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The Elements of Boat Strength: For Builders, Designers, and Owners
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2003
Im building a 4,20 (15feet)International class sailboat using epoxies and 4mm plywood using Van de stadt plans. And because I wanted to check it I order this book.
Im very disappointed ! The calculations does not work in small boats Are Completely Wrong!
Author mentioning that the calculations can be used from 3 meters boats to 37 meter boats .But when I tried the results was a 6 times thicker boat !
Do not hesitate to contact me if you thing Im wrong
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on November 10, 2002
I read rather sketchy article on Coyote II in Weston Farmer's book From My Old Boatshop. He had drawings & scantlings for a low-power, low resistance launch. He specified strip built, and that is what I'd like to do.
However, he had the frames on 6" centers and other construction details of a pre-epoxy, pre-glass era. I wanted to find out what I could do with modern materials.
When I entered the Farmer's construction specs into Mr. Gerr's formulas, I came up with much bigger scantlings from Gerr than Farmer. So much so that I could not get the engine entirely inside the boat. Farmer was a Naval Architect, so I have to assume he knew what he was doing.
I'm a real newby with boat construction, so I have no context in which to make a judgement.
Although Mr. Gerr likes the strip-construction method, I don't think he allowed entirely for it's efficiencies once he got past the bare hull. The floors, stringers and engine beds seem way out of proportion.
I am going to go through my Excel worksheet again and see if I made a mistake. If not, I may send Mr. Gerr Mr. Farmer's drawings and my calculations, and see if he will take a commission to reconcile the two. It's a great boat and a great book, so it would be nice if one could help with the other.
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on January 30, 2002
Boat Strength covers just about every common building method for boats, from fiberglass to copper-nickel (copper-nickel?). It is quite easy to read for those with a slight technical bent. The many graphs and formulas allow easy determination of the proper scantlings for any particular boat, BUT... it covers only one system of scantlings (as Mr. Gerr points out in his introduction). If you enjoy reading authors like Howard Chapelle or John Gardner (the boat builder, not the author of thrillers) you will be left scratching your head. When they describe the construction of a particular boat you might wonder how the scantlings they used can be calculated from Mr. Gerr's rules. A hint-they cannot. The other disappointment is in a total lack of discussion of the theory behind the rules. Still, it is fun reading and very informative.
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on July 18, 2002
It is always a pleasure to get comments from readers, but I'm afraid that Rick Burner is a mite confused. The Elements Of Boat Strength was specifically written to make it not only possible to determine the scantlings for any boat (from a coasting schooner to a skiff) but to make the calculations required relatively easy. For some reason, Rick's review indicates that Boat Strength doesn't provide you with the information needed calculate the scantlings for traditional boats such as those in books by, say, Howard Chapelle or John Gardner. In fact, Boat Strength provides exactly this information. What's more, you can not only calculate the scantlings for the original construction method but for any modern variant and/or for any other material, from FRP to aluminum.
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on October 11, 2000
This is a book about the structure of boat hulls that is easy to read and easy to understand. It's primary purpose is to detail the scantling requirements of nearly any small boat hull (10-120 ft) of virtually any material. Gerr has the gift of being able to convey his considerable knowledge to others, and he suceeds admirably with this book. It is well laid out, detailed without being budensome, has a wealth of useful information, and is easy to use. The index is complete. He even includes a short history of, and the advantages/disadvantages, of nearly all boatbuilding materials. If you want to build a reed raft, look elsewhere. Anything more modern than that (with the exception of ferro-cement) this book covers it.
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on November 3, 2002
Dave Gerr seems to be good at a lot of things, but he can't begin to limit himself to just the information the title implies. Yes, he will teach you the elements of boat strength, but he will teach you, in addition, a great deal of valuable - and very interesting - information about wood, fiberglass, polymer and epoxy resins, aluminum, steel, rot and corrosion... with The Elements of Boat Strength you get everything you were promised and more. The technical details are plenty technical, but the more general information is well written and a pleasure to read, and the technical and the general are presented in separate chapters for ease of use. A superb companion to his The Nature of Boats.
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on November 9, 1999
Marvelously complete treatment of boat design information and the scantling rules needed for the serious boat builder.
Gerr provides building information for every aspect of a wide range of boat types (excluding multihulls, as he notes). He provides the rules and the tables/graphs needed to eliminate complex calculations needed to determine the size and stength that each piece of the boat should be.
A must read for the small boatbuilding shop owner or wannabe designer.
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on February 27, 2000
Elements of Boat Strengh is the most comprehensive and easy to use collection of rules for figuring the size and strength of all type of boats I've seen. It covers almost every boatbuilding material, traditional and modern. The chapters explaining the use of specific materials and methods are worth the cost alone. This is a must read for anyone interested in boats. Highly recommended.
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on October 26, 2001
I am a yacht designer and have found this book to be an excellent source of ideas plus a way to cross check the structures on boats I am designing.
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on July 24, 2003
Well orginized and written. The title says the rest.
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