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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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Hey guys, good to be back and see everything up and running on the new site.  Will post some new pictures of the progress over the next few days.

That would be great!  I was wondering how you were getting along .... :)


when you say launch do you mean almost ready to flip...because thats getting closer atleast..

Hey ... I love the updates!  "who will launch soon" sounds pretty subjective to me ... Show us your boat!


Announcements / Plans UPDATED - 4/12/2017
« on: April 14, 2017, 12:43:45 PM »

FYI - I just updated all of the plans documents, manuals and drawings.  Not much changed:

- Fixed all contact info and copyright statements (all was out of date)
- Collected up a few items from the errata - all minor, but now in the docs

I will update here to notify people that plans were updated whenever I upload new copies.  Might be adding a center console walkaround addition soon (as time permits).


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Marine Grade Plywood
« on: March 29, 2017, 06:00:40 AM » might help.  And in Anchorage: Hardware Specialties (  Not sure if the Gear Shed in Homer has it...

Good luck!  Finding marine plywood often means having it shipped... but at least you do have Edensaw in Washington, and Hardware Specialties in Anchorage.  :)


Hey .. thanks for the rave reviews!  It means a lot!   ;D


Perfect explanation!  Since they are subject to abuse biax and 10oz should make it bullet proof!

Thank you!

The Great Alaskan, as designed, is over-strong... on purpose, so imperfect builds or cheap plywood would still work fine :)



I am thinking ahead again, when the sheer decks are added, do I glass the top of the sheer deck and wrap the glass onto the sides?

Exactly!  Boats tend to flex in a 'hogging' and 'oil-canning' way.  As they climb up a swell, the bow wants to flex upward - which forces the sides outward.  When on top of a swell (like a teeter-totter), the opposite happens.  The sheer structure in this boat is designed to resist these flexions - it is effectively a horizontal beam.  If you glass the sheer decks and wrap it over onto the sides of the boat, the tensile strength added by the glass is a great back-up to the sheer structure.  A common place for boats to crack (and leak into the boat's upholstery etc) is along the sheer and this is why.  Other stress concentration areas are along the bow stem and the transom corners.  These places flex like a hinge as the boat flexes, and that's why I use a heavy stem and the glass-reinforced epoxy putty for the transom corners... I've seen cracks in boats in all of these areas, but not in a Great Alaskan!


Yup ... Tapatalk is failing for now.  I've been working on the web site instead, and on updating the plans manuals and drawings ...they're all out of date with old addresses and copyrights, and Windows got rid of a font that I used, so now I have to edit every drawing and tune font sizes and text locations.  I'll work on the forum issues after I finish the plans package update.  No errata is coming that I know of ... I checked issues pointed out by some and found that the updates had already made it into the last release.

Your fairing work looks really good, nice textbook example of how to do it right.  I like to fair between all layers, e.g. fair the wood ...then glass ...then fair ...then 2nd layer of glass ...then fair.  If you don't do it that way, then sometimes defects can add up and make life more difficult later.  It's better to take down high spots and fill the lows at every opportunity as you go.  You'll appreciate it later...


PS: Great pix!

Good catch!  I moved the forums to a different server and missed a few of the images files.  They should work now... although you may need to refresh you screen :)


A standard design around your current interior layout would be great. But I hear you about most people want something different. I wonder why many more would get completed "if" they had already laid out plan. I have no idea. The more I prepare for my build, the less pie in the sky ideas I have. I'm coming around more and more to just wanting to follow your design, and have it perform the way it should. (With the except of wanting to carry a freighter worth of fuel)
If the first one goes smooth, I'll get more adventurous on the second one. At least then I will have a base line from which to compare.

Those Bartenders are very nice. What size do you have in mind for that design? And how much fuel will it hold  :)

This is do-able ...and probably not a bad idea.  I'll see what I can do....

Right now, the plans have not been touched for awhile and contain some inaccurate info (like references to a book, wrong contact info, minor missing detail ortwo), so I am cranking through an edit of the whole set of plans and drawings.  I expect a refreshed set of plans to be produced within 3 weeks or so?  Maybe 4.  Maybe I should squeeze in drawings for windshield and house upper side panels w/windows very shortly after that.... And perhaps a helm design, more interior details for at least a standard layout.  I also need to get some additional plans out too ....I've got about 4 different designs in the works, and I need to prioritize and get those done too......



There are a few things that people have requested that I haven't had time to do ... and I have a few other boat designs that I need to finish up as well.  I switched to a 4 tens at work now, so I'll start getting 1-1/2 days per week to work on this stuff.  That's a real luxury compared to trying to squeeze in a minute or two at a time on busy weekends, weekend after weekend.  Stuff that might ('might') get done for the Great Alaskan, noting that the priority is on getting some additional designs out, include:

- Producing a metric set of plans
- Detailed drawings on standard pilot house and cuddy components
- Perhaps a Calkins Bartender type double-ender modification to offer a double-ended planing hull that could also work well as an inboard displacement hull.

The metric plans isn't hard to do, but does take time.  It enables overseas orders, of which I do get quite a few.  The house and cuddy stuff ... well, everyone (EVERYONE) does something different, so I question how much value there is in such things ...but I might make a standard house design or two available with things like panels and windows etc.


Introductions / Re: Robert from CA
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:30:21 AM »
Yeah, it can get skinny in a hurry. I always see a few hotdogs (really just guys that know the route) just get on plane and go!!! Speaking of that, with stern drive, while my draft be greater or less than with an outboard?

The draft of a sterndrive is very similar to that of an outboard ...and on a boat with an outboard mounted right on the transom, they'll have similar drafts.  That said, most people mount an outboard on some type of bracket.  The water in the wake rises behind the boat, hence the higher mounting of outboards on brackets.    The further back the outboard is due to the bracket length, the higher you'd mount it so that the cav plate is running near the surface of the water.  So, the short answer is 'it depends, but yeah, the typical outboard mount runs a little higher than a sterndrive'.  The difference won't be more than an inch or two at most though ...not worth worrying about.  The bigger differences between the 2 power options are initial cost (30% more for a sterndrive), gas mileage (50% higher miles per gallon with a sterndrive), and higher maintenance costs (over time) for sterndrives if they are left in brackish or salty water all the time.  The higher mpg sounds good, but consider that's also diesel compared to gasoline in most cases, and diesel costs more, so this is a range issue more than a cost savings issue.

I like sterndrives if you can afford their initial cost, your boat is a trailer sailer (not kept in the water 24/7), and you want extended range for the boat.  Most people are best off with a good efficient outboard such as a modern 4-stroke or a TLDI 2-stroke, and carrying extra gas in a few box tanks when you need it (or work some under-the-settee box tanks or under-the-sheer saddle tanks into your build).  Lots of good options on tankage out there...


This video really illustrates how great things like kill switches and life preservers are ...these guys will be back another day:


Introductions / Re: Robert from CA
« on: January 16, 2017, 07:05:50 AM »
One day there will have to be a GA meet up in chinook. That's where I launch when fishing B10

You must know 'the route' then ... On one foggy morning, a friend and I grounded out in about a foot of water. Got it pushed back into deeper water, slowed down and figure out the markers, then worked our way out... Chinook can be dicey if you don't know the way out or can't see the markers in low-vis conditions (like early morning)....


Introductions / Re: Robert from CA
« on: January 12, 2017, 06:02:03 AM »
Its a deal!

No kidding... I WILL keep that in mind!  I'd love to come over and go fishing!


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