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Re: I'm looking for any advice about the Russell R. design

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  • Lewis E. Gordon
    John, I have owned, modified and rebuilt an 18 foot shallow V plywood skiff powered by a 40 HP 2 stroke in a well. The top speed was about 25-26 mph in a light
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 3, 2005
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      John,

      I have owned, modified and rebuilt an 18 foot shallow V plywood skiff
      powered by a 40 HP 2 stroke in a well. The top speed was about 25-26
      mph in a light 4 to 6 inch chop. The boat was surprisingly faster in
      this light chop than still water. A good economical cruising speed was
      about 21 mph and I could run a weekend on 7 gallons of gas.

      It was a fun boat, but I will never have another motor in a well
      unless it is small enough to lift out by myself. I could not change
      the tilt angle without pulling the motor. As built, the well IMO was
      too far forward and the boat lost too much load bearing aft. Also, the
      "shallow water" feature would not work because the prop would hit the
      sides of the well. Moving the well aft helped these problems some, but
      then the motor could not tilt up enough to lock in position and I
      didn't want to enlarge the well opening in the transom. I ended up
      giving the boat away when we moved to Nicaragua.

      With all that said, Russel R. looks like a good first time choice. Why
      not carvel plank the sides instead of strip planking? And some of John
      Gardners books take the mystic out of lapstrake planking. IMO, 17 mph
      sounds like a bit too much to expect on a 20.5 foot waterline from 12
      HP unless the construction is super light. Maybe that is why clinker
      planking is specified. The 3/4 inch cross planked ceder bottom is also
      a bit light for a nearly 22 foot boat.

      Good luck,
      Lewis



      --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Dolph" <jdolph@s...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I'm considering the Russell R. as a design I can build for myself in
      > the Pantanal region of Brasil. I have tried to walk myself through
      > it and even though I have never built a boat I think I can do this
      > one. I would make it crossplanked on the bottom and probably strip
      > plank the sides instead of lapstrake (which I'm pretty sure would
      > defeat me).
      >
      > There are marine suppliers available in both the locations I am
      > considering so the simple things I would need for this boat should be
      > available. The object is to have a last "great adventure" before I
      > have to quit and hopefully lose all the useless weight I'm carrying
      > around so maybe I won't have to quit so soon.
      >
      > I would have preferred the Rosdave design but if Russel R. works as
      > described it would be the better boat for the job and much more
      > likely to be a DIY success for me. I would use a 15 HP outboard
      > motor, probably a Yamaha. If the high thrust version with larger
      > prop is available, would it be more desirable?
      >
      > The available woods will probably be much denser and heavier than the
      > white cedar specified so I was thinking of reducing the plank
      > scantlings a bit. I also want a self draining shelf or motorwell
      > surrounding the open well the outboard drops into. This should
      > reinforce the open well and give a place to flop fish for cleaning,
      > etc. and supply a dry place for a battery if I have electric
      > charge/start. The lids over the outboard will disappear.
      >
      > I plan to build a cabin like one used by the Campjon by Jim Micalak
      > which will also add weight.
      >
      > Everything turns on the postulated speed of 17 miles an hour. I'm
      > hoping a 15 HP outboard will still deliver that even if the boat is
      > heavier.
      >
      > What do you guys think?
      >
      > John Dolph
    • Mike Dolph
      Thanks for you answer Lewis. I think the motor comes with good handles and I don t think I ll have to lift it out much. The fact is 15 miles per with 15 HP
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 3, 2005
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        Thanks for you answer Lewis. I think the motor comes with good
        handles and I don't think I'll have to lift it out much. The fact is
        15 miles per with 15 HP would be nice enough I guess; probably twice
        what I could get from Rosdave and costing less all around I think.
        I'd have to go to a twenty-two HP Yanmar Brazilian made Yanmar to get
        electrics but I think they may be avilable on the 15 HP outboard.

        I might need to change the well to reflect the outboards available
        these days. I would have 3 more HP than specified so I'm hoping the
        weight will be over come. I would try to carvel plank I guess but I
        won't know till I try to wrap a plank around it and see. It might
        make it easier to "compensate" a little hikers compass if it can be
        done at all. I doubt I'll be able to steam bend frames so I think
        Clinker is out though I havn't seen the plans yet. The wood down
        there is amazingly heavy and strong. I bought a mess of less than
        3/4" flooring once to make a strong shipping box, the wood was called
        Sucupira and was so hard I had to drill holes to nail and it dulled
        the twist bit something terrible. With wood like that I see no need
        to import plywood execpt maybe for cabin sides and top which will be
        flat. Finding something lighter but good for a boat may be my
        biggest challenge. If I can swing it I'll fiberglass the bottom and
        sides.

        John Dolph


        --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Lewis E. Gordon"
        <l_gordon_nica@y...> wrote:
        >
        > John,
        >
        > I have owned, modified and rebuilt an 18 foot shallow V plywood
        skiff
        > powered by a 40 HP 2 stroke in a well. The top speed was about 25-26
        > mph in a light 4 to 6 inch chop. The boat was surprisingly faster in
        > this light chop than still water. A good economical cruising speed
        was
        > about 21 mph and I could run a weekend on 7 gallons of gas.
        >
        > It was a fun boat, but I will never have another motor in a well
        > unless it is small enough to lift out by myself. I could not change
        > the tilt angle without pulling the motor. As built, the well IMO was
        > too far forward and the boat lost too much load bearing aft. Also,
        the
        > "shallow water" feature would not work because the prop would hit
        the
        > sides of the well. Moving the well aft helped these problems some,
        but
        > then the motor could not tilt up enough to lock in position and I
        > didn't want to enlarge the well opening in the transom. I ended up
        > giving the boat away when we moved to Nicaragua.
        >
        > With all that said, Russel R. looks like a good first time choice.
        Why
        > not carvel plank the sides instead of strip planking? And some of
        John
        > Gardners books take the mystic out of lapstrake planking. IMO, 17
        mph
        > sounds like a bit too much to expect on a 20.5 foot waterline from
        12
        > HP unless the construction is super light. Maybe that is why clinker
        > planking is specified. The 3/4 inch cross planked ceder bottom is
        also
        > a bit light for a nearly 22 foot boat.
        >
        > Good luck,
        > Lewis
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Dolph" <jdolph@s...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > I'm considering the Russell R. as a design I can build for myself
        in
        > > the Pantanal region of Brasil. I have tried to walk myself
        through
        > > it and even though I have never built a boat I think I can do
        this
        > > one. I would make it crossplanked on the bottom and probably
        strip
        > > plank the sides instead of lapstrake (which I'm pretty sure would
        > > defeat me).
        > >
        > > There are marine suppliers available in both the locations I am
        > > considering so the simple things I would need for this boat
        should be
        > > available. The object is to have a last "great adventure" before
        I
        > > have to quit and hopefully lose all the useless weight I'm
        carrying
        > > around so maybe I won't have to quit so soon.
        > >
        > > I would have preferred the Rosdave design but if Russel R. works
        as
        > > described it would be the better boat for the job and much more
        > > likely to be a DIY success for me. I would use a 15 HP outboard
        > > motor, probably a Yamaha. If the high thrust version with larger
        > > prop is available, would it be more desirable?
        > >
        > > The available woods will probably be much denser and heavier than
        the
        > > white cedar specified so I was thinking of reducing the plank
        > > scantlings a bit. I also want a self draining shelf or motorwell
        > > surrounding the open well the outboard drops into. This should
        > > reinforce the open well and give a place to flop fish for
        cleaning,
        > > etc. and supply a dry place for a battery if I have electric
        > > charge/start. The lids over the outboard will disappear.
        > >
        > > I plan to build a cabin like one used by the Campjon by Jim
        Micalak
        > > which will also add weight.
        > >
        > > Everything turns on the postulated speed of 17 miles an hour.
        I'm
        > > hoping a 15 HP outboard will still deliver that even if the boat
        is
        > > heavier.
        > >
        > > What do you guys think?
        > >
        > > John Dolph
      • Lewis E. Gordon
        John, I will email you offline with some questions about wood; but I wanted to caution about fiberglassing the bottom. According to John Gardner, it is
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 4, 2005
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          John,

          I will email you offline with some questions about wood; but I wanted
          to caution about fiberglassing the bottom. According to John Gardner,
          it is counterproductive to fiberglass a cross planked bottom. I will
          have to reference the article to quote him exactly. Also, fiberglass
          adds an awful lot of weight which you don't need. The sides of Russell
          R. are almost straight, so I don't think any steam bending will be
          necessary for the timbers.

          Lewis

          --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Dolph" <jdolph@s...> wrote:
          >
          > Thanks for you answer Lewis. I think the motor comes with good
          > handles and I don't think I'll have to lift it out much. The fact is
          > 15 miles per with 15 HP would be nice enough I guess; probably twice
          > what I could get from Rosdave and costing less all around I think.
          > I'd have to go to a twenty-two HP Yanmar Brazilian made Yanmar to get
          > electrics but I think they may be avilable on the 15 HP outboard.
          >
          > I might need to change the well to reflect the outboards available
          > these days. I would have 3 more HP than specified so I'm hoping the
          > weight will be over come. I would try to carvel plank I guess but I
          > won't know till I try to wrap a plank around it and see. It might
          > make it easier to "compensate" a little hikers compass if it can be
          > done at all. I doubt I'll be able to steam bend frames so I think
          > Clinker is out though I havn't seen the plans yet. The wood down
          > there is amazingly heavy and strong. I bought a mess of less than
          > 3/4" flooring once to make a strong shipping box, the wood was called
          > Sucupira and was so hard I had to drill holes to nail and it dulled
          > the twist bit something terrible. With wood like that I see no need
          > to import plywood execpt maybe for cabin sides and top which will be
          > flat. Finding something lighter but good for a boat may be my
          > biggest challenge. If I can swing it I'll fiberglass the bottom and
          > sides.
          >
          > John Dolph
          >
          >
        • jkohnen@boat-links.com
          There have been lots of successful designs with motor wells, the Bartender of the Northwest coast and the Simmons Sea Skiff Back East come to mind:
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 16, 2005
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            There have been lots of successful designs with motor wells, the Bartender
            of the Northwest coast and the Simmons Sea Skiff Back East come to mind:

            http://www.bartenderboats.com/

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bartenderboat/

            http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/davecarnell/#Simmons

            http://www.capefearmuseum.com/simmons_skiffs.htm

            And a couple of friends of mine have had real good luck with the outboard
            wells they've put into their flat-bottom skiffs. There's nothing wrong with
            wells, they just have to be done right. Ideally, you should have the motor
            on hand before you start building the well, which should be made to fit. You
            want the cutout in the bottom to be big enough so the motor can kick up when
            turned, but without much to spare. Likewise with the cutout in the transom
            -- high enough to fully tilt the motor, but not much higher than that.

            On Tue, 04 Jan 2005 05:50:52 -0000, Lewis wrote:
            > ...
            > I have owned, modified and rebuilt an 18 foot shallow V plywood skiff
            > powered by a 40 HP 2 stroke in a well.
            > ...
            > It was a fun boat, but I will never have another motor in a well
            > unless it is small enough to lift out by myself. I could not change
            > the tilt angle without pulling the motor. As built, the well IMO was
            > too far forward and the boat lost too much load bearing aft. Also, the
            > "shallow water" feature would not work because the prop would hit the
            > sides of the well. Moving the well aft helped these problems some, but
            > then the motor could not tilt up enough to lock in position and I
            > didn't want to enlarge the well opening in the transom.
            > ...

            --
            John <jkohnen@...>
            http://www.boat-links.com/
            Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
            <Mark Twain>
          • jkohnen@boat-links.com
            Another of my favorites! To get the designed top speed, Russel R. has to be built light. If you use heavier, stronger wood than the oak and cedar specified you
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 16, 2005
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              Another of my favorites! To get the designed top speed, Russel R. has to be
              built light. If you use heavier, stronger wood than the oak and cedar
              specified you can trim the scantlings a bit. The best thing to do would be
              to ask the local boatbuilders what they use. You'll have to take extra pains
              to make any cabin, or other additions, light. Strip-planking a flat-sided
              skiff seems pretty silly, and tedious, and carvel planking would be too
              heavy. Lapstrake isn't reaaly all that difficult, but if you don't want to
              try it batten-seam construction would be almost as light, and probably about
              the same amount of work. Except for some of the interior details and
              decking, Russell R. is a simple flat-bottom skiff, with a cross-planked
              bottom and no bottom frames. You can do it! <g>

              For a light, fast boat like Russell R. you don't want the high thrust
              version of the Yamaha. There's already a watertight slop well around the
              motor well in the plans. The covered motor well is one of the things I like
              most about Russell R. I don't particularly like listening to outboards. :ob

              On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 07:15:22 -0000, John D wrote:
              >
              > I'm considering the Russell R. as a design I can build for myself in
              > the Pantanal region of Brasil. I have tried to walk myself through
              > it and even though I have never built a boat I think I can do this
              > one. I would make it crossplanked on the bottom and probably strip
              > plank the sides instead of lapstrake (which I'm pretty sure would
              > defeat me).
              > ...
              > I would have preferred the Rosdave design but if Russel R. works as
              > described it would be the better boat for the job and much more
              > likely to be a DIY success for me. I would use a 15 HP outboard
              > motor, probably a Yamaha. If the high thrust version with larger
              > prop is available, would it be more desirable?
              >
              > The available woods will probably be much denser and heavier than the
              > white cedar specified so I was thinking of reducing the plank
              > scantlings a bit. I also want a self draining shelf or motorwell
              > surrounding the open well the outboard drops into. This should
              > reinforce the open well and give a place to flop fish for cleaning,
              > etc. and supply a dry place for a battery if I have electric
              > charge/start. The lids over the outboard will disappear.
              >
              > I plan to build a cabin like one used by the Campjon by Jim Micalak
              > which will also add weight.
              >
              > Everything turns on the postulated speed of 17 miles an hour. I'm
              > hoping a 15 HP outboard will still deliver that even if the boat is
              > heavier.
              > ...

              --
              John <jkohnen@...>
              http://www.boat-links.com/
              Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he
              sometimes has to eat them. <Adlai Stevenson>
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