[bolger] Re: Topaz
I don't have a lot of experience, but I do have a lot of crazy ideas. You
might consider making some composite panels, then cutting and using them as
if they were plywood. Foam cored panels can work, or if you feel really
high tech, you could make or buy honeycomb panels. This route is expensive,
but you can eliminate a lot of weight. Since you are an airplane guy, I am
sure you know about this stuff, I just mention it for the sake of
> At this point in the building I am up against the problem of weight.
> Like most of you who are building for performance or are in to the
> bigger boats, this problem looms high. Having built the bulkheads, I
> am already concerned about the totals weight of the boat. Yes, it is
> supposed to weigh 2500-3000lb. However, my chevy can haul 3000# max.
> Soooo what to do. I am propsing to cut out spaces, decorative or
> othewise in the bulkheads. Those that look like fish or something
> pretty will stay. Those that are just circles etc. I plan to fill with
> 1/2" blue board and glass lightly over. I think I can dispose of a few
> pounds or so this way. If you have not used this, don't worry. By the
> way, remove the plastic that covers these sheets or you will not get a
> bond. I built the webbing for an airplane, plus the the wing truss
> and glassed it. Later when done flew the plane and as far as I know it
> is still up there in another town with a new owner. Many of the area's
> need to be somewhat solid as they abutt the settee etc.
> My question is, will I be able to lighten up on the sides or bottom in
> any way. The bottom is two layers of 1/2" ply and the sides are 1/2".
> I considered thinning the bottom and using unidirectional glass (two
> layers of 12 oz) cross ways to stiffen the ply. On the sides I thought
> I saw a pic, of layering of ply in a webbing fashion. Any suggestions
> from someone who has beem here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
> eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/bolger
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- Can you tell me about the topaz?
Topaz is a design sold by Phil Bolger, essentially a shallow draft
double ended outboard runabout, mostly out of plywood.
I think that three have been built in the 'enclosed cabin' version,
and I am the first to build in the 'open runabout' version. I think
it could be built with MDO plywood, (without fiberglass), making it
somewhat 'disposable', but with a boat this big (31ft) there is some
justification towards spending the $/time to build it more
substantially w/plywood/epoxy/fiberglass composite.
Some photos of a Topaz build here:
I used a different quicker technique for the bottom build, with no
'table', Silicon Bronze nails instead of screws, and I was happy with
the time saved.
Presently, I am partially done, doing interior fitout (most recently,
the 'faux-teak' floorboard planking between the seats and in the
cockpit) plus painting of the underseat compartments. Two weeks ago,
I installed the narrow curved midship top deck strake (20ft x 6"
tilted and curved), for which I used Free!ship to calculate the
layout. Handy software!