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!).
Kevin Shepherd announced (on the Electric Boats mailing list) the re-launch of his 28′ Great Dane sailboat after repowering with a Soloman ST37 3 phase motor running at 144VDC.
Looks like it went pretty quickly… started in September of 2006 and launched at the end of January 2007.
He’s got pictures of the components and the process, along with some initial data from the sea-trial.
Worth a look for the electric power aficionados.
Wendell Gallagher is building a Buehler Diesel Duck. He had the steel hull built at a yard and trucked to his home and is doing the rest himself.
Some beautiful woodwork and some interesting ideas for a "captain’s chair" including the controls needed to conn his craft.
Not to mention some very nice photography and computer graphics…
4QD is a United Kingdom company that manufactures motor speed controllers for battery operated electric motors. They seem to do a lot of business with electric vehicles, including boats.
Their web page includes information on power requirements for electric boats… worth a read.
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 🙂
I think this is the canonical source of links and information about the U.K and Europe canal system. Hours of reading.
One example I found interesting was the UK Inland Waterway Size Restrictions in English Units – make sure your boat will fit 🙂
Canal Boating in the U.K. and Europe
(with some North American information)
Being an introduction for those unfamiliar with the pleasures of canal and waterway cruising, as well as a resource for experienced boaters.
Nearly 2000 links to canal and waterways related web sites.
Several years ago, Bruce Hector of Duckworks and Bolger mailing list fame took an idea originally from John Bell and ran with it. He created The Infinite Modular Sharpie (TIMS).
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:
Bruce also provided a much more detailed build and performance article for Duckworks Magazine found here.
Bruce later built the "Wing-Nut – the modular canoe" which also served as bookcases at home when not in use.
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).
A U.K. canal boat builder… specialized in steel. Their web site has various details about their craft and longevity.
They build various narrowboats, dutch barge style and wide body canal cruisers.