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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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Yes, and as you experiment with how high you can go, keep an eye on the 'pee' from the motor to make sure that it's deep enough to get all the cooling water it needs.  Dan Boccia found that, with his boat and configuration anyway, you could run the anti-cav plate higher than expected and still get enough cooling ... and higher gas mileage.  It's worth experimenting with.

BLACK FRIDAY / THANKSGIVING SPECIAL - If you buy standard download plans ($69, Imperial or Metric), then I will send a link for downloading the Kodiak Addendum for free (includes enabling Kodiak download from the website if you register)... FREE KODIAK ADDENDUM!

Good from NOVEMBER 21 through NOVEMBER 30!!


I agree.  Putting those 3 batteries at the aft pilothouse bulkhead would be fine.  The CG on a 28 foot boat is around 9-1/2 feet forward of the transom or so.  Weight aft of the CG encourages bow-up trim and vice versa for weights forward of the CG.  And the further a weight is from the CG, the more impact it has.  Example) 150# located 10 feet forward of the CG creates a 1500# moment-arm that encourages bow-down trim.  If you tried to balance that out with a tackle area that was 5 feet aft of the CG, then the tackle area would need to weigh 300# since 300# at 5 feet aft creates a balancing 1500# bow-up trim.  Get it?  The boat is big and it's forgiving of these things, but during the planning and construction of the boat, you want to aim towards a balanced boat and then use it any way you want once it's done and your careful planning will result in a very-forgiving boat.

Thanks for the advice Brian.  The plan right now is for the generator and 2 house batteries at the transom.  Below deck he would like 2 ea 100 gal fuel tanks that will start about 12" forward of the transom going forward, then a small water tank.  (I've not calculated if there's enough room for both fuel tanks to be 100 gallons).  I think 150 gallons of fuel would be plenty and expect at least 3 nm / gal from this boat at cruise.  It'll be powered with a pair of 2007 mercury 4 stroke 150's that have 100 hours on them.  They've been pretty much pickled and appear brand new. 

There will also be 3 batteries for the spot lock trolling motor somewhere midship to forward up to the front pilothouse bulkhead.

I've put a lot of hours on my 27' Jumbo and believe your advice to be perfect for someone building a Tolman also.  I've noticed a huge difference in fuel mileage and performance by making small changes like moving a 100 pound life raft from the cuddy to around station 6 in the pilot house.  I know you made a completely new plan for the GA, but there are enough similarities between them in construction material, weight, etc.  I made many trips offshore in the NE Atlantic with a 500 pound tuna cooler sitting 3 foot forward of the transom and an extra 300 pounds of jerry can fuel in the pilothouse.  (LOL... those were the 2 stroke days as there was already 87 gallons of fuel in under deck.  ha ha)

Sounds good, although the 3 batteries in the house, possibly as far forward as the forward house/aft cuddy bulkhead might be weight you could keep closer to the aft house bulkhead.  And as far as boat similarities go, I was and am very impressed with the structural design of the Tolman, and that's why I used it (with Renn Tolman's explicit written permission) on the GA ... if something's optimal, then it's optimal ... don't reinvent the wheel.  And also, all planing hulls are very similar on where the center of gravity goes, and that impacts loading decisions.  Unlike a displacement vessel, planing hulls have a list of requirements that make them able to skim across the water efficiently ... more akin to an aircraft needing to be balanced perfectly versus a car rolling down the highway that can be loaded pretty much any way you want ... not so on airplanes and planing hulls.  Two thirds of a planing hull is forward of the center of gravity, and like a teeter totter, you must pay attention to loading in order to keep things balanced and operating optimally.

Board Help / Re: Unusual symbols in posts
« on: November 18, 2023, 06:25:32 AM »
Hmmmm.  Sounds kinda like a pain.  Thx for the explanation

Yeah, not sure why, but I've seen the same thing happen on other forums.  I suspect a MySQL update on the ISP servers since I/we haven't changed anything and the same goes for other sites that have similar issues going on, e.g. they hadn't changed anything either.  It's the database DB_LOCALE setting that determines how unicode and other characters are interpreted and displayed.  I think a different default got pushed out ...

Might be worth a ticket at the ISP ....


Board Help / Re: Unusual symbols in posts
« on: November 17, 2023, 05:12:45 PM »

I think the strange symbols are characters which  can't be displayed ... or stored in the database.  Of course the original characters CAN be, but there's a setting (and I forget what it's called) on databases to tell them what character set to support.  There may be something similar in the forums software.  My 'signature' is an example ... it's supposed to look like fish swimming up and down, but lately, I've noticed that some SMF forums (the software that we use) have stopped displaying them and now display gibberish. So ... long story short, I'm aware of the issue but haven't had time to look into it yet...

Thanks Brian.  I really do love the boat.  FWIW a boat equipped like mine, in my opinion needs nothing less than a 250 hp outboard.  I know that may be a bit over the recommended horsepower, but there have been times when I felt like I needed every bit of it!

Admittedly, the stated horsepower range in the plans is more focused on day-tripping and boats closer to the original 26 feet long.  Longer boats will carry more weight and some will be a bit forward of recommended.  A bigger and heavier motor, especially on a bracket to move it further aft, helps balance things out and the extra horsepower becomes more optimal for the greater load.  250 hp is pretty ideal for many if not most.


You're right, Todd ... you built an AWESOME Great Alaskan!  A fantastic boat!  The 28-ft is my personal favorite too ... it really hits the sweet stop in terms of size and performance.



That's a lot of cockpit - you'll want to try to keep heavier weights aft, don't put a big fuel tank forward, etc ... balance the boat right, in other words. You'll get better gas mileage if your at-rest trim is slightly up.  The trim, a little up or down at the bow, doesn't matter so much except that the boat is more optimal with a wee bit of bow-up trim.  It's a good goal to have.  The latest Kodiak addendum has advice on how to do this, and when you get there, it's not a bad idea to float the boat at a dock and add buckets of sand or tube-sand in various places to emulate what's left to go into the boat ... then tune as necessary. 

Announcements / Re: Prices go UP on January 1st, 2024 - Order now
« on: November 17, 2023, 07:02:52 AM »
Thanks to Greg Brown in 'bama, we're now back in the black at a net $2.xx amount for the year.  The main thing is to NOT report Schedule C business losses, else the IRS assumes you're deceitfully running a company that's designed to lose in order to claim losses and pay less taxes.  A good way to get flagged for audit is to report Schedule C losses... December 'stay online' costs will put us back in the red ... but all I need is one sale of download plans to get back in the black ... take a deep breath and see how 2024 goes.

Announcements / Prices go UP on January 1st, 2024 - Order now
« on: November 15, 2023, 05:26:27 PM »
We're looking at a net loss on plans sales this year ... Prices will go UP on January 1st, 2024 and then we'll wait to see how '24 goes.  Details later ... Just an FYI

UPDATE - I've been giving it a lot of thought lately and here's the rough plan of the future for Glacier Boats of Alaska - Private discussions of things like our country's economics are welcome, BTW.

  • Glacier Boats of Alaska will stay in business for the indefinite future, but we need to cut overhead and manage for lower sales due to the current, and expected future, economic conditions
  • Our primary costs are the two CAD software packages and the marine modeling software - BricCAD, Rhino 3D, and Orca 3D - $4500 in total.  I am stopping upgrades on all of them until something forces me to upgrade
  • Primary overhead other than software is the cost of production of printed plans.  I will keep the cost of downloadable plans the same for the next year or so, but I'm going to have to raise the price on printed plans - if that results in fewer sales, then so be it.  They have to sell in the black, not the red

Other future plans for Glacier Boats of Alaska:

Revisit the plans for the Great Alaskan:
  • Develop a new center of gravity spreadsheet that is specifically designed for helping builders produce the best, most-balanced, boat possible
  • Rewrite portions of the plans - there are things that I want to add, and things that I want to remove, e.g. nobody builds the Rockport - it's going away
  • Perhaps tune the designs for longer boat lengths - The most popular length for the standard version is 28', and the most popular length for the Kodiak is 30'.  The original designs were optimized for 26' and 28' respectively.  A re-tune would help make the longer builds more forgiving of variations in layout and accommodations, e.g. move the center of buoyancy (CB) slightly forward, slim the transom a tad etc.
  • Start exploring, noting that I plan on retiring from the day job in a year, other boat plans and designs ... smaller, cheaper to build, boats that have a good audience and won't break the bank in spite of today's out of control epoxy and plywood prices
  • And ... what else? What would YOU like us to do next?  What additional boat designs would YOU like to see?

Thanks for listening,


Wow!  Very professional!  Good find on that RV lock box, and just the right size too.  You're going to like that Sherpa ... :D

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: ANCHOR WINCH
« on: November 03, 2023, 06:42:17 AM »

Cool.  Good point on the wiring.  Another one that people don't necessarily think of is the weight of the windows ... the fancy spendy ones weigh a lot more than lower-cost or plexiglass/polycarbonate ones.  Same goes for stuff on the roof ... something like a survival raft with a weighted keel is heavy!

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: ANCHOR WINCH
« on: November 02, 2023, 08:59:04 AM »
My  EZ-4 works like a champ on my 30 foot Kodiak. Made a little Anchor well in the for it to set in, so it doesn't obstruct my view when cruising. As far as weight issues, I hung a pair of outboards on the back, built the boat to spec's, filled my big cabin with all the creature comforts,reviewed my layout plan with Brian  and she floats dead level.

Lindy ... Did you ever move your hot water tank to the other side?  Or maybe you'll leave well enough alone, or do it during the coming snow season?

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: ANCHOR WINCH
« on: November 02, 2023, 06:42:09 AM »
I am building a 30? Prince Rupert. 
I?m looking for a motor and gearbox part number, or the gearbox ratio, and motor information.

Kodiak or standard GA?  My only feedback is that the CG in the boat is 2/3rds back from the bow, so you want to distribute heavier items carefully .. boats are teeter totters around the CG, so don't load up the bow with heavier than you need, and keep other heavy items aft ... like, keep the forward fuel tank within specs, aim to keep other tanks closer to the CG, if heavy up front then plan on a motor bracket and/or move batteries to under the dry well ... that sort of thing.

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