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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have watched lots of builds on here and instagram and it has really motivated me to build a Conchfish. After lots of months of watching, within the last few weeks i sold my Towee, bout the plans from Chris and bought some second hand used stations from another guy in Texas. They were cnc cut by Josh Glidden, and very nice. I’m happy to have bought them used. It saved me a ton of time and it’s much more accurate than I could have cut, plus they get to make a second boat

Iam going to keep a conversation going here for anyone interested. I’ll be doing my best to post lots of pictures, updates, and I’ll definitely be having lots of questions.

Some details on the direction I’m planning to take it.
-Conchfish 17.8 with tunnel
-all composite (carbon core)
-I will probably go epoxy/ poly or vinyl/ poly
-small side console
-Yamaha 40
-full floor with front and rear hatches
-12v removable trolling motor

I live in west Texas, so no salt right around me. I do make it down to the Texas coast at least several times a year and I bass fish a lot where I live.

may 16, 2022. I got my shop electric finished yesterday and got lumber to start the strong back. Spent a couple hours designing it in my head and got some boards cut. It will sit about 22 inches off the shop floor.

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got my strong back ready to hang stations. I probably spent too much time on it, but it’s very flat and level. As close as I can get with using 2x4s anyway. Hope to put up stations this weekend.
Spending “too much time” on the strong back just sets the tone for the rest of the build! Cutting corners early leads to sloppiness later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spending “too much time” on the strong back just sets the tone for the rest of the build! Cutting corners early leads to sloppiness later!
Part of that was making sure it was as level as it could be, the other part was I’m an amateur 😂

Those trees and grass are too green to be West Texas man. ;)
promise it is. We haven’t had much rain this spring at all, but the water well keeps pumping.


I got 11 stations hung today. Just gotta get the transom station done now. I’m considering cutting it down to make rounded corners. Anyone have input if they are worth the extra work?
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I really like the sound of your build, especially the side console. Just have a thing for them. Very envious of your workspace btw, i work under a pole tent. In reading builds with rounded transoms, it sounds like it really is worth the extra work if poling a lot. It looks up to date, too.
 

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I have a rounded transom skiff(I certainly didn't build it) it spins easier, poles quieter, poles backwards easier and is much quieter on anchor, especially from stern in my experience. I think you may lose a little bit of speed is all.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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I am very glad I did it -- my main goal was to be able to spin the skiff quickly to give the guy on the bow a better angle, but I've found that it is quieter when staked out from the stern, and the bow doesn't wander if there's a lot of current (and you're staked out from the stern). Also it seems to help slow speed maneuverability and simply going in reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Things are moving along nicely. Got a good bit of the hull stripped. I’m about 2 sheets of foam and almost a bottle of gorilla glue in.

I got glass and resin ordered this week from us composites, and the coosa for my transom
Also ordered.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Things are moving along. All the foam laid down really nicely on the stations. I’ll get it all sanded this weekend, then fillets and epoxy.

my order from us composites will be here in a few days. I ended up ordering all epoxy.

So far I’ve used
4.5 sheets of carbon core
1/2 sheet of 26lb coosa. (Hamilton marine in Maryland let me order half a sheet, and cut it to roughly transom size. Shipping was only $41. Highly recommended).
2 big bottles of gorilla glue
2.5lbs of drywall screws.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you don’t mind me asking, why Coosa on the transom? Is it stronger? Just curious, as I’ve never built a boat or done any fiberglass/epoxy work it’s all new to me
It’s all new to me too 😂 I was told by several people that have built these boats to use coosa. The foam is strong enough but the issue as it was explained to me Is it compresses too much when mounting your motor/ jack plate.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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It’s all new to me too 😂 I was told by several people that have built these boats to use coosa. The foam is strong enough but the issue as it was explained to me Is it compresses too much when mounting your motor/ jack plate.
Yep -- I used foam instead of Coosa. I feel confident it can carry the load just fine, but I had to go to a lot of effort to prevent compression.

For the bolt holes, I added large (I think 2.25" diameter) "slugs" made from chopped fiber, milled fiber, and silica. To prevent stress concentrations at the edge of the motor bracket itself, I made a 1/4" thick starboard plate as well as glassed in about an extra 1/4" of cloth to the outer skin to help diffuse any point/edge loads. I also did 1/4" starboard behind 1/8" aluminum bars on the inside of the motor well (plus plenty of extra skin thickness in the layup there too), to make sure that load is distributed as well as possible.

The easier route would have been to use Coosa, and I wouldn't have needed to do half as much stuff. Still a good idea to thicken up the skins a little and add some sort of plate there, but not quite as critical. If I were to build again, I would look hard at using Coosa instead.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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So Bryson coosa is stronger as well once it’s glassed over or just more compression resistance? Sorry for the ignorance and not meaning to derail the thread just curious
Yes, but not significantly stronger from a "simple" load carrying standpoint. Most of that will come from the skins and the total sandwich thickness, as long as the core is strong enough in shear (which I think even foam is for these small skiffs). Also, you can reduce but not really eliminate the point loading that can cause localized compressive failure, so that's a risk you have to keep in mind (and try to mitigate as much as possible) with the foam core too. It all depends. I'm not worried about the foam in my transom because of everything I said before, but also because I made the motor well and deck significant structural components.

There is a lot to it, and a lot of "educated guesswork" -- using the Coosa just gives you a little more room for error and will generally be more forgiving from a design standpoint. I think the weight penalty is slight enough to where it's worthwhile just to take the hit and save yourself some extra effort in the design/construction aspect. If nothing else, you at least have the peace of mind that your transom core is way stronger than necessary.

Good stuff here for anyone interested: https://www.hexcel.com/user_area/content_media/raw/Honeycomb_Sandwich_Design_Technology.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Got all 3 coats of glass on the outside, learned a lot.

First coat I ran lengthwise across the entire boat, unrolling it from the back and wetting out the hull before placing the glass down. Fought with some bubbles in the corners most of the way.
I also had a bunch of areas with dry glass that had to be sanded out. I only put a thin coat of epoxy on when I wet out the bare foam and that was a mistake. I used just over 2 quarts to paint the entire boat, I would easily double that if not more. The foam still soaked up epoxy.

Second method was to lay them across the boat in much smaller pieces. I also painted the epoxy on and let it get tacky for about an hour before putting cloth down, this way worked much better with the bubbles.

Overall it went well, all 3 coats are on and the epoxy cured perfect and hard. We did waste some time and material with the dry cloth having to be fixed. My keel was overlapped the whole way down so it’s got 6 layers. Also the transom edges were overlapped going both ways so it should be strong.

I’m just under 5 gallons of epoxy in for everything at this point. I’m hoping to be done fairing and sharpening, then adding strakes in a couple weeks.
 
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