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Re: Building a Atkins Boat

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Mar 18 7:36 PM
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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 2 of 9 , Mar 18 10:30 PM
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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 3 of 9 , Mar 19 2:58 PM
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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 4 of 9 , Mar 20 10:33 AM
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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 5 of 9 , Mar 20 11:40 AM
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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 6 of 9 , Mar 26 1:21 PM
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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 7 of 9 , Mar 26 7:13 PM
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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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