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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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« on: November 10, 2019, 03:49:17 PM »
We have fully recovered our databases and website, and the Glacier Boats of Alaska is back UP!!  See:

Thank you for your patience!  Here's a discount for you ... it runs through the end of the month (November):  Enter ThankYou19 at check-out to receive $10 off on Great Alaskan Plans (download only)!


That's correct Brian, I think your bow trim is pretty spot on, from what I've seen of other boats and my limited experience.

:D :D :D

Brian, we tried trimming the bow down with the tabs in a tight 4' chop and I feel like the handling got muddy - I was more comfortable without the tabs engaged.

Thanks.  If I read that right, it's confirmation of not needing bow trim ... but there are always conditions out there that will bug one boat and not another.  I'm just glad that the modeling appears to be confirmed by reality (at $3k for the Orca s/w, I would hope so!)


They're just way too wide - they look weird, and most importantly did not leave enough room for my transom-mounted transducer. The transom looked very crowded when I mocked them up to take a look.

I think you are right about the manufacturer's guidelines .... OK for a big fat heavy glass boat, but you should downsize for lighter construction like the Great Alaskan.  Mostly, I suspect people use the tabs to correct port/starboard loading differences, not planing trim.  I have gotten zero feedback from people hinting about planing trim needing tuning .... even in choppy conditions where a bit of bow-down trim sometimes helps.  Anyone?


I worked hard to make sure the Great Alaskan planed at exactly the right angle ... about 4.1 degrees bow up.  Commercial boats are rarely optimized to that degree (pardon the pun) unless it's a) an expensive boat, and b) it's been on the market for a long time and has been fine-tuned over the years.  I'm very pleased with the GA planing angle ... exactly as predicted with the marine modeling software (Orca3D).


That swim platform is awesome!

Yes ... the most fantastic and detailed setup I've seen yet, and all bristol work!  (I like that word ... bristol, very marine, very nice, very Alaska :D :D.  I like yeoman, as in "yeoman's work"  :D  )



Can you explain more on those lexan 'awnings'?  They don't look hinged, so I assume you attach them when needed?

On those wires going through the bulkhead, I'd recommend either lining the perimeter of the hole with non-abrasive plastic or would tie-wrap and stabilize the wires so they don't rub on the pass-through hole - Like what is done on aircraft with wiring in hidden places such as inside fuel tanks.  Just an FYI - and I'm sure you've already been thinking about it.

Anyway ... as always, your boat is perfection incarnate!



Nylon Taffeta is a lower cost alternative to peel ply, although it looks like you got a pretty good deal, so may as well stick with the real McCoy ... I'm just throwing out a point of information on the topic.


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Fuel tank
« on: November 05, 2019, 07:23:37 AM »
Hi I was wondering can you weld up your own aluminum tank. I tigweld some and have some friends that are really good. Is there any liability.  I'm not a commercial boat and never will be. Thanks

You can do whatever you want of course!  I've TIG welded aluminum tanks before and find it difficult to get perfect, but that's me.  Your skills and experience may be well beyond mine.  Try to maximize bends for corners rather than welds (bends don't leak), be sure you use appropriate baffling, mounting flanges, and properly-located fill/vent/sender etc so the tank fills and vents well and the level sensor gives you an accurate average level of fuel for the tank - copy the pro's.  AND you MUST test the tank for leaks.  I believe only about 3 psi air pressure is used and you submerse all welded joints into a tank of water and look for bubbles.  Me personally?  I'd buy a custom-built tank and let the liability be on the company that sold me the tank :D


Boat Building Materials / Re: Will this fibrglass work?
« on: November 05, 2019, 07:13:18 AM »
From what I have been reading I think this is the right kind of fiberglass mat. Can any of you share with me if this is the correct glass?

Hexcel 7781 - 38" - F3 9oz Biaxial woven glass mat suitable for EPOXY RESINS.



There is exactly zero mat in the Great Alaskan fiberglass schedule.  'Mat' is omnidirectional glass fibers (shredded fibers in random direction) - It's used for core / fill on solid glass layups and adds no strength.  THAT said, I do not believe that Hexcel 7781 has any true matting in it.  That's good.  BUT the description mentions that it's about half and half "fill yarn" and normal ("warp") yarn.  "Fill yarn", I believe, is also known as "volumnized" or "texturized" yarn that is 'fluffed up' to absorb more resin.  It is not as strong as regular ("warp") yarn and is an unknown quantity in terms of strength.  I would choose to avoid 7781, although if it's already in your boat, it's probably OK - but I'd add a layer of 6-oz over the top to make up for lost strength in the "fill yarn".

Unless otherwise specified in the instructions, e.g. biax, all of the fiberglass called out for the Great Alaskan is standard "woven fiberglass" ... no mat, no volumnizing or texturing.  It's also called e-glass, but don't trust the e-glass as the final answer ... read the description of the glass to make sure it's standard woven fiberglass that is compatible with epoxy resins.

Another type that I'd avoid is "satin" or "finishing" glass .... usually available in lighter weights.  Fine for flat surfaces if the glass is provided on a roll (ALWAYS preferred since folding creates creases that don't go away and creases are also weaker), but 'finishing' glass doesn't want to follow a curve or hard turn worth a darn.  I've used it.  I won't use it again.  :)

And because it's harder to fill and is allowed more defects per yard, I would also avoid "roving" fiberglass.  It is woven fiberglass of the right type EXCEPT the yarn is larger in diameter and there are fewer strands of yarn per inch, which means the weave is more 'open'.  You'll also find 'knot' type defects and sometimes missing little chunks of glass in it.  It's intended to be a strength-providing fill layer of fiberglass.  It's just as strong as regular woven fiberglass.  If you use it, then scrape it smooth with a carbide scraper, add a fill coat of epoxy, and then add a layer of regular woven fiberglass to help minimize how much finishing and filling you have to do.

Finally - Avoid fiberglass that's listed to be "polyester" fiberglass unless you verify that the applied treatment works for both epoxy AND polyester.   Some fiberglass is treated with chemistry that helps resins wet-out the glass, but some of those agents work for polyester and NOT with epoxy.  Fortunately, this stuff is getting hard to find (except maybe on eBay) and the vast majority of companies now, if they use a wetting agent at all, use wetting agents that work for all types of resins.  I still prefer to buy plain, untreated, standard woven fiberglass or e-glass (epoxy-glass) and be safe.

The attached image is a picture of standard 24-oz woven fiberglass.  Lighter glass will have narrower yarn.  In woven fiberglass, the yarn goes up and down, over and under, other yarn (see pic).

Hope this helps clarify some of the (confusing) fiberglass terms that you run into out there.


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Fuel tank
« on: November 04, 2019, 09:18:17 AM »
RDS Aluminum in Florida will make custom tanks for you (in addition to have an extremely broad selection of premade tanks):


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Anti fowling paint
« on: November 04, 2019, 06:17:44 AM »
I agree ... some real experience would be great.  There are new coatings and products out there too.  I've never kept a boat in a slip for the summer or year around, but I know that if you leave the boat in the salt year around that you use a 'soft' or 'ablative anti-fouling pain', and if you trailer more often than how long the boat stays in a slip, then you use a 'hard' or 'non-ablative anti-fouling paint'.  The hard version needs recoating far less often, and the soft one usually requires annual recoating.  Having kept one boat in slip for one summer, a gel-coated glass boat, and dealing with the growth issues ... I'd say that it's not a big deal.  You hose down the bottom of the boat with a strong ammonia mixture, spray off with a jet of water, repeat.  It comes off without too much work.  Given that, I suspect that the non-ablative 'hard' anti-fouling paint would be a good choice for you and it would at least minimize the pre-winter storage clean-up work that you have to do.  More than this ... I dunno.  It would be nice to hear some real-life experiences on this.


Boat Building Tools / Re: Powered flexible longboard sander
« on: November 04, 2019, 06:11:52 AM »
Hi first  time trying to post I was wondering if anyone had seen this longboard sander. It's called Flexisander from Yugoslavia. You will have to search it I can't post a link.


You can just paste the link into your post and all modern browsers will turn it into an active link nowadays.  No need to use the url tags unless you want a text (like company name) to work like a link.  Here's the same link above, but I used  "url=" inside the opening url tag.  PM me if you want better instructions .... typing the tags in here results in a link!

Company name link: Flexisander

As for the sander ... it looks perfect!  Love to hear from someone that has used one!  Nice find and thanks for sharing!


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Sharpening the edges
« on: November 03, 2019, 03:34:48 PM »
Filled in the corners today by dragging a trowel and a putty knife along together.  It worked super awesome.  Did the whole boat up to the aux spray rails in about a half hour.  Minimal sanding will be required

Awesome!  I created a rounded leading edge to a bow once using a similar technique, but with pieces of plastic cut out from a milk jug ... overlapping round cuts in the plastic that could spread a bit while I shaped the epoxy from bottom to top.  The trick is "do one pass and don't try to fix goofs until 95% cured or later".  At least for me that is :)


Thanks Brian, not sure if you saw my post on tank placement. Was looking for the center of gravity? Can you chime in on that? Thanks dennis

Maybe I am guilty of shallow reading .... :D

CG on a 26-footer is about 9' forward of the transom and it moves forward a few inches for each 2' of boat longer than that.  Close 'nuf.  If you look at the plans for a stock boat, e.g. not an extra short or extra long house, you more or less want to balance your fuel weight fore and aft of the aft pilot house bulkhead.  Look at the construction profile drawing ... the two belly tanks shown (dashed lines under deck) straddle that point.  What is 'optimal' varies with what else you put on the boat, and in which order you burn fuel etc ... but like I said, close enough is close enough.


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