Danny Nichols Yacht Build

Danny asked me to scan and post these photos of his Yacht Building project.

Not exactly surfboards but the way he did it is pretty much the same.

Please direct comments and questions to Danny… I am just the photo messenger.

Couple more shots in next post

BB



Couple more shots of Danny’s Yacht

BB


Those pics remind me of the small (5m) yacht I never finished years ago.

As you said Bill, not surfboards, but relative in a way.

One of the many reasons I liked boardmaking was the fact that you could shape and ride in a short space of time, almost instant gratification. That little boat I started just took way too long for someone like me who could not sit still long enough to finish it.

Oh, and did I mention the cost. If anyone wants to complain about the cost of making a board, then try making a boat some time. Credit to those who do.

Nice. Looks like he did a carbon fiber composite. I’m curious if he designed the boat himself? Also, what was his budget?

I’ve seen a 42’ “Nichols” ULDB for sale for wuite some time in Long Beach. Is that the same guy?

copy/paste from archives


Jim Foley of Santa Cruz, an artist/innovator/fireman/hot surfer who was surfing waaay ahead of his time in the mid-60’s, built a 33 foot sailboat (his third or fourth design) out of (as I heard it) sheets of surfboard foam in the late 70’s/early 80’s. It was named “Third Reef” and was exceptionally fast - so fast that Hobie copied it and called it the Hobie 33.

If anyone’s interested, I have the plans (and instructions in italian) for building a wooden/epoxy 5,50meters long boat…

I might be interested. Can you tell us more about it ?

C’mon, PierreB, you’ve got so many things already planned. Be serious, man, or I’ll tell your wife.

ok I’ll try, it’s a little bit difficult for me to translate from italian to english, but I’ll do my best.

Here it is. The guy who wrote the book about making yourself a 5,50 meters (about 177 feet) long wooden sailboat is an architect. He designed it (he says so) in one night and it took him about 3 months to build it.

In the book there are the plans of the boat (1:20 scale if I do remember well) and all measurements are in meters, centimeters and millimeters. There are measurements of every single piece that makes the boat.

Is a small sailboat, to be made of multiple layer wood (marine plywood maybe?), the different pieces are glued toghether and screwed (I mean WITH SCREWS, NOT the other thing!), and then some parts are kept together with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

The book explains you several tricks about how to make junctions strong, how to fill the bottom with heavy materials, since he boat has no fin, how to make it waterproof.

I don’t have it here by me, I can tell you more tomorrow when I come back to my office.

Let me know if you’re interested!

Tavlas

I actually heard that the Hobie 33 was basically taken off the Olson 30, designed by another surfer/shaper from Santa Cruz- George Olson.

Thanks Bill for posting the photos of my little boat… the cost of the core cell material ,carbon fiber, glass, polyester resin was around 2,000 dollars… i never kept accurate records… i never made a 42 ft. boat so that one is somebody else…this thing needs a little breeze to go, light winds with the narrow keel , it blows sideways unless there’s a breeze … i’m making another foil that will attach to the front of the boat to see if that helps… the project was mostly complete in about 6 weeks of 4 or 5 hour days, but took 6 months to start racing it…it weighs about 1,000 lbs. is 21 ft. long and has a 250 lb. lead bulb on the bottom of a 12 inch by 6ft. deep keel which was made out of ply covered with carbon fiber and lots of nitex… danny… oh, i shaped the boat from foam, and cut it up and blew up the measurements, had lots of head scratching… i maade the basket upside down then glued the 1/4 in. corecell to the basket, then glassed with one layer of 6 oz, then nitex down the bottom center, then the carbon on the stress lines, glassed with another 6 oz layer, then faired,turned the hull upside down, took out the “basket”, then glassed the inside with one layer of 7 oz , then made a solid nitex cup where the keel trunk goes all the way to the mast bulkheads… i was told that if i could keep the mast and keel together, the rest of the boat would kind of follow along…then framed the deck and did the dcore cell thing all over ,then put a lap of nitex on the joint to tie the deck and hull together… it was fun thinking about something a little different , but using materials i was familiar with… danny

Don’t mean to take anything away from Danny Nichols fine boat with these pics. These are scans of two slides I took a loong time ago that may shed a little light on Third Reefs shape (in relation to a Hobie 33) and the Olson 30 (of which the image is of the O30 prototype Pacific High). TR is long and skinny with reverse shear, the O30 is a little shorter and wider with a straighter appearing shear. Pac High had a longer cockpit and slightly shorter appearing house than the O30. The teak deck wasn’t standard issue O30 as well. One of Foley’s trademarks was really squinty little windows in his boats (barely visible in this shot just forward of the smiling young lady). They really ID’d them as one of his designs. George Olson was responsible for really heavy surfboards (“built for local conditions” or something like that) and was, along with Bill lee who I’m guessing didn’t surf, responsible for the development and popularity of ULDB sailboats in the 70’s. Santa Cruz was a spectacular hotbed of sailboat design back then. Anyway, I rummaged through a really mesy office to find these and I couldn’t resist posting them.

Hey pcinsc, nothing taken away at all… i love the boats that came from Santa Cruz back then… one of the things that really inspired me was watching Billy Barnfield and Dave Collignon, i don’t know spelling, anyway they built a boat upside down in Dave’s yard right at Rocky point around 1980ish, i’d walk by to check the surf and always look in on the project…Dave works at the figerglass hawaii shop up there in santa cruz now i think, and someone told me last week that the boat was still around down at koolina i think it was…sailing has been really fun for me, i went out at pipeline 2001 on a 4 to 6 foot day and it wasn’t a decreasing swell and i came up after one wipeout right in front of a good size wave… came up after that one seeing stars, realized that not being a has been i’ll end up in the never was column, and i don’t go out anymore unless on a decreasing swell… so sailing has filled a void for me… still dealing with nature’s power, constantly adjusting, constantly watching… i love the feeling , especially the wed. nite races at Keehi… it’s just fun!, but thanks for checking out my hobby pics… danny

Quote:

ok I’ll try, it’s a little bit difficult for me to translate from italian to english, but I’ll do my best.

Here it is. The guy who wrote the book about making yourself a 5,50 meters (about 177 feet) long wooden sailboat is an architect. He designed it (he says so) in one night and it took him about 3 months to build it.

In the book there are the plans of the boat (1:20 scale if I do remember well) and all measurements are in meters, centimeters and millimeters. There are measurements of every single piece that makes the boat.

Is a small sailboat, to be made of multiple layer wood (marine plywood maybe?), the different pieces are glued toghether and screwed (I mean WITH SCREWS, NOT the other thing!), and then some parts are kept together with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

The book explains you several tricks about how to make junctions strong, how to fill the bottom with heavy materials, since he boat has no fin, how to make it waterproof.

I don’t have it here by me, I can tell you more tomorrow when I come back to my office.

Let me know if you’re interested!

Tavlas

Hi Tavlas, this is not the sort of building process I’m interested in, so I won’t bother you with this any further. Many thanks anyway for offering us to share this info. Did you build that boat ?

PS : Capisco italiano ma lo scrivo male (ho studiato alla Bocconi)

Hi pierreB, that’s ok with me, it would be MUCH difficult for me to translate it. It’s full of specific boat construction words very hard to translate…

I didn’t built it, maybe this summer I’ll begin thinking about it. You see, here in Genova where I live and have studied architecture, there is a section of the architecture faculty which is all about boat construction. i have lots of friends who work in the boat construction industry. Some are architects and they work on boat projects. One of them works in the building section and he does the glass job… i asked him some questions about fiberglass and resins when I fixed my surfboard, but the proces is similar but not the same.

All this people are fanatic of the french Benetau boats. Everyone says they are very nice. My uncle has a 9.8 meters benetau sailboat. Very nice, fast and with a lot of space inside.

Ma quando eri a milano hai surfato i navigli? No, immagino ci hai solo bevuto la sera… scherzavo! :slight_smile:

A presto PierreB,

tavlas

Hi Tavlas,

Along with surfboard design, naval architecture is my second center of interest even though I work in a totally different area (I’m a webdesigner). I spent 1 1/2 year in Bocconi Milan where I got my master’s degree in international economics. I didn’t have any opportunity to go surfing or sailing back then but since I was sharing an appartment with 3 napolitan students, compensation is that, as you can guess, we had quite some good parties …

If you plan on building a small wooden boat and want something strong, long lasting and easy to build, I would advise you to stay away from nails/and screws methods and search for chine hulls designs built with plywood and epoxy stitch and glue technics.

Thaks! I guess this is a good tip! no nails/screws.

It’s a big thing getting started with boat construction, and I guess it’ll take a while…

Cheers

Tavlas