Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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BarnacleMike
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Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

Now that Glen-L and Duckworks have come together under one roof, I guess there's no harm in posting about my new build here on the forum. After getting remarried, I found that my perspective on completing my Zip runabout changed dramatically. As beautiful as those little boats are, and as much as I love the vintage aesthetic... I wanted a boat that I could move around on a little bit, and perhaps even spend the night aboard.

Add to that a desire to keep expenses in check, and not wanting a new build to take forever, I settled on Michelak's AF-4. I find the design ingeniously simple, quite attractive (given its simplicity), and with modest, reasonable power requirements (about 15-18 hp). I'm planning to name the boat "Blue Eyed Girl."

So far, in building the frames & bulkheads, etc, I have used mahogany reclaimed from my Zip build. However, I've run out of usable boards now, and I wanted to use a less expensive material on the framing. While Southern Yellow Pine is certainly plentiful around here, (and I have no problems using it), I decided to try cedar on one of the bulkheads. I have never worked with cedar before, and wanted to ask if anyone here has used it as a framing material before? It seems to be fairly strong and a fraction of the weight of pine. It will be glued to the edges of a plywood bulkhead. (Specifically, Bulkhead #16, which also forms the forward wall of the motor well).
Attachments
AF4-colors.png
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
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Roberta
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by Roberta »

Welcome back, Mike. No experience building boats with cedar. Maybe someone with experience will chime in. Post pictures.

Roberta :D :D :D :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".
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BarnacleMike
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

Well... on the cedar...

Had I bothered referencing Glen's book before I bought the board, I would've left it at Lowe's. According to their website, it's western red cedar. According to Glen, it is "rather soft and weak, shrinks very little, and the heartwood has good resistance to decay... While often used for conventional planking, it is not highly recommended for this use. However, for veneers for use in cold mold hull planking, the material is excellent."

Not the end of the world, but I doubt I'll buy any more of it. I think it'll be okay for this particular bulkhead. If not, I'll repair it.

And, I'll post some pictures when I can get some worth looking at. Right now, it's just a pile of rather angular-looking bulkheads. With any luck, I'll start getting the sides put on by the end of February. I hope.
Last edited by BarnacleMike on Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
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kens
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by kens »

I think Cedar & Cypress are pretty close to each other in properties. I made engine stringers from a Cypress laminate, 3 layers for 2" total.
It is really strong and light.
While those light woods look weak, if you laminate them they become strong well beyond their parent properties.
If you could get enough of that stuff cheap enough, I would not hesitate to make frames from a laminate.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)
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CaptDave
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by CaptDave »

Mike, I see that Jim Michelak is one of the many designers who's plans are carried by Duckworks. Michelak designs Iv'e read are made so that people can build with materials from their local lumber yard. Below is a link to a nice article in Small Boats Magazine about the AF-4. I look forward to seeing your AF-4 at an upcoming gathering.
https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/the-af4/
Capt. Dave
Builder of the Amp Eater Aquatron
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BarnacleMike
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

Well, I promised to post some photos once this project started to look like something.

I've got all the frames / bulkheads built. Over the weekend I cut out the side panels for the hull. I need to make a few butt joints on these, and then I can "go 3D" with the boat. Here's what it all looks like at the moment.

In the photo of the frames (bulkheads), what you're looking at is: Transom, Bulkhead #16 (fwd section of the splash well), Bulkhead #10 (separating the cabin from the cockpit), Stem (out of sequence, I know...), and Bulkhead #2 (forward wall of the cockpit.

As you see, they're all simple, angular shapes. I am hoping this will all go together pretty quickly.
Attachments
IMG_8957.jpg
IMG_8959.jpg
IMG_8961.jpg
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
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sshamilt@gmail.com
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by sshamilt@gmail.com »

Mike - that is looking good.
I would recommend encapsulating the frames and the inside of the skins before assembly. I just got mine flipped and now am facing the interior encapsulation. I am not looking forward to the wear and tear on my knees. If i had read more posts before starting I would have known to do this prior to assembly
Steve

Long time woodworker, first time boat builder
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mrintense
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by mrintense »

Mike, this looks like a nice design. I'll look forward to seeing how you progress. I'm no longer in the market to build another oat. The one I have is plenty, but if I did, I would go with stitch and glue. And I would keep it simple like what you've decided.
Carl

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise
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BarnacleMike
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

Steve... nice to see a fellow Georgian here on the forum! (Go Dawgs!) I very well may encapsulate the interior sides of those panels before assembling the boat. It does seem like it would save a lot of hassle later.

Carl, thank you! I need to get caught up on your VeraCruise project. I have little doubt that your finished boat is going to be stunning.

Before I got remarried, the only type of boat I wanted was one of those gorgeous, tumblehome transom runabouts with the mahogany deck. Make no mistake, those are still my favorite types of boats. But... I wanted something I could move around on a little bit & perhaps even spend the night aboard on occasion. For a while, I considered a Tug-a-long. I got to see Florida Boy's at a Gathering a few years ago & just loved it. I even toyed around with designing a simple cruiser myself... having gained a little confidence after designing the canoe. Then I stumbled across Michael Storer's DayBoat design, and really liked it. That's when I became intrigued with the "camp aboard" concept of a cruiser, rather than worry with all the interior furnishings. However, when I saw the AF-4, I thought I'd found the perfect design for what I wanted.

For such a simple boat, with so many angular lines... well to my eye it's very graceful. I think it's an ingeniously simple design on Jim Michalak's part.

And with any luck, I just may have some of those side panels butt-joined this week!
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
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BarnacleMike
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:47 am
Location: North Georgia / Chattanooga Area
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Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

My first bonehead mistake on this project: I epoxied the backing board for one of the panel butt joints on the WRONG side.

I couldn't help but laugh. At least I'll know everything will be held in place when I put one on the correct side. Then I'll remove the mistake with a belt sander.
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
User avatar
BarnacleMike
Posts: 1186
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:47 am
Location: North Georgia / Chattanooga Area
Contact:

Re: Michelak AF-4 18' cruiser

Post by BarnacleMike »

Just about through fixing my blunder. Soon I’ll wrap up the last butt joint on the starboard side.
Attachments
997D892E-DB4F-4F16-8F01-BF5840D0721D.jpeg
D9A82B02-39AE-4AF2-93FC-A0113CE3CBB7.jpeg
5E5663A9-430C-47E6-BD20-E4184387667A.jpeg
Completed Builds:
Glen-L Utility, "Perseverance"
(2) MBW Hiwassee Wanderer canoes

Abandoned Builds: Glen-L Squirt, Glen-L Zip

Currently Building: Jim Michalak AF-4
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