in. Not very practical.

A more practical layup would be 600 outside / 400 inside. = 2.8 kg /m m2.  There go almost all your weight savings.

Gotcha.  Fascinating stuff.

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Innegra really adds toughness to the brittle nature of carbon fiber. Basalt can work well too for abrasion resistance.

Kevlar was great for abrasion and toughness but had the disadvantage of absorbing water if the coatings were scuffed. Innerrga doesn't have that drawback. This guy tells the story well.

 

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20 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

1/4" Fir marine ply, 1/2" AC Doug Fir transom, foredeck and one frame at the aft edge of the foredeck. 2 layers of 1/8" doorskin to make the wrap around bow. That 1/8" luan was very suspect for glue as it was the sacrificial cover pieces that by cabinet ply bundles came packed in but was the only thing that would make that bend. I think the whole outside was wrapped in 6 or 8 oz surfboard cloth and West Epoxy. I had cutoffs from some bullnosed edged oak stairtread stock that I clamped both sides at the side panel sheer. I actually glued the inside sheerclamp before setting the boat up to get a sweet sheerline. Stitch and glue at its finest! 

     Funny thing is that while in the middle of that project I got invited to a Christmas dinner on St Thomas and was introduced to my friends father who was down visiting for the holidays. Nice retired gentleman who in asking what I had been up to I told him about my little boat project. I had done twisted wire S&G boats previously but this was the first time I had used nylon electrical tie wraps. I was singing the praises of the Tie-Wraps TM for gradually pulling the panel seems together and the fine tuned ratchet feature of the nifty wraps and the old guy got a funny look on his face. I thought he was trying not to laugh at my enthusiasm but he finally let out a chuckle and stopped me and asked if I knew who had invented the electrical Tie-Wrap. I was puzzled and said I had no idea and he smiled even broader and told me that he had and held a patent of the simple item and how it had bought the fine mountain top in which we were sitting! I had always wondered how the young couple who were our hosts had afforded such a place but it was Dad's royalties on the tie-wraps that micro penny at a time had bought the fine property.

fortuitous tie in (pun intended): I built jacque's D4 pram about 25 years ago.  in typical home builder fashion i varied from the construction plans some including not using wire but tie wraps and further my "analytical brain" convinced me to use very small holes and small tie wraps.  i got the boat stitched together and it was sitting up on saw horses.  I was contemplating the next step when...one wrap snapped under the tension and ziiipppppp, every wrap failed in rapid succession and the pieces fell onto the floor! 

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Years ago I built a 15’ rowboat to Mertens Plans, it worked out but there was a problem with the dimensions on his full scale plans and even when I used his offsets and lofted them myself, some gaps between panels I had to fill with fillets and tape.

Now you mention it, there was also a problem twisting the bow panels, but I just sorted that myself.

makes sense now.

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7 hours ago, Tanton Y_M said:

Tantonest, the 3 pieces dink.

...    ...    ...

315rowing.jpg

 

That's a great small boat testing facility. I assuming the wave maker is just out of the picture to the right, and the giant fans are turned off for this pic?

FB- Doug

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Rasputin, could you post the images of that pram that you were working on? I liked that boat!

Now all we need is someone with lots of skill and an extra hundred grand or so and a year or two to develop it for production. Oh yeah, they need to be willing to deal with liability, warranty, shipping, Coast Guard, Osha, etc. This are the kind of things I remind myself about every time I start down the molded nesting dinghy track.

 

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Hi Russ,

     Your positive comments on that pram project were one on the things that kept me trying on it long past the client sort of lost interest. I'll have to dig it up from the dead files and share some more here. I'd just be happy to see it available as a well thought out kit like you do with the PT but I know that can be even more of a challenge.

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Russ,

    Here is another look at the pram you liked. Actually, this was the second version for bigger motor, faster full planing capability. I think you liked the earlier version more suited for rowing and as a tender. The client actually wanted something that could nest and then get hoisted on a contraption on the back bumper of an RV or camper and still be able to tow and Toad.

image.png.740b0e0b86cfadd709090645800bbdf3.png

   This was the more sensible earlier version that I think you were more approving of.

image.thumb.png.55eafbb2243cef60f055ab357882913b.png

   Here were the nested dims

image.png.dfb986cc21d8ab632313ad38a217e2ce.png

This is how it was supposed to snug up tight against the back of a Sprinter Camper Conversion van. 

image.png.a97fc5b2cdda2360873b5c746d93b135.png

 

    It lost a strake when the bigger motor capacity got added.

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Rasper - I'd love to see again that titanium peapod you and Perry were working on years ago. That was a very cool and could make a nice dinghy, especially when it's choppy. Ti is such an awesome material. I made some ultra light carbon frp snow shovels recently with Ti wear pads embedded into the carbon/kevlar laminate along the wear edge. The Ti is holding up very well scraping against the concrete for thousands of feet so far.

My first boat was a little ply pram that had been abandoned and left in the rafters of the covered dock at Lake of the Ozarks where the family cabin cruiser was kept, circa 1973. (Back when the lake was a wilderness largely.) I loved rowing that thing around the anchorages. And the most fun you can have rowing a boat is in a river dory or drift boat. Rowing the boat is as much fun as fishing I think. It's a blast.

A lot of the time something like a Trinka with some nice oars would be a great rowing dink and they sail well, and the PT11 looks sweet, but I'd have to agree with the RIB proponents ---if you're only going to have one tender. I have chartered all over, and I won't charter a boat if it doesn't have a decent RIB with it. For every anchorage or mooring field where it's a reasonable distance to the dock or the beach, there are ten where it's a long haul. In the big anchorage on Sucia Island a few years ago, I towed a guy who was not able to row his very nice dingy--into the fresh breeze that kicke--up back to his equally nice Grand Banks at anchor. His wife was waving to us from the Grand Banks to see if I'd tow her hubby back to her, and with the little 2.5hp Honda outboard and RIB that San Juan Sailing specs on all of its charter boats I sat in the bottom of the dingy and plowed into three foot steep wind waves like a matchbox scale version of Boat US and reunited the well-healed couple.

My dream cruising boat for FL and the Bahamas is a nice big cat with a light weight RIB and somehow also on the davits an ultra light 16 ft micro skiff with a poling platform like an East Cape or Mangrove Bay or something. Then I would just have to figure out where to put the Ti Peapod.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Lasal,

    Funny that you should mention the Peapod double-ender. We probably have enough scrap Ti from another project to build that design. Problem it is too heavy gauge and would be HEAVY. I forgot what gauge I had calculated for that boat but it would have to be thin and light and would be tough to weld that thin.I still have a pasteboard 1"=1'0" model hanging over my desk of that little adventure with Bob. It could be done in aluminum but no one has taken up that challenge. 

    I did take on a design commission last year for a micro-skiff fishing boat that was to be an ultra-light. The client wanted it narrow enough to fit between the wheel wells of a pickup truck and I did my best to keep it light. Problem was that he didn't understand that micro-light = mega budget and I'm not sure of the results. I did a lot of research on the latest composite material developments some of which you see in those videos I posted above for Tennegra, Basalt, and some interesting hybrid weaves. I found a laminate configurator from one of the biggest suppliers that lets you define layup schedules from an extensive list of just about all cloths, weaves, knits, and cores and it will then do various structural tests such as panel, beam, stringer and stuff to ABS, ISO, and DNV standards. What was really nice was that you could do different lam schedules with varying weights and then compare 2, 3, or even 4 or more 'recipies' side by side and then graph the results. 

     Here is one of the results for the 13' microskiff at the time. Great program and I learned a lot even though I'm not a composites engineer. But I did stay in a Holiday Inn...

image.thumb.png.556a563e7094c47234ecef90bf8e39d6.png

 

    A graph showing stiffness of the same three lams above.

image.png.368d1877caad815a5e830eb26d628753.png

 

 
 
    of   2 ?  
 
 
 
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Laminate Name
Product
Pct Fiber Weight
Pct Fiber Volume
Top Up Dn
Rotation
(deg)
Fiber Weight
(oz/sq yd)
Layer Thickness
(in)
Total Weight
(lb/sq ft)
 
Perdido Skiff 13 8oz/EBX 1200
               
 
8oz Glass Cloth JMC
50.62%
32.09%
Up
0
8.00200
0.01311
0.10979
 
E-BX 1200
55.63%
36.61%
Up
0
12.54200
0.01801
0.15660
 
Laminate:
20.54400
0.03113
 
 
Core/Solids:
0.00000
0.00000
 
 
Total:
20.54400
0.03113
0.26639
 
Perdido Skiff 13 8oz/EBX 1800
               
 
C-BX 1800
45.63%
35.29%
Up
0
18.38200
0.03863
0.27984
 
8oz Glass Cloth JMC
50.62%
32.09%
Up
0
8.00200
0.01311
0.10979
 
Laminate:
26.38400
0.05175
 
 
Core/Solids:
0.00000
0.00000
 
 
Total:
26.38400
0.05175
0.38963
 
Perdido Skiff 13 10oz/EBX 1800
               
 
C-BX 1800
45.63%
35.29%
Up
0
18.38200
0.03863
0.27984
 
10oz Glass Cloth
50.63%
32.09%
Up
0
10.00200
0.01639
0.13720
 
Laminate:
28.38400
0.05502
 
 
Core/Solids:
0.00000
0.00000
 
 
Total:
28.38400
0.05502
0.41704
 
   
   
               
   
Stiffness Matrix
 
Perdido Skiff 13 8oz/EBX 1200
A Matrix (lb/in)
B Matrix (lb)
 
6.07110E+004
2.09106E+004
-2.77556E-010
4.40902E+001
-8.36066E+001
6.12378E+001
   
6.07110E+004
6.51789E-009
 
-4.02658E+001
6.12378E+001
     
2.50943E+004
   
-1.00352E+002
       
D Matrix (lb * in)
       
5.38004E+000
1.47353E+000
-7.62664E-001
         
3.93640E+000
-7.62664E-001
           
1.76831E+000
 
Perdido Skiff 13 8oz/EBX 1800
A Matrix (lb/in)
B Matrix (lb)
 
1.48710E+005
1.01797E+005
-2.77556E-010
3.52537E+002
5.78596E+002
9.47416E+002
   
1.48710E+005
6.51789E-009
 
2.68180E+002
9.47416E+002
     
1.08998E+005
   
6.08064E+002
       
D Matrix (lb * in)
       
2.74647E+001
1.69021E+001
1.18028E+001
         
3.05601E+001
1.18028E+001
           
1.81904E+001
 
Perdido Skiff 13 10oz/EBX 1800
A Matrix (lb/in)
B Matrix (lb)
 
1.55134E+005
1.02655E+005
-3.46596E-010
4.53483E+002
7.22983E+002
9.47416E+002
   
1.55134E+005
8.14626E-009
 
3.21676E+002
9.47416E+002
     
1.10028E+005
   
7.59800E+002
       
D Matrix (lb * in)
       
3.20262E+001
1.95070E+001
1.47488E+001
         
3.68632E+001
1.47488E+001
           
2.10144E+001
 
 
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That's cool. I've checked out a few of the 12 to 14 micro skiffs for possible use on davits of a monohull, and they are expensive! And not light enough. Having built a few items in carbon, and a kevlar canoe, I would guesstimate about 20 oz of stitched carbon in various orientations would produce and incredibly stiff and sickly light weight 13'er. Then I would do the math and see, aka, ask someone like you! Is the layup above one layer of 8oz eglass on each side of a core material? Or 10 oz in the last version?

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34 minutes ago, lasal said:

That's cool. I've checked out a few of the 12 to 14 micro skiffs for possible use on davits of a monohull, and they are expensive! And not light enough. Having built a few items in carbon, and a kevlar canoe, I would guesstimate about 20 oz of stitched carbon in various orientations would produce and incredibly stiff and sickly light weight 13'er. Then I would do the math and see, aka, ask someone like you! Is the layup above one layer of 8oz eglass on each side of a core material? Or 10 oz in the last version?

I just opened up the onlive browser based laminate program and found all my various projects there and grabbed something to show. I'll have to look closer at the schedule. It was soon obvious that the client thought he could hire a Florida Cracker FG Porta Potti builder builder with a chopper gun and build something one guy could pick up and toss into the bed of a pickup truck. I didn't waste much further time for his cheap ass but might run the Peapod through the program just to see what shakes out. I should pick Zonker's head about this program, he is much better versed than I with that sort of stuff.

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2 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

I just opened up the onlive browser based laminate program and found all my various projects there and grabbed something to show. I'll have to look closer at the schedule. It was soon obvious that the client thought he could hire a Florida Cracker FG Porta Potti builder builder with a chopper gun and build something one guy could pick up and toss into the bed of a pickup truck. I didn't waste much further time for his cheap ass but might run the Peapod through the program just to see what shakes out. I should pick Zonker's head about this program, he is much better versed than I with that sort of stuff.

Ahh, yes, he bought one of the rolled deck chopper gun flats boats/ micro skiffs. Those have their place. Generally it's nice if people figure that out before they pursue a one off technical ultralight boat!

 

Looking forward to seeing what you found and once again that ti peapod was awesome. Welded along light stringers, a thin plate might work and last a lifetime.