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Bellystone Boat

Posted by Sandy 
Bellystone Boat
November 20, 2016 05:47PM
I talk about this boat a lot and even work on it some. It's been slow. I had two eye surgeries this year and then I poked a hole in my lake boat. So I spent the last week fixing that. I'm almost done with the lake boat repairs. Then back to the Bellystone.

As mentioned many times before the Bellystone is made from 18' foot side panels so it will be approx 17' feet long. Lots of side flare. 66" inches wide below the oarlocks (that is extremely wide for a 17' foot boat). Lots of side flare but the rocker profile is still kept under control so it has some but not much rocker in the middle and then sharp rocker out at the ends.

This will be a decked white water boat rigged to also work for day trip fishing expeditions. The bottom and 8" inches up the sides will be 3/4" Plascore fiberglass. Above that will be 3/8" and 1/2" inch oiled Meranti hydrotech with no fiberglass and no ribs. I want all plywood pieces to attach to thick, stout, laminated ash nailers at the joints, put together with caulk rather than glue, so any and all parts can be removed for repairs. So this boat will go together and come apart like an erector set. If I had it to do all over again I'd use 1" inch Plascore for the bottom but I'm using what I have.

The way I design new boats is to work with a full size model. So I built the following form:

On top of that I'll build the boat. The form is perhaps needed only for the design process. On the other hand for this hybrid half-fiberglass half-wood technique it might be necessary no matter what. I'm not sure about that yet. No one I know of has ever built a boat this way. It will be interesting.

Anyway I will be working on top of a form. So I needed to make a snub nose on the front of the form so a triangular wooden stem can be placed at the front, so the two 3/8" inch plywood side panels can attach the stem, and STILL be on top of the form. This is how I made the snub nose on the front of the form. You can also see a bit of form straightening technology there too, where a lengthwise 1x6 lines up with the center of the stem, and with the center of all temporary rib like formers in the form.

Re: Bellystone Boat
December 14, 2016 01:27AM
How much overlap are you expecting where the plascore and the plywood join? I like your ideas for this build Sandy.
Re: Bellystone Boat
December 14, 2016 02:25AM
I feel a bit embarrassed by my lack of progress. I will happen eventually. I have no shortage of excuses.

Overlap? I've been diverted fixing my broken lake boat. I have two more work days on the lake boat and then it's back to the Bellystone. Next week I go to Texas for a week too. I'll try to get the lake boat done before I leave. In the mean time it's too dam cold to get excited about fiberglass work.

This is a completely new hair brained idea so I have to work it all out on the fly. I'm thinking I need four inches of overlap. It will be easier to say when I can look at it instead of imagine it.

Perhaps 5" inches will be needed.

Re: Bellystone Boat
December 15, 2016 02:36PM
The Bellystone I make will be a hybrid cross between a decked white water boat and a day trip fishing boat. I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Larry Hedrick has said his two 15x56 decked Honky Dories were not high sided enough for the Grand Canyon. Too small too.

High sided open drift boats (they once were popular in Oregon) where expensive because you couldn't get two high side panels from one 4x16 or 4x18 panel. So you had to make two 4x16 panels to get two side panels.

With the 17x66 Bellystone idea you can still make two side panels from one 4x18 panel. How high sided the finished boat ends up would depend entirely on how high the all-fiberglass bottom extends up from the chine.

I'm building the Bellystone on a male mold made from cheap construction AC plywood. Male molds make it easier to design new boats from scratch but they aren't always needed once all the final boat hull dimensions are worked out. That may be true for the Bellystone idea too. I'm not sure yet. For the Bellystone, where wooden sides are married to a fiberglass bottom the male mold may be a requirement no matter what. That remains to be seen.

When ever you build something completely new there will be a lot of unanswered questions. That makes it fun.

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