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Thread: Aluminum Tolman

  1. #1

    Default Aluminum Tolman

    Anyone heard of an aluminum Tolman skiff ever being built? I like the design, but would like aluminum.

  2. #2
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    http://www.fishyfish.com/alum_wide/index.html A nice example.

    Building an aluminium version of this skiff from the stitch & glue plans/patterns would present a few construction challenges. If you are familiar with the differences in the properties between wood and aluminum then you will be able to work around this, but IMO it would be easier to start out with plans/patterns or even a CNC cut aluminium kit of a similar design.

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    there has been at least 1 built there is a pic of it on the fishyfish website, all of the discusion that i've ever heard of about aluminum tolmans is that they would be heavy, a 20 ft standard tolman open skiff with nothing in it should weigh 700lbs or under and if built out of aluminum i was told would weigh over 1200 to 1300 lbs so thats almost doube and having a 20 ft standard i know that that hull would not perform as well as it does at that weight. it would ride nicer but would be no where near as efficient mine gets some pretty unbelievable mileage that said i had thought the same things but couldn't come up with enough good reasons to have an aluminum boat over the plywoood epoxy

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As mentioned, at least one has been built. The thing to remember is that while you could use the tolman design to cut out the panels for the hull, you'd be on your own for engineering the stringers and other re-inforcements. The other concern is that the forward panels of the tolman skiff are laminated from 2 layers of 1/4" ply, as the bend is too severe to make with a single layer of 1/2" ply. You'd need to be able to apply some serious controlled force to get 1/4" or whatever thickness aluminum you use for the bottom panels to make that bend.

    The upside is you'd be able to cut, weld and go. The tolman is a great design, but the epoxy fiberglass encapsulated wood core contruction is very time consuming, especially when you add the sanding, fairing, sanding, priming, sanding and painting. If I ever build another ocean going boat, it'll be aluminum.

    Here are some resources you might want to check out:

    http://www.specmar.com/

    http://www.metalboatkits.com/

    I coulda sworn there was another good link out there, but I can't seem to find it.

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    http://www.aluminumboatdesigns.com/ Bruce did the CAD work for my project.

  6. #6
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Light weight is a key factor in the Tolman. There is no reason you need a 1/4" bottom on that boat. I have a jonboat built with .100 I am not an aluminum boat builder, look at the Wooldridge boat website and see about their metal thicknesses. They do a good job of using the appropirate thicknesses where necessary.

    Sobie2

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    One of the advantages of an aluminum boat is the ability to beach it, and most Alaskan beaches are rock and gravel, not sand. Also there are three tolman designs, the standard, the widebody and the jumbo. I'd be hardpressed to want to go thinner than 1/4" on a widebody or jumbo. Also an aluminum tolman is going to be heavier than a wood/glass tolman.

    If you want the lightest tolman, stick with the boat as designed, if you want the added toughness and low maintenance of aluminum, make it thick enough to have that toughness. I've descussed hull design with Renn Tolman, and he concurs aluminum wins for rough and tough use, but it has be thick enough for that use.

  8. #8
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Yup! It's called a...

    Bayweld!

    ;-{)

  9. #9

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    Thanks everyone. I guess I'd better just go with one already designed for use with aluminum.

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