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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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Never used the brown microballoons, but the Q cells work well. They are easier to sand than the pre-mix stuff, and go on smoothly. I think straight Q cell won't be as strong, though. I made my own mix with Q cells and silica when I ran out of the US Composites stuff, and it seemed pretty similar. It actually might be worth starting another thread on different fillers and when you use what, since these questions seem to come up pretty often during people's builds. There are many folks on here that have more experience playing with different fillers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Never used the brown microballoons, but the Q cells work well. They are easier to sand than the pre-mix stuff, and go on smoothly. I think straight Q cell won't be as strong, though. I made my own mix with Q cells and silica when I ran out of the US Composites stuff, and it seemed pretty similar. It actually might be worth starting another thread on different fillers and when you use what, since these questions seem to come up pretty often during people's builds. There are many folks on here that have more experience playing with different fillers.
I’ll give the Q cells a shot, thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
How is it working with that basalt? Conformability? Sandability? Fiber to matrix ratio?
It’s good stuff, behaves about the same as fiberglass, maybe a bit less conformable, I anticipate a bit harder to sand
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
176578
Still fairing, might flip over and start the inside soon even if I’m not quite done fairing. In the meantime, just picked up this beautiful brand new float on that’ll hang out in the garage in pristine condition until she’s ready
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
177221

slowly but surely getting where it needs to be with the fairing. My skiff cave has turned into a hazardous winter wonderland of epoxy dust. Almost done smoothing out all the curves of the hull, then will go for a second round filling and fairing any holes and streaks created by the first round. Then time to trim, flip, and do it all again
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Got all the primary fairing finished and decided to flip it, do the inside, then go back to finish up the small stuff.
Question for those who’ve been here and done this: I have it in a cradle to make sure it keeps its exact designed shape. When did you take it out of the cradle without fear of the sides sagging etc? After glassing the inside or after putting in the bulkheads and knees?
Almost done glassing (and a little bit of carboning, more on that later) the inside and I’d love to get it on the trailer ASAP so it’s easier to work on and mobile.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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1,890 Posts
Got all the primary fairing finished and decided to flip it, do the inside, then go back to finish up the small stuff.
Question for those who’ve been here and done this: I have it in a cradle to make sure it keeps its exact designed shape. When did you take it out of the cradle without fear of the sides sagging etc? After glassing the inside or after putting in the bulkheads and knees?
Almost done glassing (and a little bit of carboning, more on that later) the inside and I’d love to get it on the trailer ASAP so it’s easier to work on and mobile.
I didn't remove it from my cradle until I had my bulkheads glassed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
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She’s coming right along! The foam is doubled up to the main forward bulkhead, and reinforced with carbon in addition to fiberglass for what should be a very stiff running surface. The transom is 1.5 inch thick foam with 4 glass skins each side, lightweight coosa for where the motor bolts on. Most of the bulkheads are also coosa, which isn’t necessary but I was running low on aircell. Doing them out of coosa only adds maybe up to a pound.

I decided for the deck layout to do a large forward hatch for dry storage and rear open bulkhead that’ll easily accommodate a small removable tank. Massive amount of dry storage under the front deck. There’s enough room to put all safety gear, tackle, and even camping gear etc. Thinking I will have some small stringers on the underside of the rear deck to make sure it’s extremely stiff and there is no play in the poling platform should this boat get one. Will have under gunnel rod storage and large hatch gutters that drain into the cockpit. There’s a simple recessed bilge area in the motorwell.

I’m using Harry Spear’s method of directly building the cap instead of Morejohn’s cap mold method, but instead of building it completely on the hull I’m going to tab it together and then lay it up on waxed melamine sitting on a perfectly flat surface. Also using a melamine mold for the hatch. Right now it looks like the boat will be for sale some time around late October, after I’ve tested it and probably pulled a mold from it. Going to spend lots of time in the fall optimizing and developing layups. Hoping to get everything together to start taking orders for them in the spring!
 

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Baton Rouge, LA
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178 Posts
Be sure when you lay it on the melamine that you have some holes drilled in the core to release air.
 

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BE THE LURE
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686 Posts
Hey everyone,

Over the last couple months I’ve been designing and getting ready to build a new skiff. I’ve integrated what I see as the best features of several great skiffs, and iterated the design through flow simulations to make a hull that should be one of the most efficient in it’s class on the pole. The hull will only produce between about 2 and 8 lbs of drag at typical poling speeds. This skiff is designed for those who want to access the shallowest, tightest areas with the best fishing, but it has characteristics to make it more seaworthy than other skiffs in its class, such as a large upper chine spray rail, a bit more V forward, and slightly more freeboard than most skiffs it’s size. This thread is to document the build of the first one-off, which will be a simple and ultralight build, and will be FOR SALE for an affordable price when it’s completed this summer. Below are the specs, materials, a CAD shot, and the strongback/jig setup (next task is to fair the mold down to a tight tolerance of 1/32 in). I'll update the thread as the build progresses.

Specs:
LOA: 15 ft 9 in
Max deckline beam: 63 in
5 in draft with a 20 hp motor and 700 lbs of people and gear


Build materials:
3/4 in aircell foam core (doubled up to 1 1/2 in at high load bearing areas)
Coosa (lightweight variety) transom
Epoxy/glass
Awlgrip or alexseal paint
Absolutely zero wood

View attachment 171757

View attachment 171758
WOW that looks cool. I wish someone could do that with my old Skeeter boat and build a new one with upgraded designs.
179619
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Getting close to water testing. I think I’m going to go with the Bennett self leveling trim tabs but not sure what size would be best to try. They come in 10 by 10 or 6 by 8. Any thoughts? Boat is roughly 16 ft length by 4 ft waterline beam at stern
 

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Getting close to water testing. I think I’m going to go with the Bennett self leveling trim tabs but not sure what size would be best to try. They come in 10 by 10 or 6 by 8. Any thoughts? Boat is roughly 16 ft length by 4 ft waterline beam at stern
Why not water-test the skiff without any trim tabs first, just to see the natural behavior of the hull design? I'm not a fan of automatic trim tabs. I like manual control, with the ability to make changes to the ride in various conditions (quartering wind and seas, weight balancing/leveling, head-on chop, etc.). However, if you decide to go with the self-leveling tabs, the 6 x 8 size sounds about right for your application. Just my $0.02
 

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'04 HB Devilray Merc 25 HP
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I would second the manual trim tabs. It may even fine run without them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I’m mostly interested in auto tabs because I’m leaning toward keeping this boat, as it makes the most financial sense, and I want to keep her free of batteries. Anyone have any experience with the Nauticus tabs?
 
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