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Atkin plans, how much detail and what come with them

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  • jkohnen@boat-links.com
    Any additional deck structure will adversely affect performance, but if you keep a hard dodger or pilothouse as low and light as possible it might not hurt
    Message 1 of 12 , May 8, 2005
      Any additional deck structure will adversely affect performance, but if you
      keep a hard dodger or pilothouse as low and light as possible it might not
      hurt things much. Of equal importance, all too often the "improvements"
      people make to the superstructures of their boats spoil the looks, if they
      don't end up making the poor boat butt-ugly. <sigh> A recent example is the
      little Fenwick Williams canoe yawl in the latest Wooden Boat, where a few
      inches extra height in the cabin sides an some extra crown in the top made
      the cabin look ungainly.

      For a boat the size of Little Ranger traditional carvel construction is best
      in the long run. You aren't going to be trailering a boat that size, so
      there's no harm in the swelling. Strip and cold-molded construction is more
      expensive and involves working with lots of unpleasant goop. :ob Regular old
      plank-on-frame construction is infinitely repairable too, you can build a
      boat that way that will last for generations with a little care.

      A complete neophyte can easily build some of the small, simple Atkin designs
      from the plans and accompanying MoToR BoatinG article. For the more complex
      small boats the neophyte should study some of the books on boatbuilding
      available through the page below. With the help of the books they should be
      able to build any of the small boats if they're reasonably handy:

      http://www.boat-links.com/Atkinco/Books/index.html

      On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 07:14:08 -0000, John C wrote:
      > ...
      > I joined this group out of curiosity because a reader of my column
      > emailed me about the Atkin plans and wanted to know what they
      > contained. After looking at the plans and seeing the boats I might
      > just build one of these for my vacation boat to Mexico every
      > winter.
      > ...
      > I have been looking at the Little Ranger.
      > ...
      > but I wonder if a pilothouse/hard dodger
      > would come under those restraints? I have been thinking of strip
      > planking with cold molding over that to make a hull that will not
      > swell with water infiltration. The pilot house is so I can keep
      > green cold Pacific water off my back and boots when I have to beat
      > back north through the many storms that are in the Pacific at that
      > time of year. Plus I can always put up two extra people in hammocks
      > inside the confines of a pilot house.
      > ...
      > In any case could someone who has a set of plans fill me in about
      > the content and if a complete neophyte could build one of the
      > smaller designs.
      > ...

      --
      John <jkohnen@...>
      http://www.boat-links.com/
      After all, all he did was string together a lot of old,
      well-known quotations. <H. L. Mencken on Shakespeare>
    • jkohnen@boat-links.com
      Now that I m started I can t stop putting in my two cents! The Atkins assumed that anyone tackling the big boats would be familiar with general
      Message 2 of 12 , May 8, 2005
        Now that I'm started I can't stop putting in my two cents! <g> The Atkins
        assumed that anyone tackling the big boats would be familiar with general
        boatbuilding. A neophyte would be foolish to start in on a boat like Little
        Ranger without having a smaller plank-on-frame boat under their belt.

        Little Ranger will spend most of her life (all of it in mild climates like
        the NW) in the water. If strip-planked, the strips will swell up and stay
        sealed without any goop between the strips, so it makes little sense to go
        through the mess and expense. If the boat ever fell into neglect and spent a
        lot of time out of the water the strips would shrink to smaller width than
        when they were new. If the 5200 was still sticking it might hold tight
        enough to split the strips, if it failed, you'd have a whole bunch of s**t
        to reef out of the seams. :o( Without goop, even if you can see light
        through the seams after a few years on the hard, they'll swell tight again
        when you get the boat back in the water.

        I'd thought that strip-planking was newer, maybe arising in the 1920s or so,
        but a fellow I know has a strip-planked rowboat built on Coos Bay in the
        1890s. No goop between the strips of course. <g> There were lots of sawmills
        around the bay back then and they probably used edge-cut scraps and resawn
        rejected planks for the strips -- free or nearly so wood -- just like the
        first strip-builders Back East...

        On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 00:53:32 -0000, John D wrote:
        > ...
        > If a neophyte like me was building
        > something like Little Ranger I'd want lots of advice and drawings of
        > all structural subsystems like engine beds, mast steps, and very
        > specific directions/drawings on how to assemble that keel, stem, and
        > deadwood/shaft log. I'd probably leave it at strip planked with out
        > sheathing of any kind with marine adhesive (3M or Sikaflex) between
        > the strips.
        > ...

        --
        John <jkohnen@...>
        http://www.boat-links.com/
        One boat just leads to another.
        <John Kohnen>
      • lon wells
        Both John and William Atkin were well versed in the art of Drafting. I appreciate well done prints and I can be very critical. Based on the Levee Belle prints
        Message 3 of 12 , May 9, 2005
          Both John and William Atkin were well versed in the art of Drafting. I appreciate well done prints and I can be very critical. Based on the Levee Belle prints I bought. Their prints are very well done with alot of attention to detail. These are hand done blueprints before the days of Cad. You could frame these prints as marine art. I have worked on Navy Prints and commercial Shipbuilding prints Atkin is equal to the best of these.

          Pat Atkin who is a artist with a eye for detail wrote me a note about the Levee Belle prints that even she could not tell the difference between John's work and William's on the drafting boards.

          Both father and son had built boats and were two of the most prolific designers with close to 900 designs. So when you study your prints you will see that Atkin knew how to design a boat for the water and the builder.

          Blueprints are a language from the designer to the builder. Like a music score is from the composer to the musician, sheet music does not show you how to play a instrument it tells you how to play a song. You can learn the skills to build your boat. Remember there was a day you could not walk or use the toilet. You fell down some and had a few messes but now you have those skills. So when you start working on your boat you will fall down some and have a few messes but in the end you will have a boat that you built with your own hands. The first day you take your hand made boat on the water will be a spacial moment in your life that you will always remember.
          Good luck shipmate
          Lon





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        • jkohnen@boat-links.com
          Well put Lon. Few of us are so innately inept that we can t learn to build a boat. Depending on how our minds work, some of us can get a head start from books,
          Message 4 of 12 , May 11, 2005
            Well put Lon.

            Few of us are so innately inept that we can't learn to build a boat.
            Depending on how our minds work, some of us can get a head start from books,
            some from step-by-step plans, and some of us might do better if shown some
            of the tricks -- or various combinations of the above for most of us,
            probably -- but it's not rocket science, and we can do it. For the simple
            boats in the Atkin catalog there's enough in the MoToR BoatinG articles for
            most tyros to figure out how to build the boats, and then they can use that
            knowledge as a leg-up towards building bigger and more complicated projects.

            I have nothing against the many "instant" type boat plans (except I
            personally don't like working with lots of goop), but I think their
            designers capitalize on the lack of confidence many amateurs seem to suffer
            nowadays. "Oh, I couldn't ever build a boat, but this doesn't look like
            building a boat, with no lofting or bevels or close fits. I could do that!"
            they think. But they _can_ build a boat the old-fashioned way, lots of
            amateurs have, all it takes is some patience and a bit of gumption to take
            the first step. And you don't need a shop full of expensive tools. Other
            than the hammers and saws and drills everybody has around (but get the saws
            or blades sharpened) a plane or two and a few chisels are about all you
            need, and they can usually be found at a local junk store.

            The most important requirement for any kind of boatbuilding is the ability
            to start a project and see it through to completion. It helps a lot if you
            enjoy the building itself. If you're most interested in getting on the water
            you'll be better off buying a boat. I enjoy making chips and sawdust, I
            don't enjoy smearing goop. I'm not too bad of a woodworker but, alas, I have
            trouble getting projects started and finishing them (the part in between
            usually isn't a problem). <sigh> But I have launched a boat I built with my
            own hands (and little goop) and it sure did feel good! :o)

            On Mon, 9 May 2005 01:10:03 -0700 (PDT), Lon wrote:
            > ...
            > Both father and son had built boats and were two of the most prolific
            designers with close to 900 designs. So when you study your prints you will
            see that Atkin knew how to design a boat for the water and the builder.
            >
            > Blueprints are a language from the designer to the builder. Like a music
            score is from the composer to the musician, sheet music does not show you
            how to play a instrument it tells you how to play a song. You can learn the
            skills to build your boat. Remember there was a day you could not walk or
            use the toilet. You fell down some and had a few messes but now you have
            those skills. So when you start working on your boat you will fall down
            some and have a few messes but in the end you will have a boat that you
            built with your own hands. The first day you take your hand made boat on
            the water will be a spacial moment in your life that you will always
            remember.

            --
            John <jkohnen@...>
            http://www.boat-links.com/
            Nobody ought to wear a Greek fisherman's hat unless
            they meet two conditions:
            1. He is a Greek
            2. He is a Fisherman <Roy Blount Jr.>
          • John Cupp
            I did send this link to the fellow that asked me about the Atkin designs. I appreciate your explanation about all of the building for the fellow that asked
            Message 5 of 12 , May 14, 2005
              I did send this link to the fellow that asked me about the Atkin
              designs. I appreciate your explanation about all of the building
              for the fellow that asked me. I am a writer for a couple of
              magazines that are for boat builders. I have built many planked
              boats over forty feet and steel boats longer than 100'. I am very
              familiar with swelling wood but I cant see how using a hammer and
              iron to stuff caulking in seams is any easier that using a
              controlled amount of epoxy and the sealing the wood so that no
              swelling takes place at all. Besides I have repaired many planked
              hulls and they need re-caulking if you do your maintenance right
              about every seven or eight years. With strip planking and cold
              molding the hull might last fifty years without any type of wood
              damage or repairs. I have rebuilt many wooden fishing boats that
              used cheap plated nails that rust and destroy the planking around
              them through electrolysis and rot. Some of the boats had iron
              plated fitting, perfect for building on the cheap but I use silicon
              bronze screws or ring shanked nails. And scrounging up 316 stainless
              for fitting is sort of a hobby of mine and they don't rust and fall
              off like plated iron. Besides strip planking and cold molding are
              often cheaper than planking because planking is very hard to find
              and I have wood milled from a friends portable mill that I bring him
              for $0.50 a board foot .

              I would not change any Atkin design and at best I think now that a
              soft dodger would be fine because my wife would not like being out
              in any storms. The Little Ranger would be in tropical waters when I
              sail to Mexico and I have seen the borer damage that occurs south of
              the border in Mexico. Planked hulls and big uncovered wooden
              rudders are eaten away inside a year. I my self can't stand a steel
              hull, you roast in the heat and freeze in the cold. I am also
              familiar with lofting and built my first boat when I was eight years
              old. It was a skin on frame kayak but still a boat and I have not
              stopped building since then.. I had a Chappel boat building book
              given to me on my tenth birthday and it explains lofting better than
              most..

              I have emailed Pat Atkin and explained about my reader and also my
              cruising desires with Little Ranger. I have fished hundreds of
              miles off the coats for Tuna in a double ended Monterey hulled
              boat. I want a good boat under me with my wife and sister's family
              sailing with me and none are better than a good double ender.
              Besides I might even take it farther south than Mexico so who knows
              if it would just stay in the NW? My wife expressed the desire to go
              to Australia a few days ago and I think little ranger would do that
              very easily. Since I am not as young as I once was I would like
              as little heavy maintenance as possible. I never liked taking short
              cuts when building and I think an Atkin design does not allow that.
              Besides I would not allow it on my boat and that includes the engine.

              I did not actually know that the Atkin plans were still for sale and
              it makes me very happy that such boats are still going to be built
              from the original plan and not some other designers concept of what
              they should be. Thank you for all the information!

              John Cupp
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Johnstoolcrib/






              .






              --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, jkohnen@b... wrote:
              > Well put Lon.
              >
              > Few of us are so innately inept that we can't learn to build a
              boat.
              > Depending on how our minds work, some of us can get a head start
              from books,
              > some from step-by-step plans, and some of us might do better if
              shown some
              > of the tricks -- or various combinations of the above for most of
              us,
              > probably -- but it's not rocket science, and we can do it. For the
              simple
              > boats in the Atkin catalog there's enough in the MoToR BoatinG
              articles for
              > most tyros to figure out how to build the boats, and then they can
              use that
              > knowledge as a leg-up towards building bigger and more complicated
              projects.
              >
              > I have nothing against the many "instant" type boat plans (except I
              > personally don't like working with lots of goop), but I think their
              > designers capitalize on the lack of confidence many amateurs seem
              to suffer
              > nowadays. "Oh, I couldn't ever build a boat, but this doesn't look
              like
              > building a boat, with no lofting or bevels or close fits. I could
              do that!"
              > they think. But they _can_ build a boat the old-fashioned way,
              lots of
              > amateurs have, all it takes is some patience and a bit of gumption
              to take
              > the first step. And you don't need a shop full of expensive tools.
              Other
              > than the hammers and saws and drills everybody has around (but get
              the saws
              > or blades sharpened) a plane or two and a few chisels are about
              all you
              > need, and they can usually be found at a local junk store.
              >
              > The most important requirement for any kind of boatbuilding is the
              ability
              > to start a project and see it through to completion. It helps a
              lot if you
              > enjoy the building itself. If you're most interested in getting on
              the water
              > you'll be better off buying a boat. I enjoy making chips and
              sawdust, I
              > don't enjoy smearing goop. I'm not too bad of a woodworker but,
              alas, I have
              > trouble getting projects started and finishing them (the part in
              between
              > usually isn't a problem). <sigh> But I have launched a boat I
              built with my
              > own hands (and little goop) and it sure did feel good! :o)
              >
              > On Mon, 9 May 2005 01:10:03 -0700 (PDT), Lon wrote:
              > > ...
              > > Both father and son had built boats and were two of the most
              prolific
              > designers with close to 900 designs. So when you study your
              prints you will
              > see that Atkin knew how to design a boat for the water and the
              builder.
              > >
              > > Blueprints are a language from the designer to the builder.
              Like a music
              > score is from the composer to the musician, sheet music does not
              show you
              > how to play a instrument it tells you how to play a song. You can
              learn the
              > skills to build your boat. Remember there was a day you could not
              walk or
              > use the toilet. You fell down some and had a few messes but now
              you have
              > those skills. So when you start working on your boat you will
              fall down
              > some and have a few messes but in the end you will have a boat
              that you
              > built with your own hands. The first day you take your hand made
              boat on
              > the water will be a spacial moment in your life that you will
              always
              > remember.
              >
              > --
              > John <jkohnen@b...>
              > http://www.boat-links.com/
              > Nobody ought to wear a Greek fisherman's hat unless
              > they meet two conditions:
              > 1. He is a Greek
              > 2. He is a Fisherman <Roy Blount Jr.>
            • Wayne
              ... from books, ... shown some ... us, ... simple ... articles for ... use that ... projects. ... to suffer ... like ... do that! ... of ... to take ... Other
              Message 6 of 12 , May 17, 2005
                --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, jkohnen@b... wrote:
                > Well put Lon.
                >
                > Few of us are so innately inept that we can't learn to build a boat.
                > Depending on how our minds work, some of us can get a head start
                from books,
                > some from step-by-step plans, and some of us might do better if
                shown some
                > of the tricks -- or various combinations of the above for most of
                us,
                > probably -- but it's not rocket science, and we can do it. For the
                simple
                > boats in the Atkin catalog there's enough in the MoToR BoatinG
                articles for
                > most tyros to figure out how to build the boats, and then they can
                use that
                > knowledge as a leg-up towards building bigger and more complicated
                projects.
                >
                > I have nothing against the many "instant" type boat plans (except I
                > personally don't like working with lots of goop), but I think their
                > designers capitalize on the lack of confidence many amateurs seem
                to suffer
                > nowadays. "Oh, I couldn't ever build a boat, but this doesn't look
                like
                > building a boat, with no lofting or bevels or close fits. I could
                do that!"
                > they think. But they _can_ build a boat the old-fashioned way, lots
                of
                > amateurs have, all it takes is some patience and a bit of gumption
                to take
                > the first step. And you don't need a shop full of expensive tools.
                Other
                > than the hammers and saws and drills everybody has around (but get
                the saws
                > or blades sharpened) a plane or two and a few chisels are about all
                you
                > need, and they can usually be found at a local junk store.
                >
                > The most important requirement for any kind of boatbuilding is the
                ability
                > to start a project and see it through to completion. It helps a lot
                if you
                > enjoy the building itself. If you're most interested in getting on
                the water
                > you'll be better off buying a boat. I enjoy making chips and
                sawdust, I
                > don't enjoy smearing goop. I'm not too bad of a woodworker but,
                alas, I have
                > trouble getting projects started and finishing them (the part in
                between
                > usually isn't a problem). <sigh> But I have launched a boat I built
                with my
                > own hands (and little goop) and it sure did feel good! :o)

                John,

                Keep talking and you will convince me that I can build a boat. Having
                never done it before. Not owning any tools worth mentioning. All
                thumbs and two left feet. I've been dreaming about this longer than I
                care to admit. One of these days, by golly I'm going to do it.

                Wayne
                In the Swamp.
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