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Tolman Great Alaskan DIY build

Old 07-29-2015, 09:20 AM
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Default Tolman Great Alaskan DIY build

The time has finally arrived. I have moved from putting pencil on paper to putting pencil on wood and making a little sawdust.

For some background on this build project you can look here:
http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...ct-thread.html

Thanks to those who have helped me form my thoughts and decisions along the way.

So for a summation of what I am building and my purposes here it is.

A lightweight, Plywood and epoxy skiff.

I want it to be suitable for general family use as well as some nearshore fishing in coastal VA and NC waters and perhaps a few offshore trips when the weather is promising. Primary target species will be Striped Bass, Blues, Spanish Mackeral, King Mackeral, Red and Black Drum and Trout. Occasional trolling for Mahi, and offshore species and some bottom fishing. Will likely also do overnight trips for Trophy Blue Cats and flatheads on the James River


I wanted a forward V-berth that will sleep 2 overnight.

The wife has asked for an enclosed hardtop cabin so she can be out of the sun and wind on extended weekend excursions and also not as much noise. A third person could sleep on the bench in the cabin.

Boat needs to be trailerable, light and efficient. I'm not a rich man as you will see in the course of the build.

So all this said, I have decided to build a Tolman Great Alaskan by Glacier Boats of Alaska LLC. with a few tweeks here and there.

For those not familiar with it, you can find info here:

http://www.glacierboats.com/

My specific build will be as follows:


LOA 24-1/2 feet
Bmax: 8'6" (at amidships sheer deck)
Maximum hull depth: 64" (5 feet 4 inches)
Deadrise aft: 13.1 degrees
Side flare: 15 to 17 degrees (maximum at amidships)
Basic hull weight: 1500# to 2000# as per my plans
Expected power: 150HP single outboard
Most efficient speed: 22 kts (25 mph)
Maximum speed: 38 kts (44 mph) maybe a little more.
Fuel tankage: 70 US gallons
Expected fuel efficiency: 4.5 mpg
Expected range: 315 mi.
Draft: about 12 inches
Exterior freeboard (waterline to sheer deck): about 31-1/2 inches min.
Interior freeboard (main deck to sheer deck, at stern): about 28-3/4 inches

You may notice my specs are slightly different than those listed.

I am reducing length from 25'6' to 24'6" so that I can build it in my garage
I am adding a little bit of width to the chines and giving them a slight -4 degree reverse angle. I have added about 2 inches to the hull height forward to minimize trunk height while maximizing interior cuddy space and retaining a more streamline profile.

Weight reduction will come from length reduction, minimized splashwell, reduced fuel tank size, using 1/2" A/B marine fir plywood for bottom vs. 3/4" and minimizing wood and joinery in cabin, deck and superstructure.

No modifications were made to the bottom running surface of the hull apart from length change and chine angle/addition which the designer felt was within reasonable margins.

The profile as planned will hopefully look something like this when completed.

I chose this after a lot of study and looking. I think it represents a simple build for my skill level, a seaworthy form, affordable simple plans, and a great online support group. I believe it will meet all my criteria.



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This is the basic idea.

So far, I have purchased some plywood and have cut the bowstem and lofted the transom.

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More to come. This is being done in spare time and funded as I go. The Admiral has not approved a budget. I plan to fund the majority of the hull build by selling my existing boat. Not sure yet how I will get the money for a motor but that is a ways off for now.

I plan to work on this with my 13yr old and hopefully he will learn with me as a father/son project.
Old 07-29-2015, 10:04 AM
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This is one build I want to see. Thanks for sharing.
Old 07-29-2015, 10:11 AM
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love these boats! subscribed
Old 07-29-2015, 12:10 PM
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The styling worked out very well. And that's some nice VG lumber.
Old 07-29-2015, 12:12 PM
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I am interested in watching this build. I know noting about boats but it looks like you used Pine. Is that an acceptable wood? Won't it warp easy?
Old 07-29-2015, 12:16 PM
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Looks like fir.
Old 07-29-2015, 12:47 PM
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As a former owner of a 22ft Tolman, I'll be watching.
Old 07-29-2015, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by agallant80 View Post
I am interested in watching this build. I know noting about boats but it looks like you used Pine. Is that an acceptable wood? Won't it warp easy?
Agallant,

Although Douglas Fir is an evergreen conifer like pines, it is a step above your typical run of the mill "Pine". It is known for having a very good weight to strength ratio, a tendency towards natural rot resistance, and a straight grain. So far all the material used is Douglas Fir. to the untrained eye it may look like pine but it is not and the smell is much different.


The Tolman Great Alaskan, if built according to plan, can be built almost entirely with woods sourced from a local lumberyard along with some epoxy and fiberglass cloth. If a decent quality CDX yellow pine plywood can be found without large core voids, there is enough margin of error in the strength of the plans that one could use this successfully. It is not the best practice though.

I have tried to hand select materials that I feel represent a good balance of strength, weight, cost and durability. I like to use domestic woods when it is possible. That is not to say I won't or wouldn't use imported woods, I just found Douglas Fir as a suitable wood for this build. Before I am done there will be some other interesting woods used. This is a budget build. You will see some pretty homebrew type stuff done along the way.

Many of these boats have been built with lesser materials and have held up well. Others have been built with high end tropical hardwoods like Meranti or Okume. Unlike some circles, the Tolman circle of builders tends to be very tolerant of people building with what they can get their hands on and taking the shortest path to a completed boat to go fishing in. "Your money, your time, your boat" is how they put it. Its not really that much about shiny things or expensive things although there are many examples of yacht finish Tolman's as well. They are also quite tolerant of modifications that make the boat work for you personally and ones have been built for almost every purpose under the sun including commercial fishing and diving to cruising and camping.

BTW, if you pick your pine correctly, it can be really good material as well. Some really nice yachts contain yellow pine components. You just have to be really picky and know your wood and where it will work and where it won't.
Old 07-29-2015, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by disD1 View Post
The styling worked out very well. And that's some nice VG lumber.
Thanks Dis, I hope it looks like that when I am finished

That VG stick of lumber I picked out of a stack at Lowe's believe it or not. Took a bit of looking but goes to show what you can find if you look hard enough.

Also the A/B Fir marine ply in 1/2" I paid less than 50.00 a sheet for. Most places it is well over 60.00 I'm trying to make Abe Lincoln squeal.
Old 07-29-2015, 01:30 PM
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I live about 60 miles from Homer Alaska and get to see many Tolmans running around. The one thing that always jumps out at me is how well they run with lower horse power. Last week I watched several hundred boats all with 50 HP running on the Kenai River. The Tolman was running faster and cleaner than anything else on the river. I think you will be very happy with your choice of builds.
David
Old 07-29-2015, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 1blueheron View Post
Agallant,

Although Douglas Fir is an evergreen conifer like pines, it is a step above your typical run of the mill "Pine". It is known for having a very good weight to strength ratio, a tendency towards natural rot resistance, and a straight grain. So far all the material used is Douglas Fir. to the untrained eye it may look like pine but it is not and the smell is much different.


The Tolman Great Alaskan, if built according to plan, can be built almost entirely with woods sourced from a local lumberyard along with some epoxy and fiberglass cloth. If a decent quality CDX yellow pine plywood can be found without large core voids, there is enough margin of error in the strength of the plans that one could use this successfully. It is not the best practice though.

I have tried to hand select materials that I feel represent a good balance of strength, weight, cost and durability. I like to use domestic woods when it is possible. That is not to say I won't or wouldn't use imported woods, I just found Douglas Fir as a suitable wood for this build. Before I am done there will be some other interesting woods used. This is a budget build. You will see some pretty homebrew type stuff done along the way.

Many of these boats have been built with lesser materials and have held up well. Others have been built with high end tropical hardwoods like Meranti or Okume. Unlike some circles, the Tolman circle of builders tends to be very tolerant of people building with what they can get their hands on and taking the shortest path to a completed boat to go fishing in. "Your money, your time, your boat" is how they put it. Its not really that much about shiny things or expensive things although there are many examples of yacht finish Tolman's as well. They are also quite tolerant of modifications that make the boat work for you personally and ones have been built for almost every purpose under the sun including commercial fishing and diving to cruising and camping.

BTW, if you pick your pine correctly, it can be really good material as well. Some really nice yachts contain yellow pine components. You just have to be really picky and know your wood and where it will work and where it won't.
Thanks for the info. This build looks super cool and I am very interested to watch its progression.
Old 07-29-2015, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dnt99611 View Post
I live about 60 miles from Homer Alaska and get to see many Tolmans running around. The one thing that always jumps out at me is how well they run with lower horse power. Last week I watched several hundred boats all with 50 HP running on the Kenai River. The Tolman was running faster and cleaner than anything else on the river. I think you will be very happy with your choice of builds.
David

David,

In reading piles of boat threads on THT about what people recommend or think about their boats or what to buy it seems like everyone says they like their boat "except for _________ " and they list about five things. Usually has to do with ride quality, dryness, fuel efficiency, trim, ability to stay on plane, speed, fit and finish, etc.

In all my online/email conversations with Tolman owners, I can't recall anyone saying those things, in fact it tends to be the opposite. New owners tend to say they were surprised by how well they rode, handled, efficiency, trim, planing transition, speed etc. This might be by virtue of the fact that they have invested so much time in the builds they have to be happy or it might just be true and there is nothing they are unhappy with enough to complain. I'm hoping it's the later.

Those who have bought used ones tend to be quite satisfied as well. What owners tend to be most happy with is the price and value they get from the boat.
Old 07-29-2015, 02:43 PM
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'bout time!!
Old 07-29-2015, 02:44 PM
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The Kenai River has a 50HP limit on it. Last year I watched a 20 foot Tolman with a 75HP 2-stroke, tipped up out of the water, and a 40HP 4-stroke jump up on plane and go up the river. The boat had a cuddy cabin and three men, about 250 each, in it. I am not sure any other boat I know of could have done the same thing.
By the way I really like your house design. :-)
David
Old 07-29-2015, 02:50 PM
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Handsome rig!
Best of luck in the build. Chalk me up as another interested party watching for updates.
Old 07-29-2015, 03:17 PM
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Great job. Starting is the hardest part. Its gonna be a great boat. I think Brian did a good job.

I love doug fir. I used that on my widebody tolman. the only reason i didn tuse it on the jumbo tolman is because it was hard to find in Maine

cant wait to see the boat.
Old 07-29-2015, 07:32 PM
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Nice simple looking boat, should be a nice build. One money saving tip is no doubt order epoxy from e bond. You can get 3 gallons for $80.
Old 07-29-2015, 09:24 PM
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Good choice of plans. The Tolman boat family is gonna have a proud new member.
Going from 3/4" ply to 1/2' on the bottom is... significant. Will you add extra fiberglass to compensate?
Old 07-29-2015, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dnt99611 View Post
I live about 60 miles from Homer Alaska and get to see many Tolmans running around. The one thing that always jumps out at me is how well they run with lower horse power. Last week I watched several hundred boats all with 50 HP running on the Kenai River. The Tolman was running faster and cleaner than anything else on the river. I think you will be very happy with your choice of builds.
David
Sorry to derail the thread. I sure miss the days when I worked for Unocal. They sent me to Kenal twice a year to perform computer system upgrades at the ammonia plant. Those were the days. I should have taken the opportunity to move there.
Old 07-29-2015, 10:59 PM
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I look forward to watching your build thread. I wish I had a place to build one of these boats. Good luck with it.

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