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Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:27 pm
by lamontjb
Hello. I have been lurking for quite awhile and I think I'm ready to buy some plans. I have been wanting to build a power cruiser when I retire, but at this point, I really want a small start now since I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

Problem is, I don't have a garage and since I live on a military base, I can't really build outside. So I'm looking at a 11' Utility so I can build in the basement (I plan to bring it outside to sand or other times I need a ventilated area) but found that the stairs leading into the basement are a bit too steep.

I built a mockup of what I thought the 11 foot Utility boat might look like (based on Glen-Ls specifications and pictures). When testing the stairway exit, it was a no-go. I really like the shape and look of the 11 foot utility boat. Near flat bottom (technically the utility is a vee bottom). I like that its an 11 footer, although 12 would have been nice too. I think the most distinctive feature that I like of a boat is that the rear (stern) tapers in the width from the most widest part of the boat. I don't think I need a 5 foot wide boat, so I'm wondering if the beam can be shortened to 4 or 4 and a half feet. I'm not sure if that what would make the difference here, but I think if it was just slightly narrower, it might get out (I'm planning to narrow the beam of my mockup and see if 4 or 4.5 might make a difference).

See attached pictures. I started with the bow going out (not shown in picture), and then turned it around to see if that would work (picture shown). The dimensions were 132 inches front to back and 60 inches at its widest part.

Other designs I like are the 11 foot power row skiff (half a foot narrower for the NB version). The row-me looks nice, but is nearly 5 foot wide. The fife might work (12 foot long, 3 foot 8 inches wide). The bulls eye is my second favorite, but wasn't sure if the keels were necessary if I wasn't putting a sail on it.

Questions I have
Can I shorten the beam of the 11' Utility boat?
If I go with the Bulls-eye, can I remove the keels (as in, not build them).
Am I missing any other good options?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:52 am
by vupilot
I believe it is not recommended to shorten any Glen-L design beams. Having owned a Utility I dont think you would want to anyway.

I like your idea of the Bulls Eye. Its a versatile boat and stitch and glue construction is light for carrying up those stairs. I believe the keel you are referring to is the removable centerboard? Its just a board that goes in a slot on the center of the boat, its not permanent. You install it for sailing and for row or power you would not need it. https://www.glen-l.com/designs/sailboat/dsn-bse.html You can see the slot it fits in in the first picture of this link. I would still build the centerboard trunk so that if you or anyone down the line wanted to sail it you could.

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:06 pm
by lamontjb
I really liked the Bulls Eye, but that too was a no go. It was sooo close. I am now thinking a 4 foot beam might be my limit.

The keel I was referring to was the fin like things under the boat that is shown in the bullseye design drawings (I think you are right, I can see how it is a removable centerboard). If so, how do you close the hole when your not using it? Even when you are using it, how do you make it water tight? Sorry, not a boat guy which is why I want to start off with a small craft...

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:24 pm
by Hercdrvr
That is a tight spot. No, is the answer to narrowing the beam so it looks like you are building the ever popular Squirt in a utility configuration.
What base are you living on and how long will you be there? Maybe you could make friends with folks at the base housing office and get a place more suitable for your build.
Good luck,

Matt B

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:06 pm
by vupilot
Gotcha, Yes the Skeg on the bottom aft portion of the hull will add to the tracking of the boat, it just glues on to the outside of the hull. The centerboard trunk doesnt need to be plugged when the centerboard is not installed because water will not rise higher than the water line of the boat so water will not come up through it, the water just sits at the same level as around the rest of the boat. The trunk is built tall enough that it is well higher than the water line of the boat when fully loaded.

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:39 pm
by lamontjb
Thanks for the input...

1) I don't think the squirt will work. The beam is 4'5" (same as the bulls eye). While its a foot shorter, my issue is actually the width.
2) The centerboard water line... of course. Thanks for the explanation, it makes complete sense.
3) Moving is definitely an idea outside of the box. I appreciate that. My out of box ideas was modifying the stairway, but nothing looked like a good idea. However, I'm going to place moving out of the question. I've actually already moved once on this base in the last three years and the last place was half the size.

4) I am looking for a Glen-L plan that might be 11' long and 4' wide. I made a template that is 11' 5", 4' wide which actually worked. I truly believe that a 4' wide boat will work. I plan to look through the stitch and glue, outboard, human powered, and any other area within Glen-L to see if once exists.

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:50 pm
by lamontjb
So far, the boats I think will work are -

1) Fife
2) Duck boat too (the 12'4" scares me, I don't know if I can clear that length, but it appears I can shorten the hull up to 10%)
3) The Glen L 10

Going to show the wife the first two. I think I am close to a decision....

Re: Can the 11' Utility boat be shortened in the beam?

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:08 pm
by lamontjb
I decided on the Fife. Ordered the stitch and glue kit as well as the plans.

Am I correct to think that I don't need the fiber glass kit till later or will I need the Fiberglass kit as I go?

Will probably call Glen-L tomorrow to ask their opinion on Lumber Suppliers. I don't think I'll find what I need local, but who knows. Anyone have recommendations on wood suppliers that will freight ship?