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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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Aside from aesthetics, is there an advantage/purpose for the bulwark vs. no bulwark?

Great question!

 The most seaworthy version of the Great Alaskan and/or the Kodiak, have the bulwark and high coaming around the cockpit (running just past the f'w'd part of the dry well).  Why?  More degrees of heel before water can enter the boat.  Or, another way to look at it is that water must rise higher on the side of the hull before water can enter the boat.  Think of a boat adrift and fishing, rolling hard to one side due to steep swells, and then a bigger than average wave strikes the boat on the low side ...

  Since this boat is designed for camping and fishing, it is expected that it'll see a lot of slow operation and/or just plain being adrift out on the big water.  This is why the boat has flared sides that help it bob up and over waves as they approach from most any direction.  Bulwarks help keep waves and water off the forward 2/3rds of the hull, and the coaming around the cockpit guide any such water draining aft over the side or at least into the scupper-drained dry well.  The bulwark also makes it safer to walk along the sheer deck to get forward for whatever reason... anyone who's done this on a slippery boat in a steep and unpredictable chop will appreciate this.  If you don't prefer the bulwark, then you could instead put a minor toe rail along the outer edge of the sheer just by trimming your side panels 3/4" high or so when you perform that part of the build (fillet and round it, then glass right over it when you glass the sheer deck to the sides).

  The only real downside to the coaming and bulwark is the extra time (and a minor cost) that it takes to add them to the boat ... no big deal in the long run.  In any case, lots of trade-offs ... you have to think about what you want to use your boat for and in what conditions, then make your decisions.  Style and the 'look' of the boat is a big deal.  Having handrails f'w'd have to be fit inside the bulwark and can make the walking-room on the sheer deck slightly less etc.



I like the utilitarian look and style of the winch ... but I also like the yachty look of the windlass.

Introductions - Are you new here? Say hello! / Re: Introduction
« on: October 21, 2020, 07:05:10 AM »

Hi Andrew and welcome aboard!  Share with us what your ideas are ... Standard Great Alaskan or the Kodiak, size/length, where you live and what you plan to do with your boat etc...



I really like the overall look of your wheelhouse and how the bulwark blends in

Thanks Chuck, it's certainly turning out as good as I could have hoped for. Most of the design considerations are the stock PR ones from the manual, with the exception of some small tweaks to measurements and the forward leaning windshield instead of the back leaning. Otherwise what Brian spells out has turned out quite well, I am pretty stoked.

I really like how it's turning out too ... great aesthetics, great balance between bulwark versus the house visor etc.  It's gonna be a great boat!


Also something that I was meaning to throw in here for other's benefit, I got some talc to add to fairing mixes after doing some research, and it seems like it really helps it come off the knife smoother and stick better to the boat rather than just want to peel off. My mix now is a bit of cabosil, about twice as much talc, and then thicken with Q cells or microspheres (I bought 10 lbs of the 3m ones), and it feels pretty close to system three's kwikfair. It does apparently soak up water which isn't great but... so does plywood, so as long as I encapsulate it the same I am not really worried about it. It also sands like a dream.

True ... use what you want in your fairing mix.  WEST, I believe, even sells paper fiber (403 Microfiber) ... which soaks up water too.  Just encapsulate in epoxy and no problem ...

Thanks for the good info on the talc ... :D


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: taping of bulkheads
« on: October 18, 2020, 08:10:45 AM »
So far so good then.  I didnt really want to tape the furniture down anyway!  THANKS

Cool ... :D

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: taping of bulkheads
« on: October 17, 2020, 04:19:03 PM »
The primary bulkheads need to be glassed/taped to the hull:

  • Forward cuddy bulkhead (aft end of the anchor well)
  • Anchor well deck (bottom of anchor well)
  • Aft cuddy bullkhead (the bulkhead that divides the pilothouse from the cuddy)
  • Top of crash chamber
  • Crash chamber bulkhead
  • Bunk tops
  • Framing members (the 2x4-ish vertical pieces against the inside of the hull)
  • Transom
  • Shelves and sheer decks
  • Stem
  • Decks
  • All under-deck bulkheads

I think that's it ... the constructions manuals spell it out as you go.  Notice that accommodations, furniture, battery boxes etc are NOT listed above because they are NOT structural.  Notice that some of the above is not as critical and the boat can do fine without them, e.g. anchor well.


Boat Building Tools / Re: Which Clamps
« on: October 16, 2020, 09:09:40 AM »
I bought an assortment of what I considered pretty good clamps not the cheapest (Bessey), but looking back I dont think it will matter a hill of beans.  Irwin at the big box stores or whatever you can get will be fine.  12" I used the most, I have some 18" and some pipe clamps.

Agree.  I like to have a pile of the 6" Jorgensen-style steel bar clamps too, plus a pile of the spring-loaded squeeze style clamps ... little and large.  I use the short Jorgensens the most, usually only switching up to the 12" ones if I run out of the 6-ers.  Pipe clamps and cheap black pipe are handy for getting clear across the  hull when necessary.

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Bow Eye placement
« on: October 14, 2020, 08:47:15 PM »

3/8" 316 thru that hefty stem is puh-lenty... but many use 1/2".  I tend to round up a tad and like 1/2" 316 U-bolts and plates or big washers.


Looks great ... I'll say, you're sure doing good work and have really finessed how to avoid any extra fairing work and sanding that you have to do.  Your posts on using peel ply and one-shot glassing are really going to help others a lot :D

It looks big !

:D  It's a BIG Mamma Jamma for sure!
thinking a small hot tub may fit :)

Put ice in it when fishing with the guys ... hot water when on a 'private cruise'  :D


Looks great!  You did a fine job on that fiberglassing ... hardly needed any fairing. 

Miss working on the boat, but taking some needed time away from work.  Spent the weekend off of Catalina doing some grocery getting.  I sacked up 21 lobsters.  No big ones.  This weekend will be off Santa Barbara.  There’s bigguns there.  We will see.

Post pix!

Hi Sprig1,

  I'd recommend an XL 25" shaft length, even on a kicker.  Because the boat will not be on plane, the waterline will be 3" or 4" above the chine while you're trolling along.  At the worst-case kicker mount where the center of the motor is right at the inside edge of the main stringers (that really crowds the main), the transom measures about 21"+.  You could get away with a 20" kicker it seems.  More so if you move the kicker further outboard. 

  So why recommend the 25" shaft?  Several reasons.  If the head of the motor is higher, it'll be easier to use the tiller handle if you've got one.  A higher mount also tends to align with the main better, so steering linkage is straighter/more level (assuming a bracket here).  Next, you're not trying to optimize for efficiency when trolling and depth of the prop won't matter at all.  It's not a skinny-water issue either since the skeg on the main will run deeper than your kicker, regardless.  Finally, when offshore and it's getting lumpy, you'll prefer a deeper-running kicker so that it doesn't cavitate on a hard acceleration while turning sharply.

  So, you can use a 20" long shaft if you'd like, but I think the 25" extra long is more forgiving.

  Anyone out there using a 20" shaft and can provide more feedback here???  Thx...


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