Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Evaluating Building Form Designs - Updated

As I move forward, I need to build the building form. The building form is a framework upon which the boat will be constructed. It holds the frames in position while the longitudinal members (keel, battens, etc) are added. This form needs to be accurate, sturdy, and rigid.

Furthermore, because of the constraints with my work area size, the form needs to be movable. This is so I will have room to work around the boat while under construction.  It also has to allow for the 4" rise of the floor at the back of the garage. And I want it to allow me access to the underside of the hull while under construction. So it needs to be tall enough to do this. However, it's not simply a matter of making it taller.

I will eventually have to move the boat out of the garage and flip it over. This means that I will need to have some temporary structure above the keel to take the load of the boat as it flips over. All this and still get through a garage door opening that is only 80 inches high.

So I have spent a fair amount of time mulling this over and I've gone through four design versions of the form (on paper) trying to figure this out. Here is version 3. Forgive the crudity of the drawing. This version assumed that I would build the boat with the aft end at the back of the garage. The shorter legs would compensate for the rise in the floor. (The scale is way off!!!!)



There are several disadvantages to this design. The shorter legs mean that when I roll the form out of the garage to gain working room at the transom end, I would have to add temporary longer legs to support the boat. Because my driveway is tilted, the long horizontal piece on the right side would be hanging out in the air when the form is moved out. Again, I would have to add some support under this temporarily. And the form is more complicated because of the difference in leg heights. Finally, clearance of the sides was impractical because of the width at the back of the boat.

For version 4, I decided to see what would happen if I were to build the boat with the bow at the back end of the garage.


 This version places the long horizontal piece on the right above the rise in the floor. All of the legs would be on the lower floor so there is no need to make some of them shorter. Because the bow is narrower than the stern, I will have much more clearance on the sides. This means that I will not have to move the form out of the garage as far in order to work on the bow end. Barring any other things I haven't thought of , I believe this is the version I will be building. The drawing doesn't show it, but it will be suitably braced so that it is quite rigid. There will also be locking casters mounted to the legs so the form can be moved.

Here is what the form looks like in the plan.



And here is a poor quality photo that gives some idea of what the form is actually used for. Notice the frames that have been mounted to the form.


So I need to probably sped a bit more time thinking about this and then compile a materials list for the wood and hardware to build the form.

Until next time........

Update 3/21/2013

I did a bit more thinking and ended up with version 5. A bit more rigid and the rolling portion is better designed. Pictures will be coming in the future as I begin construction. Still have to buy the materials.

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  1. I can see that building boats is not easy at all. You need to study how to make it. Even the illustrations are calculated. What I am amazed at is how they form it into something that can stay afloat. :)
    - CadNW.com

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  2. I have a chair in my garage that I call my thinking chair. Other builders I've read about have something similar. I spend a good portion of my time there just pondering. Building a boat is fun, but I don't want to mess things up. So I evaluate every step before making it. Makes for slow building, but I have less mistakes this way.

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