An online acquaintance was kind enough to send me his wealth of online resources and links concerning boating and boat building (thanks Klaus!). Since he lives in Europe, he has a much more European bent, so I’m excited to be able to present some resources that would be harder for us U.S. types to run across.
First off the bat is the Canal Junction site… centered around the British Canals, this site has a great deal of information from boats, boat types, recommendations for boating rentals, boat buying tips, navigation, lodging… a little bit of everything.
As a fan of the British Isles (for vacations, anyhow), this provided me with a lot of neat reading (and makes me want to go back and have a canal boat holiday!).
An article from the APA – The Engineered Wood Association covering the use of plywood in boatbuilding applications, including suggested minimum ratings for the wood, and test results for bonding with fiberglass, etc.
Ray Macke built a very nice implementation of Glen-L’s Cabin Skiff. He made a few modifications and came up with a home-built craft very similar to a C-Dory, but built with his own hands.
He not only is an excellent boat-builder, but he is great at chronicling his work. His web pages cover every detail from initial plans purchase, through building and modifications, bouts with Epoxy allergies (take heed… this can be SERIOUS!), fixing problems, additions and corrections and even good recaps of lessons learned. Read it and keep following along the "next" links.
For more interesting reading he has placed a travel log/cruise log of a multi-day trip Cruising the Tennessee River. Again, Mr. Macke provides numerous details and since this is near my home, really makes me want to get out there doing it 🙂
TIMS is a set of 4×8′ modules (a TIM-bit), with a compatible bow and stern unit. Each module is fastened (clamps in the "test runs") together and the stern power module provides a motive force.
He intended this as a precursor to a larger 8′ beam craft that you would lash together kind of like the Mississippi river barge trains.
At one of the Messabouts he and many others built modules and "proved" the design with a 96′ "craft"… This idea of a modular boat is also something I just haven’t been able to get rid of.
Many boats really are fairly "square" in their core cross sections… look at the Dutch Barge and canal narrowboats (and wider versions). The bow and stern may be curved and pointy, but the midsection is pretty square… why not?
Sure, there are pro’s and con’s, but…
Anyway, beyond Bruce’s first descriptive page, there are actually quite a few other references and articles:
There have even been (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) proposals for sail versions (scroll down).
Several files and drawings were posted to the Yahoo WoodenPowerboats group. For whatever reason the traffic on this group seems to have died out, but the files and resources are still there if you want to sign up and look at them.
Don’t know how I’ve missed this one before… of course there’s a whole world of boatbuilders in the U.K./EU that I have little if any exposure to. Too bad that I like their style boat more than what’s available around here 🙂
Sea Otter has a slightly different take on the river/canal/coastal cruising market for the U.K… they build in Aluminum. Narrowboats, narrow beam cruisers (a design I haven’t encountered before… reminds me of the Bon Viveur 825), Dutch barges, houseboats and workboats are all in their repertoire.
Their web site offers multiple languages and is feature rich and well populated. They even list detailed price lists, etc. This is something I wish more sites would do. I know the old saw about “if you have to ask…”, but really, some idea of the price range would often give you an idea of the feasibility of different ideas.
Thanks to Piper Boat’s for the pointer (Piper does steel and one of their pages referred people to Sea Otter for aluminum – that’s classy).