Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Intro:  I've never built a CLC before (plenty of admiring from afar), but I have three more or less successful boat builds (two scratch and one extensive modification) under my belt plus four or five "others" or "learning experiences".

None of my builds were strippers or stitch-and-glues, but as I understand it the comparison between the two (in very basic terms) boils down to the fact that S&G is quicker and simpler because there are much fewer pieces of wood to assemble, whereas strip builds are more cosmetically intricate, lighter, and can be built with round, low-drag bilges.  Please feel free to add anything I may be leaving out.

The Hybrids I've see seem to combine some of the simplicity of an S&G with the beauty of a strip build.  To me, though, the practical (hullform) advantages of strip construction are more important than the cosmetics, and I'm intrigued by the notion of taking the opposite tack:  beginning with a strip design and simplifying construction by substituting ply in flat areas where it won't adversely affect the hydrodynamics.  Some of the more traditional designs are nothing but curves, of course, but others seem to have areas (bottoms, topstrakes, and decks) that could be ply-planked without too much difficulty.  Has anyone ever done this?  I'm thinking about trying it myself, but it seems as though the ply areas would come out to irregular shapes that would best be optimized by an experienced designer using CAD.

Take care,

Mike


9 replies:

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RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Mike,

Interesting idea, I've never seen it done before. It would probably work but why would you want to? The "flat" areas on a stripper are relatively quick to get down so there wouldn't be any real advantage to using plywood in those areas. Okay, the "football" can take some time on the bottom but that's still not worth making a hybrid in my opinion. Your idea would work, however, just make the forms and figure out where the plywood would make asthetic bends to blend in with the strips.

George K

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Why would I want to?  Well, for the same reasons people want to build an S&G, plus the round-bilge strength, low wetted surface, and smooth flow characteristics of a stripper.  Here are a few I can think of (although I've thrown in some figures, and done the homework on those, the practicality is pure speculation since I haven't actually built one--go easy on the FNG!):

-Simplicity.  The 6" wide topstrakes of a 15' kayak might be sabre sawed out of a single 2x8 sheet of thin plywood in about five minutes.  The same area would require 32 3/4"x8' strips of cedar to be aligned, clamped, stapled, glued, faired, etc. individually.

-Weight.  The plywood could be 3 or 4mm rather than 1/4" thick.

-Cost.  The 2x8 sheet would cost $28-30 at Boulter, or half a $54-57 sheet from CLC.  240 linear feet of strip = $120.  Of course, one could also rip, plane, cove, bead, etc. all those strips as well.

Extrapolate those savings across all the parts of a hull where it would work (there look to be quite a few on the Great Auk Double, the design I'm currently considering) and it seems quite attractive to me.

Thank you very much for the words of encouragement,

Mike

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Mike--are you an experienced designer with a talent using CAD? If you are not and you have to pay some one to do it for you then the cost savings that you portray in your second post does not add up. Blame me for being dull and lacking in vision but my question mirrors George's--Why ? I guess if the answer is because I can--then my hat is off to you. To me the admiration of this craft has every thing to do with beauty, grace, and craftmanship. How do you finish your jig-saw puzzle and make some thing to be admired is were I would part ways with you. If you pull this off and prove me wrong-- please post on this forum and rub it in---CZ

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

CZ--cool handle; are you a Big 5 hunter, or does it mean something different?

In answer to your questions:  First, I am a somewhat-experienced boat designer who has learned as much or more from my mistakes (and some hard knocks on my successes under rigorous conditions afloat) than anything else.  My only CAD experience is 2D mechanical design, nowhere near the level that would be required to model optimal ply panels without a great deal of trial and error.  My CAD comment earlier was more a wish that someone like CLC would make such a kit to capture what I regard as the best of both worlds, than a notion that I could ever do such 3D artistry myself.

As to why, I don't know that I can explain it any more than I have.  The cosmetics of patterned strip work are a decidedly secondary concern to me--as they are to numerous builders who choose S&G, or who paint or graphite their strippers.  I do have rather classical tastes in boatbuilding, a love for bright finished tropical hardwoods (the transoms in my present boat were cut from the most beautiful piece of QS flame mahogany I've ever seen) but my pragmatic side is fast overtaking my flair for aesthetics as I realize more and more how much I beat the crap out of boats and how little time work affords me to use them, much less maintain them as they deserve.

Take care,

Mike

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Mike---Big 5 wanta-be. The CZ 375 HH was a mid-life crisis purchase that I made when I walked into a gun shop and saw the most incredible piece of wood on a caliber that I have always admired--yes I have an eye for a beautiful woodsey things like you. Dad thought I lost my mind but he also does understand and admire the weapon as he has the same ailment. Colorado elk are as large as it gets so far.

Wood-working has been a life long passion for me, building a yak was a natural blend of my woodworking skills and a love of the water. I think I get you now with the less expense and time for something that gets used. In the realm of the progressions of life and the hobbies we pursue--most of my elk hunting is done with a bow and those  sharp graphite sticks and my fishing is done with a flyrod. The wood-duck hybrid is my way of getting to the fish with my fly-rod with some class.

Nice chatting with you---CZ

 

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Mike,
I think you may be underestimating the value of hard chines. They offer better tracking, better stability and better carved turning. I have both types of hull, and my favorite is a hybrid with hard chines. Most of the people I paddle with have expensive molded fiberglass or Kevlar boats with hard chines - for good reason. The difference in wetted surface is not noticable at the speeds we paddle. -Wes

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

Wouldn't a multi-chine boat a good way for what you are looking for? Then you cank eep the advanage of hard-chine boat but a lower wetted surface. Like the West Rivers 18 or Pygmy Coho. Both hae hard chines but a lower wetted surface.

RE: Anyone ever tried a reverse hybrid?

CZ:  Great chatting with you as well.  I built a .376 Steyr on an old Czech action; the stock will be Bocote.  Besides work, the endless proliferation of project ideas is another factor that keeps me from dedicating the amount of effort required by a single marathon endeavor like a strip kayak.

Twofootartist and Knitron:  All my builds have been rowboats, so I can't argue from the basis of kayak background, but on the basis of my own experience and research:

-It seems like any boat, hard or soft chine, that's ten times as long as abeam and has little or no rocker should track rather well on that basis alone.

-Tight turning ability has never been a factor for me.  20 feet of lateral displacement between one's thrust vectors can be challenging in some ways, but it's going to make any boat turn whether it wants to or not!

-I don't deny that the W/S difference between hard and soft chines is tiny in a small boat.  As I understand it, the real difference in drag is from turbulent water flow around sharp corners.  I haven't seen many displacement hulls, where ease of construction from sheet material was not a factor, that had truly hard (polygonal) chines.  Don't most of the "hard" chined molded boats you're describing actually have tight (but still rounded) radiused lines, at least below DWL?

-In any event, hard-chine or multichine is kind of moot for me because I haven't seen any mold kits for this type of boat.  The idea of stitching and gluing precut panels and having a fair form spring to life is too much PFM for my humble skills.

Take care,

Mike

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