Drawing and Design

General Concepts
Tucker Designs have been designing yachts and small commercial boats since the early 1950’s when the majority of craft were constructed of timber. Of course there are now many different construction materials from which to choose, increasing the number of designs we can offer you, including Barges.

A multitude of considerations can make choosing the right design for your boat a complex process. We have therefore tried to simplify the major issues into the following categories; Cost, Building Mode, Mode, Size, Duty and Material. Hopefully this will help in making the correct decision much easier.

COST I make no bones in putting cost first as I have seen too many projects started and not finished, or not finished by the first builder/owner as they have either run out of money or enthusiasm or both. Too many boats are constructed which are too large for the overall budget, or owing to inflation, the costs keep creeping up. Sometimes there is enough to build but not necessarily enough to enjoy the use.
Cost can most easily be compared between designs by using a three dimensional description. Frequently the easiest to use is ‘displacement’ as the figures are readily available. As a rough rule of thumb if the displacement doubles, the cost of the project is likely to double also. This is almost irrespective of the construction medium.
Some costs are hidden and not always taken into account at the beginning of the project whether professional or amateur built. Some of these are specific to amateur construction and yet others need taking into account in either case. These include space rental, insurance during the period of the project, transport and equipment delivery costs, craneage, etc.

BUILDING MODE Affects the overall cost of the project. There are many combinations between fully professional construction by a boatbuilder or boatbuilders and a complete amateur project. Many people choose a middle path, ie shell construction by a boatbuilder and completion of the outfit themselves. Some will also directly employ specialist trades where they feel their own skills may be lacking, eg engine or electrical installations.

MODE ie power, sail or a combination of the two with the emphasis possibly biased one way or the other.

SIZE in all three dimensions, any one of which may have a significant bearing on her ability to carry out the specified duty.

DUTY whether this be ocean, offshore, inshore, inland or a combination of these factors.

MATERIAL It is frequently essential that a construction medium is right for the duty, ie steel and ferro-cement are not suited to light displacement sailing yachts or in the most common sizes of planing or semi-planing power craft. The design is usually produced specific to the material as each material requires it’s own set of construction rules.
The materials generally fall into the following categories, however these are not always sharply defined and some are interchangeable. For example cold moulded designs can be constructed of strip planking, but not all strip plank designs can be successfully built using the cold moulding system. Steel and aluminium are not interchangeable but frequently aluminium can be used in place of plywood but the construction details will differ considerably.

PLYWOOD This was the original mass production material of the 1950-60’s and allowed many amateurs builders a chance to get the boat they wanted. Still the choice of many amateurs and with the advances in adhesive technology easier and more longer lasting. Choice of plywood specification is however very important. Standard designs range from 2.4m-18m (8’-60‘).

COLD MOULDING AND STRIP PLANKING Very strong coupled with light weight. Both provide a round bilge hull form either canoe bodied or reverse garboard. Both generate much of their strength from the skin supported by a relatively small number of frames. Often used for prototyping prior to committing to an expensive grp mould tool. Standard design range from 5.5m-18m (18’-60’).

GLASS REINFORCED PLASTIC probably 99% of the worlds small vessels are constructed of grp in one form or another. For amateur construction the foam sandwich system requires the least investment in tooling. Construction requires good working and ambient conditions for successful resin application and cure. Standard design range from 3.6m-15.2m (12’-50’).

STEEL Has become popular among people looking for a long distance, often liveaboard vessel in all modes. Two basic hull shapes, chine or multi-chine and round bilge. Can be quite expensive for a small vessel, say less than 10m, as they tend to be heavier in displacement. From a professional builder a full round bilge shell can form the basis of a truly magnificent sailing yacht or sea going barge. Standard design range power 6.4m-19.8m (21’-65’) sail 7.6m–19m (25’-62’). barges 17m-25m (56’-80’).

ALUMINIUM ALLOY A superb lightweight material suitable for power or sail. Has the advantage over steel in the costs of painting the shell but the disadvantage of initial material costs. An ideal material for either chine or round bilge, power or sail. Standard design range 7.6m-11.28m (25’-37’)

FERRO-CEMENT Not commonly used today after the boom of the 70’s and early 80’s when thousands were constructed world wide. Frequently mis-sold as being cheap, an unfortunate misnomer as the completion of the vessel was the same cost whatever the size. Tends to be labour intensive.

For further information or to discuss your specific requirements contact Tucker Designs via email or the telephone number above.

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