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Building a Atkins Boat

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  • Ed Robbins
    I am new to boating, boats and most certainly boat building. I purchased a second home on a large lake, then bought a small fiberglass motorboat. Fun, but not
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 17, 2006
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      I am new to boating, boats and most certainly boat building. I
      purchased a second home on a large lake, then bought a small fiberglass
      motorboat. Fun, but not designed for anything but warm and fair
      weather. After much thought and looking at many designs I think the
      Atkins "Unsanctioned" would fit my needs. HAs anyone out there built it?
      Are Atkins plans for complete novices? I have woodworking experience,
      but absolutly no boat knowledge. There is very little info on the web
      site.

      The local marine shops have no experience beyond selling fiberglass
      boats with big engines and huge appetites for fuel. I am much impressed
      by information on Atkins site regarding low horsepower, reasonable
      speeds and ability to manage rough water. The lake where I will sail
      can get real rough,extremly quickly.I assume a competent boat will
      better protect a neophyte sailer.

      Any information will be appreciated.

      Ed
    • David
      Ed, Given what you ve said, I think you ve found the right place. You ve made a good start at describing your situation, but I d repeat what I said to the the
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 18, 2006
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        Ed,

        Given what you've said, I think you've found the right place. You've
        made a good start at describing your situation, but I'd repeat what I
        said to the the previous poster - the more information about your
        criteria, the more intelligently the group can respond. John, who runs
        this group, is an excellent resource, who's very familiar with the
        Atkin line of designs. There are others who post here who can be
        helpful also, but they need info. For instance - in addition to the
        questions posed in my last post: what waters exactly, and how rough;
        how important is shallow draft; what "look" are you favoring.

        From what you've said so far, I'd think about Martha Green. She's of
        comparable size to Unsanctioned. She's probably easier to build. Her
        looks (I realize aesthetics are Very Subjective) are traditional &
        salty - where Unsanctioned are 50's "retro" . But that's just one
        thought. Whatever you decide, have fun.

        Cheers,
        David Graybeal

        "A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off
        more than he can chew" -- Herb Caen

        *****************

        --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Robbins" <erobbins@...> wrote:
        >
        > I am new to boating, boats and most certainly boat building. I
        > purchased a second home on a large lake, then bought a small
        fiberglass motorboat. Fun, but not designed for anything but warm and
        fair weather. After much thought and looking at many designs I think
        the Atkins "Unsanctioned" would fit my needs. HAs anyone out there
        built it?

        > Are Atkins plans for complete novices? I have woodworking
        experience, but absolutly no boat knowledge. There is very little info
        on the web site.
        >
        > The local marine shops have no experience beyond selling fiberglass
        > boats with big engines and huge appetites for fuel. I am much
        impressed by information on Atkins site regarding low horsepower,
        reasonable speeds and ability to manage rough water. The lake where I
        will sail can get real rough,extremly quickly.I assume a competent
        boat will better protect a neophyte sailer.
        >
        > Any information will be appreciated.
        >
        > Ed
      • Lewis E. Gordon
        David, I can t agree that Martha Green might probably be easier to build than Unsanctioned. She is two feet longer, 21 1/2 inches more draft, lots more
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 18, 2006
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          David,

          I can't agree that Martha Green might probably be easier to build than
          Unsanctioned. She is two feet longer, 21 1/2 inches more draft, lots
          more displacement, and has the added complication of an inboard engine
          with a shaft to fit. Not an easy build for a novice.

          And, just look how Chrysler has capitalized on the "retro" look with
          the PT cruiser! Unsanctioned was designed as an "easy build" and
          utilizes plywood construction. I have no idea of the level of detail
          in the plans, but I bet that an experienced woodworker would not have
          a difficult time with construction.

          Lewis


          --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "David" <arbordg@...> wrote:
          >
          > Ed,
          >
          > Given what you've said, I think you've found the right place. You've
          > made a good start at describing your situation, but I'd repeat what I
          > said to the the previous poster - the more information about your
          > criteria, the more intelligently the group can respond. John, who runs
          > this group, is an excellent resource, who's very familiar with the
          > Atkin line of designs. There are others who post here who can be
          > helpful also, but they need info. For instance - in addition to the
          > questions posed in my last post: what waters exactly, and how rough;
          > how important is shallow draft; what "look" are you favoring.
          >
          > From what you've said so far, I'd think about Martha Green. She's of
          > comparable size to Unsanctioned. She's probably easier to build. Her
          > looks (I realize aesthetics are Very Subjective) are traditional &
          > salty - where Unsanctioned are 50's "retro" . But that's just one
          > thought. Whatever you decide, have fun.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > David Graybeal
          >
          > "A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off
          > more than he can chew" -- Herb Caen
          >
          > *****************
          >
          > --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Robbins" <erobbins@> wrote:
          > >
          > > I am new to boating, boats and most certainly boat building. I
          > > purchased a second home on a large lake, then bought a small
          > fiberglass motorboat. Fun, but not designed for anything but warm and
          > fair weather. After much thought and looking at many designs I think
          > the Atkins "Unsanctioned" would fit my needs. HAs anyone out there
          > built it?
          >
          > > Are Atkins plans for complete novices? I have woodworking
          > experience, but absolutly no boat knowledge. There is very little info
          > on the web site.
          > >
          > > The local marine shops have no experience beyond selling fiberglass
          > > boats with big engines and huge appetites for fuel. I am much
          > impressed by information on Atkins site regarding low horsepower,
          > reasonable speeds and ability to manage rough water. The lake where I
          > will sail can get real rough,extremly quickly.I assume a competent
          > boat will better protect a neophyte sailer.
          > >
          > > Any information will be appreciated.
          > >
          > > Ed
          >
        • John Kohnen
          The Atkin plans don t hold your hand at every step, they assume some knowledge of tools and wooodworking and a general idea of how a boat goes together. The
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 18, 2006
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            The Atkin plans don't hold your hand at every step, they assume some
            knowledge of tools and wooodworking and a general idea of how a boat goes
            together. The study plans for most of the Atkin boats contain the building
            instructions, so you can get an idea of what you're getting into before
            paying for the full plans (the price of the study plan is deducted when
            you order the full plans). Except for the simplest Atkin boats, a complete
            novice will need some additional guidance. For traditionally built boats I
            recommend the books Boatbuilding by Howard Chapelle and the Boatbuilding
            Manual by Robert Steward. Boatbuilding with Plywood by Glen L. Witt is a
            good guide for building plywood planked boats. Lofting by Allan Vaitses is
            an excellent book on that subject, and indispensable if you're building a
            large or complicated boat.

            Complete novices have built many boats from Atkin plans, but it requires a
            bit more thinking and self reliance than building from plans for "instant"
            boats. It's a very, Very good idea to build a small Atkin boat first so
            you can find out if you really like building boats before tackling
            something as large as Unsanctioned. Enjoying the process of building a
            boat is the most important part of a successful project.

            I hope you give boatbuilding a try. If you do, please let the group know
            how the project comes along.

            On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 18:10:22 -0800, Ed Robbins wrote:

            > I am new to boating, boats and most certainly boat building. I
            > purchased a second home on a large lake, then bought a small fiberglass
            > motorboat. Fun, but not designed for anything but warm and fair
            > weather. After much thought and looking at many designs I think the
            > Atkins "Unsanctioned" would fit my needs. HAs anyone out there built it?
            > Are Atkins plans for complete novices? I have woodworking experience,
            > but absolutly no boat knowledge. There is very little info on the web
            > site.
            > ...

            --
            John <jkohnen@...>
            The way to fight a woman is with your hat. Grab it and run.
            <John Barrymore>
          • David
            Lewis, I think you re right. I was relying on memory (now there s a recipe for disaster, esp. w/my memory) - which said that Unsanctioned was a round-bilged
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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              Lewis,

              I think you're right. I was relying on memory (now there's a recipe
              for disaster, esp. w/my memory) - which said that Unsanctioned was a
              round-bilged boat, which would have required more skill to build. It's
              not. It's a very similar construction to Martha Green - without, as
              you say, the added size & complexity of MG. Thanks for the correction.

              On the topic of looks, it's very hard to make recommendations about
              aesthetics. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I'd personally
              prefer the timeless tradtitional look of MG. However, I agree that the
              retro look of Unsanctioned could be very nifty.

              Cheers,
              David Graybeal
              Portland, OR

              "Art is all of a boat but the wood" -- Thoreau

              *******************

              --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "Lewis E. Gordon"
              <l_gordon_nica@...> wrote:
              >
              > David,
              >
              > I can't agree that Martha Green might probably be easier to build than
              > Unsanctioned. She is two feet longer, 21 1/2 inches more draft, lots
              > more displacement, and has the added complication of an inboard engine
              > with a shaft to fit. Not an easy build for a novice.
              >
              > And, just look how Chrysler has capitalized on the "retro" look with
              > the PT cruiser! Unsanctioned was designed as an "easy build" and
              > utilizes plywood construction. I have no idea of the level of detail
              > in the plans, but I bet that an experienced woodworker would not have
              > a difficult time with construction.
              >
              > Lewis
            • John Kohnen
              Is Unsanctioned, which was designed over 50 years ago, really retro? It s kinda like my motorcycle, which looks just like the ones they made 50 years ago --
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 20, 2006
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                Is Unsanctioned, which was designed over 50 years ago, really retro? It's
                kinda like my motorcycle, which looks just like the ones they made 50
                years ago -- they just never stopped making them that way! <g> The PT
                Cruiser and a lot of Harleys are retro because they were designed recently
                to deliberately look old... But I agree that Unsanctioned '50s look isn't
                a style that stands the test of time well (of course that's just my
                opinion). For a really awful example of '50s schtick look at Bebop!

                http://www.boat-links.com/Atkinco/Utilities/Bebop.html

                I also recall a couple of perfectly nice runabouts, designed by Al Mason
                for Popular Mechanix or a similar mag, IIRC -- except that they had big
                tail fins tacked on! :ob Fortunately, a builder who has a little bit of
                aesthetic taste can just ignore the awful excrescences, because they
                really were just tacked onto the plans as an afterthough to make the boats
                look "up to date". <g>

                On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 14:58:10 -0800, David wrote:

                > ...
                > On the topic of looks, it's very hard to make recommendations about
                > aesthetics. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I'd personally
                > prefer the timeless tradtitional look of MG. However, I agree that the
                > retro look of Unsanctioned could be very nifty.

                --
                John <jkohnen@...>
                Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl
                and discovering she looks like a haddock. <John Barrymore>
              • David
                John, I agree about the motorcycles. I get the impression that many of those makers (Triumph, Norton, BSA, etc.)were too slow on the uptake to realize that
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 20, 2006
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                  John,

                  I agree about the motorcycles. I get the impression that many of those
                  makers (Triumph, Norton, BSA, etc.)were too slow on the uptake to
                  realize that tastes had changed, and they were no longer making any
                  money. Eventually, tastes came back around - so it's good that some of
                  them were able to hang around - or get revived.

                  Did some sort of similar dynamic occur with boats? I wasn't aware of
                  any builders who were making boats with that type of styling during
                  the '80's & '90's - but you'd know more than I. I kinda like those
                  silly, overstyled confections. Have you seen this classic fiberglass
                  boat site? I'll try a link:

                  "http://fiberglassics.com"

                  Look in the Gallery, then Boats in the Belfry. Outrageous!

                  Cheers,
                  David Graybeal
                  Portland, OR

                  "Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder"

                  ***********************

                  --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "John Kohnen" <jkohnen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Is Unsanctioned, which was designed over 50 years ago, really retro?
                  It's
                  > kinda like my motorcycle, which looks just like the ones they made 50
                  > years ago -- they just never stopped making them that way! <g> The PT
                  > Cruiser and a lot of Harleys are retro because they were designed
                  recently
                  > to deliberately look old... But I agree that Unsanctioned '50s look
                  isn't
                  > a style that stands the test of time well (of course that's just my
                  > opinion). For a really awful example of '50s schtick look at Bebop!
                  >
                  > http://www.boat-links.com/Atkinco/Utilities/Bebop.html
                  >
                  > I also recall a couple of perfectly nice runabouts, designed by Al
                  Mason
                  > for Popular Mechanix or a similar mag, IIRC -- except that they had
                  big
                  > tail fins tacked on! :ob Fortunately, a builder who has a little bit
                  of
                  > aesthetic taste can just ignore the awful excrescences, because they
                  > really were just tacked onto the plans as an afterthough to make the
                  boats
                  > look "up to date". <g>
                  >
                  > On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 14:58:10 -0800, David wrote:
                  >
                  > > ...
                  > > On the topic of looks, it's very hard to make recommendations about
                  > > aesthetics. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I'd personally
                  > > prefer the timeless tradtitional look of MG. However, I agree that the
                  > > retro look of Unsanctioned could be very nifty.
                  >
                  > --
                  > John <jkohnen@...>
                  > Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl
                  > and discovering she looks like a haddock. <John Barrymore>
                  >
                • John Kohnen
                  It wasn t styling that killed off the British bike manufacturers -- at the time they died the Japanese were emulating their style (not too well ) -- it was
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 26, 2006
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                    It wasn't styling that killed off the British bike manufacturers -- at the
                    time they died the Japanese were emulating their style (not too well <g>)
                    -- it was a reluctance to update the technology of their bikes. :o( People
                    bought Hoyamakawazukis because they didn't leave puddles of oil in the
                    garage or need a couple hours of fettling every week. I like fettling just
                    fine and think bikers who ride bikes that don't need it are sissies. ;o)
                    And I like the "character" of those old-fashioned machines. I'll bet if
                    you blindfolded someone and sent him off on a modern Japanese motorcycle
                    that he (after he crashed because he couldn't see where he was going <g>)
                    wouldn't be able to tell you whether it was a Honda or a Suzuki, but
                    there's no mistaking the feel and sound of a Norton or Triumph! It's nice
                    to see that there's still a Triumph being built in England, but the models
                    that look an awful lot like the old ones (truly retro) are just
                    trouble-free modern motorcycles in disguise. :o( Thank goodness there's
                    still on manufacturer that never forgot how to make 'em like they used to,
                    even if it's in South Asia instead of Old Blighty. :o)

                    Motorcycles made in the fifties and sixties look, to most people, like
                    motorcycles "ought to", the styling was integrated with the function.
                    Except for a cover for the oil tank, my Norton Commando doesn't have a
                    single part that was added just for looks, and my Enfield doesn't even
                    make that single concession to style, instead the parts that are needed to
                    make the bike go are styled. That's the kind of look that stays looking
                    good. The boat styles of the fifties, especially after fiberglass freed
                    the designers from the tyranny imposed by the fair curves wood requires,
                    suffer from a wretched excess of style for style's sake. :o( Although some
                    folks love late '50s automobiles for their kitsch value, I don't think
                    there's anyone today who really thinks a '58 Oldsmobile or a '59 Buick
                    Invicta is beautiful, and I think that applies to boats too...

                    On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 11:40:57 -0800, David G wrote:

                    > I agree about the motorcycles. I get the impression that many of those
                    > makers (Triumph, Norton, BSA, etc.)were too slow on the uptake to
                    > realize that tastes had changed, and they were no longer making any
                    > money. Eventually, tastes came back around - so it's good that some of
                    > them were able to hang around - or get revived.
                    >
                    > Did some sort of similar dynamic occur with boats? I wasn't aware of
                    > any builders who were making boats with that type of styling during
                    > the '80's & '90's - but you'd know more than I. I kinda like those
                    > silly, overstyled confections. Have you seen this classic fiberglass
                    > boat site? I'll try a link:
                    >
                    > "http://fiberglassics.com"
                    >
                    > Look in the Gallery, then Boats in the Belfry. Outrageous!

                    --
                    John <jkohnen@...>
                    Self respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is
                    suspicious. <H. L. Mencken>
                  • Hugo Tyson
                    Totally off topic, but continuing about classic British bikes! What about the Velocette Venom Clubman and Thruxton 500cc Singles. They were fantastic! John
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 26, 2006
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                      Totally off topic, but continuing about classic British bikes! What about the Velocette Venom Clubman and Thruxton 500cc Singles. They were fantastic!


                      John Kohnen <jkohnen@...> wrote:
                      It wasn't styling that killed off the British bike manufacturers -- at the
                      time they died the Japanese were emulating their style (not too well )
                      -- it was a reluctance to update the technology of their bikes. :o( People
                      bought Hoyamakawazukis because they didn't leave puddles of oil in the
                      garage or need a couple hours of fettling every week. I like fettling just
                      fine and think bikers who ride bikes that don't need it are sissies. ;o)
                      And I like the "character" of those old-fashioned machines. I'll bet if
                      you blindfolded someone and sent him off on a modern Japanese motorcycle
                      that he (after he crashed because he couldn't see where he was going )
                      wouldn't be able to tell you whether it was a Honda or a Suzuki, but
                      there's no mistaking the feel and sound of a Norton or Triumph! It's nice
                      to see that there's still a Triumph being built in England, but the models
                      that look an awful lot like the old ones (truly retro) are just
                      trouble-free modern motorcycles in disguise. :o( Thank goodness there's
                      still on manufacturer that never forgot how to make 'em like they used to,
                      even if it's in South Asia instead of Old Blighty. :o)

                      Motorcycles made in the fifties and sixties look, to most people, like
                      motorcycles "ought to", the styling was integrated with the function.
                      Except for a cover for the oil tank, my Norton Commando doesn't have a
                      single part that was added just for looks, and my Enfield doesn't even
                      make that single concession to style, instead the parts that are needed to
                      make the bike go are styled. That's the kind of look that stays looking
                      good. The boat styles of the fifties, especially after fiberglass freed
                      the designers from the tyranny imposed by the fair curves wood requires,
                      suffer from a wretched excess of style for style's sake. :o( Although some
                      folks love late '50s automobiles for their kitsch value, I don't think
                      there's anyone today who really thinks a '58 Oldsmobile or a '59 Buick
                      Invicta is beautiful, and I think that applies to boats too...

                      On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 11:40:57 -0800, David G wrote:

                      > I agree about the motorcycles. I get the impression that many of those
                      > makers (Triumph, Norton, BSA, etc.)were too slow on the uptake to
                      > realize that tastes had changed, and they were no longer making any
                      > money. Eventually, tastes came back around - so it's good that some of
                      > them were able to hang around - or get revived.
                      >
                      > Did some sort of similar dynamic occur with boats? I wasn't aware of
                      > any builders who were making boats with that type of styling during
                      > the '80's & '90's - but you'd know more than I. I kinda like those
                      > silly, overstyled confections. Have you seen this classic fiberglass
                      > boat site? I'll try a link:
                      >
                      > "http://fiberglassics.com"
                      >
                      > Look in the Gallery, then Boats in the Belfry. Outrageous!

                      --
                      John
                      Self respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is
                      suspicious.


                      No flaming, cursing, politics, religion or public mopery. Please be polite.

                      If you set out to build an Atkin boat, please do not modify the plans. If you stray from the plans you do so at your own risk and Atkin & Co. will take no responsibility for the performance of the resulting boat.

                      The current Atkin boat plans catalog is online at



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