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JamesMusslewhite

New Boat Build Project - (Totally Rebuilding an Older Boat)

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JamesMusslewhite

I have owned six boats over the 7 years we have lived here in the Surigao. One of the advantages of living here in the Surigao City area is boating, with great fishing and so many small islands around here to explore a boat is a sound investment. That and it seems my wife has family in almost every island around here so having a good boat has benefit.

 

This was a 34 footer  I purchased back in 2009 which we took over to our small beach lot in Tagbirayan, Dinagat Island.

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I found it to be a bit uncomfortable as it had a rather narrow profile at the bottom which made it difficult for someone my size to move about on the boat and a bit too rocky for my liking. It was a good boat for fishing but the plywood bottom also was just too flimsy for the shallow waters here due to large rocks and coral below the water line as tides lowered. This can be a bit unnerving when boating in the shallows at night when you could not spot big rocks before being able to avoid them. Sometimes I do not know how we could not have cracked the hull or sprang a leak on a few occasions. Seven years living here I have seem more than a few boats sink while bouncing off the rocks and coral in these waters around these little islands around here. The plywood bottom also meant it rot rather quickly and was just not stable enough for me to trust selling the boat to someone else. It is also hard to insure the actual quality of the marine plywood when you purchase the sheets and can be using a slightly inferior quality without known, that is until it dry rots or the laminated layers begin to separate. So we eventually just stripped it down and burnt the wood after retrieving the brass nails and aluminum rudders and propeller shafts.

 

I tried to find a wooden slab that was at least 32 foot long with the width I wanted but was unsuccessful finding a slab of wood that size, that did not cost more than a new motorcycle to get delivered over to Dinagat Island. This was when I decided to try to find a used boat with a solid wooden hull board and then strip it down to the hull board and then reconstruct the boat to fit my own needs.  

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jtmwatchbiz

very nice project you got there james and looking forward to more updates! 

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JamesMusslewhite

After about a couple of years I came across an old calamari style fishing boat that another expat had purchased as a hobby but left it exposed where it suffered carpenter ant damage to parts of the plywood skin. He had decided against trying to restore it, where it sat upside down on two wooden saw horses where it became ‘yard art’.

 

I was once asked what exactly is a calamari boat? So I will add the following photo of one from one of the island across from Surigao city. It is a boat which is fitted with bamboo riggings and night lamps which the locals here use to catch calamari at night. They tend to be designed for rough water which means they tend to have higher sides as well as holding compartments than do the standard traditional Filipino boats. 

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 I purchased the boat for only 10,000php which was more than a good price as all I really wanted was the wooden hull board. If I were able to find such a large piece of wood I would have spent many times that amount just getting it to Surigao city, then I would still have to get it to Dinagat Island were more would have been spent carving and shaving the 32 foot x 1 foot x 3 foot plank down to the desired shape.

 

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in this Face book video you can get an idea how this old calamari was constructed and what it looked like before we moved the old beast. Sorry you may have to have a Facebook account to view it.

https://www.facebook.com/james.musslewhite/videos/3266508501428/

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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JamesMusslewhite

To give everyone a visual perspective of just how big a 34 foot boat really is and just how difficult it is to transport one that size, this is it loaded on the back of a dump truck. It also took a dozen men to load it and then again to also unload it off the truck.

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The boat received some minor damage to the upper hull while it was being hoisted onto the top of a dump truck and transported down to a local friend’s river property. But it was still more than sea worthy enough to be towed over to Canbunga-an, Dinagit Island where we would quickly start tearing down the boat down to the the 32 foot single piece hull board. This piece of plank was carved out of a 32' x 3' x 8 '' piece of hardwood which is now very difficult and very expensive to purchase and transport up to Surigao City and then over to Dinagat Island. 

 

these two photos were taken as we were removing the deck wood and it may help those interested to see how the inner hull frame is designed for a boat with high sides. The new design we are using has lower sides so will only need one rib support running the length of the sides instead of two as is used on the original calamari design. We will not be using it in rough nighttime weather conditions as those that calamari fishermen must face so the higher sides are really not necessary.

 

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Well you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet. Once the boat was dismantled we had the 32 foot hull board transported over to our small beach lot in Tagbirayan, Dinagat Island where it was placed on saw horses for the next two years. Several months ago we had it moved over to our farm and started designing just how we were going to do the reconstruction. For our design we need a boat that is good in the shallows but can still be used for ocean net fishing. A boat that can be used to run goods and supplies around the island as well as trips between Dinagat Island and Surigao City when needed to get building materials and to use to get to the lobster huts, fish traps and for transferring and transporting lobster and fingerlings.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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Skywalker

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Not 35 feet.  Better!

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JamesMusslewhite

We placed the hull board behind a shed and under the mango trees so we could work in the shade while we were working on the boat. The following photos will show the project as it has progressed over the last couple of months. The boat is being build the old traditional way which I am sure many will find interesting. The rib frame for the hull is chiseled and carved and 'fit and slot' together and epoxied. Much of the wood was actually hand cut from a tree we fell on the property using a hired chain-sawer. The wood was then cut and split using a jigsaw and chisels. If you have questions I will be glad to answer them and I will try to show enough angle shots and close ups to help viewers see how each process is done. and will show the project up to date. Then later I will be adding new photos and descriptions as the project progresses until completed and in the water.

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JamesMusslewhite

First we laid the hull board up off the ground behind our tool shed on the farm and cut all the pieces that will be used as ribs for the hull. We then marked and chiseled out the slots were the ribs will be inserted into the hull board. As we inserted the ribs they were epoxied into place. The ribs are slightly recessed and the hull was mitered using chisels so that when the plywood skin is add it will be flush with the side of the hub board.

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Then the first top rail of the hull frame was laid out and rectangular slots were chiseled so it can be taped over the top of each rib and epoxied. The top rails are one continuous piece of wood which has also been mitered on the bottom of the outer side so that when the plywood skin is added it will be flush as it is epoxied and nailed to the hull frame. Also the top of each rib was notched so as the top rail was tapped in place to would rest at the proper height. (this will be shown in other photos posted later).

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Skywalker

Where will you install the bar area?

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Pman

This is awesome! Good luck!

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woodchopper

 

 

Where will you install the bar area?

 

that would be close to the WC building

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JamesMusslewhite

This photo is the second top rail being tapped in place. The photo also shows that when doing this to start in the middle ribs first, then have someone gently pull the top board inward so it will relieve stress on the top board and make the task much easier than it would be by trying to start at one end and trying to work your way to the other end. The top board is then then tied to the bow and stern boards until the epoxy has properly dried. Then notches will be later cut into both sides of the bow and stern boards where the top rails will then be pulled up and epoxied and tied until it has properly dried. This will give the distinctive traditional curve shape at both the bow and stern of the boat. This will be seen in later photos.

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It is not hard to do, one only needs to be patient and not try to over muscle it as spiting the rail board is not something you want to happen as 36 foot strips of wood are hard to come by and taking the rail off and having to scrape off all the epoxy on the ribs is rather counter productive. Even my niece could do it so it is a matter of brains over brawn and just being patient and gentle. My brother-in-law simply instructs us as he is tapping the board in place so the task is simple to do.

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Top rail is done for now and simply tied off to hold everything in place. Next step will be adding the middle hull frame rail down each side of the boat.

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JamesMusslewhite

attachicon.gifHMS-Gin-Palace.jpg

 

Not 35 feet.  Better!

Nice pleasure boat but probably a bit hard to carry fish traps and lobster boxes... :rofl: 

 

Where will you install the bar area?

Looking for the perfect size cooler even as we speak... :biggrin_01:

 

This is awesome! Good luck!

Thanks, I will try to add as much information as possible as I continue to add to the thread.

 

that would be close to the WC building

No, just close to where I will be sitting, that cooler needs to be within arms reach. :biggrin_01:

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
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woodchopper

the solid bottom board should help lots james,possibly more stability too?

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JamesMusslewhite

Next will be to flush cut the top of the ribs with the top rail and apply some more epoxy just for additional strength and peace of mind.

 

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My wife who makes a lovely assistant, shows just how roomy this old beast is for a 5 foot tall Filipina will be when she is finally completed.

 

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Now I'm just under 6 foot and weigh 235 lbs so you can see the size relationship. And shows it is rummy enough for even my fat ass.

 

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JamesMusslewhite

Now comes the task of adding the middle hull frame rail down each side of the boat which is to help strengthen the frame and allow more surface to epoxy and nail the plywood outer sink for the hull of the boat. the length of board is carefully measured and notches are chiseled for each of the ribs. Each notch is cut to where it will be flush with the outer side if the rib frame once epoxied and nailed into place. Unlike the top rail which is a single piece of wood, the middle rail is actually three pieces of wood. This is done by applying epoxy to the notches and starting at the end and working towards the middle and nailed at each rib to firmly hold it in place. There is a pencil mark where each rib was pre-measured which allows the boards to remain straight as it is worked along the length of the boat. Where two ends of the middle side rail meet, they are epoxied and nailed to the rib or firmly held in place with a c-clamp until it has properly dried. 

 

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When dried it is time to make the notches in the bow and stern boards and make the curves.

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