Hello new member

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Hello new member


Post by jseymournv »

Hi everyone. I'm researching, learning, and really wanting to build my own boat. Moving to Ketchikan AK and need something for fishing there.
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Hello new member


Post by kmorin »

welcome to the AAB.com Forum and to Alaska (when you get here.)

The first time builder in plate aluminum has several related challenges and I'll make a review more for readers of the Forum as you probably already know most of these points.

First; the design/plans- some people draw their own others buy, and still others will buy plans that come with cut files or NC tool paths to allow a plasma/laser/water jet/router table service to cut the sheets of metal into the pieces needed to build that design.

If you take on the design yourself- there are lots of hours of learning unless you're already familiar with marine design. If you're just starting there will be as much time learning to draw/design/plan a boat as there will be building it. ON the other hand if you buy the plans, regardless of the level of detail, they will have a cost, so you can: choose to invest your time in learning; or time at your job earning to trade that time into cash and then into plans?

Next, generally, is welding
. IF you already weld the learning time is much less than if you are coming to plate boat welding from a non-welding background. This is an area of work where most first time builders short circuit their boats- they don't take sufficient time to acquire high enough skill levels to do a good job on their boat's construction. The final results vary widely but are very dependent on the skill level of the welder.

As a side note at this point in the review; not everyone learns to weld at the same rate. Some people pick up the skill much more rapidly than others: where one person has to practice 10 hours to accomplish a new level of skill- a second person will have that skill level mastered in a few hours or even one! So, planning to have a skill level enough to do a good job on a boat requires skills demonstrations- not a fixed time in practicing.

An often unmentioned skill of boat building is to be able to understand and "see" a fair line. This is very unexplored by many metal boat builders (viewing some of the one-off or home-built boats I've seen) and the result is that many new builders don't take time to learn what they need to see to provide a fair hull with smooth, sweet lines. It used to be drafting or even lofting the plans would teach this skill or awareness; but now that building has been shortened by 'cut kits' of entire boats being cut on NC tables (?) the need to draw fair lines with battens is a skill that isn't as valued as I think it should be. I've seen plenty of rough looking metal hulls being posted online! The result of the builder not even understanding the concept of a fair line.

Last is metal working skills in general,
not just welding. Here is an area of work that relates to the quality of the final boat too. We've seen people build who already had lots of experience in the metal shop and brought those tool use and metal shaping skills to the boat. Unfortunately, we've also seen some online projects where more time should have been spent acquiring the skills that would be called upon in the build (BEfore!! the start of construction.) in order to have a higher quality outcome.

So, your progress will be different toward building your own welded aluminum boat based on where your past experience places you in each of the building related areas; compared with the boat's requirements in those areas. IF you buy NC ready plans- you can skip the CAD or drafting learning but you'll still need to weld and have basic metal working skills. If you've been welding for years and buy NC plans.... well you get the idea?

Anyway, looking forward to learning more about your project and hopefully hearing your thinking about the boat's Statement of Requirements (written description of what you'll do with her and need her to do) as well as your design process as you make decisions.

Welcome aboard.

Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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