Help me pick a boat, please!

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jbswear
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Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by jbswear » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:56 pm

(I hope this is the right place; didn't see an introduction section.)

Good evening!

I've been bitten by the boat building bug.

Background: I'm a hobbyist woodworker with a well-equipped shop. I enjoy building small boxes and the occasional piece of furniture. I know most of my skills won't be needed in building a simple boat, but some will help.

I live ten minutes from the Patuxent River in southern Maryland. I live twenty minutes from the Chesapeake Bay.

My wife isn't interested in fishing, but I am and my kids are. Sixteen, nine, and a newborn. So I want to build a semi-roomy fishing boat that will handle the slow river and the bay when it's calm.

Cost is a factor, as is space. I'd like a boat that can move efficiently on 20hp or less. I have an assembly space in my shop that's just big enough for a 19' and under boat. At most I'll have five people (my wife and kids), but that should be rare. Mostly just me and a kid or two. I don't care about speed. Fuel efficiency would be a plus.

The OD16 and OD18 have caught my fancy because they seem simple, spacious, and easily set up for fishing duty. I've read a few build threads on both and have already learned an amazing amount about boat building. I've also been studying simple catamarans and other small craft, all plywood construction.

I will likely build it with a tiller control for ease, cost, and efficiency. The boat will be stored exclusively on a trailer, under a cloth cover.

So, having said that, can you guys advise me on which boat would best meet my needs? Are there any questions I can answer to help narrow down the choices? I do see that the OD16 and 18 appear to be a popular beginner's project.

Thanks!



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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by fallguy1000 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:12 pm

I can't give you any ply boat advice, but others will; be patient.

I can recommend you read a book. My favorite amateur boat building book was written by Gil Gilpatrick.

Building a Strip Canoe is the title.

The reason I like the book so much is it is a fast read and it will explode your confidence. I am dead serious. One of the biggest problems for boat building is it requires confidence and the willingness to press the go button and start. I read about 7 books before I built a canoe and the last one was this one and when I finished I knew it was not going to be a problem for me and I became anxious to start. I build his Laker design and modified it a bit and had to use some of the other reading to finish the boat a different way. I thinned the strips and shortened the boat and they would not lay down all the way and I ended up with a hard chine.

I also recommend you develop a budget, well, two actually, and a build location plan.

A time budget.
And a financial budget.

Those budgets require agreements with wife and family. The boats WILL cost more than a used aluminum boat. The financial budget is really easy. It is simply how much would you be willing to shell out for the boat; not how much will boat x cost versus boat y.

The time budget is also really important. I asked my wife about building a boat and told her two years and we are about 6 months over. Fortunately, she has been patient with me. Rather than developing a budget for a specific boat; determine how many hours you can give to the project each week.

Finally, having a climate controlled build location is a major plus. If you don't, you can still build, but suddenly weather plays a role and extends the time budgets. Then, if you have to rent a space, for example, the time budgets are also different because you have to drive to the boat a lot..etc.

all the best...
My boat build is here -------->

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=62495

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by Fuzz » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:39 am

Welcome Jbswear,
As for your boat choice there are three that come to my mind but that does not mean some others will not work for you. The OD-16 is a big boat. I do not think 20hp will be enough and you would not be happy unless you really do not care about speed at all. The second is the OB-15. It is not as large but I still think 20hp will be lacking. Third is the GF-16. 20 hp will work just fine but it is a smaller 16 foot boat. Do you already have the motor or just planning for now? A 30 hp opens up a lot more choices. The FS-17 would come into play and be a great choice. Same for the OD-16. If you really do not care about speed the HMD-19 will fit the bill nicely.
So you need to say what things mean the most to you and then your choices can be narrowed down a bit. This is a fun time trying to make up what you want. Lots of good plans to pick from.

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by Capt UB » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:20 am

An old friend said 10 hp per person, 5 hp for bait/gear and 10 hp for safety. That's for a planing hull.

Remember you don't want to run the outboard wide open all the time, but about 75% (?) of WOT, plus have 25 % for safety when needed.

Just build a workable boat and worry about the OB later. New and very good deals on used OB come and go.

Have fun....
Bob
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Jeff
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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by Jeff » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:19 am

Welcome to our Builders Forum jbswear!!! You will receive good guidance and support here!! By the way, I fully agree with the guidance from Fuzz. Jeff

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by Browndog » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:49 am

Welcome to the forum.

Building a boat is a fun and rewarding project. Getting your kids involved with it is even better. If you have woodworking skills and tools it will make the whole project go faster and be easier. The need for precision is not nearly as necessary as furniture building as the epoxy needs gaps to perform correctly.

I grew up in Maryland and my family had a 33 ft boat on the Bay for most of my childhood on the South River. My Dad, brother and I spent many days over the years on the Eastern Shore in a similar sized boat with a 9.9 HP motor fishing all over the place. It wouldn’t really get on plane and we just putted along but it was very sea worthy boat and perfect for bottom fishing.

A nice looking and performing smaller boat that would meet many of your requirements is the Indian River Skiff. (D15). It is very similar to the type of crab skiffs we had as kids. It is light and efficient and has a flexible floor plan.

The challenge you’ll face on any of the boats in the size range you are looking at is the 20 HP power limitation and the 5 person capacity goal.

The other issue that was outlined well by some of the previous responders is that building a boat will get you a light, beautiful and one of a kind craft, but may not be as economical as buying a well cared for and functional used boat. It will also take a fair amount of time. The assembly of the hull will go pretty quickly. The finishing of the boat on the other hand really takes some time. Fairing, sanding, painting and any additions such as lights, electronics, hatches, etc really takes some time to do well and look good.

For example, I have a 1995 Tracker Super guide 16 aluminum deep V 16 foot boat on my driveway that has a 40 HP motor on it and is in pretty good shape that if I were inclined to sell it might optimistically fetch $2500 -$3000. It would do everything you are looking for and probably more, but isn’t nearly as nice as having a boat that you built yourself.

If you have the time and the economics work out then you will have a great project for you and your family that will result in a boat that will turn heads and provide lots of enjoyment.

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by fallguy1000 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:30 am

A boat that would be super cool in the low hp designs would be the Nina 22. A super capable bay boat for sure.

Probably best suited for 40hp; she would still perform with 30hp.

It is a lot of boat for a first build, but something special.

There are not a lot of displacement vessels here under 20 feet. Planing designs don't do as well with lower horsepower engines.

There are probably some other plans in the world for displacement vessels smaller than Nina.
My boat build is here -------->

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=62495

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by Capt UB » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:49 am

OD16

I'm liking the OD16 for your area, tiller steering, bow dodger (when the fall weather is nice, but chilly) and small enough for ease of handling, but big enough for the family!

The displacement at DWL is 1,500 lb. (680 liters). The PPI is 298 lb (53.3kg/cm).
AUS Coast Guard capacity tag would show max. capacity 4 persons or 650lb., 950 lb. persons motor and gear. Max. 25 HP with tiller steering,40 HP with remote steering. It would be very easy and legal to calculate a tag for 7 persons and 1,700 lb. but the boat would be crowded.
The boat was tested with a 70 HP but we do not recommend more than 40.
This boats transom is designed for a standard 20" shaft. The transom can easily be modified to accept other shaft lengths.

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jbswear
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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by jbswear » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:18 am

Hey, thanks folks!

Some of the questions you asked I've thought of but didn't think to include in my post.

Budget: I'm aiming for $1500, not counting the motor, but will not cry if it hits $2000.
Time: I'm aiming for a year, but 18 months isn't out of the question. It'll be in my wood shop, so I won't be taking my wife's parking space.
Motor: I don't have the motor yet, so it's not set in stone. I'm just hoping to not need to spend another $1k on an engine on top of the build price.
Size: My shop is 24x24, so I need something that can be worked around longitudinally; getting to the transom and bow might be awkward beyond 19'. I have about 9' to work across the beam.
Shop: My shop is a 2-bay garage, walled off from a third. I have a 5000W heater that can keep the temps up for applying epoxy in the winter. I'll have the walls insulated prior to starting this project. A radiator heater or two isn't out of the question for placement under the hull if it's really cold. I saw that in a build thread. Genius.

I'm not at all wedded to the OD19. It's the one I studied the most so far, though I did give a look at the GF19. The HMD19 is too much of a project and too pricey; there's a LOT of plywood in that build. I gave a quick look at the FS line. That's also an attractive boat; a live well and bench seats would be perfect for my needs. The Nina 22 mentioned is too long, I think.

I really don't *need* to build the biggest boat that I can fit in my shop. I'm just of a mind to purchase the best you can afford up front so you don't suffer from buyer's remorse when you need to buy it again. What does 3' of length really get you in a small craft? If it's me and two of my kids, is a 16' sufficient for a few hours on the water and fishing?

I should have said in the beginning: My boating experience is very limited. When I was a kid, say 8 or 9, my parents had an old plywood boat that was given to them. They knew very little of maintenance, so it didn't last long, but I remember having an amazing time for a few summers out on Lake Conroe as a kid. When I was a teenager, I made a raft of sorts with a sheet of plywood, a tractor tire inner tube, and an outrigger so I could fish in a pond near my house. My father in law, in Florida, had a 25-ish size power boat for several years. I piloted it only occasionally. It was fun, but he isn't into fishing, so it wasn't used for that. I don't know what the model or class was.

I'll look more into the FS and GF lines. That D15 looks promising, and might be a better first boat so I don't bite off more than I can chew.

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Re: Help me pick a boat, please!

Post by cape man » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:53 am

Budget: I'm aiming for $1500, not counting the motor, but will not cry if it hits $2000.
Since you won't cry, go ahead and start at $2,000 and perhaps shed a few tears towards the end when you need to buy some more epoxy, or some ridiculously expensive paint, or a bigger outboard... 8)

Seriously, welcome to the disease! My advice is do it and damn the torpedoes. Getting in a boat that you built from a set of plans is ridiculously rewarding. Going out in a boat someone else built is nice, and sometimes more economical than building, but the thrill of being in something that you made is well worth the pain.

With the size of your family, and the kids will get bigger and heavier, I would go for the OD18 instead of the 16, or a similarly larger boat. If you shop around you can find some very good deals on used outboards especially if you are willing to do some work on them or know someone that will help you.
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before - Neil Gaiman

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