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Re: what's the best way to save weight when building a boat?

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  • Lincoln Ross
    Well, most of my weight saving experience is with model planes, but I did design and build a pram which came out within a couple of pounds of what I expected,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 6 10:49 AM
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      Well, most of my weight saving experience is with model planes, but I
      did design and build a pram which came out within a couple of pounds of
      what I expected, so the following might not be totally off base:

      Go over everything that's going into the boat and try to calculate what
      it weighs. Add it all up. Try to get info about how much the different
      kinds of wood will weigh. Plywood places will often tell you the weight
      per sheet, and you can guess other wood density by species. I don't know
      how much wood varies from piece to piece, but if you're really serious
      you can weight the lumber. The wood I'm most used to using varies by a
      factor of 6 or so, but balsa is much more extreme than the wood you'd
      use in boatbuilding.

      Think hard about each part of the boat and what your weight options are.
      This doesn't mean you have to always pick the lightest, but only use
      anything heavier for a good reason, like budget. Don't use 6 oz glass
      cloth when you can use two. (BTW, it is my understanding that if you are
      really careful about not using too much epoxy, the finished weight will
      be about double the nominal weight of the cloth, i.e. 2 oz cloth will
      come out 4 oz per yard).

      Be sure to squeegee all the excess out of the cloth if you do use glass.
      If you use certain kinds of plywood, or are building something where you
      will keep it indoors and don't care a lot about checking, maybe you
      don't need the glass. Don't use southern yellow pine unless you are
      forced by budget considerations. If you have to use some heavy wood, use
      it on a daggerboard, rudder, etc. where you would like it to be heavy,
      and try to keep the hull and spars light.

      I guess my main message is to keep track of the weight of everything. If
      you're aware of it, you're probably less likely to pile on more weight.

      BTW, you might go to www.apci.com/~michalak and look up the article(s)
      on weight.

      >jason wrote:
      >
      >I've built two glue and nail boats and one stitch and glue boat. I
      >always seem to go a bit heavy on the construction. What is the best
      >way to save weight while building? Spars? Marine Ply?.....i've never
      >used it before. Don't really want to skimp on the lumber as i feel
      >bolger boats are from what i've seen kinda on the light side.
      >Opinions?
      >Thanks,
      >jason
      >
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