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Old 03-10-2006, 10:23 AM
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Default stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

What are the possibilities of using a stitch/glue pattern to build a small aluminum boat? I'm talking about something like this to use with an 8hp kicker. I want something pretty light I can get into some protected waters where there isn't a ramp. Something I could get onto a roof rack single handed would even be better!


http://www.boatplans-online.com/prod....php?prod=SC16

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Old 03-10-2006, 10:39 AM
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Default RE: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

I have seen it done - that's a "Lumberyard Skiff" from Old Wharf Dory Co, made in alloy by a guy in Maine:


See:
http://www.oldwharf.com/ow_scrapbook.html

One caution is that from what I have read, welding plate aluminum is easy, but welding sheet aluminum (for a lightweight boat) gets more and more difficult as it gets thinner, requires more and more skill to do without weakening the material too much.

There are a number of companies that produce CNC cut aluminum boat kits, ready to weld. Here is a place in BC that has a 12 foot skiff in it's offerings. They also sell just the cutting files/assembly instructions if you want the boat locally cut by a CNC shop.
http://www.metalboatkits.com/

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Old 03-10-2006, 10:44 AM
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Default RE: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

Its hard to tell without looking at the lofting. I assume this a home garage project. If it can be built from sheets of plywood it should be suitable for alum sheet. The design should not have any compound curves. Obviously alum is lot harder to cut than plywood. You'll also need a heck of a 220v mig welder and some serious set of clamps.

Why not just make it out of plywood? I don't think its gonna be any lighter in alum.
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

How about just buy one.... http://smokercraft.com/utilities/canadian.htm ..... I have 2006 12ft smokercraft sportsman model that weighs 93Lbs (they don't show the light weight one on the web site.) that I put on the top of my suv by myself.
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:15 AM
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Default RE: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

Hmmm... just reread your post - if your interest isn't in the building part, and you want an easily handled boat for backwater fishing - I'd suggest a poly or composite canoe. They will be lighter, quieter, and easier to carry than an aluminum skiff or dinghy. Many come with a carry yoke for your shoulders at center. You don't really need a motor, but there are some square stern models that will take one.

I recently found this company in WI that makes some nice smaller canoes made for fishing in FRP, including some square stern models. They narrow at the gunwales to make paddling easier.
http://www.cranberrycreekcanoes.com/index.htm
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

As a serious amateur welder (repairing my own construction equipment) with 20 years experience, let me give you my summary of welding expertise requirements: mig-welding carbon steel- any idiot can do it with a little practice, stick-welding carbon steel - a little more skill necessary, stick-welding out of position (such as vertical up) - takes a lot of practice and patience for good results. Finally, any aluminum welding, with a spool gun or tig, takes twice the skill and meticulousness of welding carbon steel. Any little bit of dirt or contamination (or wind) will ruin an aluminum weld. You can't even use the same grinding wheels or files that you use for carbon steel or you will introduce contamination. Aluminum also seems to warp easier. I made an aluminum t-top one time with the help of a guy who was a certified pipe welder, and I still wouldn't bragg about the results, although it was structurally solid.

Needless to say, I have a lot of respect for guys who are good with aluminum. And,I've got to admit, it would be fun to put together a boat like that.
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: stitch and glue home built in Aluminum?

Anything under 3mm plate is real tough to weld with mig, and tig is real slow.

Plus going this thick defeats the purpose of staying light for lifting and motoring with a small motor.

10' basspro hulls o valco 12' are cheap new and more so used, plus you can sea trial it before buying.

So....
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