Why not build a boat ?

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by Salthart, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    Maybe I in fact have brain damage, BUt I have it in my mind to maybe build a boat from the ground up.

    To add to the already growing idea of my lack of sanity, I am thinking of building it out of steel. I have it on good authority ( Welder ) that this is the WRONG thing to do. And I can not doubt what he says. And yet the idea will not leave me..(

    This is what I have in mind. A boat 20 feet long and 7 feet wide with 3 foot sides. I am thinking to build a frame of thin walled square tubing and cover this with 1/8th inch on the bottom and 1/16th on the sides.

    For the bottom I was thinking of building something along the line of trusses 12 inches on center from 1 inch square tubing. But I'm not sure how to attach the sheet metal to the frame etc. I have no idea about a lot of things on a build like this.

    So, if you have any input, I'd be grateful. THanks in advance.
     
  2. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,038
    State:
    Texas
    Make sure you have a good life jacket....:eek:oooh:
     

  3. Colsrob

    Colsrob Active Member

    Messages:
    862
    State:
    Ohio, Columbus
    Square tubing and thin steel or not, that thing would be like a minature aircraft carrier. The weight would be extreme at that size. Towing would be costly, as would your mpg on the water.

    If you want to go through the process, why not try it with aluminum?
     
  4. TnRivershark

    TnRivershark New Member

    Messages:
    1,254
    State:
    M,boro Tn.
    sounds liks a great idea, but the weight of steel and a boat that size, its going to take your 3 foot sides to float it. You need to look some specks of an aluminum boat that size see what it wieghs and figure up the differance. My sea ark is 20ft by 6ft and it weighs over 1100 lbs with out the motor.something to think about.
     
  5. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,206
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    that boat would be an absolute tank. The thickness you are talking about is about the same they use for aluminum boats. And steel weighs about 3 times what aluminum does.
     
  6. Salthart

    Salthart New Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    State:
    North Carolina
    Oh well, Maybe I'll have to rethink after all. I just could not come up with that much weight in my mind. I had it in mind that it would weigh maybe 100lbs a linear foot.

    Oh well, I can't afford the equipment to build from Aluminum and I would not trust the little mig I have to do the job. That leaves wood, And I have enough rotten floored/transomed boats to do me a lifetime now..Or Fiberglass and the few times I have worked with fiberglass ? Well, Lets just say it wasn't pretty..LOL

    I have a boat that is close to that size but its glass over wood and both the floor and the transom are rotten. Some of you may have seen my post about it. But I truly fear working will glass enough that I was thinking about giving up.. Have any of you worked with Seacast before ?

    http://transomrepair.com/zk/PDFs/Transom_Volume_Formula.pdf
     
  7. catwhisper

    catwhisper New Member

    Messages:
    456
    State:
    georgia
    Marty you can set your mig welder up to weld aluminum easy. If your mig liner is metal (which is what comes in them) it will have to be changed to a vinyl type liner. and get you a bottle of 100% argon. make sure your wire size matches your drive rollers and guide tip. then practice before you start. then you could build your boat out of aluminum. you would still come out a lot cheaper than buying a new alum boat. and have fun building it.
     
  8. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    It has been done before,but not out of steel that I know of! I had a friend that him and his dad built a aluminum boat years ago 28 foot long,80 inches wide,with a 15 degree hull and a "wavebreaker" bow peice,250 horse outboard,that thing is a beast and is built for river fishing,it weighes 2,200 lbs without the motor but floats freely in 10 inches of water with a full load of people,gear,and a full big livewell and baitwell. I tried to buy it from him,and all he did was laugh! that is one sweet catfishing set up,he took it to Iowa when he moved so I assume it's on a river like the nish now and then. The thing I liked was the fact that they built it tough and to fit their fishing,the bow and front hull were double hulled and everything was welded really nicely.
     
  9. puddle jumper

    puddle jumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,507
    State:
    NW.Georgia
    If you do try to weld the Aluminum remember one thing,, It has to be very clean before you start you weld, run the wire a lot faster that you would with steel, get some practice pieces and try it before you get to far into it,, Once you figure it out it not to bad but there is a learning curve...
    good luck and take a bunch of pics to show us...:wink:
    Puddle
     
  10. catman-j

    catman-j New Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    State:
    Eastern Nebr
    You might be better off looking for and older boat that you can restore and make changes to suit your needs. Go to the boat modification forum and look at Dallas1's post.
     
  11. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    But good luck finding a extra wide extra long cat stlye boat,them things are costly and don't get discarded very often,but on the same token you won't save any money building you own unless you run an aluminum shop or something.If I remember correctly the above boat I was telling you about cost them 400 dollars less than having one built by a boat manufacturer,this of course did not include any labor expense for all their hours on the build.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  12. yellingrebel78

    yellingrebel78 New Member

    Messages:
    455
    State:
    georgia
    just keep and eye out on craigslist you can find alot of good deals on there do like i did I got me a 1959 aluminum 15 ft run a bout boat and remolded it cut the hood out put me a center console and floored it . If you seen it you wouldn't never tell what it was and the best part I got the boat off craigslist for free
     
  13. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    Weldin alum like that is bad thing to do. To many problems with the weld. If ya heart is set on welding alum get a tig with high freq. Or get the set up to runn a spool gun with 60 hertz to 66. Then ya gota match the filler alloy with the main alloy being welded. Heat and transfer cleaning with a stainless steel brush before welding ect ect. Ya do stuff wrong alum dont stick makes a mess or you get hot cracking and embrittled welds no penetration ect. Sorry all 10 years experience in welding for the US. Army and the pvt sector and a lot of AWS education behind it in welding.
     
  14. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo

    couldnt agree more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Im also a welder for 16 yrs its not like welding together a tractor parts or auto body lol the money you will spend for the right equipment set up to do this will go along was towards a big john boat .

    a good tig welder with all the things you will need can easily spend 3000 to 5000 $$$$$ just to get started ..

    a good spool gun will be very costly also for the mig welder ..

    what i would do if ya want to save as much money as possible is buy the boat ya want ,,, find a good deal on a used motor then weld together a trailor for it ...

    ya can make your own trailor easily with a arc or mig welder :wink:

    just my 2 cents
     
  15. fmb

    fmb New Member

    Messages:
    1,735
    State:
    Nebraska
    yea welding aluminum is an art form.....not for anybody....some of the best welders I know even shy away from it....

    if you have never done it before you probally wont ever do it!!!!! espescally something that needs to be water tight.....
     
  16. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,206
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    for something that I would be trusting my life and my loved ones life to I would not even think of doing it unless you have all the correct tools and skills to use those tools.

    Not worth risking having a problem to save a few bucks.
     
  17. Eich

    Eich New Member

    Messages:
    549
    State:
    Mount Joy,
    My thoughts go with what a lot of people have already said. The overall weight of this boat would be a killer for your idea in my opinion. Wood with fiberglass over it is heavy enough, but steel... WOW!

    Ray
     
  18. rwg

    rwg New Member

    Messages:
    2,259
    State:
    WICHITA, KANSAS
    I sell aluminun sheet for a living, I get the we're going to built a boat call a couple of times a year. You can buy boat cheaper than you can built it.
    I would look into finding a old boatand refitting it to you requirments it will be cheaper
     
  19. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    Alum sheet and scrap can be found @ scrap cost in online lots ect, but you have no Idea of the alloy half the time or if its been exposed to mercery or a bad lot- to brittle, soft ect. Miller makes a good spool gun kit for under a $1000 last I looked, if you have a miller welder power source like a 305 or 309, or even the lil 225 220 amp inverter shop shop welder with the 14 point pin hook up ya can do good. Might take ya a few years to cobble a boat together. But unless ya own a weld shop its gona be tough. Tell ya what watch the web sites like craigs list and check out gov auction sites ya can find a boat to modify, extend ect.
     
  20. fishmonster13

    fishmonster13 New Member

    Messages:
    700
    State:
    cincinnati,ohio
    find ya an old starcraft they are pretty much a dime a dozen and cheap , you can then build the interior to your needs. i had thought about building a boat as well , i found that aluminum is to expensive and well fiberglass just sucks to work with