Building An Aluminum Boat In South Africa

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An old Perkins 6.354 diesel engine out of a farm truck that they are salvaging for S/V Eva

To continue our series on different ways to get out voyaging, here is a link to an interesting site about the build of a near sister ship to Hamish & Kate Laird’s Seal, one of the most interesting aluminum boats we have ever seen.

The builders are a young couple with very young children who plan to build a boat and go voyaging rather than focusing on the more conventional purchase at their point in life: a house. Judging from the engine and winches they have selected, they are being careful with money too.

Framing the aluminum hull of S/V Eva

Good on ‘em, we say.

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Alex Fricke

Hi John
It’s interesting looking at aluminium boat builds. I’m not sure if this is the right article to ask this question but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on a small cruising boat design called a Kiribati 36 by B&G yacht designs? Are you familiar with it? I’ve only been able to find two examples of a build and would be interested to learn more or hear some opinions.

George L

I think it is too easy to say – single rudder safe, dual rudder unsafe. Same like saying, skeg rudder safe, spade rudder unsafe. It is much more important how the rudders are built. While the single rudder gets protection from the keel, if it is so lightly built that a bored Orca off Portugal knocks it to pieces, having two of these isn’t so much better.

George L

Hi John,

Sure the keel protects a single rudder, no question and I wouldn’t take light-weight single rudders for an offshore cruise (or at least not without a spare or emergency rudder). But a properly built twin rudder won’t need the protection. It may get dinged or get a bend in the sheet metal between the framing, but it will continue to function.

Here is a nice illustration – loo to the second to the last image.

John Cobb

Have you been in contact with B&G Yacht Designs by any chance? Looks interesting to me too.